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Old 3rd April 2012, 16:38   #2116
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Jalori Pass approach roads are well-made, so you do not have to worry about the climb much even if some sections are steep, except at the opening of the season when there is lots of snow & slush.

But the Sach Pass roads are dirt tracks where the tyres struggle to gain traction & slip on the rubble. Besides, unlike Jalori Jot, here the roads are much more narrower, have lots of landslides and a single mistake can land your car either in the ditch or the valley.
I drove through Jalori in 2005, that is 7 yrs ago. At that time the approach roads on both sides were just stones and a dirt track. Maybe they have improved the road now. I remember at that time it was tough on the brakes going down because of the very steep inclines. It was a scary thought to think about what could happen if the brakes failed in those kind of inclines going down.

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Old 3rd April 2012, 18:15   #2117
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Arrow Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Read the thread once more, slow and steady, I'd need about a month to digest the whole thing!! What a story, a true expedition of sorts.

Liked the Killar 2 Chamba 7 U tube one, Sach Pass Horror!! It looks very difficult, landslides, snow, stones, slush can come down any time form the steep cliffs at the slightest provocation, you need momentum if you're on a 2x4, even a 4x4 you need to use power carefully, you can skid to the left easily on loose/ set sections.

The other exciting one was the sankoo slush and rescue attempts. I have a feeling, a lighter vehicle could have got through, but never a heavy one even with 4x4, the bog was too deep and soft.

--Ramky

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Jalori Pass approach roads are well-made, so you do not have to worry about the climb much even if some sections are steep, except at the opening of the season when there is lots of snow & slush.

But the Sach Pass roads are dirt tracks where the tyres struggle to gain traction & slip on the rubble. Besides, unlike Jalori Jot, here the roads are much more narrower, have lots of landslides and a single mistake can land your car either in the ditch or the valley.
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Old 4th April 2012, 10:59   #2118
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Continuing from my point of view.

Against the will of our Seniors, we decided to move ahead. After some difficult and not very good to the car sections we were inching towards the most difficult part of our entire journey yet, okay we had been stuck before, but we have had 15 people around us to help with SUV’s and towing ropes and the works. We were on our own now.


100 plus metre climb while the valley is towards our left. Right after this particular climb was a left turn with the incline that looked never ending. Inclines, so what, we have done that before. Not when the incline look like this.

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They say pictures can speak a thousand words. Even if i am able to find those many words, i will not be able to explain the feeling i had when i looked at this in person. I just thought attempting this will destroy the car. I wasn’t just thinking about making the 100metres that we see here. It was also about making it home, safe and sound, not just us, but also the car.
After all a new Mahindra Genio pick up truck with no real luggage had a clutch failure and was stranded right after the incline ended.


All of this but we have not yet reached a point that we have not been able to cross, somehow. It was anyway agreed amongst us that we will try and give our 100% to every section until it refuses to let us pass. So we did what we did as mentioned in a detailed manner by Kaushik.


Difficulties faced

• Once the luggage was off loaded, all of it, we had to push the cars up right until the point till it gets the revs, grip and powerpand. Lets not forget, the swift petrol was not getting as much oxygen as it does any where else in normal circumstances. Loosing revs is very easy up here. The push took quite a toll on our hungry for food bodies and energy level was on a down swing. We have had no real meals apart from a quarter of a paratha each in the last 12plus hours that we have been awake. It was not to end here we had one more car that had to make the climb. It was an action replay as rightly mentioned by Kaushik. This was stressful, but wait, the section was not done with us yet.


• Very less oxygen made sure that we started feeling breathlessness. One starts breathing frantically, even when one has to walk a little in these conditions. But we were talking about carrying the luggage from 2 cars on an incline. I was losing my breath. Exhausted by the time we reached the cars. Absolutely exhausted.

News of more obstacles before the checkpost was not a very good one. We have to start again right away. Cannot afford any breaks here.


Unforgettable section. Proud of us 4 for clearing this one.

Last edited by doctorque : 4th April 2012 at 11:02.
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Old 5th April 2012, 03:06   #2119
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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
Sach PASS

OR

Sach FAIL

?????

[/b]
Unfortunately we did not click any pics in this section because the situation was too intense and taking pics just dint come to our mind.....all pics by Lalu.
Kaushik, Since you dont have any pics of your swifts driving thrugh these sections. Let me share the pics of those two "Brave Hero's" who didnt fail you until now from the start of the Expedition.

