Himalayan Adventure

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by fat_tony, May 18, 2012.

  1. fat_tony

    fat_tony Adventurer

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    This ride report is about a quick trip from Philadelphia, PA to Khardung La in the Himalayas of the Kashmir region of India.

    Khardung La (La means pass in Tibetan) is a high mountain pass that measures 17,582 feet in elevation. It is widely, but incorrectly, believed to be the world's highest motorable pass (frequently claimed to be 18,380 feet high). There are higher motorable passes at Suge La, west of Lhasa (17,815 feet) and Semo La (18,258 feet) between Raka and Coqen in Central Tibet.

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    Together, the Himalayan mountain system is the world's highest, and home to the world's highest peaks, the Eight-thousanders, which include Mount Everest and K2. To comprehend the enormous scale of this mountain range, consider that Aconcagua, in the Andes, at 6,962 m (22,841 ft) is the highest peak outside Asia, whereas the Himalayan system includes over 100 mountains exceeding 7,200 m (23,600 ft). (From wikipedia)

    I will fly from Philadelphia to New Delhi on June 11, 2012.

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    I will ride a Royal Enfield from New Delhi to Leh and then onto Khardung La.

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    I expect to reach the base of the Himalayas in 3 or 4 days.

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    Khardung La is situated 24 miles by road from Leh. The first 15 miles, as far as the South Pullu check point, are paved. From there to the North Pullu check point about 9.5 miles beyond the pass the roadway is primarily loose rock, dirt, and occasional rivulets of snow melt.

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    However, this pass is in better repair than many of the surrounding passes (Tanglang La, for example). From North Pullu into the Nubra Valley, the road is very well maintained (except in a very few places where washouts or falling rock occur).

    Leh is at 11,562 feet. The climb in elevation from Leh to Khardung La is 6,020 feet. You are allowed to stay 30 minutes at the peak because of the extreme lack of oxygen.

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    #1
  2. Chanderjeet

    Chanderjeet IndiYeah !! Super Moderator

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    :thumb
    #2
  3. grandelatte

    grandelatte Consistently Inconsistent

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    :clap

    :super

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    #3
  4. Radioman

    Radioman Moto rider

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    Hello Tony,

    Am already here in Dehli. Will ride north on Tuesday or Wednesday for two weeks..... Sounds like our paths will cross as I will still be here when you arrive.

    See you soon! :) Check out my RR, as I just posted a list of all the gear that I brought with me. If you have questions, PM me!

    Mark
    #4
  5. fat_tony

    fat_tony Adventurer

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    Radioman,

    Thanks for the list. Which direction will you be heading in anyway? Also, I see you have some warm weather over there.
    #5
  6. rathump

    rathump n00b

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    Tony,

    I just read Radioman's adventures so far in India, he is spending extra time in the mechanics shop. I hope you've built in extra days in case of valve tappet failures... I look forward to following your adventure. Good luck, ride safe!

    Dave
    #6
  7. fat_tony

    fat_tony Adventurer

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    I've got a little bit of a cushion. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed the entire time, though!
    #7
  8. poolman

    poolman Gnarly Poolside Adv.

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    fat_tony,

    Best wishes for a most excellent adventure, I hope your Enfield proves more reliable than Radioman's!

    I did a nice trip in the Andes last year (see link in my signature line) and noticed a huge difference in the effects of altitude when climbing from 12,000 ft to 16,500 ft, more so than traveling from sea level to 12,000 ft. I'm sure you've considered altitude acclimatization in planning your itinerary, but I hope you keep it safe.

    I look forward to following this one, and by the way, welcome to ADV!
    #8
  9. fat_tony

    fat_tony Adventurer

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    Poolman,

    Thanks for the altitude pointers. Yes, I've been planning/contemplating altitude ever since I saw/bought CJ's book and had the idea of riding the Himalayas. It's good to have an idea of how and when it's most likely to effect you so you can plan and so you're not surprised once it does start effecting you.
    #9
  10. fat_tony

    fat_tony Adventurer

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    T minus 4 days and I received an unfortunate report that the road we're planning to take i.e. Delhi - Shimla - Recong - Kaza- Manali is still not completely open because of recent snow fall slowing snow removal. Fingers crossed that the route is clear in time.
    #10
  11. fat_tony

    fat_tony Adventurer

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    Jfk!
    #11
  12. RideDualSport.com

    RideDualSport.com TPB all the way

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    Best of luck to you! What an incredible adventure. I really like the fact that your doing it on a very simple low-tech bike, that I am sure is perfect for the task!
    Cheers!
    #12
  13. fat_tony

    fat_tony Adventurer

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    My direct flight from JFK to Delhi apparently included a direct layover in Paris.

    Also, walking out of the airport was like walking into an oven! There's nothing like 41C @ 10:00 PM.
    #13
  14. fat_tony

    fat_tony Adventurer

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    Thanks Mr. RideDualSport.com. I'll take all the luck I can get.

    I like that I'm doing it low tech too but I hope the bike doesn't give me a lot problems as I'm not the most skilled mechanic.

    I'll (attempt) to keep you posted. :D

    #14
  15. MrRider

    MrRider Adventurer

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    Good luck Tony. I've done this delhi-manali-keylong-sarchu-pang-upshi-leh route twice between 2007-2011 on an RE. The bike is low tech but that's the beauty of it. If you are stuck with a broken bike, the chances that someone who can fix an RE passes on this route are far more than any other kind of bike. Plus this route is a major route for transporting essential supplies to Leh for Indian army. And army men are pretty good at fixing the RE.

    Ride safe and have fun!
    #15
  16. beatnck

    beatnck Adventurer

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    Subscribed!
    :lurk
    #16
  17. fat_tony

    fat_tony Adventurer

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    My Enfield for the next 16 days. It handles a little differently than my GSA back home but at least it has electric start and fuel injection.
    #17
  18. conchscooter

    conchscooter Long timer

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    It will be interesting to see how the new Enfield holds up.
    #18
  19. fat_tony

    fat_tony Adventurer

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    It was really hot today as CJ made the arrangements for my bike. It was about 110F. I'll be up tomorrow by 0400 to have some tea and pack up the bike. CJ will be here at 0530 to get me out of town and on my way.
    #19
  20. fat_tony

    fat_tony Adventurer

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    Mr. Conchscooter, it'll hold up. I hope.

    #20