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Old 4th September 2008, 11:07   #46
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The basic reason for these landslides is the dry soil.
And might I repeat something that you have mentioned already in your travelogue: Once a stone starts to roll in those arid conditions, it gathers no moss, LOL, but it does gather a lot of other stones and soon the whole thing turns into a respectable landslide!
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Old 4th September 2008, 13:00   #47
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At Maling, the reason was a reservoir of water (the same one that fed the Nako lake) under the slope that made it unstable. Of course, regular road cutting only made it worse, and it became a no-hoper over time.
We walked over the slide in 2003, and it was scary. There were intermittent shooting stones, and you literally lost sight of anyone out there - all you could see were boulders of every imaginable - and unimaginable - size.

I lost the guts to take pictures about halfway up the slope, but here are the couple I did manage:




Its been one of the scariest, and most memorable days of our lives!

Last edited by zenx : 4th September 2008 at 13:04. Reason: couldn't resize pics - adding smaller ones.
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Old 4th September 2008, 13:28   #48
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Of course, regular road cutting only made it worse, and it became a no-hoper over time.
We walked over the slide in 2003, and it was scary. There were intermittent shooting stones,
And may I add that in 1997, I had gone into Spiti and out, the same route!
Over the years, it has been steadily getting worse!
And after 11 years we are STILL hearing excuses for why this road cannot be made good once and for all!
No alternate routes either, except the Rohtang/Kunzum way!!
Are we forever going to be like that only?!
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Old 4th September 2008, 14:37   #49
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Its amazing how much can a human body endure, take stress and still come out a winner. As they say the secret lies somewhere up between these two ears of ours and when we think that we can, WE CAN.
Truly wonderful experience of a lifetime.

And extremely well narrated Sir.

Cheers to Life.!!!
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Old 4th September 2008, 14:39   #50
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And may I add that in 1997, I had gone into Spiti and out, the same route!
Over the years, it has been steadily getting worse!
And after 11 years we are STILL hearing excuses for why this road cannot be made good once and for all!
No alternate routes either, except the Rohtang/Kunzum way!!
Are we forever going to be like that only?!
Isn't the alternate "upper" route via Nako now complete ?
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Old 4th September 2008, 16:04   #51
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Isn't the alternate "upper" route via Nako now complete ?
I had heard so Zenx, but then it is propably as bad if not worse!
Entry to Spiti was closed very recently for over 15 days!
Mr. H.V. Kumar could perhaps throw some light on this.
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Old 4th September 2008, 23:30   #52
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The route I have described is the one via nako. What you have posted is the crossing through the lower road in 2003. That road is around which the return crossing was made. The reservior that you speak of is what made the crossing bad on the lower road. In one of the picture you can see the water body at its origin which used to create havoc.
The now closed upper road is all together a different story.
Anyway here are the pictures:-
1. Rock slide in progress. The haze is the swirling dust as the rocks tumble down. Taken at the top of Malling crossing as the rocks begin to slide down beneath your feet.
2. The picture shows the rocks going over and across the small mountain trail which is now broken in patches. You can see the entire hill side covered in rocks with no remenants of a path left. The entire thing was quaking and sliding the moment these pictures were ebing clicked.
3. The edge of the road is seen here from where the descent into Spiti River started.
4. The picture showed the nature of the mountain side which was climbed up and across. The clean swath that you can see towards the right side has been made by the crawling action of the human body to avoid sliding all the way down.
5. This picture shows the chasm and the small ridge climbed to gain some solid foothold.You can see the loose rocks and boulders lying all round.
6. The patch used to climb up the rocky ridge.
7. The slope crossed over at the first resting point at an apple orchard.
8. Thats the rock face which was descended to go down.
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Old 5th September 2008, 07:42   #53
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The now closed upper road is all together a different story.
An amazing log, Wanderernomad!
The story I'd love to hear is the one about the 'now closed upper road'!
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Old 5th September 2008, 09:25   #54
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@anup: part of that story is in the thread itself. Rest I can tell you if you are coming for the 12 Sep meet.
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Old 5th September 2008, 10:14   #55
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@anup: part of that story is in the thread itself. Rest I can tell you if you are coming for the 12 Sep meet.
Actually, is it true that the road via Nako has also met with failure at keeping access into Spiti nearly guaranteed?
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Old 5th September 2008, 10:34   #56
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Yeah it has. Unfortunately the road via Nako is more dangerous due to the sheer size of shooting stones. There ahd been no deaths on the lower road but the upper road has already seen 4 fatalities in the last 2 years or so. The most recent one being about 8 months back when GREF lost a heavy duty dozer alongwith its operator. They have a small temple made in his memory now at that spot.

They are making a road ont he other bank of Spiti now which will go from Leo but that is also having difficulties as the rocks and mountain slopes are very hard rock and it is difficult to cut through them. GREF estimates another 5-6 years before the link could be opened for small traffic.

Last edited by wanderernomad : 5th September 2008 at 10:37.
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Old 5th September 2008, 11:05   #57
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They are making a road ont he other bank of Spiti now which will go from Leo but that is also having difficulties as the rocks and mountain slopes are very hard rock and it is difficult to cut through them. GREF estimates another 5-6 years before the link could be opened for small traffic.
Thanks for that info, wanderernomad.
When I had gone in 2001, (my second visit), that alternative route was supposed to be only 3 or 4 years away! Nice to hear, 7 years down the line, that it is now 5 to 6 years away!
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Old 6th September 2008, 00:44   #58
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The last and final Picture post of this travelogue.

1. The picture shows the entire return journey trek route.
2. Kinner Kailash as seen from Kalpa. Just left of the V in the mountain you can see a small hillock feature with a "I" feature. Thats the shivling. Its about 60 feet in height and changes colours during the day.
3. download and zoom to see labourers working on a cliff boring into rocks to cut a road through. This is going to be the new route to Rekongpeo from Jeori once the dam complex at Karcham is operational.
4. Bhimakali Temple at Sarahan.
5. Road widening work at Khab, the confluence of Satluj and Spiti Rivers.
6.&7 The Sangam. You can clearly differentiate between the waters of the two rivers. Satluj is coming from the left with more muddied waters.
8. The setting Sun over the mountains at Pooh.
9. A view of Pooh town.
10. Early morning sun.
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Last edited by wanderernomad : 6th September 2008 at 00:48.
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