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Old 15th April 2013, 21:51   #31
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Default Re: Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013

After having our breakfast around 9 Am, we were still not sure if we should go to Kalpa of spend another day in Chitkul. I was more keen on Kalpa but Priyanka and Nandini were not sure, Nandini was not ready to leave snow .

So it was a deadlock, somehow I convinced them to try out a new place, and they were happy to agree with me, once we reached Kalpa.

We left Rakcham around 10:30 am, drive to Karcham was easy except few bad patches and slush. Right turn from Karcham bridge, and we were on shining black tar road, And I started dreaming of a smooth drive to Kalpa. 30 minutes to our drive, Dream shattered brutally, we faced our first bad patch. right in the middle of a smooth tarmac, road just disappeared, nothing, none, just a straight dive to satluj.

I got out of the car and was wondering what exactly happened, GPS showing all right, then what. And then I saw few red flags just behind us, few minutes later I saw a sumo going down on a side temporary track. Holly crap, section of the road was washed out and there a temp road prepared, it was a steep, uneven, stone laden road, wide enough for a bus. Going down was ok, but coming back up was scary, and then I saw a roadways bus about to enter the track from the other side. I knew this would be a disaster if meet somewhere in between. I started honking frantically, and to my good luck, this guy heard me coming up and waited for me to clear that stretch. A waived to him for thanks and moved on, assuming the worst is over.

Worst is over? how fool I was, just around 5 km from Powari we found a really dragon size slush, created by the rain two days back and fast melting snow. It was almost 1 km of slush, I kept driving in first gear avoiding the stones and humps. Then at one point it was an impossible situation. Even Sumos and Tavera were struggling. I waited and watched them crossing this section, it was looking scary. I spent few minutes making the plan to cross it, there was just few inches of patch which could give right side tyres of SX4 some traction in all that slush, only if I cross it in split second, else I am doomed, hitting bottom was inevitable.

Jai Mata di, and I press the accelerator, entry point was ok, the moment I entered the center, car started skidding, tried my level best for steering correction and kept going straight, but I missed that few inch point I planned earlier. It was do or die situation, I kept the pressure on accelerator and kept moving, bottom touched slush, luckily no stone.

In all those 10 second, we were out, scariest 10 seconds of the trip . Priyanka was holding anything possible with both her hands, as if we were going down . Slush never left us upto Powari petrol pump. Just after the petrol pump, there is a left cut which goes up to Peo and Kalpa, perfect but narrow road. We had few options to stay in Kalpa, but we wanted to check the most talked about HPTDC Kinnar Kailash, and so glad that we did that. Though both other hotels are good and with nice view for the price, but Kinnar Kailash was just unbeatable even at a much higher cost. We checked in to one of the best room they had, ordered our late lunch and enjoyed the views. The moment you enter Kalpa and see those lovely clouds and snow peaks, you feel awestruck with those divine views.

After our lunch we decided to walk down to the temple where a group marriage was in process, it was wonderful experience the local group marriage.

Few more pics

First view of magical peaks
Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-kinnaur-2013-18.jpg

Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-day-4.2-1.jpg

Restaurant of HPTDC Kinnar Kailash, Kalpa
Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-day-4.2-3.jpg

More lovely peaks and clouds
Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-day-4.2-2.jpg

Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-day-4.2-4.jpg

Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-day-4.2-5.jpg

A family shot
Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-day-4.2-6.jpg

Bridge between rooms and hotel office
Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-day-4.2-7.jpg

Quite alot of snow
Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-day-4.2-8.jpg

Kalpa Temple
Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-day-4.2-9.jpg

Kalpa has more Buddhism influence unlike other Kinnaur villages
Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-day-4.2-10.jpg

Wow, as lovely PO
Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-day-4.2-11.jpg

Group Marriage in progress
Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-day-4.2-12.jpg

Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-day-4.2-13.jpg

Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-day-4.2-14.jpg

More Views
Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-day-4.2-15.jpg

Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-day-4.2-16.jpg

Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-day-4.2-17.jpg

Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-day-4.2-19.jpg

Even clouds were trying to imitate hills, so over powering those peaks are
Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-day-4.2-18.jpg

Bride on the way
Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-day-4.2-20.jpg

And this is what we saw Next
Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-dsc_5472.jpg

Last edited by rkbharat : 15th April 2013 at 22:11.
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Old 15th April 2013, 22:02   #32
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Default Re: Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013

The group marriage at Kalpa temple was a wonderful experience, a unique one, but to my bad luck I only carried the Ultra wide angle with me. Five minute to wedding my urge to bring the tele was uncontrollable, the only problem was that I will have to climb approximately 70-80 stair steps and then some more climb back to hotel. With do or die enthusiasm I left Nandini and Priyanka to enjoy the marriage, and started jumping up the stairs. 10 Steps, no problem, I was climbing like a spider-man on additional steroids, 25 steps and steroid was gone, 40 steps even spider-man was gone, 50 steps and my lungs were overworking, 61th step, I was sitting on it, still 10 steps and some walk. Somehow I dragged myself to the hotel room, gathered all the gears and as I came out of the room, got a call from Priyanka.

