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Old 18th November 2016, 23:48   #31
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Default Re: Overlanding in Ladakh: Exploring the less explored routes in a Toyota Fortuner

Wonderful thread! Going off the beaten track is quite something, especially in those harsh conditions.
Those Milky Way images are breathtaking! If only, our skies in the cities were not ridden with light pollution, in the cities. What settings did you use to shoot those? Especially the one with the Fortuner in the foreground.

Last edited by Rohan24 : 18th November 2016 at 23:49.
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Old 18th November 2016, 23:52   #32
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Default Re: Overlanding in Ladakh: Exploring the less explored routes in a Toyota Fortuner

Quote:
Originally Posted by sourabhzen View Post
How many kms you did in this trip and much much was the fuel used?
Hi sourabh, total distance covered in this trip was just a little above 4000 kms, and we used 450 litres of fuel in total.

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Originally Posted by karan561 View Post
Great pictures, story & videos Anshuman, Ace
Thanks Karan.

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Originally Posted by karan561 View Post
BTW it seems the Yokohamas on the Storme took a beating, would you like to throw some more light on how they performed ?
I would say Yokos performed as expected during the trip, however same can't be said about Tata's QC, but we all know about it don't we. An alloy wheel getting punctured is a serious issue IMO and it was beyond our belief when we found out the alloy had punctured!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajain View Post
He told me they had done a Jispa to Padum.
Hi Rajain

There is still some work pending on this road. Last I spoke to someone who had knowledge on this subject, 80-100 km stretch is yet to be completed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajain View Post
What company is this tool and what all can it do?
Like Anshuman mentioned, this was a Michelin branded tool. More details about it here

Unfortunately, we lost it that day. Now I have another Victorinox doing its duty in my Fortuner.

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Originally Posted by Rajain View Post
This is an amazing drive guys. And full marks to the Fortuner.
Thanks, appreciate your comments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
Day 6 Leh-Batalik-Kargil-Tongul
It was not as scenic as suggested by Rohitís friend.
For these guys, with their eyes used to staring at naked mountains, I think having some greenery makes the route scenic. Jokes aside, what my friend had mentioned to me that during autumn, when the leaves on trees start turning their color, the added effect adds to the scenery of this route. But yeah I agree, there was hardly anything interesting on this specific route for us.

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Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
Day 6 Leh-Batalik-Kargil-Tongul Continued...
We referred the car manual as well, it suggests revving the engine at 2500rpm while the car is standstill, to cool it down.
Holding the revs at 1500 rpms to aide engine to cool down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
Now we realize the issue, a combination of few factors-
1. Back to back switchbacks and steep climb was putting a lot of strain on the engine, we were no ways able to keep rpm constant.
2. The puny RPM dependent fan and fluctuating RPM due to road condition along with thin air at Altitude was not passing enough and consistent air flow.
3. No supplementary Electric fan, to help.
4. Ironman bumper, along with the mounted winch blocks most of the lower grill. And the huge Hella Lights were blocking quite a lot of upper Grill, along with huge Roots Megasonic horns.
Yeah, and I would advise other Toyota Fortuner drivers travelling in that region to keep the revs between 2000 to 3000 rpms while climbing uphill. We realized it later on that I was used to almost no turbo lag in Fortuner in my driving habit, and used to slot in a higher gear than required, resulting in a drop in engine rpms. This specifically, was straining the engine a lot due to poor grunt in lower rpms and engine kept gasping for more air which wasn't available in plenty in the first place at those altitudes. Once we figured this factor out, we didn't face the engine heating issue again.
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Old 19th November 2016, 11:50   #33
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Default Re: Overlanding in Ladakh: Exploring the less explored routes in a Toyota Fortuner

Hi Ace,

Can you give us a list of mods you made on the Fortuner before the trip, and which ones proved useful and not-so-useful ?

Thanks,
Prateek
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Old 19th November 2016, 12:05   #34
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Default Re: Overlanding in Ladakh: Exploring the less explored routes in a Toyota Fortuner

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Originally Posted by Shivanshu View Post
Toyota Dealer would be quite a surprise isnt it. And good to know the mechanics were good. But is it normal for the Vehicles to get heated in that stretch?
It was a sub dealership of a dealer in Jammu, not a full fledged dealership but we were fortunate to find what we were looking for- Someone who knew the vehicle and original Toyota coolant.

