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Old 10th October 2009, 21:41   #256
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Day 9, September 20th, 2009 Continued.

Pangong Tso is at a height of 4200m.

From Pangong Tso, HVK tried the Spangmik route, and returned since it was a very rocky stretch and quite troublesome. We then went back to Tangtse the same way we came to Pangong Tso.

We crossed the Pagal Nallah again. It was pure madness. Cling clang was the sound we could hear from the under body.

Pagal Nullah - see for yourself.
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We returned to Tangtse by 19:00PM. Tangtse is at 3800m.
Had some hot rice and sabji and retired for the day.

Last edited by laluks : 10th October 2009 at 21:43.
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Old 10th October 2009, 21:46   #257
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Nice posts, keep it up
Just after seeing all these pics i can say is
AWESOME !!!
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Old 10th October 2009, 21:49   #258
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
Day 9, September 20th, 2009 Continued.

Pangong Tso is at a height of 4200m.

From Pangong Tso, HVK tried the Spangmik route, and returned since it was a very rocky stretch and quite troublesome. We then went back to Tangtse the same way we came to Pangong Tso.

We crossed the Pagal Nallah again. It was pure madness. Cling clang was the sound we could hear from the under body.

Pagal Nullah - see for yourself.
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We returned to Tangtse by 19:00PM. Tangtse is at 3800m.
Had some hot rice and sabji and retired for the day.

thats a great Job and a daring thing for a person who is not at all use to of all these kind of situations....
Hats off to u
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Old 10th October 2009, 22:07   #259
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Road runner crossing Pagal Nullah



The vastness of Pagal Nullah.
Just imagine if there is a roaring flow of water here, how do you cross this?? How will you know where is the road?? Pure madness.


Last edited by laluks : 10th October 2009 at 22:10.
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Old 10th October 2009, 22:20   #260
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwaraka View Post
Hi folks, that is one great trip you had. great log and pictures.
Thanks dwaraka.

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Originally Posted by airwolf9211 View Post
Nice posts, keep it up
Just after seeing all these pics i can say is
AWESOME !!!
Thank you.

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Originally Posted by airwolf9211 View Post
thats a great Job and a daring thing for a person who is not at all use to of all these kind of situations....
Hats off to u
Thats the driving skills of Glenn. He drove it through comfortably.

I had been given a chance to drive the Scorpio after Wari La since Glenn was not well. It was a kind of emergency and me the ever sedan driver was driving the scorpio at 20 to 30kmph avoiding all potholes and stones on the way (Civic effect). Saji got so insane with my driving and took over from me.

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Originally Posted by DirtyDan View Post
Nice photos. Note the deep, dark blue of the sky. Way up high, later in the season, there is less atmosphere between you and outer space.

If you look closely at the mountains and rock, their color is not a wasteland but a very subtle beauty. It is so dry and high, the sky so dark, the rocks look almost as if they were lit from within.
You are very correct. The rocks shine so much that you really feel they are glowing from within.
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Old 10th October 2009, 22:50   #261
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Good video coverage Lalu. You did not show this to us earlier!
I still remember how we wanted to rush back from Pangong so that we cross the Pagal Nullah in the day light.
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Old 10th October 2009, 23:25   #262
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Good video coverage Lalu. You did not show this to us earlier!
I still remember how we wanted to rush back from Pangong so that we cross the Pagal Nullah in the day light.
It was always there in the dump. Since I was shooting and clicking like crazy we might have missed it in the evening shows!!

Here you can see me shooting it too. Photo was clicked by GK

Last edited by laluks : 10th October 2009 at 23:28.
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Old 10th October 2009, 23:27   #263
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MY TAKE ON Day 9, September 20, 2009, Deskit-Wari La-Chang la-Pangong Tso-Tangtse, 273 kms

Departure this morning from Deskit was delayed by the unexpected decision by the Pajero to return home to Chandigarh. This meant that we could dip into the Pajero’s ample stocks of diesel and refill our tanks! Raj Singh drove back to Leh and took the Manali route back to Chandigarh (he reached Keylong that night). The remaining 6 cars left Deskit at 630 am for Pangong Tso. We had decided to take the Wari La route, avoiding both Khardung la and Leh, saving us 50 kms and maybe 3-4 hours in time. We were initially wary of Wari la since it is one of the worst-maintained and most desolate of routes in the Ladakh region. Besides, a couple of our friends who had been there before us reported terrible roads and steep ascents that may scare off anything but a sturdy 4WD, but our friends Rohit/Rajiv had an easy drive up Wari la in their 2WD Scorpio. The Wari la is closed during winter by snow. No permits are required to drive on this route.

