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Old 1st February 2023, 23:43   #16
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Re: Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive

What a fantastic writeup with splendid pictures Samba !!!
Had to finish this in one go.
Thank you for taking us along on this lovely trip !!!
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Old 2nd February 2023, 11:08   #17
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Re: Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive

What awesome pictures Samba to top up the excellent narrative. This now is an apt ready reckoner for people like me who were on the fence for Winter spiti. Glad to know its doable without a big conducted group.
Great to see Aritra too after a long time.

A special mention to the Duster AWD 's what versatile machines these are.
Keep tripping brother.
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Old 2nd February 2023, 11:11   #18
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Re: Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive

I never knew I could get so Jealous Jokes apart. Thank you for those beautiful photos and the great writeup.
I did my first Ladakh trip in 2009. That time I decided I will be coming back again every year. Its been 13 years and it is still to materialize . I believe a lot of places like Spiti and Lahaul came into focus only after 2010. My first trip was on a old Bullet. I am sure my next will be in my AWD duster, whenever it happens. Exciting to see the Dusties plough through with zero issues in such harsh environment.
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Old 2nd February 2023, 11:51   #19
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Re: Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive

That was an awesome read, Samba da - enough to induce a mid-week FOMO
The pictures were equally incredible. It should serve as a ready reckoner for many planning to travel to Kaza and around, snow or otherwise.

Also, it is a true testament to the Duster's capability and dependability. Amazing!
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Old 2nd February 2023, 12:11   #20
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Re: Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive

Epic trip and an excellent write-up! Kudos to the Duster team(bhp) and their families!

This should go up as a photologue in Renault's home page (international) too. A winter Spiti drive without snow chains, right? This is incredible and proves how a simple reliable machine is all you need.

I was getting some pictures from ARAY now and then in our school Whatsapp group but he didn't send me a letter from the world's highest PO, so he has to visit again!

Happy exploring,
surjaonwheelz

Last edited by surjaonwheelz : 2nd February 2023 at 12:12.
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Old 2nd February 2023, 14:13   #21
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Re: Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive

@samba - What a lovely thread , Absolutely Incredible, it refreshed all my memories of doing this last year in March. - link -> https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/trave...torcycles.html (Visite ŗ spiti | A ride after 10 years | 7 motorcycles)

The primary thing we missed and miscalculated was the timing of the snow the time we went most of it had already turned into water, and all snow we could find was some bit of it in KAZA and KOMIC'LA.

I know till NAKO it's blacktop and I know for a fact there are absolutely no issues at all, most of the problems are after that, but you said your Duster didn't need snow chains at all.

Why I ask is - I have an Innova now and am thinking of doing it this month.

One thing, I missed reading or getting is whether this is a diesel or petrol duster?
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Old 2nd February 2023, 15:12   #22
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Re: Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive

What a lovely travelogue. Reading it brought back memories of Lahul Spiti which my wife and I had done in 2005 in a Nissan X-Trail. The roads and facilities have improved beyond imagination.
Thank you so much for igniting the spark for us to venture again to turn right after crossing Gramphu.
Also gives me courage to take my 5 year old Tiguan.
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Old 2nd February 2023, 16:54   #23
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Re: Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive

Thanks for sharing and congrats for finishing a great drive in the coldest January we have seen for a long time. Daring and bold it was for all of you and wish you many more safe drives in future.
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Old 2nd February 2023, 19:40   #24
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Re: Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive

Another awesome TL and as is usual with all your TLs, it triggered a huge feeling of MO (not FOMO). Amazing trip, amazing pics, amazing description and it seems wherever adventure is present, you and your intrepid travel mates turn up! Happy to see Dyuti's parents too on this trip - now I know where Dyuti gets his swag from! I would never even have imagined of doing Spiti in winter, but thanks to all of you, now I know that impossible is nothing. Apart from your shared sense of adventure, all of you are bravehearts too. Keep travelling and keep sharing these awesome TLs.
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Old 2nd February 2023, 20:43   #25
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Re: Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive

It's great that you were able to make this trip a reality after repeated roadblocks. I think this makes it all the more special.Thoroughly enjoyed your photos and videos.

Also, I might be biased but I rated this travelogue 5 stars. Probably because of your vehicle conquering difficult terrain but mostly because of the spectacular shots.

