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Old 7th February 2023, 03:20   #46
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Re: Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive

Thanks Samba for penning down yet another brilliant travelogue on a place that ranks very high on every adventure seeker's bucket list. This deserves way more than 5 stars !
I think your timing was spot on for the true flavour of a Winter Spiti trip. The vivid narration along with the fantastic set of pictures have managed to take your readers on a joyride ! Every bit of this travelogue is a testament to your passion for adventure (especially the kind which involves four wheel drive systems ). While all the image compositions are fantastic, my personal favorites would be the sunset sequence from Kalpa, dreamy moonscape from Dhankar and the Ibex closeups. Keep on revving !

Last edited by turboNath : 7th February 2023 at 03:21.
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Old 7th February 2023, 14:07   #47
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Re: Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive

Took some time to go through the travelogue. Your travelogue display an awesome and lifetime experience enjoyed by you all. Though the other dusters are looking amazing but should mention the red one with snow drops on it. Specially the backside view with lights on is just awesome. Kudos to your fantastic photography to give us a detail story.
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Old 7th February 2023, 20:56   #48
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Re: Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by DriveTrain View Post
Was saving the masterpiece for a lazy Sunday afternoon read !
Thanks a ton dada. Your Duster tales are always an inspiration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GhostRider28 View Post
Winter Spiti has been on my bucket list; no idea if the Duster will be around by the time when it happens!
Thanks a lot. The NGT ban in the NCR region will definitely be a deterrent for you to take your Duster after a year or two. But you have enjoyed your Duster a lot, and you have taken it to paces. Most probably your are going to enjoy your Winter Spiti drive in your new car!

Quote:
Originally Posted by arun_josie View Post
Awesome travelogue Samba! It felt like I was traveling with you guys with snow all around . Lot of lovely pics of cars and you guys in snow. A wonderful treat for the readers.
Thanks a lot. Hope to see your gorgeous Compass AWD soon on a snow drive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Potenza View Post
Good washrooms, especially for women are very difficult to find at more “normal” places. On holidays like yours its even more difficult. And for this reason a special mention for all the women in your group. Their commitment to this holiday is very very commendable
Thanks Potenza.
I do agree with you. Plus getting a good, clean and attached washroom at Kaza was one of our primary concern. I had to do quite a bit of hunting to get hold of this home-stay with attached washrooms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by haisaikat View Post
Reading through this I realized in such extreme conditions anticipating what all things can go wrong is a mammoth feat. Suddenly one car out of a convoy of identical cars failing to crank up and whose troubleshooting involves deciphering OBD error codes is in itself a feat. Then next day you guys keeping the car engine idling overnight or be it turning around over black ice, the list seems to be long.
Thanks Saikat da.
Anticipating what can go wrong was very tricky. We guessed what can go wrong in a Duster and we prepared ourselves on that basis. Every cars have it's own strong and weak points. Knowing that helps.
Same applies with the humans too! Some are susceptible to cough and cold, whereas some has a weak digestive system! So carrying medicines accordingly was equally important.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tacho9000 View Post
One question though, since you were travelling with diesel vehicles, did you face any starting problem with temperatures plummetting well into the minus territories. Or just keeping the car running through the night got you through. Also, how did the tyres grip over the snow. I know those Wrangler AT's are good all round tyre but would love to know if you had any issue with them over the snowy roads.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ABHI_1512 View Post
You probably were too engrossed with the lucid writing that you missed that Samba clearly mentioned the whole cranking issue he faced and that he had to keep the car running through the night to avoid the same problem !!
Thanks Subhro.
The tyres performed well. There was absolutely no issues with the tyres.

Coming to the cold start issue-
As Abhi1512 said, I have already mentioned about it. But still let me write it again in a more detailed way. Hope this will help others too.

The other two Dusters started without any issues. Mine had a faulty glow plug, so had to pour hot water on the diesel filter and prime the diesel filter valve to start the car. At Kalpa it was -9 C. At the first crank my Duster refused to start. I didn't even try for the 2nd time. I primed the diesel filter valve and then cranked. It started without any fuss.

Now let me share few pointers on how to start the car in freezing temperature-

Diesel freezes below -20c.

In BS6 cars you can't keep the engine on for the whole night. It will choke the DPF.