According the staff at service center, it was normal for the car to heat up. Post the trip Rohit got the car checked at a few places, everything is alright.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rohan24 View Post
Wonderful thread! Going off the beaten track is quite something, especially in those harsh conditions.
Thanks!

Quote:
Those Milky Way images are breathtaking! If only, our skies in the cities were not ridden with light pollution, in the cities. What settings did you use to shoot those? Especially the one with the Fortuner in the foreground.
-Nikon D610, Tokina 11-20mm 2.8(actually a DX crop sensor lens but works fine on full frame beyond 16mm, using it for time being).

-ISO 100
-F2.8
-Shutter speed between 20-30 seconds
-Focus locked to infinity.
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Old 19th November 2016, 13:21   #35
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Default Re: Travelogue continued...

Quote:
Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post

Post dinner we sitting outside and Rohit spots the awesome Sky, it was surreal, so bright that we could spot the milky way through naked eyes. I clicked a few pictures on my camera. Star gazing was an awesome experience.

To be continued..Stay tuned!
Excellent pics Anshuman. Read your travelogue in one go and it has been awesome so far.

Good to know that there was a Toyota Workshop in the middle of nowhere.

I am glued to this thread..
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Old 19th November 2016, 13:58   #36
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Default Re: Overlanding in Ladakh: Exploring the less explored routes in a Toyota Fortuner

Quote:
Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
-Nikon D610, Tokina 11-20mm 2.8(actually a DX crop sensor lens but works fine on full frame beyond 16mm, using it for time being).

-ISO 100
-F2.8
-Shutter speed between 20-30 seconds
-Focus locked to infinity.
Thanks for that. I'm currently using the humble 18-55m kit lens, and night shots just turn out overtly bright, even if a flicker of light is around. Need to find darker places.

Were any engine mods done on the Fortuner, or is it just the Ironman Suspension upgrade?
P.S : The articulation is amazing, seen in the videos!
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Old 19th November 2016, 21:10   #37
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Default Re: Overlanding in Ladakh: Exploring the less explored routes in a Toyota Fortuner

Quote:
Originally Posted by prateekvidya View Post
Hi Ace,

Can you give us a list of mods you made on the Fortuner before the trip, and which ones proved useful and not-so-useful ?

Thanks,
Prateek
Hi Prateek

No modifications were made to the car specifically for this trip. It was business as usual, I got the car serviced (150k kms one) 2 days before the trip and kickstarted our journey. However, we carried our full recovery and contingency kits with us, since curiosity and will to explore the non-traditional areas were the major drivers for us.

Not sure if you want to know about the modifications on the car in general, if that's what you are looking for, you can read about it in my ownership thread here (Trucking in my Atlantis! My Pre-Worshipped Toyota Fortuner 3.0L 4x4 MT - 160,000 km crunched)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rohan24 View Post
Were any engine mods done on the Fortuner, or is it just the Ironman Suspension upgrade?

P.S : The articulation is amazing, seen in the videos!
Thanks Rohan, no engine mods on my Fortuner so far. As it is, this engine is just amazing in its stock form. If we leave its NVH characteristics (engine noise particularly) aside, the way this engine delivers power and torque is seen to be believed, it is a real punchy motor.

I can get a RaceDynamics box for it, however I am not sure if that's what I really want without upgrading the brakes.
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Old 19th November 2016, 22:42   #38
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Default Re: Overlanding in Ladakh: Exploring the less explored routes in a Toyota Fortuner

Fantastic TL!
Performance of the Toyota Fortuner, your skills and endurance of the...simply awesome!
Really impressed to know that the Padum route is getting into shape! Saves a lot of time. Did you notice any tunnels taking shape? I heard there would be some.
What was the fuel quality whenever you tanked up?
Keep driving!

