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Old 14th May 2009, 12:09   #91
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@TSK : Changla in snow is different because one if its snows they will not let you go through the Zoltek TCP no matter what primarily for 3 reasons:
1. The road up to the pass is long and treacherous (read potholes and broken tarmac with no tarmac patches)with almost no wayside help except the convoy you are in(if you are in one).
2. The slope incline in certain areas i.e the gradient is steep and with almost no room for error in case the vehicle starts to slide.
3. There is a serious lack of oxygen which becomes even acute during blizzards or heavy snow due to the unique bowl shape of the pass.
The slush created by snow is slippery and the snow banks on the side of the roads are generally deceptively solid. Plus the temperatures fall dramatically over there.

Tanveer, on that trip of yours remember to carry chains as at times Army will permit you up the road provided you have chains as general orders are there to that effect that in a given condition only such vehicles are allowed up/down.

Last edited by wanderernomad : 14th May 2009 at 12:15.
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Old 14th May 2009, 14:16   #92
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Tanveer - great pics a a great travelogue!

I should hit this place sometime soon. I heard there are some places where they teach skiing. Anyone knows the places and the season?
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Old 14th May 2009, 14:37   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
This year had freak weather which saw hardly any snow in the winters, and heavy snowfall in April and May.
Tell me about it.

Ok don't waste time by replying all these. Concentrate on your processing.
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Old 14th May 2009, 15:03   #94
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Default Day 5 - The journey back

It was finally time to go back. Wanted to spend the whole day there, but Delhi was far away, and with an hour long stop planned near Ropar, we had to get out
Goodbye snowfall
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The snowfall was also reaching lower altitudes slowly.
See the start contrast between the snow and rain areas
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Horses grazing in the snow
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By nine we were in Gulaba, and snow had chased us here
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Wild horses again
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We decided to stop for a few moments in the same enchanted meadow. It was lower than gulaba, and the sleet was slowly turning into snowfall.
I took the car down the steep slope. and gently tapped the brakes. To my horror the white elephant just went sliding down slowly. After a good 5 meter slow slide we stopped at a slightly rough area.
Grass, mud and sleet make a deadly combination!

We got out, and could barely stand, it was so slippery. So we just stood near the car, and enjoyed the cold sleet which soon turned into snowfall.
It was snowing even at the lower altitudes!

And it was getting cold.
Got back into the car and it was time to go up the same slippery slope. Though the area was very wide, U turn was very difficult. She would just go forward, and slide. Even on 4WD there was too much sliding.
Reminded of that Land Rover video of all 4 wheels sliding on the grass.
Fortunately, the wheels found grip, and I charged at the steep slope, after little drama we were back on the road.
Sometimes grass is much more trickier than mountains of snow.

On the road I was very very tempted to again head back to Rohtang, but we would get very late. With great self control I started driving down.
Good bye cold mountains!

At manali we filled up the tank as the white elephant was near reserve. We had done 350kms locally in less than 3 days. Mileage - 8kmpl. Pretty impressive considering the circumstances!

The drive down was fast and uneventful. No disco lights. Looks like she was also sad on leaving her habitat.
Did not take pictures till we reached the farm, except a couple of the beas river
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Another one
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Had horrible lunch around 1 just after sundernagar, and reached the Farm near Kiratpur sahib around 330

__CONT__
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Old 14th May 2009, 15:10   #95
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Last two shots are near Pandoh dam.
Deep sigh! God, how I miss mountains.
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Old 14th May 2009, 15:17   #96
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Man thats an amazing travelogue! the pics and the words together make an awesome combi, also the fairytale pic in post #85 is mind blowing!!
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Old 14th May 2009, 15:21   #97
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Wow! Lovely pictures to embellish a wonderful adventurelogue! Love it!
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Old 14th May 2009, 15:37   #98
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Default Day 5 - Elephantine tantrums

We had tea and generally lazed around at the farm for over an hour.
The elephant also got a wash, esp the floor mats which were mud covered after our adventure at the meadow.
Took few pics
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By 5 we were on the highway to Ropar and I took a short nap while my wife drove.
On the rural highway after Ropar the windshield washer stopped working. Got down and checked. No water. Dang, my mistake I thought.