Quick question: How did you find your Tyre's performance in the snow? Would you buy them again?
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Old 2nd February 2023, 21:44   #26
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Re: Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive

Congratulations on finally fulfilling your long overdue dream of a winter drive to Spiti. The preparatory purchases must have cost you more than the fuel, stay & food costs! There is no end to the spares one needs to carry, and of all the things to fail, you weren't carrying glow plugs! You now need to travel every year into the deeper Himalayas to fully utilize the Arctic gear you've invested in (or head out to see the Northern Lights!), else those (-)18įC-rated clothing and footwear will degrade in a few years. So where are you headed next winter?
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Old 2nd February 2023, 21:45   #27
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Re: Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive

Epic travel, superlative pictures and fantastic travel companions, anything more and you all could have come out of a movie scene and turned the whole log into a movie. Watching the cars doing what they do best is the heartiest feeling for a car owner and I am sure, you all had pride brimming all over the Spiti

One shot of Dyutiís father walking away from the Duster looks like a frame straight out of some movie scene. Pictures featured in the log are stupendous and some of the shots are just remarkable. That you all didnít need to use the snow chains even once says a lot about the car and the ones driving it. I doff my non existent hat to all of you for completing a brilliant travel. Many thanks for sharing, rating 5 stars- thatís the most allowed in the forum.
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Old 2nd February 2023, 23:47   #28
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Re: Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by siddarthab View Post
What a fantastic writeup with splendid pictures Samba !!!
Had to finish this in one go.
Thank you for taking us along on this lovely trip !!!
Thanks a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yogi..Reeturaj View Post
A special mention to the Duster AWD 's what versatile machines these are.
Keep tripping brother.
Thanks Reeturaj. Am sure your Hyryder AWD will perform great in winter Spiti. That being a petrol you wont have to worry about the starting trouble in the morning either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nettooran View Post
My first trip was on a old Bullet. I am sure my next will be in my AWD duster, whenever it happens. Exciting to see the Dusties plough through with zero issues in such harsh environment.
Thanks. Riding on an old bullet in these terrains has it's own charm.
Do plan with your Duster AWD without any worry. This car is awesome on the snow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nerd1200 View Post
That was an awesome read, Samba da - enough to induce a mid-week FOMO
The pictures were equally incredible. It should serve as a ready reckoner for many planning to travel to Kaza and around, snow or otherwise.

Also, it is a true testament to the Duster's capability and dependability. Amazing!
Thanks a lot. Do plan with you ScorpioN 4x4. From the locals of Spiti, I got some excellent feedback on how the ScorpioN performed in winter Spiti. Local people praised this car a lot. According to them the old gen Scorpio is no match for this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by surjaonwheelz View Post

I was getting some pictures from ARAY now and then in our school Whatsapp group but he didn't send me a letter from the world's highest PO, so he has to visit again!

Happy exploring,
surjaonwheelz
Thanks! But why won't you join us for the next trip?

Quote:
Originally Posted by contact.nitin7 View Post

I know till NAKO it's blacktop and I know for a fact there are absolutely no issues at all, most of the problems are after that, but you said your Duster didn't need snow chains at all.

Why I ask is - I have an Innova now and am thinking of doing it this month.

One thing, I missed reading or getting is whether this is a diesel or petrol duster?
Thanks a lot.

Now the road for the whole circuit is excellent. Even from Nako to Kaza roads are great. Regarding Innova, one yellow plate Innova even with the snow-chains was getting stuck and needed to be pushed. On a good day, this route is a cake walk for an Innova, but if it snows heavily, things can get dicey. If you have any FWD small hatchback, I will suggest you to take that car during the winters.

Our Dusters were diesel AWDs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amukherjea View Post
What a lovely travelogue. Reading it brought back memories of Lahul Spiti which my wife and I had done in 2005 in a Nissan X-Trail. The roads and facilities have improved beyond imagination.
Thank you so much for igniting the spark for us to venture again to turn right after crossing Gramphu.
Also gives me courage to take my 5 year old Tiguan.
Thanks a lot. The Xtrail was such a lovely car. We do not get cars like those anymore.
I have done the Kaza to Manali route in my Etios in 2018, so with a Tiguan it will be like a cakewalk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sukhbirST View Post
Thanks for sharing and congrats for finishing a great drive in the coldest January we have seen for a long time. Daring and bold it was for all of you and wish you many more safe drives in future.
Thanks a ton.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neversaygbye View Post
now I know that impossible is nothing. Apart from your shared sense of adventure, all of you are bravehearts too. Keep travelling and keep sharing these awesome TLs.
Thanks dada. Nowhere we felt, things are going out of hand. It was overall a very smooth sail. One just need to prepare themselves and their cars in the correct manner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandman689 View Post

Quick question: How did you find your Tyre's performance in the snow? Would you buy them again?
Thanks Sandy, Vcross is among the local favorites in Spiti. Do plan one ASAP!

