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Old 13th March 2012, 11:56   #1906
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fauji View Post
Hurray!!!! Congrats on reaching the summit!!
Thanks a lot! well yes we have reached the summit in the travelogue section on TBHP. But from the perspective of the journey, Kunal has put it in a very apt manner ...."Picture abhi baaki hai mere dost"....

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Originally Posted by doctorque View Post
Would just like to say one thing at this point "Picture abhi baaki hai mere dost".
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Old 13th March 2012, 12:29   #1907
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

What summit? ... I don't think I saw any pictures of Sach-Pass as yet? or have I missed seeing some posts??
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Old 13th March 2012, 12:47   #1908
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

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Originally Posted by kesri View Post
What summit? ... I don't think I saw any pictures of Sach-Pass as yet? or have I missed seeing some posts??

No Sir, you have not missed any post. We are yet to post about Sach Pass.

The Summit in discussion here is the achievement of RANK1 by views in the TL section.
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Old 13th March 2012, 13:11   #1909
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

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Originally Posted by KSM-Vtec View Post
No Sir, you have not missed any post. We are yet to post about Sach Pass.

The Summit in discussion here is the achievement of RANK1 by views in the TL section.
Oh Ok ... I understand now ...

I am a 'Kom Bhuje' in Bengali meaning "less understanding" ... a polite way of saying 'retarded'


.
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Old 13th March 2012, 15:35   #1910
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

The Tale of 2 Swifts...Part 3

Driving Technique for a Hatchback -
this may be nothing new to seasoned drivers

Form the learning we had on this trip it was clear that slow and steady wins the race.

Reading the basic OTR driving articles help a lot. Attending an OTR session even as a passenger is also something which will help for sure.

1. Keep an eye on the surface from a distance.
2. When you close into the obstacle which seems tricky, simply park on the side get off the car and do recee on foot. This is very important in a water crossing which is tricky.
3. Visualize a route you would follow keeping in mind that you will need to climb all possible firm anchor points with your front wheels to maintain traction.
4. Ensure that you have adequate clearance over the surface to protect your under body from damage.
5. If you are forced to take a chance ensure that your Oil pan, gear box, fuel tank do not take a hit.
6. Crawl across the patch and the slowest steady speed possible. If the situation demands momentum then planning your route becomes even more important.
7. Do not stress out the clutch unless you are stuck and there is no other option. Backup and attempt from a different route or may be with a little more momentum.
8. If you are hit, stop and inspect the car immediately. A stitch in time saves nine.
9. If you are driving in a group (i am sure we can have a long list of dos and donts for group/convoy driving), ensure that you dont start your attempt till the car in front has cleared the obstacle completely and there is enough space for you to get out and park behind him. Also if you have a car following you as him to wait till you cross and make enough space for him to park behind you.
10. If it seems like a tricky situation always ask the passengers to get off and cross on foot. Also ask one of them to be your spotter (guide you across) from outside the car. Obviously good understanding and communication between the spotter and driver is very important.

I am sure i have missed a few points, i request all of you to please add from your experience.

To be cont....

Quote:
Originally Posted by KSM-Vtec View Post

The Tale of 2 Swifts...Part 2


Tyres - Yokohama S-Drives 205/55/15 V/S Stock JK Tyres 165/80/14.

50% was high speed national highways - Yokos clear winner for obvious reasons

25% was bad roads - Yokos did better even in these sections as we could do reasonable speeds in such sections and the Yokos provided much more grip around around corners (205 section with good rubber). Where as the stock tyres would loose grip at times in gravel (165 section with JK rubber).

15% was real bad roads (you can call it offroad trail driving) - Again the Yokos did slightly better due to the above mentioned reason.

5% was proper offroad obstacle driving - Since YPs swift was running an upsized rims and hence a thinner sidewall, these sections became tricky. The possibility of having a sidewall bubble was higher. Hence the stock profile was a winner. But if you are careful and crawl thru such sections it should not be a problem.

5% was hardcore extreme offroad driving - In these sections you could not avoid going faster than you should be, else you would endup saving the tyres but busting the clutch. Loosing momentum in these sections was not a choice. Lack of torque and GC forced us to take a certain path at a certain speed to be able to cross without help.(sometimes even with help). Also there were sections (with loose gravel+water) where the yokos just dint get grip as they are more suitable for a dry surface. The Yokos would just keep spinning and dig into the stones. So getting a stable fixed anchor point for at least one of the front tyres was very important. So yes the stock tyer was a clear winner in these sections as they could take more beating and had a little more grip.