Washed the windshield a little manually, and carried on till McDonalds Rajpura.
Filled up the windshield wasther there, and headed onwards.

Few minutes later when I again use the washer, no water comes out.
Something is wrong. However there is little dust, and thankfully traffic is not very thick.
Stop after Panipat at a Dhaba for tea, and I again check the washer tank. Its empty.
The whole pond is full of fish.
I take a torch and look around, well a pipe has come off. Fix it back(it easily fixes). Funny Tata did not get a metal clamp. The fitting is so loose that you can easily pull out the pipe. I guess with Tata something or the other is bound to come loose. Whether its the windshield washer pipe or the radiator hosepipe, depends on your luck, and ours was good.
After this thinks work fine, and before 11 we enter Delhi. Thanks to PWD Delhi(and no thanks to NHAI), there is no jam and well before midnight we are home!

One of the best trips of our lives is over. But the memory remains

__ THE END __
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Old 14th May 2009, 15:46   #99
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Default Epilogue : Geotagging

In this trip, for the first time I tried geotagging.
The procedure was simple. First I synced my camera and GPS times to have exactly 5:30 difference. GPS records trails in GMT, and my camera on IST.
After that I used a software called gpicsync which would look at the track log, and date Taken info from the camera, and if time difference is less than 300 seconds, it will record lat/lon info in the EXIF.
Here is the "MAP" page. Around 75 images are geotagged, for rest time diff was too much. If you click on the baloon, you will see the image
SmugMaps: combining the power of Google Maps with 160,000,000+ SmugMug photos
Here is what this looks like
Of cold mountains, and tonnes of snow-1.jpg
If you click on baloon, the image will popup
Of cold mountains, and tonnes of snow-2.jpg


If you look at the rohtang section, the pic I posted in first post is not geotagged. That was the farthest point we went, around half a km before the summit. However because we were parked there for a long time, GPS did not record any traipoint within 300 seconds.
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Old 14th May 2009, 15:49   #100
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Supremely wonderful travelogue with fantastic pictures. Kept me glued all the while. Bulldozing snow is a good reason for me to add a front low bullbar.
I hope to do a trip up north this year to catch similar kind of snow as in your travelogue.
The mountains are truly enchanting and with all this snow the memories they leave behind is not to be forgotten anytime soon.
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Old 14th May 2009, 15:54   #101
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Amazing - journey !

Disappointed by some pollution pics, jeeps parked in rivers and plastic bags.
Thats what happens when you give 21st century tools to 20th century society-They dont know how to use them and dispose them correctly. If i was there I would have cleaned up some of it-no harm is putting little effort eh?

Last edited by aerohit : 14th May 2009 at 15:56.
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Old 14th May 2009, 16:12   #102
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[quote
Had horrible lunch around 1 just after sundernagar
[/quote]

Just wondering how you always manage to get only horrible lunches & lousy breakfasts
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Old 14th May 2009, 16:17   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by breezydrive View Post

Just wondering how you always manage to get only horrible lunches & lousy breakfasts
Because on most highways other than NH1, there are mostly horrible eating places. thankfully Kothi had the Yak cafe for some great cheap food.

Last edited by tsk1979 : 14th May 2009 at 17:12.
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Old 14th May 2009, 18:14   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post

Thats me in the snow. Our first proper snowfall after 20 years! We have go to Chansal, Jalori pass, Hatu in winters, chitkul, and snowfall has always eluded us. Heck, many times even snow has elduded us, and now in peak summer we are experiencing heavy snowfall!
Nice pictures. TFS.
BTW 20 years before where were you?
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Old 14th May 2009, 19:21   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akas_chauhan View Post
Nice pictures. TFS.
BTW 20 years before where were you?
We went to shimla as kids, and heavy snowfall happened
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