Mod Note : Please do NOT use acronyms (e.g. ANHC, T-Fort, ANHV) when referring to cars. You are ONLY permitted to use the full Make & Model name for cars. This will make our content useful, searchable & easy-to-understand for experts & newbies alike.

Thanks!

Last edited by Aditya : 20th November 2016 at 17:42. Reason: See mod note
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Old 20th November 2016, 12:05   #39
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Default Re: Overlanding in Ladakh: Exploring the less explored routes in a Toyota Fortuner

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ace F355 View Post
Hi Prateek

No modifications were made to the car specifically for this trip. It was business as usual, I got the car serviced (150k kms one) 2 days before the trip and kickstarted our journey. However, we carried our full recovery and contingency kits with us, since curiosity and will to explore the non-traditional areas were the major drivers for us.

Not sure if you want to know about the modifications on the car in general, if that's what you are looking for, you can read about it in my ownership thread here (Trucking in my Atlantis! My Pre-Worshipped Toyota Fortuner 3.0L 4x4 MT - 160,000 km crunched)
Hi Ace,

Thanks a lot, will go through this link !! Great trip though, pretty serious stuff !!
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Old 22nd November 2016, 13:17   #40
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Day 7 Tongul-Rangdum-Pensi La-Padum

The basic accommodation at Tongul JKTDC meant we had no luxury of running water or breakfast. We cooked instant noodles for breakfast, packed our stuff and started by 9am on the non-existent road towards Rangdum.

The roads as expected were as bad as they were in June 2013, when I last visited in my XUV, the memory of shredded tyres was still fresh in my memory. This road is a nightmare for the tyres, our Fortuner was thankfully running on tough M/T tyres that were due for replacement soon. The road was as bad as the Killar-Tandi section, but a bit more uneven, yet the Ironman suspension was coping well, we were easily able to keep up speed, and unlike my last trip we did not have to watch out for deep ruts or dips as we had ample ground clearance this time.

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Our room, no electricity, no running water, just a place to crash.
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JKTDC Tongul.

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Parakchik glacier.

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View towards Parakchik village.

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Fortuner at Parakchik glacier.

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Last edited by .anshuman : 22nd November 2016 at 14:27.
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Old 22nd November 2016, 13:40   #41
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Day 7 Tongul-Rangdum-Pensi La-Padum continued…

The Glacier highway unlike my last visit was dry, all the hundreds of streams that were crossing through the roads had dried by this time of year, and after all it was end of summer season, almost. This place was way more scenic in early month of June, just after the road had opened. The car was holding well, no more overheating, the temperature gauge was stuck in dead centre where it should be.
We stopped at a few places, including the Parakchik glacier which is just by road side and some other places which had scenic views of Nun and Kun peaks. Only a few peaks had white tips by this time of the year.

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Within around 2 hours we were at the Rangdum town, second biggest settlement on this road actually but still consists of a few houses. It was good to see a Guest house had come opened in Rangdum, earlier the only stay option was the Rangdum JKTDC, which was bare basic and not clean, not even running water.

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We did not stop at Rangdum, but we took a break some place between Rangdum and Monastery. To our surprise, one the Auxiliary Hella lamps was lying flat on the bumper and dangling only on the wires and another one almost ready to snap, the mounting pins on the huge Hella lamps could not take the no roads torture any more. With no other fix in mind, we had to remove both the Auxiliary lamps, tape and tuck the wiring. From total of six beams, we were down to just four beams now, not that we planned to do any night driving. Good thing in this was the car now had more breathing space, the Hella’s were blocking just too much air in front of the grille, at the time of lights removal, we also moved the huge Roots Megasonic horns out a bit for more airflow.

