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Old 7th April 2010, 10:51   #31
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those monsters look cool.

I am sure you are right now posting some more pics, can't wait. I am going to get another coffee now expecting to see some updates soon
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Old 7th April 2010, 10:53   #32
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aadaab janaab!

Snow in summer.. now thats what exactly i was looking for!!!

i'm planning a trip to manali in MAY.. got any pointers?

and please post the rest of the log.. i'm sure you know how desperate we become on the sight of snow...
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Old 7th April 2010, 10:58   #33
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Default Back downwards

As I mentioned earlier, winds are picking up, its getting colder, and we start the journey downwards.
Its easy. Very easy, thanks to something called gravity. I hardly need to use 4x4, except on the long straights where the wheels are digging in the snowy slush.
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The track. The center rut looks low, but its not. I am continuously scraping on the snowy goo. Thankfully, there are no rocks in that. The dozers clear out all obstacles. So all you get is snow piles due to the trucks.
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What you see up there is Rohtang Pass. The top point. Its all white. The snow wall up there is 20 feet high. ITs a tough job, and later we came to know the progress is 500 meters in a day. sometimes when winds are strong overnight, the smaller dozers reclear the already cleared section as too much snow blows onto the road.
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This section has smooth solid ice, and its already starting to harden. Wheels are spinning, and within 2 hours riding this ice without chains will become impossible, but we are going downhill, so no worries
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She feels at home in the snow
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We continue our journey down
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the guage shows 1 degree C, but in reality its around -3. The sensor sits in the bumper which gets a generous dosage of engine heat.
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Snow thins as we go down
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Soon I am at the same point where we were stuck. The tire marks indicate that bro trucks went through the mini lake. I also take the chance, and well its much easier than the slush on the sides.

Soon we reach the checkpost, and chat up with the officers. I ask them whether I should come at 8am to see their snow cutting machines in section. They tell me to delay by 2-3 hours atleast. Early morning its all frozen and even their trucks can't go. They will have to use the blade to clear some old sections as winds are picking up.

Well later the better. It will be warm too!

With that its time to head back to Kothi, have dinner, and retire for the day
One parting pic
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Tomorrow will be our last day here!

TO BE CONT........
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Old 7th April 2010, 11:05   #34
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OK, thats fast and the pics are as usual superb, so are you posting the rest now?
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Old 7th April 2010, 11:33   #35
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Those massive BEML machines, they seem to be using sheer brute force to get rid of the snow. And as you said, these are tracked vehicles - so they mess up the road. Isn't there an easier way to clear the snow?

What do cities in USA/Canada use to get rid of the snow from the streets?
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Old 7th April 2010, 11:36   #36
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These are the old machines. BRO has gotten one newer machine, no pic sorry, which has huge rubber tires, and a cutter in front. Such machines are often used in the west.
Moreover, concrete roads can survive older dozers too.

If BRO is given 5-6 new machines they can keep the passes open throughout the year. Just run the machine through every time it snows(8-10 times in a season).
But due to just 3 vintage monsters, and couple of smaller stuff, we have this funny thing of entire region being cut off for 6 months.
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Old 7th April 2010, 12:10   #37
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Amazing write up and even better pics. In this sweltering summer to see such snow clad mountains and temperatures of -3 is an incredible feeling.

Hows the accomodation in Kothi? Clean and easy to get at short notice? Might just plan a trip, to see those lovely views firsthand.
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Old 7th April 2010, 12:14   #38
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Kothi has a decent hotel called Sagoo valley cafe, and PWD rest house. The PWD one is very very basic, like all PWDs, and you need to book well in advance. Basically you send them a nicely written application.
If you are not upto it for very budget accos, you can stay at the small hotels in palchan(as good as kothi)
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Old 7th April 2010, 12:24   #39
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Default The last day, and the ride up

We woke up late(as usual), and its past 11 when we finally reach the meadow point before gulaba.
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Already traffic is thick.
today is 3rd april. On 2nd april the plains attacked, and now its war zone in here.
There are big cars, small cars, huge cars, taxis, indicabs, altos, esteems. All going up for the tiny patch of snow at "snow point Marhi".
This also means that the road is now one lane because people who went up earlier have parked on the side of the road.
In the mix there is a VIP convoy, which means more chaos. Thankfully, this also means that traffic police will help some.
After nearly 2 hours of jam and fraying tempers, we are in Marhi.
Time to drive on to the BRO barrier, which is actually down today.
right behind the barrier stands the head, and he tells me road is closed.
I mention the events of yesterday and ask permission to see snow cutting.
His answer is clear "I do not have a problem, but the road is trecherous, you are on your own".
Well nice words again, and we roar up to the top.
The road is worse today. The nightly winds have wrecked havoc, but most of it has been cleared, thankfully.

The dozers are not at the old point, they have moved 500 meters ahead.

Finally 2pm, we catch the officers and jawans of BRO getting ready for lunch.
Just one dozer in is action, clearing the snow which keeps blowing off the mountain sides

Its time to park and move forward on foot

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TO BE CONT.........
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Old 7th April 2010, 12:28   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
What do cities in USA/Canada use to get rid of the snow from the streets?
Smarcat, in US, they sprinkle salt & that cannot be used here as TSK said. I'll try to upload some pics this evening, if I'm not hijacking TSK's thread & ofcourse with his permission

Here's the most commonly used vehicle for moving snow

Last edited by aargee : 7th April 2010 at 12:31.
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Old 7th April 2010, 13:39   #41
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amazing log, keep them coming, is there any video of that snow cutting machine ? Those snow cutters are HUGE as others said, only in the third picture we realize how big these machines are.

Just one suggestion, can you put across a map side by side so that some people (like me) who donot know the geography can travel with the travelogue well.
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Old 7th April 2010, 14:24   #42
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superb log and again this shows 'snow+white elephant+tsk makes a perfect movie seeing exprience.wow!! awsome job and pls keep posting..eagerly waiting
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Old 7th April 2010, 14:42   #43
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tsk1979,
I love your travelogues! Keep it up. You are using your safari just what it is meant for- 4wd touring!!
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Old 7th April 2010, 15:09   #44
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LOOK! everyone except Tanveer is online.. waiting for the next post....


HUMPH! F5.... F5.. Humph!
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Old 7th April 2010, 15:24   #45
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tanveer must take leave and write non-stop, today no work for me and I am glued here with such tempting log.

Dude - post the rest
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