In conclusion, if i had to choose between the two i would go for the Yokos since they performed better for a major part of the entire trip and they dint let us get completely stuck even in the bad sections.

But given a choice to pick my perfect set i would go for a 185/70/14 from a brand which sells not a very soft compound tyre.


To be cont...
Quote:
Originally Posted by KSM-Vtec View Post
The Tale of 2 Swifts...Part 1


Deciding which car to take was a big question when it was almost confirmed that we are going. We dint have too many options but yes there was a dim chance of borrowing an innova or a scorpio. Obviously that was our first option but it dint work.

So now the only choice was to take any of the cars we own ourselves. Sedans were out for obvious reasons and so we were left with even fewer options. Yogen was always ready to take his Swift and i had a strong opinion about the hatches not being very comfortable for more than 2 people on such a long 3 week trip. Due to space and GC issues.

So now since we were a team of 4 we needed to hatches. AP owns an i10 and an estilo but he also had the option to borrow his uncles Swift and finally the swift won. SO it was a small team Mumbai Roadsters in their 2 Swifts.

But then as we all know that we tried to match our dates with the IPHE and fortunately became a part of the bigger team Kaza onwards! Going beyond Kaza itself would have been impossible had we been on our own.

Coming back to the topic.....The 2 Swifts were not very different from each other as both had petrol engines and 2 people in each of them. But just one major difference created a world of a difference when it comes to doing a trip involving all different possible terrains. It was the Tyres!

It was approximately an 8k kms trip of which APPROX - 50% was high speed national highways, 25% was bad roads, 15% was real bad roads (you can call it offroad trail driving), 5% was proper offroad obstacle driving and 5% was hardcore extreme offroad driving.

YPs Swift had Low Profile Summer Sport Yokohama S-Drives 205/55/15 with an one size up after market alloy wheel. Where as APs Swift had a Stock Set of JK Tyres 165/80/14 and steel wheels.

So what do you think ??

To be cont...more details soon.

Last edited by KSM-Vtec : 13th March 2012 at 15:40.
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Old 13th March 2012, 17:32   #1911
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

On what make and size tyres were the Baby Alto shod with. Can we have some details on that too.
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Old 13th March 2012, 17:40   #1912
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

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Originally Posted by rajeev k View Post
On what make and size tyres were the Baby Alto shod with. Can we have some details on that too.
I think they were on wider than stock size Michelin XM1 with an after market up-sized alloy wheel.

NED will tell us more about them.
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Old 13th March 2012, 19:23   #1913
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Quote:
Originally Posted by KSM-Vtec View Post
1. Keep an eye on the surface from a distance.
2. When you close into the obstacle which seems tricky, simply park on the side get off the car and do recee on foot. This is very important in a water crossing which is tricky.
3. Visualize a route you would follow keeping in mind that you will need to climb all possible firm anchor points with your front wheels to maintain traction.
4. Ensure that you have adequate clearance over the surface to protect your under body from damage.
5. If you are forced to take a chance ensure that your Oil pan, gear box, fuel tank do not take a hit.
6. Crawl across the patch and the slowest steady speed possible. If the situation demands momentum then planning your route becomes even more important.
7. Do not stress out the clutch unless you are stuck and there is no other option. Backup and attempt from a different route or may be with a little more momentum.
8. If you are hit, stop and inspect the car immediately. A stitch in time saves nine.
9. If you are driving in a group (i am sure we can have a long list of dos and donts for group/convoy driving), ensure that you dont start your attempt till the car in front has cleared the obstacle completely and there is enough space for you to get out and park behind him. Also if you have a car following you as him to wait till you cross and make enough space for him to park behind you.
10. If it seems like a tricky situation always ask the passengers to get off and cross on foot. Also ask one of them to be your spotter (guide you across) from outside the car. Obviously good understanding and communication between the spotter and driver is very important.

2 & 5 helped us a lot during out trip to Spiti in a sedan and a hatch. You can't stress enough the point of first walking the path in the tricky sections, especially in water crossings. My fellow travellers were initially quite amused as to why I would jump into the crossings that looked tricky as soon as we pulled over.

