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|6th September 2010, 12:35||#1|
The lake of the moon and the Spiti Sprint!
Four days in hand, and hundreds of kms to drive.
The goal was clear. Chandertaal, everything else was a bonus.
After all, who attempts to do Spiti and Chandertal in 4 days.
2 days go in driving back and forth from Punjab to beyond Rohtang, and in 2 days - Chandertal and spiti...?
Well that was the plan. To go on a wild ride again. Somewhat touch and go, but when you are short of time, this is the way to go!
Slush, water, rain,fog,cliffs,rocks... two days of driving had everything a week of driving has on the ladakh circuit, except snow I guess!
Last edited by tsk1979 : 6th September 2010 at 12:38.
|6th September 2010, 12:51||#2|
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Third picture is scary, wherein first is deadly.
Hope the trip was a good one and waiting for more wallpaper like pictures.
|6th September 2010, 13:18||#4|
The run to Rohtang
Rohtang or the pile of dead bodies as its affectionately called is not a very high pass. At a puny 3900m it pales in comparison to the mighty passes of Khardung and chang.
Even the climb to Rohtang from Marhi is a measly 16kms.
On paper its a small tiny easy pass.
But to know what is Rohtang, you have to be there. Its a kind of pass which makes you cry. It makes you say "Never again". It makes you curse the powers that be for not making a tunnel.
For its not a pass, its a ride through hell.
Its best done with sun shining, and a few hours of daylight left.
But thanks to landslides and broken roads around Pandoh etc., we were having lunch at Kothi around 4:30pm, and it was finally 5:30pm when we started the run to Marhi.
the storm clouds were gathering, and the mountains looked angry.
As most of you know, after gulaba the bad road starts.
Its still a road though, a very potholed road but still a road.
On the way a MP gypsy flags us down. They are running low on air in the tires, so we give lift to two soldiers till Marhi.
Progress is slow and agonizing, its drizzling, but we can still see.
There is no time for pics, we have to reach khoksar, and as fast as I can dare, which is not very fast, I drive on the road through hell.
And then, barely kms from the top this happens
5kmph becomes 2, visibility is zero, and one wrong move can put us in the ditch.
We are just about 5kms from the top, and we are praying that the other side is really a rain shadow.
Its cold, and drizzling, but my hands sweat.
MY wife cranes her neck out time and again to see the cliff edge, as I trudge on, sliding the rear wheels on slush, rocks and what not.
Finally just before 8, we cross the top, and then the skies clear.
No rain no fog.
Its amazing how weather changes in a span of 500 meters.
8:30, we are at khoksar, and surprise surprise, somehow our booking has been given to someone else!
What to do now?
No worries, they will arrange for our stay in sissu, 14kms ahead, and apparently the road is very good.
Progress is fast, and there are just 2 water crossings. One is deep very very deep, but after what we have driven through, its appears like a puddle.
It may swallow small cars, but for the white elephant its a piddle, barely submerging the fogs.
Finally around 10, we hit the bed. Tomorrow is a long long drive, to Spiti, from Lahaul, and the target is a small blue lake.
Last edited by tsk1979 : 6th September 2010 at 13:20.
|6th September 2010, 14:18||#5|
The Lahaul valley is accessible by three main passes. Rohtang from Manali, Kunzum from spiti and Barlacha from More plains side.
Sissu lies around 50kms from keylong, and around 20 from Gramphoo, from where one road goes to Rotang, and the other goes to Spiti valley.
Its almost 8am when we start our journey for the Chandertal lake.
The road to Khoksar is excellent, except for a couple of water crossings
The weather is nice, its sunny and warm, inspite of the high altitude(3100m+)
Thankfully, we are not getting any headaches, but then headache is rare at 10,000 feet.
After Gramphoo, there is no road, only a track. Rocky at some places, muddy at others, and water crossings at many places
Towards Rohtang the clouds are menacing. Looks like the other side will get a lot of rain
However, for us, it will be sunny and warm, Thanks to Rain shadow!
TO BE CONT.......
|6th September 2010, 14:40||#7|
More views from the road
The road runs along the Chandra river. Our destination is the source of this river.
By the time the river reaches near Chotta dhara etc., its a raging torrent, thanks to the heavy rains
the road is still decent. Rocky bumpy, but still a road. We take a quick breakfast break at chattru.
Its after this the hell starts. The road gets rocky, and rivers run on the road.
The distance from Gramphoo to chandertaal is 50kms odd, but seems like 500. such is the track.
This was out second attempt, last one being in oct with snow and hail.,
How different the valley looks in sept, with a raging river, and green mountains!
|6th September 2010, 14:59||#8|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Haha there he goes again. Tanveer bhai go slow. We are all turning all shades of the rainbow here. How do you manage boss? Anyway excellent as usual and all the travellers please take a tip from tsk about how fast to post the travelogue. Henceforth this will be the standard pace and anyone slower will be penalized.
|6th September 2010, 15:09||#9|
Join Date: May 2008
Thanked: 39 Times
wonderful pics tanveer, touch wood may you undertake such beautiful trips on a regular basis and we at team bhp will share the joy with you through your classic travelouges. Cheers.
|6th September 2010, 15:58||#11|
Join Date: Jan 2010
Thanked: 62 Times
These are amazing pictures. Please continue your travellogue and post some more pictures.
|6th September 2010, 16:57||#13|
Join Date: May 2007
Location: UP 16
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|6th September 2010, 17:03||#14|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Superb coverage as usual Tanveer.
One question. I intend to do the same route in November.
Do you think it would be doable? I certainly do not mind some adventure/risk as well.
Would I get to see some snow? Can you suggest the route/roads to be taken so that I do a "loop" and come back to Delhi.
|6th September 2010, 17:25||#15|
I took it towards Gramphoo side.
The whole stretch has similar landscape
The road from Khoksar to Keylong is excellent
Only when the snow melts they clear the road.
In november 99% of the time kunzum also closes. Rohtang can remain open, but a heavy snowfall can close it.
If you cross and it snows, you can be stranded there.
If you want to do this, you have to do it before sept ends, or atleast by early october.
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