Regarding the tyres, the Wrangler ATs performed exceptionally well. We even did not had to lower the psi or put snow chains.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Congratulations on finally fulfilling your long overdue dream of a winter drive to Spiti. The preparatory purchases must have cost you more than the fuel, stay & food costs! There is no end to the spares one needs to carry, and of all the things to fail, you weren't carrying glow plugs! You now need to travel every year into the deeper Himalayas to fully utilize the Arctic gear you've invested in (or head out to see the Northern Lights!), else those (-)18įC-rated clothing and footwear will degrade in a few years. So where are you headed next winter?
Thanks dada.

The preparation was necessary. Reading your comment, if anyone thinks, this was an overkill, then they might land in trouble. With no car service centers in the vicinity and the temperature hovering below -20c, I feel any experienced person will prepare enough. The things we bought, costed us around Rs 20,000 and that expenditure was worth every penny.
It's better to be safe than sorry!

Let me explain-

Spares are car specific.
We know, in Dusters, injectors are sensitive to bad fuel and prone to failure. In winters we were not sure, what kind of fuel we are going to get. So we kept spare injectors. If it would have failed, no one would reach Kaza to save us from the plains!
Regarding the belts, during the 60k service they were replaced. So the new ones were not even time tested. In case they fail, the old ones would save us.
We all know with a failed glow plug, one wont get stuck, so carrying such spares can be avoided. It didn't bother me either. Am yet to replace the glow plug in my car.

Now regarding the cloths. I keep visiting NorthBengal and Sikkim. Facing temperatures around -3c to 5c every year is common for me. So I can easily use these garments for my next trips. Here we needed to dress up in layers, but with these jackets we wont need to do that in the Himalayan parts of NorthBengal/Sikkim. The boots we bought are simple trek boots and can be used in plains also. So these getting degraded in few years will be something new for me!

On a lighter note, if I stop travelling to the hills, I will rent these out, and will offer special discount to you for your next trips on the mountains maybe with your upcoming 4x4!


Quote:
Originally Posted by ABHI_1512 View Post
Epic travel, superlative pictures and fantastic travel companions, anything more and you all could have come out of a movie scene and turned the whole log into a movie. Watching the cars doing what they do best is the heartiest feeling for a car owner and I am sure, you all had pride brimming all over the Spiti
Thanks a lot ABHI, eagerly waiting for your travelogue from Corbett!

Last edited by Samba : 3rd February 2023 at 00:12.
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Old 3rd February 2023, 10:25   #29
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Re: Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive

Awesome, Samba da! Your writing was fantastic and thank you for sharing your experience. There are several fantastic TLs on the forum about winter in Spiti, but this one stands out as it provides a perspective from Kolkata.
I'm looking forward to using your hotel recommendations someday soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
It was getting dark. The pictures shared here may look under exposed, but I have kept it intentionally to keep the exact feel of the place at that time.
Thanks for special touches like this, which made the read a lot more enjoyable.
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Old 3rd February 2023, 10:33   #30
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Re: Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive

What a fabulous journey and tale, Samba!

Loved the photos too. Absolutely drool worthy.
Himalayas, winter, motorcycle (my first love!)/AWD or 4x4 and good company - that's the recipe of a happy life
You really do justice to the AWD by taking him where he's at ease and can make memories.

Reminded me of my 2012 ride and we got holed up at Kaza for three days because my bike's battery had drained of cold and there's no electricity in the town! But we had a blast exploring nook and corner of the place.

One question - did you or anyone else at any point feel the effect AMS harshly? I had this notion that it could hit hard in extreme cold, wanted to check if it's really so.

Waiting for your next sojourn! Cheers.
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