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|17th September 2010, 00:18||#106|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Jan 2007
Thanked: 64 Times
Virgin nature at it's best! I have no words for the pics.
How I wish I could give you more than 5 stars.
I feel sad to have taken birth in a so called, developed metropolitan city(concrete jungle), where buildings and tar-roads are in place of trees, water-bodies & mountains & where we don't even get to breathe fresh air.
Keep up the good work dude!
|17th September 2010, 10:44||#107|
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ml#post2025501 (Ladakh and Changthang : The Wilderness Chronicles)
OpenStreetMap for maps. Ladakh is completely mapped, and you may need to zoom in to see names of villages
|17th September 2010, 11:16||#108|
We crossed our "chandertaal turnoff close to 5pm".
The next 70-80kms will be tough and rocky, and night was falling.
There was some cloud activity, indicating that it was raining on the "other side", certainly not good
However, this is a rain shadow area, and normally it does not rain much here, except when a WD is active. Today was no exception.
Our "road" continued along the river Chandra. Clouds had another added benefit. Less strong sun, which meant that the streams will be less crazy
A couple of shots of the steed
This terrain is very similar to padum. Sharp rocks here and there, and its easy to kill your tires if you are not careful. Thankfully, the continentals are tough
We crossed a DL innova going to kaza. They were pretty late! They also were worried. The water crossings had been tough on them, and they wanted to know if any big ones awaited them till kaza. just one big one after Losar, well they were relieved.
As we meandered through the winding road, I spotted another big glacier. The himalayas were fighting back. Not even a year ago, the alarm bells had rung about receding glaciers. But this winter, which extended well into June, the snow gods had been very very generous. Normally by september, the glaciers are at their lowest, waiting for the first snows to recharge them. But this year, see for yourself!
another shot of the white elephant
Short on time, we resumed our journey. Far away the clouds loomed. They will clear by night, thats who it happens in lahaul. These are residuals of the monsoon activity on the other side. Looks like today manali and rohtang got a lot of rain. Hopefully, there will be no fog
Green and grey
The river on a high
Sun trying to fight clouds
TO BE CONT........
|17th September 2010, 14:58||#109|
Join Date: Dec 2009
Thanked: 126 Times
Your thread is a captivating description of the mighty Himalayas.
It is so enthralling that in a single go, I had to read all of your posts.
Way to go, Sir.
|17th September 2010, 15:09||#110|
Distinguished - BHPian
Join Date: Sep 2006
Thanked: 8,319 Times
Tanveer, your lucky on two counts.
One, you stay so close to your favorite destination (Himachal) and beyond. Second, you make full use of staying in such a strategic location by visiting these mindblowing places in the right season to capture some of the most breathtaking images that we all can truly enjoy.
Your travelogues are an inspiration to one and all
|17th September 2010, 15:30||#111|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Thanked: 10 Times
Beautiful thread TSK, lovely pics as well. Thanks for sharing the beauty of these places.
+ 1 to what Mobike said, and also, you have a lovely steed to take you on all terrains
|20th September 2010, 07:01||#113|
Join Date: Nov 2009
Thanked: 219 Times
Awesome travelogue. And great pictures.
I am planning to do this trip in my TCIC 4wd safari. Do you have any special recommendation that I should be aware of for driving in these terrains? I have never taken my car to Himalayas.
|20th September 2010, 11:00||#114|
When in doubt engage 4x4 low, and slowly cross the obstacles.
Also stick to your side on turns, and use the horn on blind turns. With careful driving, its actually safer than highway driving.
|20th September 2010, 12:04||#115|
Join Date: Nov 2009
Thanked: 219 Times
|20th September 2010, 18:17||#116|
Thats the approx height of this little pass.
Its no where in the league of the mightly Changla, Khardung La or Marisimik La, and yet this is a pass which is dreaded the most by tourers.
Maybe its the name, "A pile of dead bodies".
Maybe its the knee deep slush which swallows trucks.
Or maybe its the sheer drops and zero visiblity which can see you crash into the gorge without a moments warning.
And here we were. Darkness was falling, gramphoo was still away, and we had the pile of dead bodies to climb.
The POA was simple. At gramphoo we ask incoming traffic about fog. If its foggy, we stay in khoksar, otherwise we cross.
