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Old 16th February 2010, 10:46   #31
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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Thanks KSM... you can always drive up from mumbai too ! Planning leh again this year?

Well i would luv to..lets see will be there for sure if i cant find anything new and equally good.
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Old 16th February 2010, 11:15   #32
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Amazing pics there tanveer !!! You are one person who knows how to utilize the leaves in best possible manner, rest of us just keep thinking

Was thinking of going to Narkanda last weekend but the plans couldn't materialize. Hope to visit it during the Holi weekend.
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Old 16th February 2010, 11:40   #33
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Default Skiing

Neither me, nor my wife have ever skied. It will be the first time. We park the safari in the market area, and slowly make way towards the ski slopes.
The "road" goes by the PWD rest house, and this is what the rest house roof looks like.
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The sun is out in full glory, and the views are breathtaking! Look at the snow covered town
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The mountain ranges. You can see as far as the kinner kailash. The air is so clear!
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Meanwhile walking is real tough. There is a narrow section of snow which is packed due to lot of locals walking on it. but its also slippery. Move to the powder area, and this happens
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You sink till your knees, and then the hard snow stops you. But if you are thinking the snow is knee deep, you are mistaken, its just that the snow below 1 foot depth is hard, so you can't sink lower. The actual snow is a good 4 feet deep. There are bikes in the snow sunk in till the handlebars.

Caught this puppy basking in the sun. Dogs here are furry like grizzly bears
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As we pass the locality and reach near the ski slopes, it gets whiter and whiter
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Here we meet a guy carrying skis and we bargain a rate of 150/person for couple of hours of skiing.
Finally, the ski slopes!
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Time to put on the skis and go! I have skated non stop(roller skates) for 15 hours so this should be a cakewalk, right?
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Well the next two hours are spent in hilarity and the cake actually takes a walk all over us.
We see little kids who have been skiing for a long time go sideways up the slopes. I also try multiple times, and end up falling many times.
I learn some very important lessons
1. Its not a good idea to bury camera in snow(its bound to happen when you try to ski with cam around your neck). It gets very wet
2. If you fall, getting up is very very very tough.

Many times I am totally buried in snow. and its taxing on the back too. All that bending forward thingy. Heck, I manage to do a few meters of downhill skiing, only to fall with a whoomp and get thoroughly wet.
But its too much fun. I can feel the snow under my clothes, but the sun is shining, and adrenaline is high, who cares about the snow.
MY wife does not have much better luck either. The ski guys have forgotten to "wax" the skis and snow keeps sticking underneath.

After a good 2 hours, we are exhausted. Every bone in the back hurts, and even my wrist hurts from all the get up efforts.

Time to head back the the car, and take pictures.
Well well, my camera now takes pictures like this. All that snow dunking has lead to a sort of moisture film form inside the lens
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But look at all the snow
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Time to click and head back. And plan how to kill time before lunch!
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Couple of dogs near the safari
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Its 15 minutes to 1, so we have a good 2 hours to kill before we have lunch. What to do... Well Tanni Jubbar sounds like a good idea

TO BE CONT.........
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Old 16th February 2010, 11:43   #34
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A heavenly ride to a heavenly place!
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Old 16th February 2010, 11:54   #35
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Awesome pictures. Thoroughly enjoyed so far the ride. continue pls
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Old 16th February 2010, 16:31   #36
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Default Excursions

We had almost the entire day with us. The fact that our shoes were completely wet, and clothes partially did not even figure in the plans.
So time to hit Tanni Jubbar lake.
You see its not really a lake. Its a chappar in the mountains. If you are wondering what a chappar is, its actually a village 'toba'(sorry don't know the english name, only punjabi) where buffaloes take bath. There are no buffaloes up there, only cows, and cows do not like to take a bath. They are smelly and dirty animals, unlike the buffaloes, who are smelly too, but they like taking a bath. Infact, the Indian buffalo is called the water buffalo.
Anyways, it was a toba/chappar without buffaloes and slightly cleaner water
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White elephant on the side
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Road till the lake was tame, but right after the lake a village road snaked its way up. It was full of snow, almost a foot deep. I tried to climb it but all I got was all 4 wheels spinning.
Nothing to see here, move down, back towards narkanda, towards food. It was almost 1:30pm

The views were amazing from the Narkanda thanedar road, and we stopped frequently
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The deodars looked like giant christmas trees!
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And the road was white
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A few more pics
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Now these are what I call "Dreamscapes".
White all around, esp in the shadow area. But from what we saw on the sunny side, this snow would last maybe a couple of days more if the sun kept on shining
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After that it was time to head to the Market, and have lunch. Lunch at a local restaurant was pretty uninspiring, nothing like we had at the hatu, but nevertheless we were hungry, and food was welcome.
Around 3pm, we were back on the road.
After Hotel Hatu, it was time for Hatu, which we heard was buried under 6 feet of snow....
TO BE CONT..........
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Old 17th February 2010, 09:12   #37
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Excellent mate.

