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Old 26th September 2013, 13:49   #106
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Default Pangong Tso

This post is dedicated to the Pangong Tso lake. Though I do not have jaw dropping photographs of the lake though I will share these 9 photographs of the lake taken from early to late evening.

Mohan capturing the wonderful arc of the lake beach. It looks almost like the "Om Beach" of Gokarna
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Next two is taken by Manoj near the lake shore that we reached after some off-roading
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These 6 photographs below are taken by me via Venkat's camera. First few are handled while the rest I had placed the camera on a stone
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25-0-40 DownUnder to UpOver - LEH'd 2013-lecpangong8.jpg
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Old 26th September 2013, 14:14   #107
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Default Re: Day 9 - 31st Aug

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In fact everyone of us got the levels checked with the help of a Oxymeter. Mine was recorded at 73 oxygen & 129 pulse rate.
I was literally shocked when I checked my oxygen level. It showed 46 . This is impossible I wouldn't have been standing at that level. When the reading was taken again it showed 66 and on the third attempt it showed 75. Did not know which to believe 66 or 75, definitely not 46.

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I was sitting in the Sumo for sometime and I noticed how easily it was climbing up the ChangLa especially in the sections where we were struggling, in fact the rpm needle seldom went more than 2500 in some first gear climbs, plus the added advantage of being able to take those shortcuts.
I sat in the Sumo only at one place and was able to notice the same that you have mentioned above. You remember the short climb that we had to make to reach the hotel parking in Pangong? I was in the Sumo and noticed it doing effortlessly while the Duster, Manza and SX4 struggled.

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For the Duster this was a piece of cake but I later learnt that this was the only time when it actually bottomed out. I guess more to do on how it was driven than anything else. Probably Narsi can elaborate further.
This of course was a piece of cake for the Duster. To elaborate on how we scrapped the underbelly, you remember how the Scorpios flew over the crossings? After seeing them do such a thing Sathya tried the same with the Duster. We did not approach with the same speed though, but followed the same path that they took. The approach and departure was not taken into consideration and we came straight at the crossing. This was the mistake and the loose stones (rocks indeed) hit the bottom. No damage done and everything was absolutely fine.

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Here Narsi was not feeling well and he was complaining about his nails turning black. Any how we got rooms at the Inn itself, we thought of staying in tents ahead in Spangmik but then everyone was of the opinion of staying inside solid wall to avoid altitude sickness at night. After all we were some 14000ft above sea level with nights being even colder.
Three things contributed to my illness. One was the altitude, next the lack of lunch and most importantly the cold dry winds blowing across. In addition to my nails turning black, I also had severe headache which was a concern for me at that heights. Later the doc examined and ruled out AMS. The reason for the headache was the cold wind. Almost everyone in the group was affected by this. We all wanted to start as early as possible the next day.

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But this mistake was too costly for me and I discovered a new mountain pass that night called the Chowmein’la.

Well how did I discover this new pass?
I guess this was the most treacherous pass that you encountered and lasted long as well!!

Last edited by narsi_6989 : 26th September 2013 at 14:36.
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Old 26th September 2013, 16:32   #108
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Default Re: 25-0-40 DownUnder to UpOver - LEH'd 2013

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25-0-40, is that someone’s figure?

Well I am sure no one would want that but we went from 25deg to 0deg and back again through 40deg. That is the temperature change of our Incredible India!
Good to know that that you guys had a great time! Among the cast, I didn't see the Russian or Dr. Kamats cousin.

Well, after not finding a place in the Sumo, I thought of doing it with my car. Visited Ladakh in mid sept along with a friend. The road conditions were much better compared to what I see in your pics, especially the slush part. Also, I think you guys took a little more time to reach Leh. I could see 5th day in Patnitop. Ours was not stop till Pathankot, then Sonamarg, and then Leh. We were there on the 4th day itself.

Keep writing. Surely enjoying the pictures.
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Old 26th September 2013, 16:36   #109
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Default Re: 25-0-40 DownUnder to UpOver - LEH'd 2013

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Good to know that that you guys had a great time! Among the cast, I didn't see the Russian or Dr. Kamats cousin.

Well, after not finding a place in the Sumo, I thought of doing it with my car. Visited Ladakh in mid sept along with a friend. The road conditions were much better compared to what I see in your pics, especially the slush part. Also, I think you guys took a little more time to reach Leh. I could see 5th day in Patnitop. Ours was not stop till Pathankot, then Sonamarg, and then Leh. We were there on the 4th day itself.