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Last edited by .anshuman : 22nd November 2016 at 14:35.
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Old 22nd November 2016, 13:53   #42
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Day 7 Tongul-Rangdum-Pensi La-Padum continued…

One and half hours later by 12:30pm we reached the Pensi La, our planned stop for a break. The grounds at the pass are a good place for a break, there is a tourist view point and shelter. Pensi-La is not too high, at 4400 metres, it is much lower than most of the passes we had visited earlier on this trip. By now we were properly acclimatized, even with lots of walking and carrying our stuff did not make us feel the high altitude. We spent some 2 hours at the place, enjoying the views, drove the Fortuner on some climbs, cooked Lunch for us…

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Last edited by .anshuman : 22nd November 2016 at 14:34.
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Old 22nd November 2016, 14:06   #43
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Day 7 Tongul-Rangdum-Pensi La-Padum continued…

By 2:30pm we started towards Padum, only stopped at a few places coming down from Pensi La for the amazing views of the Drang Drung glacier. In 2013 we had only come till the Drang Drung and turned back, so beyond this place even I was a first time visitor. The road after the Pensi La descent is similar to what we were travelling on earlier, very little traffic, and no tourist traffic at all except 2-3 bikers we passed during whole of the day. The only traffic consisted of local Spacio taxis, ferrying locals and their supplies. There is not much beyond Pensi La in terms of views, the landscapes are ordinary, nothing much to recommend the place, but we were there to explore and with ample time.

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Fortuner at Police check post before Padum.

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The stream just before Padum.

Last edited by .anshuman : 22nd November 2016 at 14:34.
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Old 22nd November 2016, 14:16   #44
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Day 7 Tongul-Rangdum-Pensi La-Padum continued…

It was only a few kilometres before Padum that we could find metalled road, even those did not last long. Padum is actually a town, with basic facilities, quite a few hotel, restaurants, cafes… but nothing of interest to us. We reached Padum quite early, we still had a few hours of daylight left, and we took a round of the small town and noted where all the hotels were. Instead of finding us an accommodation right away, we left on to under construction route towards Nimmu. The plan was to explore the place, enjoy the remote landscapes instead of wasting the evening in boring Padum town. So we drove on and on, till we had to turn on the lights and roads kept up with us, then we turned back and drove back. Near Padum we found the manually operated Fuel station, topped up Fortuner’s tank. Back in Padum, we found a room in a hotel. You appreciate the importance of Electricity and hot running water only at such places, we had these luxuries at the hotel, and we did not have to cook our own dinner.

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Overlanding in Ladakh: Exploring the less explored routes in a Toyota Fortuner-img_20160805_172220_hdr.jpg

Overlanding in Ladakh: Exploring the less explored routes in a Toyota Fortuner-img_20160805_174337_hdr.jpg

Overlanding in Ladakh: Exploring the less explored routes in a Toyota Fortuner-img_20160805_174815_hdr.jpg

Overlanding in Ladakh: Exploring the less explored routes in a Toyota Fortuner-img_20160805_174840_hdr.jpg

Overlanding in Ladakh: Exploring the less explored routes in a Toyota Fortuner-img_20160805_175020_hdr.jpg

Overlanding in Ladakh: Exploring the less explored routes in a Toyota Fortuner-img_20160805_175443_hdr.jpg

Overlanding in Ladakh: Exploring the less explored routes in a Toyota Fortuner-img_20160805_180042_hdr.jpg

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Overlanding in Ladakh: Exploring the less explored routes in a Toyota Fortuner-img_20160805_180616_hdr.jpg

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Overlanding in Ladakh: Exploring the less explored routes in a Toyota Fortuner-img_20160805_182407_hdr.jpg

Overlanding in Ladakh: Exploring the less explored routes in a Toyota Fortuner-img_20160805_185325_hdr.jpg

Overlanding in Ladakh: Exploring the less explored routes in a Toyota Fortuner-img_20160805_185354_hdr.jpg

Overlanding in Ladakh: Exploring the less explored routes in a Toyota Fortuner-img_20160805_201601_hdr.jpg
Our room.

Overlanding in Ladakh: Exploring the less explored routes in a Toyota Fortuner-img_20160805_203458.jpg
Our dinner.

Last edited by .anshuman : 22nd November 2016 at 14:36.
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Old 22nd November 2016, 21:55   #45
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Default Re: Overlanding in Ladakh: Exploring the less explored routes in a Toyota Fortuner

I have read a lot of travelogues of Leh/Laddakh and this is by far the best of all of them. The pictures are far better than those from the normal leagues.

I wish I can rate this thread 5 stars again!
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