A few questions:
1. Did you have to get any modifications made for the drive on snow? Like changing of tyres etc?
2. Any trouble / issues in starting the vehicle early morning? Were any modifications required here?
3. Can such a trip be done in a 2wd or is 4wd mandatory? Can this be done in a car or is MUV/SUV a must-have?

I notice that there don't seem to be any other vehicle in your pics.
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Old 17th February 2010, 10:20   #38
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Tushar, traffic was generally thin. The day after we reached Narkanda, snow started melting and even small cars were plying without any problem.
As for the safari, no mods needed. No issues in cold start either.
Most of the places were accessible in 2WD except for some like the hotel Hatu and some village trails.
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Old 17th February 2010, 10:58   #39
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Nice and exiciting tarvelouge!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by COUGAR View Post
COUGAR.... jealous!!!

i think i am going to head down to Delhi next. anyone up for a bike ride to Narkanda?
Count me in!! However, I dont think going on there on any other bike except for a bull will do!! I have a hunk and cant think of even dreaming a ride that long!!
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Old 17th February 2010, 11:20   #40
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really nice stuff boss. Your triplogs have put a 4x4 in my budget for 2012 for sure! lena toh padega hi

But wait till some real skiing pics get processed and posted
guahahaha
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Old 17th February 2010, 11:22   #41
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Default Hatu peak attempt etc.,

The road to Hatu was buried under snow. Buried as in really buried.
When we reached there, we found a few cars and taxis parked, and people attempting it on foot.
I decided to test the initial slope in 4WD low.
she climbed a few meters, and then the wheels started slipping. Since the road is really narrow, if we got stuck, we would have to come back all in reverse.
This road was definitely not motorable. The other tourists told us its not even walkable.
After parking, we started climbing on foot, and we understood what they meant.
Every step meant sinking in a good 1 foot in snow.
The progress was agonizingly snow, and after half a km we were panting. The clothes and shoes were totally wet, and Hatu would not work.
But still we went beyond the point everybody went, and found snow devoid of footsteps
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At points the snow was so deep that I got stuck much above the knee.
But overall it was good fun with snowballs.

But soon the cold took over, and we would have to rush back to the guest house for change and drying
Some random snaps and views
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I was hoping for a star studded sky tonight, but it looked that clouds will play spoilsport
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We spend a couple of hours at the rest house, and then it was time for a short dinner at the Hatu hotel.

Todays day had been long and hectic, tomorrow we will head back to Delhi

I did manage to take some night shots though

but without starts, or even a moon to illuminate the ranges, they are pretty dull
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TO BE CONCLUDED.......
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Old 17th February 2010, 13:06   #42
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Gorgeous photos and another great travelogue. Nice to see snow in India
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Old 17th February 2010, 13:42   #43
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Very Nice Traveloque & Well defined with concrete &
Precise experience.
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Old 17th February 2010, 14:11   #44
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You last photo of the night shot is really nice. It clearly shows the star movements as white bands. Looks really nice.
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Old 17th February 2010, 15:19   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Yup, 2WD does fine at most of the places, and where it does not you can always walk. However, if the place is too far, get an alto or an 800, they go where even 4WDs can't. No kidding, honestly.
As for AT tires, I broke all the bridgestone HTs. Some got torn, some got bulges, and some wore out in a weird fashion. Then I got more HT tires, and they got cracks under the main tread from just highway driving.
Then I decided to get AT tires.
Thats strange, You must have wondered & i am sure found out the reason why???? I mean we all run H/T's with out any issues. I am running since 80K kms stock one on Scorprio & still have juice for another 20K kms

I am planning the same trip this weekend, could i find something like this. Any suggestions.

PS : Amazing pics & nice travellogue

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 17th February 2010 at 15:36.
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