"Don't come, events are over, people going back". It was a slap on already wounded face. But there is always a blessing in disguise, while I decided to sit at hotel's lawn and bring back life to my lungs, I saw peaks getting yellow. It was magical, where is my D800 and UWA?, with Priyanka. And where is Priyanka? 15 minutes away from the spot. I called her to run fast, but it was not possible with Nandini, she is as lazy as I am.

Now what, D7000 has served well in past, how can I loose trust on it. Tripod set, I started shooting frantically, colors were changing every second, and it lasted for just 10 minutes. What a wonderful experience.

Around 7 pm all of us went back to room, switched on the TV, and had full bakar. Around 8:30pm I went out to see the sky and it was all clear, full of stars. I called Nandini and Priyanka to come down and see it. Nandu was just surprised to see so many stars. Tried hand on few night shots of star trails, had our tasteless food at hotel restaurant.

Wonderful setting sun light
Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-day-4.3-1.jpg

Clouds adding to the fun
Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-day-4.3-2.jpg

A little close up
Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-day-4.3-3.jpg

Light and Peaks playing hide & seek
Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-day-4.3-4.jpg

light shades
Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-day-4.3-5.jpg

colors
Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-day-4.3-6.jpg

Blue, Golden, Orange
Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-day-4.3-7.jpg

Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-day-4.3-8.jpg

A pano
Attachment 1074149

finally a flat light
Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-day-4.3-9.jpg

Few star and trails
Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-day-4.3-10.jpg

Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-day-4.3-11.jpg

Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-day-4.3-12.jpg

Attachment 1074149

Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-kinnaur-2013-22.jpg

Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-kinnaur-2013-23.jpg

Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-kinnaur-2013-24.jpg

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 16th April 2013 at 07:39.
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Old 16th April 2013, 07:03   #33
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Default Re: Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013

Wonderful Rajiv.
I was seeing your updates in FB and was drooling over the clicks.

Thanks for sharing, and of course a 5* for the log
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Old 16th April 2013, 09:52   #34
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Default Re: Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013

Excellent Travelogue Rajiv. The narration is more than complemented by the Photographs. The long exposure shots at night are simply breathtaking. The SX4's stance has been captured in a neat manner. Looking forward to more updates. Cheers!
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Old 16th April 2013, 11:03   #35
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Default Re: Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013

Should say this has been a very good write up coupled with some amazing photos. Appears that your family had some fantastic time. Must say people staying in North India are lucky as they have it in their backyard.

Waiting for your next trip to Spiti
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Old 16th April 2013, 11:04   #36
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Default Re: Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013

Was there last July in the same places you have visited and comparing the contrast in weather and still how beautiful it is, specially Chitkul.
Excellent pictures and travelogue.
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Old 16th April 2013, 13:25   #37
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Default Re: Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
Wonderful Rajiv.
I was seeing your updates in FB and was drooling over the clicks.

Thanks for sharing, and of course a 5* for the log
Thanks Buddy

Quote:
Originally Posted by alokgunhal View Post
Excellent Travelogue Rajiv. The narration is more than complemented by the Photographs. The long exposure shots at night are simply breathtaking. The SX4's stance has been captured in a neat manner. Looking forward to more updates. Cheers!
Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by ku69rd View Post
Should say this has been a very good write up coupled with some amazing photos. Appears that your family had some fantastic time. Must say people staying in North India are lucky as they have it in their backyard.

Waiting for your next trip to Spiti
Thanks, and trust me, we have been wishing to hit your backyard, kerala and Munnar for so long time. :P
Quote:
Originally Posted by rk_sans View Post
Was there last July in the same places you have visited and comparing the contrast in weather and still how beautiful it is, specially Chitkul.
Excellent pictures and travelogue.
Thanks
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Old 16th April 2013, 13:29   #38
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Default Re: Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013