If it's a BS4 car, keep the engine running from 11 pm to 7 am, or if you want to keep the car off, do the following-

I am not a fan of using antifreeze. A lot of research revealed, many cars had injector issues after pouring antifreeze and the BS6 cars had issues with DPF.

Put 100 ml alcohol inside the wiper washer fluid container.

While parked at night, seal the openings of the air-intake pipe and the silencer by a cloth.

Park the car away from the wind.

Put an old blanket kind of material above the engine, after warming it for 15 to 20 mins before going to sleep.

In the morning do the followings-

Check the coolant, whether it got frozen or not. If yes, pour hot water over the container, with the lid tightly closed.

Put the ignition on and let the glow plugs heat the cylinders for 30 secs.

Repeat this for 3-4 times.

Crank the engine. If it starts, then fine. If not try for 2 more times. If still the engine do not respond, leave it.

Open the bonnet, and pour hot water on the diesel filter.

Put hot steam on the diesel tank and diesel lines.

Prime the diesel filter valve by hand, till it gets hard.

Keep an OBD scanner attached and monitor the rpm.

If the rpm goes above 400, be sure the car will start. If it's between 250 to 350 you need to wait.

Do not keep cranking, it will drain the battery.

In case you have already cranked for 8-10 times. Use a jump start cable and rev the other car till 2500 rpm and try cranking.

One last juggad. Do it, if all other theories fails. Take 3 to 4 L diesel. Heat it to 50-60 degree C. Pour it on the tank.

Still, if all the above fails, take professional help!

Once the car starts, idle it for 5 to 10 mins, before driving.

Quote:
Originally Posted by H0RSEPOWER View Post
Absolutely splendid trip report with some mind blowing photos! Great planning + driving + photographs! Kudos to you & the others in the trip for making it successful!
Thanks a lot. It feels great to get appreciation from someone like you, who have a lot of experience on snow driving.

Quote:
Originally Posted by turboNath View Post
I think your timing was spot on for the true flavour of a Winter Spiti trip. The vivid narration along with the fantastic set of pictures have managed to take your readers on a joyride !
Thanks Turbo. We both did Winter Spiti in a gap of 10 days. I still cherish our late night phone calls to plan this trip! Eagerly waiting for your Winter Spiti travelogue to come up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Travelmania View Post
Though the other dusters are looking amazing but should mention the red one with snow drops on it. Specially the backside view with lights on is just awesome.
Thanks a lot dada. Hope to do a similar trip together in the future.

Last edited by Samba : 7th February 2023 at 21:08.
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Old 8th February 2023, 23:16   #49
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Re: Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post

Thanks a lot. It feels great to get appreciation from someone like you, who have a lot of experience on snow driving.

Samba da, what you did is simply phenomenal! I had experiences of snow drives mostly in urban areas & regular expressways without any inclines! That cannot be compared with your driving in some treacherous terrain with steep inclines, hairpin bends, desolated & less known places without any mechanic around and far from the cozy corner of the home; which you did superbly!
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Old 9th February 2023, 10:38   #50
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Re: Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive

Words are simply not enough to describe this kind of adventure samba da!!
Rated 5*( though wanted to rate it 6*)
I must say mountain_deep's parents are on another level.
Once again congratulations to all of you on completing such an exciting journey which many of us can only dream of.
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Old 9th February 2023, 19:56   #51
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Re: Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by H0RSEPOWER View Post
I had experiences of snow drives mostly in urban areas & regular expressways without any inclines! That cannot be compared with your driving in some treacherous terrain with steep inclines,
Thanks, but last December you drove to North Sikkim on snow and that too in a Ecosport! Sharing the link just for reference.
https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/shift...ml#post5469925 (Best clicks of your car / bike in 2022!)
Will wait for this travelogue to come up!

Quote:
Originally Posted by apollo_1999 View Post
I must say mountain_deep's parents are on another level.
Once again congratulations to all of you on completing such an exciting journey which many of us can only dream of.
Thanks apollo. I must say Dyutimoy's parents were much more enthusiastic than all of us! Even before we could come out of the blanket, they used to share pics of the snow clad mountains in our winter Spiti whats-app group!

On a different note, it feels nice to see the postcards in front of us, which we posted from the world's highest post office!

Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive-647e2cc8cd6843cb803025b75786bc5b.jpg

Last edited by Samba : 9th February 2023 at 20:09.
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Old 10th February 2023, 04:15   #52
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Re: Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive

This travelogue kept me hooked for the last 2 Hrs. Binge read through all the posts, pictures and comments in one go The deadly trio of 3 Bong AWD Dusters have left their mark in the remotest places of the country amidst the most challenging weather. I really hope more people realize the benefits of AWD/4WD transmissions given how effortlessly these cars cruised in stock in the harshest of weather, without lowering the tire pressure or using snow chains.

The itinerary is very well detailed and all pictures are wallpaper material. And finally like always, we end a Samba travelogue by rating it 5 * and thanking all posts
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Old 12th February 2023, 13:44   #53
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Re: Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive

Simply awesome. Rated 5*. Last year winter we were in Spiti and the temperature was -28 degree C but did not experience that much snow and it was extremely dry. Like always, I could not complete the writing yet even after 13 months. However, I can share some of the pictures from the trip the good thing is it was another duster.

Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive-tkd_4254.jpg

Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive-tkd_4310.jpg

Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive-tkd_1466.jpg

Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive-tkd_4584.jpg

Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive-tkd_4566.jpg

Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive-tkd_4525.jpg

Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive-tkd_4846.jpg

Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive-tkd_4405.jpg
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Old 12th February 2023, 19:53   #54
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Re: Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
... the other one was to enjoy the snow drive in winter Spiti.
Congratulation Samba for being able to fulfill one of your cherished dream. It's a phenomenal travelogue from every angle. I must say that the epic standard of road trips that you are setting with your travel, it would be very difficult for many of us even to dream of! Keep travelling and keep posting.

With best wishes.
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Old 13th February 2023, 12:14   #55
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Re: Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive

Throughly read and enjoyed every bit of your journey. Hats off to you Samba for being able to make such memorable moments of life which requires a lot of patience, preparation and time to manage. And your AWD duster performed pretty well on ice specially those black ones and that too on such a precarious slope during night. Good that you took enough preparation for such kind of situation beforehand.
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Old 14th February 2023, 16:00   #56
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Re: Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive

Wow,
What a travelogue !!
Picturesque and full of information. Probably one of the best informative travelogues here.
Looking at the pictures only I was jealous of the team.
This demands a 5 star rating.
Looking for more snow drives in future with the jackets and accessories you bought!
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Old 15th February 2023, 11:07   #57
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Re: Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive

What an experience Samba ! Enjoyed every bit of that awesome description, photos and videos. Loved the comment "People drive their 4x4s and AWDs just to find Maruti Altos have already reached that place" ! But surely the three Dusters triumphed all odds. The descent on black ice at 25kmph was scary ! That tells a lot about the man behind the wheel as well So now that both of your travel dreams on owning a Duster have been realized , I am wondering what biggie you may be planning next ?

Last edited by Mile_Breaker : 15th February 2023 at 11:08. Reason: Spellcheck
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Old 16th February 2023, 21:01   #58
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Re: Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samfromindia View Post
I really hope more people realize the benefits of AWD/4WD transmissions given how effortlessly these cars cruised in stock in the harshest of weather, without lowering the tire pressure or using snow chains.
Thanks Sam. The roads getting better day by day, we practically do not need the 4wds anymore. You won't believe one can touch unmentionable speeds on the road to Kaza! The roads are this good now!
But still these snow drives or a climb to some offbeat destinations where one has to engage the 4wd do give a different level of satisfaction. Specially when you reach the place to find it totally devoid of crowd.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PointZero View Post
Simply awesome. Rated 5*. Last year winter we were in Spiti and the temperature was -28 degree C but did not experience that much snow and it was extremely dry. Like always, I could not complete the writing yet even after 13 months.
Thanks Pointzero. These are some brilliant pics. Will wait for your travelogue to come live soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmhossain View Post
I must say that the epic standard of road trips that you are setting with your travel, it would be very difficult for many of us even to dream of! Keep travelling and keep posting.
With best wishes.
Thanks dada. I really love the way you travel and not to mention, you are actually a treasure trove of North Bengal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by topse View Post
And your AWD duster performed pretty well on ice specially those black ones and that too on such a precarious slope during night. Good that you took enough preparation for such kind of situation beforehand.
Thanks Topse. Eagerly waiting for some adventurous drives, once you get delivery of your Thar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVK Rider View Post
Wow,
What a travelogue !!
Looking for more snow drives in future with the jackets and accessories you bought!
Thanks SVK. Even if I do not go for a snow drive, I will make sure, my jacket goes for one! Will rent it out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mile_Breaker View Post
What an experience Samba ! I am wondering what biggie you may be planning next ?
Thanks a ton dada. Actually there are many places left. Am yet to explore the NorthEast (beyond Arunachal & Meghalaya) or the Zanskar side in Ladakh. Hope to see these places in future. Upper Mustang in Nepal is beautiful, but I always feel paying 500 USD only for the permit is just too much. Else would have added that in my bucket list too. Let's see how things go.