I would walk the section placing my feet where I'd want to keep my tyres, getting a good feel of the terrain and depth. Where I'd find a bad gap or an uneven surface we'd either put more stones or remove a few to get a clear path through. In most of the situations where hatches/sedans tend to get stuck, you can make your way out of it by getting the surface the tyres are looking to grip to be a bit more even. Most people who get stuck blindly gun it to try and get out, which only serves to make mincemeat of your clutch, tyres and needlessly stresses your engine.

It is also extremely important to have a team who are willing to give a helping hand. Even though the hatches tend to get stuck, they're also easier to get going again if others in the team are willing to put some shoulder to it, unlike the bigger SUVs. Passengers getting off also makes a lot of a difference and the car should not be overloaded. A heavily loaded hatch sitting down in those terrains is, well, a sitting duck.

I drove most of the journey with at least one wheel on the center ridge left by the large vehicles. It certainly is preferable to lose a tyre to losing anything related to the engine or the other important mechanicals. It is essential to know when damage is inevitable, of the various options, which one is least detrimental to you.

Also, the good part about the modern cars is that the ECU working to prevent stalls means you can crawl much easier compared to older vehicles.
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Old 13th March 2012, 19:37   #1914
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Thumbs up HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 16, Keylong-Chamba, 1st. September 2011

We left Thindi at around 10:55am after with HVK leading the way! He had picked up a passenger who wanted a lift upto Khillar. So did the Bolero, but our passenger wanted to be dropped off at the town of Poorthi just 36 kms from Thindi.

The locals at Thindi had assured us that the roads ahead were much better than the roads we had already traversed! Keeping that foremost in our minds, we set off, hoping that the Swifts would manage to keep pace with the Scorpio and Bolero.

Just a few kms into the drive, we realised that the roads were not getting any better! Infact the roads had become narrower, so one had to keep an eye open for oncoming traffic much in advance. We were hoping that the Swifts would manage to keep up with us, but it was not to be. At one point after waiting for nearly half an hour, HVK had to turn back and find out what was delaying them.

Post this episode KSM-Vtec and the Mumbai Roadsters suggested that the Scorpio and Bolero move on ahead and wait at a really tough obstacle.

doctorque said:- "HVK Sir then had to return back to find us and our commitment to make it through Sach pass was now becoming a burden to the 2 SUVís. It was very embarrassing. Finally we decided to request the 2 SUVís to march ahead and only stop if they come across a section they are sure the swifts would not pass without their help."

doctorque there was nothing embarrassing about wanting to drive slow and trying to save the cars. Remember you'll were among the very few small cars which had ventured into this territory!

KSM-Vtec said:- "So now our slow pace had started affecting the progress of the entire group and I told HVK & BolBolero to not wait for us after this UNLESS they come to a section which they think we will just not be able to cross without their help. Hoping that once we are closing into Killar the roads will improve we told them that we will try to catchup by the time we reach the Sach Pass section. BUT AGAIN even after Killar donít wait for us unless you come to a section which we just cannot cross without your help."

With a very heavy heart we decided to move on, even though I was not at all liking this situation one bit. Many many doubts swirling around in my mind, which I shared with SSj
The two of us decided that we would reach Khillar and wait for the Swifts there. If they were inordinately delayed we would pitch camp in Khillar for the night and cross Sach Pass early next morning! Unfortunately I could not share this info with HVK and laluks, cos as usual they were way ahead of us and there was absolutely no mobile network.

We reached Poorthi at around 1:15pm, a distance of 36 kms from Thindi, which we covered in roughly 2 hours. And obviously no sign of the Swifts behind us nor any sign of the Scorpio ahead of us. We dropped off our passenger and moved on, hoping to catch up with the Scorpio!

Moved on and reached the outskirts of Khillar at around 2:30 pm, a distance of 19 kms from Poorthi, drive time 1hr15mins. Hoping that HVK and laluks would be waiting somewhere in town, we continued onwards.

But lo and behold the place where HVK's Scorpio was parked, was on the road leading to Chamba via the Sach Pass, whereas Khillar Town was on the opposite side of the fork.

A quick stop and conference with HVK, laluks and SSj as to the plan of action.