Note: These pics are NOT from Sach Pass. But from Pangong Tso- Chushul Drive. Just wanted to share pics of these Two Heroes.

HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-img_0177.jpg

HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-img_0185.jpg

HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-img_0223.jpg
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Old 5th April 2012, 10:32   #2120
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

JC,

The dip in the water from Pangong Tso to Chushul is easily handled by a Swift. The only issue is they'll scrape the front bumper due to its overhang, but rest is fine.

To do a better comparison, I'll have to borrow two of Tanveer's (tsk1979) clips from Youtube:





This not the Sach Pass sector, but very similar. Only that gradient seems to be MUCH steeper in Sach Pass and the stones are wet, making it more difficult by a totally different order.

Someone had asked earlier about this and Jalori Jot. Jalori does not have as many stones and slush is the major problem on it. There are segments during the ascent/descent where you'll find stones, but not an entire stretch like this. But the gradient is a lot steeper from what I can make out on Jalori.

Even without the gradient, rocks like these are game changers for a hatch because you can't power through it due to varying grip and unstable terrain.
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Old 5th April 2012, 10:49   #2121
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

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Originally Posted by codelust View Post
JC,

The dip in the water from Pangong Tso to Chushul is easily handled by a Swift. The only issue is they'll scrape the front bumper due to its overhang, but rest is fine.

To do a better comparison, I'll have to borrow two of Tanveer's (tsk1979) clips from Youtube:





This not the Sach Pass sector, but very similar. Only that gradient seems to be MUCH steeper in Sach Pass and the stones are wet, making it more difficult by a totally different order.

Someone had asked earlier about this and Jalori Jot. Jalori does not have as many stones and slush is the major problem on it. There are segments during the ascent/descent where you'll find stones, but not an entire stretch like this. But the gradient is a lot steeper from what I can make out on Jalori.

Even without the gradient, rocks like these are game changers for a hatch because you can't power through it due to varying grip and unstable terrain.
Yes, these videos express the situation very well.

On some occasions, I remember KSM-vTEC gunning the Swift on such stones and we had to keep a long distance away to ensure that we were not hit by the "sharpnel" - stones flying in the air in the wake of the tyres crunching into the stones.

After adjusting stones for the tyres to gain traction, one also has to put blocks on the rear tyres to prevent the car from sliding back.

Roads to Jalori Jot nowadays are well-made barring the time of the snow melt.
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Old 5th April 2012, 11:16   #2122
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
After adjusting stones for the tyres to gain traction, one also has to put blocks on the rear tyres to prevent the car from sliding back.
This.

I often see smaller vehicles not doing this and wind up burning through their clutch blindly gunning it, without trying to address the fundamental reasons why the vehicle is not being able to move forward (mainly the rollback down on the incline once it moves a bit forward).
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Old 5th April 2012, 12:40   #2123
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

This in my opinion was another very challenging situation.

The stones were so loose that it was just impossible to get traction to be able to climb such a long patch which was incline and had water flowing down.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by codelust View Post
This.

I often see smaller vehicles not doing this and wind up burning through their clutch blindly gunning it, without trying to address the fundamental reasons why the vehicle is not being able to move forward (mainly the rollback down on the incline once it moves a bit forward).
Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Yes, these videos express the situation very well.

On some occasions, I remember KSM-vTEC gunning the Swift on such stones and we had to keep a long distance away to ensure that we were not hit by the "sharpnel" - stones flying in the air in the wake of the tyres crunching into the stones.

After adjusting stones for the tyres to gain traction, one also has to put blocks on the rear tyres to prevent the car from sliding back.

Roads to Jalori Jot nowadays are well-made barring the time of the snow melt.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepCaptain View Post
Kaushik, Since you dont have any pics of your swifts driving thrugh these sections. Let me share the pics of those two "Brave Hero's" who didnt fail you until now from the start of the Expedition.

Note: These pics are NOT from Sach Pass. But from Pangong Tso- Chushul Drive. Just wanted to share pics of these Two Heroes.
Thanks a lot Shibu!!

Last edited by KSM-Vtec : 5th April 2012 at 12:42.
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Old 5th April 2012, 13:38   #2124
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Inspite of our bravest personal effort in clearing the last section, things were not looking so positive. It was dark already now.

This was not going anywhere close to what was planned. Plan was to definitely make it to the peak before dark. So that the slightly easier in comparison down hill can be managed in dark. Also, we got some drizzle to go along with the darkness.