We trudged on the track. Shortly the climb to gramphoo will begin
The dark mountains
the white elephant
As darkness fell, we started climbing, taken just short of gramphoo
There were a few water crossings, nothing to major, but in darkness, every crossing is major. There was an army convoy, a short one which we overtook, but apart from that the section did not have any traffic whatsoever.
Last dying gasp of the sun
It was almost pitch dark when we reached gramphoo. Its september, and the joys of light till 8pm are not there.
A few "mahindra maxx" were coming down. We flagged them and inquired about the conditions.
"All clear" they said. But since it had rained heavily till afternoon, there were a few trucks bogged down here and there. We will have to make way around them.
And thus started our climb. Since it was almost 8, we would probably reach manali by 10.
11kms to Rohtang from gramphoo could take an hour, easily.
Slowly and slowly we started climbing on the rocky track. This being rain shadow, we did not encounter much slush, and in pitch darkness we reached the top.
There was mild traffic, and some maxi cabs were coming up. So far so good, no landslide.
The journey down will be easier we hoped. After all how difficult downhill can be.
But how wrong I was.
I have crossed Rohtang many times, and many times in the dark too, but never have I see such slush.
A maxi cab overtook us at high speed, and I decided to follow, but my skills were no match for the local driver who was literally drifting the turns.
We fell back, and continued slowly, watching out for rocks and slush patterns.
And then, somewhere between Rohtang and Marhi, we came across the biggest slush section.
It was one hairpin below us, and I could see the cab struggling and sliding as the driver gunned the engine.
A small truck was trudging up the slope, and this guy barely avoided the truck, squeezing in on the narrow road, and he vanished.
I took the hairpin, only to discover that the truck could not move.
It had gotten stuck on the main track, and was constantly going back and forth, spinning the tires.
What to do now?
I went off the beaten path to a slush section not driven on before, and then, stopped moving, with wheels spinning.
In all this drama, I had forgotten about 4wd.
I backed out a bit, engaged 4L, and then slowly started proceeding.
The wheels spun and the engine roared, but the white elephant kept moving.
Soon we crossed the truck, and were on the main track.
But it was not over.
We counted 4 abandoned trucks left here and there by the drivers. I guess when it dries, they take out their vehicles and proceed on their long labored journey.
Finally it was only in Gulaba we got good tarred road, and only late in the night we could reach Kothi.
Luckily sagoo cafe agreed to serve us dinner, though they had closed down the kitchen. Thank god for small mercies.
Finally it was time to retire for the night. With no moon, and partially cloudy sky there was no use taking out the tripod.
Well I was too tired anyways. Since 8am we were on the road, and now it was past 10pm.
14 hours of madness.
Tomorrow, our journey ends....
TO BE CONT.....
|21st September 2010, 10:58||#117|
Video of a small water crossing.
Water was not deep, but the rocks were very big. Had to slowly go through
|29th September 2010, 18:25||#118|
Join Date: Dec 2009
Thanked: 126 Times
Having gone thru the travelogue, I cant resist but plan a trip to this wonderful place.
Could you please enlighten on whether snow could be found in mid october?
|29th September 2010, 18:28||#119|
|29th September 2010, 18:42||#120|
The final day
Well nothing much to post w.r.t a "log" but I shot plenty of pics, some IR experiments too.
Due to effective ISO 3200 and 6400 they are noisy. my 350D is okay upto ISO 1600, but anything more, it starts to give up.
Views from the GH
Some flowers I got close to. Thanks to Panasonic FZ-35 I can get up close and personal. However, light was not enough for steady hand held shots and it was very windy
By midmorning, we were on the road to plains. Saw vultures. Real huge vultures. Biggest I have ever seen. Infact the only bigger birds I have ever seen in flesh are the Ostrich and the Emu
After Aut we saw this waterfall
Normally its a trickle. but it had rained yesterday
Next up is the Pong Dam on Beas
A rare sight. the sluice gates open!
And then starts the truck madness.
After bilaspur comes Swarghat at a altitude of 1000m, and you have to climb quite a bit of ghat section.
Its smooth tarmac, but lots of trucks do this at 5kmph, and they move in convoys of 2-3 trucks. So you can overtake all or none as they do not let you get in between them. At one place this one trucker doing 5kmph would not let me overtake, driving in center, at a steep section when his speed fell slower, I overtook and slowed down and stopped.
He had to stop too. After that I took off, and in my RVM I could see the truck trying to start moving, but it kept stalling. Only fun part.
But be careful with them.
They are pretty open
With that pic, the END!
____________ THE END___________
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