Few time-lapse from D800 and a clip from poor cheap car cam

Making of Snow Woman



Sunrise at Rakcham



Few clips from Car Cam, this one ditched me right when I wanted it

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Old 17th April 2013, 11:00   #39
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Default Re: Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkbharat View Post
The group marriage at Kalpa temple was a wonderful experience, a unique one, but to my bad luck I only carried the Ultra wide angle with me. Five minute to wedding my urge to bring the tele was uncontrollable, the only problem was that I will have to climb approximately 70-80 stair steps and then some more climb back to hotel. With do or die enthusiasm I left Nandini and Priyanka to enjoy the marriage, and started jumping up the stairs. 10 Steps, no problem, I was climbing like a spider-man on additional steroids, 25 steps and steroid was gone, 40 steps even spider-man was gone, 50 steps and my lungs were overworking, 61th step, I was sitting on it, still 10 steps and some walk. Somehow I dragged myself to the hotel room, gathered all the gears and as I came out of the room, got a call from Priyanka.
Rajiv,

This is an outstanding T-Log. The pictures are quite spectacular and the prose so riveting and active. Thanks a lot for sharing this, and making this fast-warming day in Delhi more bearable.

Your T-Log also makes me want to kick myself. That's because I have driven to and past Shimla (I try my best to avoid that concrete jungle) enough times, but have always gone toward Mashobra, Naldehra, or Narkanda and then on toward Jalori Pass, Sainj and on to Manali and beyond.

Why in tarnation have I never gone on this route and toward Kalpa, Kaza and these beautiful vistas? Idiot me, of course, and perhaps the worry that my mobile phone won't work. In the field of work I am in, my phone HAS TO WORK, at all times.

May I request you to let me know where the mobile phones work along this route after Narkanda, and equally important, where they don't?

I will eagerly await this input and basis this, plan out my bext trip to these places that you have so beautifully depicted visually and verbally. Thanks for a fantastic T-Log.

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Old 17th April 2013, 12:09   #40
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Default Re: Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013

Thanks

My Airtel (BB) and 3G worked everywhere in Narkanda, Rampur, Sarahan, Sangla, Chitkul and Kalpa. I do keep a BSNL prepaid which works in Kaza.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajeevn View Post
Rajiv,

This is an outstanding T-Log. The pictures are quite spectacular and the prose so riveting and active. Thanks a lot for sharing this, and making this fast-warming day in Delhi more bearable.

Your T-Log also makes me want to kick myself. That's because I have driven to and past Shimla (I try my best to avoid that concrete jungle) enough times, but have always gone toward Mashobra, Naldehra, or Narkanda and then on toward Jalori Pass, Sainj and on to Manali and beyond.

Why in tarnation have I never gone on this route and toward Kalpa, Kaza and these beautiful vistas? Idiot me, of course, and perhaps the worry that my mobile phone won't work. In the field of work I am in, my phone HAS TO WORK, at all times.

May I request you to let me know where the mobile phones work along this route after Narkanda, and equally important, where they don't?

I will eagerly await this input and basis this, plan out my bext trip to these places that you have so beautifully depicted visually and verbally. Thanks for a fantastic T-Log.

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Old 17th April 2013, 12:20   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkbharat View Post

Thanks

My Airtel (BB) and 3G worked everywhere in Narkanda, Rampur, Sarahan, Sangla, Chitkul and Kalpa. I do keep a BSNL prepaid which works in Kaza.
Thanks, Rajiv, for such a prompt reply and for the information. I have Vodafone and Reliance connections, and I guess will take a BSNL pre-paid as well, just to ensure connectivity.

Thanks again, and you have inspired me to take on this trip which I am sure will me most enjoyable and memorable.

Loved these picture of yours (below). All of them are fantastic, but these really are standouts! Spectacular stuff! More power to you.

Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-day-4.3-2.jpg

Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013-dsc_5472.jpg

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Old 17th April 2013, 13:43   #42
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Default Re: Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013

Absolutely stunning photographs and an excellent travelogue Rajiv.

Rated you thread 5 stars.

I especially loved the shots you compiled into post# 32 on this thread. The star patterns look absolutely amazing. They are drool worthy.
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Old 17th April 2013, 17:14   #43
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Default Re: Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013

What Stunning Photographs and an equally amazing travelogue!!!
Rating your thread an easily deserved 5 Stars!!!
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Old 18th April 2013, 23:26   #44
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Default Re: Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013

Those are wonderful pics !! Really and seeing you I am keen to take my SX4 to Leh this year.
If I may ask can we have some pics of your gear that captured all these amazing shots.
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Old 19th April 2013, 06:50   #45
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Default Re: Hunting for Snow - Kinnaur 2013

My other key takeaway from this triplog is to work hard to justify to myself the purchase of a D7000 - I cannot afford to invest into a D800 given my limited usage
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