Keep writing. Surely enjoying the pictures.
Thanks Shipnil, glad to know that you completed the trip with your friend. Well we had some issues on the way which you might have read, plus we were not too keen on doing over night drives, hence, the longer time.

Start a trip log here in Team-bhp, so we can also read your adventure.
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Old 26th September 2013, 18:20   #110
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Default Re: 25-0-40 DownUnder to UpOver - LEH'd 2013

Just for the record the ruskis dropped out and the vista was not available for the trip due to some mechanical problems. So Mr Chandrakant Kamat and Mr Neeraj Dabake from the Vista joined me in the Sumo and this was 14 hrs before the startup time.
Thats why Shipnil you dont see them there.
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Old 26th September 2013, 18:53   #111
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Default Re: 25-0-40 DownUnder to UpOver - LEH'd 2013

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Start a trip log here in Team-bhp, so we can also read your adventure.
Well, mine was not a photography trip but an experience trip. I just wanted to live the Ladakh experience without posing much for photographs. Hence there is nothing to upload in the log. But yes, there will be a post in Tanveers Ladakh guide regarding the problems faced by machine/man. Hopefully this will help future visitors with cars to that region.
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Old 26th September 2013, 20:24   #112
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We were coming up to the hotel from the banks of the lake. Doc (sierrakamat) found a shortcut he could not resist. He deposited us at the top of the road, reversed down the shortcut and came back up all guns blazing! In reality this was much better than the video has captured it to be.

The video for that is coming soon along with many more videos of this trip. Stay tuned!



Here is the video of the Pangong offroading by the Grande. If I am not mistaken, this was the first of the many offroadings by the Grande.

Last edited by aah78 : 27th September 2013 at 00:49. Reason: Posts merged.
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Old 26th September 2013, 21:25   #113
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Default Re: 25-0-40 DownUnder to UpOver - LEH'd 2013

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Here is the video of the Pangong offroading by the Grande. If I am not mistaken, this was the first of the many offroadings by the Grande.
Videos and pictures rarely do justice to the inclines. From the way Grande struggled at the last bit says it all.
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Old 26th September 2013, 23:09   #114
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Default Re: 25-0-40 DownUnder to UpOver - LEH'd 2013

Strangely enough the Sumo did not struggle the first time with 5 people on board . Its the second time the empty car was sliding and slipping, i think the 3 sitting behind were acting as ballast to keep the rear wheels planted giving more traction.
The Gata loops and a shortcut taken on the way to Nubra were even more entertaining.
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Old 27th September 2013, 02:54   #115
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Default Re: 25-0-40 DownUnder to UpOver - LEH'd 2013

Interesting travelogue, though I have been through the first page only. Lot of catching up needs to be done and waiting for the weekend to go through it. It is 8 pages and growing, don't know how I had missed this one. Interesting caption as well
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Old 27th September 2013, 06:46   #116
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Default Re: 25-0-40 DownUnder to UpOver - LEH'd 2013

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Interesting travelogue, though I have been through the first page only. Lot of catching up needs to be done and waiting for the weekend to go through it. It is 8 pages and growing, don't know how I had missed this one. Interesting caption as well
Hey thanks for peeping into this log, though cannot match the pictures you have taken or the adventures you had in 2012, this was more of a recce sort of a visit
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Old 27th September 2013, 11:07   #117
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Default Day 10 - 1st Sept

DAY 10 – Down & Out!
Sept 1st 7:30am
Location: Pangong Tso
Destination: Leh
Route: Lukung – Tangste – Darbuk – Changla – Zingral – Sakti - Leh


No waking up today as I hardly got any sleep after last nights troubles. So as soon as it was 6.30AM I went and knocked at the docs room to see if he has got any medicines to help as the ones I took were not helping. Apparently I was not alone in not getting sleep, Narman & Doc also slept only few hours as they were troubled throughout the night.

Took some medicines and we all decided to leave as early as possible from the lake. In the meantime Manoj, Jaswant, Mohan, Sathya, Hari had gone for an early morning photo shoot near the lake. So we had to go and round them up before departing back to Leh.

Pangong Tso early morning (pic courtesy Narsi/Mohan)
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Artistic touch by Nariman once again
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That is the Pangong Inn that we stayed, decent place but during season might be a tad too expensive. More options are present at Spangmik
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That is the gang enjoying their photo session (pic courtesy Nariman)
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Since I was not in a condition to drive, the Manza was handed over to Chandrakant as he drives a Vista in Mumbai. Hopefully he enjoyed the drive in the car. Since we started early from Pangong the drive back did not get any water crossings and reached Changla pretty easily. Did not wait at Changla and quickly climbed down towards Sakti.