4 kms after Khalasar, we turned off the Leh road (towards Agham), and crossed the dry river beds – these are torrential streams in the earlier months and almost impossible to cross. We are following the River Shayok till Agham across a wide plain strewn with boulders and silt. The road was a dirt track but very driveable. 25 kms into the road, we finally say good bye to the River Shayok and start the climb up to Wari La. What a road it was – we chased a wild stallion that galloped ahead of us, we saw deer and so many varieties of birds. As expected, but for the Agham and Tangyar villages, there is hardly any habitation in this region. After Agham, we were pleasantly surprised that the roads had been laid and it was a pleasure driving up to Wari La.

We crossed Wari la (17,419 feet) is one of the highest passes in the Himalayas, and there was snow on the ground – we made snow men and threw snow balls at each other - when we went past it at 10 am (85 kms from Deskit, 3.30 hours). There were several OTR “short-cuts” which we loved but for the dust storms that we raised behind us. On the other side of Wari la, we saw some glorious snow-clad peak views and the descent was gradual till Sakti, which is the junction with the Leh-Pangong Tso road. To give a little clearer idea of the route:
- The route we took was Deskit-Khalasar-Wari la-Sakti, 87 kms
- The longer route we avoided is Deskit-Khalasar-Khardung la-Leh-Karu-Sakti, 136 kms

From Sakti, one climbs up some excellent roads to Chang la (17,654 feet), which had been snowbound a few days before, but was bone dry, bright and sunny when we reached there at 115 pm. Chang la is one of the “highest” roads, and the free tea that the army canteen offered us was delicious and life-giving. It was an even faster run from hereon and the heat was high enough for us to turn on our air-conditioners. At the Tangtse Check Post, I discovered my wheel cap had come off and spewing grease all over – lucky we noticed, else we could have had a wheel bearing seizure, looks like some stones must have hit the cap and prised it open! We had to register at the Tangtse Check Post (where the permits have to be shown).

We stepped into Tangtse town and shopped for hotel rooms, eventually blocking a few rooms for the team to stay in on returning from Pangong Tso.

We continued our drive and reached Pangong Tso at 300 pm. The River Shayok is now a small stream a few kilometers from its source in the hills towering over the road. The dreaded Pagal Nullah (6 kms before Pangong) was a river crossing rutted with boulders but with hardly any water. It has been known to be a raging stream with 2-3 feet of water at times, especially in the late afternoon after the scorching sun melts the snows in the higher reaches. They build and rebuild the bridge across this nullah every year, but it has been an exercise in futility.

Pangong Tso (13,873 feet) was looking its best in the late afternoon, the colours in the water alternating between light green, azure blue and sky blue, as the setting sun cast its shadows on the surrounding hills. The brackish water was clear and the pebbles glimmering underneath. The army boat chugs away to patrol the waters – yes, Indian shares the Pangong with China, which has 2/3rds of the 140-km long Lake. A few months ago, the incursions by China into Ladakh happened in this region. Some of our friends have managed to hitch a ride in the army boats, but the large size of our team is a deterrent. The small army canteen was busy with some army big-shots who were visiting and refused to make us even tea. There is a lovely tent resort on the banks of the Lake, but our best efforts to negotiate a fine rate for 8 tents were futile. I decided to move on to Spangimik which is 5 kms away – where there are some more hotels, all on the banks of the Lake. However, the road to Spangimik crumbled and I found myself on total OTR country, clambering up rocky terrain, so I gave up the mission. Spangimik itself is a picturesque village which is also the last point where tourists are allowed – beyond lies the road to Chushul along the banks of the Lake, and the China border. A drive on this road is strongly recommended for its fantastic views of the Lake.