This now definitely seemed like one of the Gods tricks to stop us. To ensure that we do not cross Sach. Seemed like even God does not want any others to try something as stupid as trying Sach in a Swift.

However, we were still far far away from the peak with news of 2 more extreme sections on the way to the peak, now only with some added drama of wet surface and darkness.

Posting HVK Sir’s car video to get a glimpse of what we did in the dark.




Made it to the point, the 2nd most extreme obstruction we were told about. We have crossed quite a few of the waterfalls before. This one was different. It was dark and the amount of melted ice converting into the waterfall must have been at its peak at the time. The point of hit of the waterfall on the way ensured a narrow entry and exit points through the fall. Ankit wanted to make it first, i was on the co driver seat (there was zero chance of walking it past the fall). He kept good amount of revs to his rescue while we entered the water fall. There was a point where there was zero visibility as water had completely covered the car almost like a layer. Fortunately, as we were on a good track, we could get out of it without any life threatening drama. Scary experience, but out of it thankfully.


I thought it was of utmost importance to let Yogen know about keeping the wipers on to its full power in case if he doesn’t get the right track.

Kaushik will get us their side of the story.
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Old 5th April 2012, 14:59   #2125
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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
Now I am forced to think for all wildest reasons that you mistook HVK scorpio for the OMNI

Beware chief will not take that lightly
Woops, caught red handed! Believe me mate, I've been spending retrospection sessions since I committed that travesty. Sincere apologies to the Chief.

Quote:
Originally Posted by motomaverick View Post
Yes true but the situation here was different as it was rocky and steep incline, so the vehicle needed all the power it can muster. Besides as we can see in the video the waterfall duration isnt that much but you can't see a thing for more than 10secs.
Yup, never would think about switching on the AC on such inclines however profusely I might be sweating! But if it starts getting foggy on normal

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Jalori Pass approach roads are well-made, so you do not have to worry about the climb much even if some sections are steep, except at the opening of the season when there is lots of snow & slush.

But the Sach Pass roads are dirt tracks where the tyres struggle to gain traction & slip on the rubble. Besides, unlike Jalori Jot, here the roads are much more narrower, have lots of landslides and a single mistake can land your car either in the ditch or the valley.
I guess we can include Jalori Jot in "Driving to the Sach Pass" training manual. Have crossed Jalori; once in blinding rain and once when it was full of slush. Driving in rain was nervous time but totally enjoyed fishtailing the car in slush.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KSM-Vtec View Post
...Now we come to the first major obstacle, it was a 100 meter long almost 45 degree inclined rocky climb without any space for a run-up even at the start. The moment we reached the start point itself we knew it that this could be a deal breaker.
Kudos to you fellas for your grit and skill! Driving a Swift in those terrains will definitely be exciting to say the least.
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Old 5th April 2012, 16:57   #2126
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Made it to the point, the 2nd most extreme obstruction we were told about. We have crossed quite a few of the waterfalls before. This one was different. It was dark and the amount of melted ice converting into the waterfall must have been at its peak at the time. The point of hit of the waterfall on the way ensured a narrow entry and exit points through the fall. Ankit wanted to make it first, i was on the co driver seat (there was zero chance of walking it past the fall). He kept good amount of revs to his rescue while we entered the water fall. There was a point where there was zero visibility as water had completely covered the car almost like a layer. Fortunately, as we were on a good track, we could get out of it without any life threatening drama. Scary experience, but out of it thankfully.
Sounds scary! Imagine not knowing what was in front of you, except to see a sheet of water. We also could not a reccee, but at least we could see what was beyond the fall! I am sure the only positive thought in the mind of the Mumbai Roadsters team must have been that he big brother Scorpio & Bolero had already gone that way already!

You have to size up the track beforehand, understand where the extra inclines are, so that you can be ready to rev that little more and keep a steady path so that you don't go off tracks despite the zero visibility. Lucky that you guys did not slip down there, happily I think it was boulders and not rubble else you would have found yourselves slipping back down!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordofgondor View Post
Yup, never would think about switching on the AC on such inclines however profusely I might be sweating! But if it starts getting foggy on normal
Yes, keep all power-sapping devices like AC shut off, I don't remember turning on my AC throughout this climb, and luckily for us, there was no fogging of the windshield.