I was quite adamant that we stay put in Khillar and wait for the Swifts to catch up with us, even if it meant spending one night in Khillar! A few angry words exchanged between HVK and me about abandoning the team. Me being very worried about the safety of the small cars and more so of the occupants!

After a lot of protestations from my side, I was convinced by the others, that there was no way the Swifts would be able to catch up with us, or that they may have in fact already decided to turn back towards Keylong and head back via Rohtang Pass!

Hoping that the later was true and that the Mumbai Roadsters had actually decided to turn back, I gave in.
One look at the road we were supposed to take
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and we knew there was no point in wasting time at this spot, if we were to cross Sach Pass before nightfall!!

to be continued.......
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Old 13th March 2012, 20:44   #1915
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BolBolero View Post

A quick stop and conference with HVK, laluks and SSj as to the plan of action.

I was quite adamant that we stay put in Khillar and wait for the Swifts to catch up with us, even if it meant spending one night in Khillar! A few angry words exchanged between HVK and me about abandoning the team. Me being very worried about the safety of the small cars and more so of the occupants!

After a lot of protestations from my side, I was convinced by the others, that there was no way the Swifts would be able to catch up with us, or that they may have in fact already decided to turn back towards Keylong and head back via Rohtang Pass!
Yes, it was not a good feeling that!

I was torn between the need to go on to reach somewhere civilised before dark - cross the Sach Pass & land up in Bhairavgarh or Tissa at least. Looking at the tardy progress the Swifts were making in what I termed as "good" roads - since the "bad" roads were yet to begin only after Khillar - and I was also firmly convinced that the small cars stood no chance at all.

I also knew with KSM-vTEC leading the way, the team would not take any foolish chances and we had already talked it over that the Swifts would turn back if they judged that conditions were too hostile for them. I also reckoned that at the pace the Swifts were setting, they should ideally be staying overnight at Khillar & deciding which way to go the next day - onward to Chamba or back to Keylong (chnaces of which which I rated 8/10).

In our anxiety to keep up with our schedule, we pressed the accelerator & moved on.......and I had already assumed that the Swifts would not be in a position to make it!

Last edited by hvkumar : 13th March 2012 at 20:45.
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Old 13th March 2012, 20:56   #1916
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

In the entire episode I was just a mute spectator confused with the varying demands the day had.

1. We are moving forward from Khillar, which meant we must cross Sach pass before sun goes down
2. Taking the Swifts along meant we halted at Khillar - the best choice
3. With out the Swifts moving ahead - who will help the swifts in bad territory

I had no answers. It was a tough call to make and HVK had to decide to move ahead. It meant leaving a part of the team behind. Well at times leaders have to make tough decisions. And mind you these decisions make the team strong towards the end.

The only solace I had was when BolBolero told the oncoming Mahindra cabs to tell the Swifts to return back from wherever they are. That was a good thought from BolBolero to inform the Swifts about the terrain ahead. With no mobile network at all and no information exchange possibilities, it was really frustrating to say the least in such scenarios.
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Old 13th March 2012, 21:09   #1917
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

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Originally Posted by laluks View Post
I had no answers. It was a tough call to make and HVK had to decide to move ahead. It meant leaving a part of the team behind. Well at times leaders have to make tough decisions. And mind you these decisions make the team strong towards the end.

The only solace I had was when BolBolero told the oncoming Mahindra cabs to tell the Swifts to return back from wherever they are. That was a good thought from BolBolero to inform the Swifts about the terrain ahead. With no mobile network at all and no information exchange possibilities, it was really frustrating to say the least in such scenarios.
One of the major reasons for the decision was that KSM-vTEC was a tough egg, capable of handling any situation, and he was very firm that he would try his level best to scale the Sach Pass, but did not want to be a handicap for the 2 SUVs. He was also of the view that if the going really gets tough, he would tun back there itself. It was left to his judgement to take that call. You may recall that the decision to come on the Sach Pass was an "insane" decision he had taken and he was pretty determined to make that attempt with or without our support

I was quite happy to see so many Bolero pick-ups in these parts and the drivers were friendly guys who could also be depended upon to help out in need.

At that point when we reached Khillar, we estimated that the Swifts must be at least 1-2 hours behind - and we were not even counting the time lost in repairing the puncture (which we got to know only later). Time was already 230 pm and had we hung on there waiting for the Swifts, we would have had to call off the drive towards Sach Pass that day since I did not fancy our chances of driving in the darkness.