We turn around from Pangong Tso at 540 pm after nearly 2 delightful hours, wary of crossing Pagal Nullah after dark, and are back in Tangtse at 630 pm. We checked into the local hotels for the night. Tangtse is a small town with 3 hotels, no petrol pump and at a lower altitude of 13,000 feet. We were all wary of using our laptops since hard disks are known to crash at such high altitudes.
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Old 11th October 2009, 00:23   #264
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hvkumar, your post are real good and well explained, i hope your trip to leh was TIME OF YOUR LIFE !!!
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Old 11th October 2009, 07:37   #265
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airwolf9211, yes, Ladakh is unique and a driver's triumph, however many times you visit it. Always unpredictable, so different through the 4 month period when the road is open and one can always have a substantial unfinished agenda for the next round!
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Old 11th October 2009, 09:40   #266
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What a drive and what snaps ! All I have gone to is the regular Manali/Rohtang and not beyond. Even if I plan to do I don't think I can ever drive through this terrain. These photos and pictures are the only way, which I can live through these moments. Hats off to you folks !

PS: Just to ask, what it takes to transform a regular city and occasional highway driver into a Leh driver?

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Old 11th October 2009, 10:59   #267
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If anyone tells you that cars take to Ladakhi terrain easily, then they must be kidding. One of the inevitable consequences of my 3 drives to Ladakh are the big fat maintenance bills during and after the trip. I took big hits on suspension components this trip too and my overall damage was - broken coil springs, broken leaf springs, broken shock absorbers, frayed rubbers in link roads and balancing roads. That apart, the car got mauled on other components - a ruptured brake pipe, cracked main belt and totally worn-out brake pads (changed just before the trip). Not to mention all the underbody nuts that were loose and the severe wear-out of the tyres - although the Yokos were great, and did not suffer even a single cut or abrasion during the trip (and not a single puncture).
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Old 11th October 2009, 11:15   #268
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If anyone tells you that cars take to Ladakhi terrain easily, then they must be kidding. One of the inevitable consequences of my 3 drives to Ladakh are the big fat maintenance bills during and after the trip. I took big hits on suspension components this trip too and my overall damage was - broken coil springs, broken leaf springs, broken shock absorbers, frayed rubbers in link roads and balancing roads. That apart, the car got mauled on other components - a ruptured brake pipe, cracked main belt and totally worn-out brake pads (changed just before the trip). Not to mention all the underbody nuts that were loose and the severe wear-out of the tyres - although the Yokos were great, and did not suffer even a single cut or abrasion during the trip (and not a single puncture).
But HVK, Glenn had driven through this terrain for the first time in his driving life. His Scorpio did not have any issues other than the accelerator sensor problem (which based on my knowledge is not a problem due to the terrain). This proves that careful and sane driving helps.

I can only imagine what your car had gone through all these after reading through the damages, Why is yet another question.

Last edited by laluks : 11th October 2009 at 11:18.
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Old 11th October 2009, 11:21   #269
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PS: Just to ask, what it takes to transform a regular city and occasional highway driver into a Leh driver?
Becoming a Leh driver is not very difficult. Patience while driving in the hills is very important. Maneuvers that may seem to be possible in the plain, should be avoided in the hills.
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Old 11th October 2009, 11:31   #270
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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
If anyone tells you that cars take to Ladakhi terrain easily, then they must be kidding. One of the inevitable consequences of my 3 drives to Ladakh are the big fat maintenance bills during and after the trip. I took big hits on suspension components this trip too and my overall damage was - broken coil springs, broken leaf springs, broken shock absorbers, frayed rubbers in link roads and balancing roads. That apart, the car got mauled on other components - a ruptured brake pipe, cracked main belt and totally worn-out brake pads (changed just before the trip). Not to mention all the underbody nuts that were loose and the severe wear-out of the tyres - although the Yokos were great, and did not suffer even a single cut or abrasion during the trip (and not a single puncture).
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Originally Posted by laluks View Post
But HVK, Glenn had driven through this terrain for the first time in his driving life. His Scorpio did not have any issues other than the accelerator sensor problem (which based on my knowledge is not a problem due to the terrain). This proves that careful and sane driving helps.

I can only imagine what your car had gone through all these after reading through the damages, Why is yet another question.
Its not about sane and safe driving. The terrain is such that your tyres, clutch and suspension components will take a hit come what may. Only thing is newer the car lesser the general damage.
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