Quote:
I guess we can include Jalori Jot in "Driving to the Sach Pass" training manual. Have crossed Jalori; once in blinding rain and once when it was full of slush. Driving in rain was nervous time but totally enjoyed fishtailing the car in slush.
With slush, the steep climbs of Jalori Jot are no-go for any vehicle!
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Old 6th April 2012, 11:59   #2127
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Sach PASS

OR

Sach FAIL

?????


Next in my opinion was the most dangerous obstacle of the trip, it could have cost us our lives had luck not been on our side. This we released only when we had crossed it!!!

It was around 7:15 - 7:30 PM, pitch dark, foggy and a slight drizzle accompanied by the cold winds was making things worst. Visibility was Zero and now we also had the spray from the waterfall.

The road was extra narrow and had this huge water fall landing right in the centre of the road. The force of the water at that hour was so high that it would take a fraction of a second for the water to throw a human into the valley if the crossing was attempted on foot. We did not even think of going close on foot. Just stood at a distance used the search light to try and look for the uneven sections below the fall and got back into the cars.

Also, the other side was not visible as it was already dark and even foggy. So, if the road turned suddenly or was rocky or anything, we would only know when we crossed the waterfall patch – and it might just be too late to maneuver the car accordingly. I do not know why, but we felt less scared then, than we felt after doing it. Maybe the fact that the SUVs and other Boleros had to have crossed the fall safely was the reason for the comfort.

AP decides to get in first, we park the silver swift at an angle such that the headlights point towards the section after the waterfall (just a little help for the car crossing first) AP & KP clear the section safely. Immediately KP walkies us and asks us to use the wipers on full speed and do it with momentum.

We get into the waterfall and the Swift slides towards the valley due to the force of the water and we can’t see a thing. We keep moving ahead and still can’t see anything for a few seconds and 4-5 swings of the wiper even after we are out of the waterfall.

Finally we are out, stop the car and stare in front in silence, realizing that this all could have gone terribly terribly wrong and we had a large dose of luck on our side to have made it out alive. We look at each other and see on each other’s face what we couldn’t see on ours – feelings of fear, relief and slight success. We are alive….and the 2 of us burst out into the longest and loudest laugh of the trip!! We knew it within ourselves that had anything gone slightly wrong we would have died.

Again we have no pics because it was dark, wet & more importantly the highest amount of concentration was required from all 4 of us. Above all the intensity of the situation dint even let us think about clicking any pics.

But imagine this when it was DARK & FOGGY AND THE WATER CONTENT WAS MUCH HIGHER DUE THE MORE SNOW MELT.....
remember we crossed it 3 hours later.....doing water crossings earlier in the day has always been the golden rule. But this time we dint have a choice...





There was a dent on the roof of the car due to the force of the water falling on it....we hit it from the inside, it popped out and we moved on....



Last edited by KSM-Vtec : 6th April 2012 at 12:04.
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Old 6th April 2012, 12:52   #2128
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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
Sach PASS

OR

Sach FAIL

?????


The road was extra narrow and had this huge water fall landing right in the centre of the road. The force of the water at that hour was so high that it would take a fraction of a second for the water to throw a human into the valley if the crossing was attempted on foot. We did not even think of going close on foot. Just stood at a distance used the search light to try and look for the uneven sections below the fall and got back into the cars.

Also, the other side was not visible as it was already dark and even foggy. So, if the road turned suddenly or was rocky or anything, we would only know when we crossed the waterfall patch – and it might just be too late to maneuver the car accordingly. I do not know why, but we felt less scared then, than we felt after doing it. Maybe the fact that the SUVs and other Boleros had to have crossed the fall safely was the reason for the comfort.

AP decides to get in first, we park the silver swift at an angle such that the headlights point towards the section after the waterfall (just a little help for the car crossing first) AP & KP clear the section safely. Immediately KP walkies us and asks us to use the wipers on full speed and do it with momentum.

We get into the waterfall and the Swift slides towards the valley due to the force of the water and we can’t see a thing. We keep moving ahead and still can’t see anything for a few seconds and 4-5 swings of the wiper even after we are out of the waterfall.

But imagine this when it was DARK & FOGGY AND THE WATER CONTENT WAS MUCH HIGHER DUE THE MORE SNOW MELT.....[/b]remember we crossed it 3 hours later.....doing water crossings earlier in the day has always been the golden rule. But this time we dint have a choice...
[/b]
Yes, it was impossible at that point to do a reccee on foot.