Last edited by Samba : 16th February 2023 at 21:10.
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Old 18th February 2023, 10:17   #59
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Re: Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive

Kudos to Samba!
This is the 3rd time I am going through this travelogue and making notes for my possible next trip once Kunzum Pass opens up

I am counting on my notes, Youtube videos and experts' advice before I take my Night Fury (Porsche Macan) on this route.
I copied the list of accessories in my travel checklist. But not sure about what all I may carry, as I am too naive to even change the tyres.

I have a few questions:
1. By any chance, did you notice if the Petrol Bunk at Kaza offers XP95 petrol? (IOCL portal claims so but they are unreliable)
2. Can you provide the specifications of the oxygen cylinder(s) you carried?
3. How about the availability of Dhabas/food joints between Rampur and Kaza, as it is winter?
4. How about the phone signals and mobile internet during the trip?

Last edited by gyanbaba : 18th February 2023 at 10:19.
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Old 18th February 2023, 12:40   #60
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Re: Sailed through Winter Spiti in three Duster AWDs : Snow Drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by gyanbaba View Post
Kudos to Samba!
This is the 3rd time I am going through this travelogue and making notes for my possible next trip once Kunzum Pass opens up
Thanks a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gyanbaba View Post
1. By any chance, did you notice if the Petrol Bunk at Kaza offers XP95 petrol? (IOCL portal claims so but they are unreliable)
Yes they had. But still to be on the safer side, I will advice you to carry around 20L of XP95 in a jerry can. Availability of XP95 at Kaza can be dicey at times.
I bought this 20L can before the trip-

https://www.amazon.in/certified-Military-Petrol-kerosene-Storage/dp/B085CCSKTG/ref=sr_1_10?crid=5D0MESFRB08A&keywords=ASL%2Bfuel% 2Bjerry%2Bcan&qid=1676704299&s=automotive&sprefix= asl%2Bfuel%2Bjerry%2Bcan%2Cautomotive%2C253&sr=1-10&th=1

Quote:
Originally Posted by gyanbaba View Post
2. Can you provide the specifications of the oxygen cylinder(s) you carried?
We carried 6 of these Oxy99 cans-

https://www.amazon.in/Portable-Oxygen-Cylinder-Inhalation-Breaths/dp/B0786LZNC5/ref=asc_df_B0786LZNC5/?tag=googleshopdes-21&linkCode=df0&hvadid=397080296054&hvpos=&hvnetw= g&hvrand=3704746663512213108&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt =&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=9300155&hvlocphy=1007 828&hvtargid=pla-838979101355&psc=1&ext_vrnc=hi


Quote:
Originally Posted by gyanbaba View Post
3. How about the availability of Dhabas/food joints between Rampur and Kaza, as it is winter?
On the day we were going, it was snowing. More or less everything was shut apart from the army canteens. Even if all the food joints are shut, the army canteen after Sumdo check post and few places near Nako Helipad will remain open.
On the day we were returning, the weather was sunny. We saw food joints open at many places like Tabo, Sumdo, Nako and few more. While we were out for sightseeing around Kaza, everything was closed. Even a cup of tea or Maggie was not available.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gyanbaba View Post
4. How about the phone signals and mobile internet during the trip?
Vodafone will go offline after crossing Rampur.
Airtel and Jio will work throughout. You will get 4G in Kaza too.

Last edited by Samba : 18th February 2023 at 12:49.
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