The rest of the group had stopped for some tea and momo at Changla. Before the pass doc took one shortcut which almost scared a motorbike fellow as he could see us driving parallel to them but on a different route.

Finally, reached Leh and I quickly took a room at Omasila, ordered for rice & curd and slept. Here I would like to praise the service provided by the Hotel, they did not have curd so one lady went to her house nearby and bought some curd. The rest of the gang it seems had gone down to the market again for lunch.

In the evening I was feeling a little better so came out of the room to see doc & gang near the reception area. So we all sat down there to decide the next course of action. Ultimately it was decided that we are going to do a day trip to Diskit tomorrow and we would only take the Sumo while dumping the sedans. Further, Narsi & Mohan opted out of this trip. The reason for dumping the Sedan was that we were informed that the road conditions in the Khardungla route would be similar to Changla and since, we had to travel far back home, at that time it felt prudent to leave the sedans and hire a taxi.

At night I came to know that taxi was booked, an Innova for the five of us Jaswant, Manoj, Venkat, Hari, and I. Further, we had a situation as the Innova did not have any space left, since one side of the 3rd row would be occupied by our luggage. Now why luggage for a day trip? Well we still were in 2 minds whether to stay in Diskit or do a day trip. So the situation was that it left Sathya out of the equation. He only had an option of driving the Duster alone or hiring a driver.

Distance covered: 155 kms
Time Taken: 6 hrs

So tomorrow we scale the highest motorable road in the world, did we succeed? Find out.
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Old 27th September 2013, 11:55   #118
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Default Re: Day 10 - 1st Sept

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Since I was not in a condition to drive, the Manza was handed over to Chandrakant as he drives a Vista in Mumbai. Hopefully he enjoyed the drive in the car.
The drive was uneventful except near the pass. The car stuck and stalled near the pass twice. It took nearly 10-15 mins to take car out. Myself and Venkat literally had to push (atleast try) the car. We lost our breath here. Once the car was out, in order not to lose the momentum Chandra moved ahead and stopped some 20-25 meters ahead. Myself and Venkat felt as if we were walking for an eternity to reach the car. Thanks Manoj and Jaswant for helping us out.

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Further, Narsi & Mohan opted out of this trip.
As mentioned above I had a difficult time in Chang La walking up and pushing. Actually that was the second instance. I had to do the same with Duster while going to Pangong. This coupled with cold in Pangong really hit me hard. I was not in a condition to risk another pass so soon, that too world's highest. Moreover others were in a dilemma whether to stay back in Diksit or not. I was not prepared to stay back and did not wanted to take any risk. Mohanan stayed back to give me company. Hence we both decided to stay back the next day and take it easy.
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Old 27th September 2013, 11:59   #119
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Default Re: Day 10 - 1st Sept

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The drive was uneventful except near the pass. The car stuck and stalled near the pass twice. It took nearly 10-15 mins to take car out. Myself and Venkat literally had to push (atleast try) the car. We lost our breath here. Once the car was out, in order not to lose the momentum Chandra moved ahead and stopped some 20-25 meters ahead. Myself and Venkat felt as if we were walking for an eternity to reach the car. Thanks Manoj and Jaswant for helping us out.
I heard about you guys having to literally push the car, wow, I didnt know the car was that troublesome for it to stall twice. I guess the white whale was missing its owner
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Old 27th September 2013, 12:12   #120
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Default Re: Day 10 - 1st Sept

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The drive was uneventful except near the pass. The car stuck and stalled near the pass twice. It took nearly 10-15 mins to take car out. Myself and Venkat literally had to push (atleast try) the car.

As mentioned above I had a difficult time in Chang La walking up and pushing. Actually that was the second instance.
Apologies to my copassengers for having to make them walk, but there was no option. Although I did enjoy driving he white whale, the problem of losing momentum in high ranges still baffles me. I also think its because of the rarefied air that this problem occurs. I have faced this problem only once in my mountain drives and that was on the way to Badrinath dham, but I only had to get the car in the power band to get moving. This time that technique was not working. Also tried the handbrake option. Still no success. Finally had to reverse for 20/25 metres to accquire momentum and then managed to go through the steep climb.

Could not risk the engine stalling again and decided to traverse the incline and halt on a level surface. Hence I drove it 20/25 metres ahead. Once this stetch was done, the rest of the road back to the hotel was smooth.

All said and done walking up the slope in those place really knocks the wind out of you. We used to feel it even in Leh while climbing 2 flights of stairs to reach the room.

Last edited by @Chaand : 27th September 2013 at 12:18.
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