Needless to say, this decision of mine can always be debated.....were we running away for our own selfish goals to reach Chamba?
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Old 13th March 2012, 21:56   #1918
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Quote:
Originally Posted by KSM-Vtec View Post


CONGRATULATIONS EVERYBODY


THIS TRAVELOGUE IS NOW RANK 1 BY VIEWS AND POSTS

A BIG THANKS TO ALL OF YOU ON BEHALF OF THE IPHE2011 TEAM FOR CLOSELY FOLLOWING OUR JOURNEY

Cheers to that KSM_VTEC! This calls for a Grand Celebration!!
Hearty Congrats for the Entire IPHE TEAM and Thanks a million for our friends, supporters, BHpians and non Bhpians who are reading this Travelogue!


Quote:
Originally Posted by BolBolero View Post
It has been as much fun contributing to this travelogue as it was being part of the expedition. Going through the travelogue, we are sort of reliving those fantastic days we spent on the road!

A very big congratulations to everybody on the IPHE team for making this happen!
Thank you laluks for initiating this whopper of a travelogue and all the T-Bhpians who contributed with their inputs!
hvkumar, KSM-Vtec, JeepCaptain, doctorque, anku, yogen, akaush, no_enthu_da All you guys rock!

Special mention of the Non T-Bhpians who were part of the IPHE.
Tadeusz Sokolowkski, Jaysekaran Pillai, Nobin Jacob, Shashank Sanade, Ashwin Rao, Bhaskar Mandapaka, Chaitanya Vineet, Shiyas PK, Vinod Erinjery, Dilip Barai, Sundar Shah. (Apologies if I missed out anybody)

A very big thank you to the all T-Bhp members/ viewers/ readers, without whose support we wouldn't have crossed this milestone!

Thanks Bol Bolero for your support and contribution. Special Thanks from me for that unforgettable lift from Srinagar to Kargil!!
I think you missed few members. Let me put them in list.

The Team I have copied Lalu's list from his first or second post and added names next to it.

Scorpio (Mumbai)

1) HVK - The Chief - H V Kumar
2) Laluks - Lalu KS
3) SSS - Sunder Shah
4) DB - Dileep Barai


Bolero (Kerala) - nicknamed Discovery Bolero

5) JeepCaptain - Shibu Varghese ( The man behind the idea of this drive)
6) NJ - Nobin Jacob
7) JP - Jayasekaran Pillai
8) TS - Tadeusz Sokolowski


Bolero 4x4 Stinger (Kerala)

9) SPK - Shiyas PK
10) VE - Vinod Erinjery
11) APK - Asif PK
12) SKV - SajiKumar V


Swift Diesel (Andhra Pradesh) - nicknamed AP Swift

13) BM - Bhaskar Mandapaka
14) CV - Chaitanya Vineeth


Alto (Mumbai) - nicknamed Baby Alto

15) no_enthu_da - NED- Vyas Kaushik
16) Dr. RK - Dr. Raman Kumar


Innova (Delhi)

17) AK - Akaush - Ajay Kaushik
18) PD - Praveer Dave
19) PK - Pavan


Bolero (Mumbai)

20) BolBolero - Gautam Basak
21) SS - Shashank Sanade
22) AR - Ashwin Rao

Mumbai Roadsters - Team of two great Swifts led by KSM-Vtec

Swift Petrol (Mumbai)

23) KSM-Vtec - Kaushik Manghani
24) YP - Yogen - Yogen Payyar


Swift Petrol (Mumbai)

25) AP - Ankit Patel
26) KP - doctorque - Kunal Patwa


Congrats to the IPHE TEAM!

Now over to you Laluks, HVK, BolBolero & KSM-Vtec to continue.

Once you are done with Sach Pass I will start about our adventurous and non stop drive form Leh to Pathankot in 30 hours and 30 minutes.
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Old 13th March 2012, 22:04   #1919
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 21
1st September 2011
Key Long - Sach Pass - Chamba

ChandraBhaga still with us
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Greenery
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Some Waterfalls
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The road ahead
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continued...
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Old 13th March 2012, 22:11   #1920
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 21
1st September 2011
Key Long - Sach Pass - Chamba

The road ahead
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Bikers
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ChandraBhaga
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Another Waterfall
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continued...
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