The positive thing about this point was the steep slope which allowed the water to fall down into the valley instead of accumulating on the road. That would have meant at least 2-3 feet of water with the kind of water flow there. That is what happens in many places like Pagal Nullah & Zing Zing Bar where end of day water flow - thanks to the hot sunny day - makes the road totally non-motorable because of the depth of the water crossing.


I think one sensible technique that was used in this situation was to have one of the cars also flash its headlight so that the area got illuminated better.
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Old 7th April 2012, 11:25   #2129
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Sach PASS

OR

Sach FAIL

?????


So now we were done with the 2 of the 3 major obstacles -

1. The 100 meter Steep Climb
2. The Scary Waterfall


Next...

3. The Water/River Crossing....

How difficult can a water crossing be? We had done so many in the last 20+ days including this...in our swift


HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-sumo.jpg


But we always had more manpower to push and SUVs to pull us out of trouble. Hence we had to be really careful about everything we were getting into. Earlier we managed help from 2 guys who helped us push the car up the slope but now it was very late and we couldn't see any lights whatsoever on any side. So if we are stuck a max of 3 people will be available to push the cars. No vehicles had crossed us for the last 2 hours. Apart from the one which was stuck at the climb.

The crossing we were getting into looked deep so we decided to get off and take a look. Checked the depth and concluded that it was ok to go but the most important issue in this case was the exit.

The exit from the crossing was very steep and dint offer much grip because it was covered with all the mud the stream of water was getting along. The rain had also contributed to the surface being slippery.

YP goes for it first, clears the water crossing but as expected could not exit with the revs and momentum he was carrying. I got off immediately and tried pushing the car but the front wheels were just spinning. There was zero traction and the clutch was getting strained. So he decides to reverse into the water, build some momentum and try again. He manages to get further than last time but no amount of pushing from my side and revving from his side helps.

Finally i walky KP & AP standing on the other side of the water crossing (it was a really a long one) to come and help in pushing the car up. YP backs up, builds his revs and momentum, hits the exit the 3 of us push real hard and fail again.


Now what??
Are we going to get stuck at the last obstacle??
How far is the Bagotu Check Post?? Can we get some help from there??

Last edited by KSM-Vtec : 7th April 2012 at 11:30.
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Old 7th April 2012, 12:06   #2130
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Sach PASS

OR

Sach FAIL

?????


Quote:
Originally Posted by KSM-Vtec View Post
Now what??
Are we going to get stuck at the last obstacle??
How far is the Bagotu Check Post?? Can we get some help from there??
It was cold, windy and drizzling but we had no choice. We decided to give it one more shot and then if we fail maybe try doing it with APs Swift with the stock tyres and finally if we still cant do it then walk to the Bagotu Check Post for help.

Well i guess luck was on our side and maybe fearing that we will get stuck for a long time we put in all the energy we had. The momentum coupled with our manpower took the Silver Swift over the climb and onto the flat surface just ahead of the climb.

The Stock Swift did it with much more ease (but did require some pushing) and now having lost a lot of energy and more time we were ready to move ahead!



Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post

440 pm, Bhagotu Check Post, 3500 mtrs
We have taken 2 hours to cover 33 kms, quite fast.
This is the point which we feared stopped motorists beyond 5 pm. Or so someone had told us earlier.

The Check Post
Attachment 905361
We moved ahead and guess what, not very far away was the Bagotu Check Post. It was around 8PM (we were reaching the CP almost 3 and 1/2 hours later than the SUVs) and it was raining really heavily now. Somehow KP and myself got out of the cars, ran to the CP and provided the required details.


The guys there were very friendly and told us that the road ahead was ok but had a few water/slush crossings. He also added that if we have managed to reach so far in these cars, crossing Sach Pass and doing rest of the journey till the other side was NOT going to be impossible.....with those words of encouragement we move on, but the words Slush ahead were worrying me a lot.


_______________________________________________


COUPLE OF PICTURES FROM OUR SIDE IN THE NEXT POST

_______________________________________________



Last edited by KSM-Vtec : 7th April 2012 at 12:17.
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Berlin-Himalayan Expedition team spotted near Siliguri (Merc G500's) haldar_siliguri Super-Cars & Imports in India 22 10th November 2011 10:16
Madhya Pradesh NParks and Himachal Pradesh Ajay Narayan Travelogues 30 30th October 2009 01:48
Team Raid de Ladakh goes on Ladakh Expedition 2009 MileCruncher Travelogues 156 2nd October 2009 08:23


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