Hidden Himalayas - Spiti Valley and Chandertal

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Chanderjeet, Jun 6, 2007.

  1. Chanderjeet

    Chanderjeet IndiYeah !!

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    HIMALAYAS - SPITI VALLEY - CHANDERTAL LAKE
    (13000 Feet and beyond )


    Picture taken at Rohtang Pass at 11 AM. The weather turned from sunny to snowish in less than 30 mins of climbing. I may be looking like an eskimo but the multi-layered clothing did its job. Oh, and btw, if you notice, you can can see some really nice tracks beyond me which lasted for the rest of the trip.

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    The real adventure was trying to ride thru snow without knobblies.

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    The trail thru the spiti valley.

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    Taking a butt break..

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    Posiong. Picture that will be shown to grandchildren...

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    Riding in the valley untouched ....

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    Along side the Chandra river, we marched.....

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    Having an argument is just too stupid when the snow is beating down on you at 13000 feet.

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    Foreword:

    I thought about doing another smallish run to Himalayas just to check out if my bike is ready for the big run to Leh and Ladakh. The original plan was to do Delhi - Manikaran - Jalori Pass - Delhi. Then something happened and i thought it would be better to take a trip to Chandertal Lake which is located in the really high mountains.



    Day 1: Delhi to Chandigarh.


    My friend came to my place and we started at around 2 pm with temp in upwards of 40' C. Too hot. Took too many water breaks and reached Chandigarh late evening. Bad karma struck when my helmet fell and the visor cracked. I had a bad feeling about this trip already..




    Day 2: Chandigarh to Manali.



    We stayed at another friends place and discussed the plan with him. He couldn’t resist it and after calling in sick at work he was ready to roll with us. We started from Chandigarh at around 8am and after riding for about 11 hours we reached Manali. The drive was pleasing which included riding alongside rivers, valleys and also crossing a 3 Kms long tunnel. After checking into a hotel, we went for dinner and city walk in the evening. Manali is a tourist heaven / hell (depending how you look at it). The place usually is overnight stay for bikers and a favorite family vacation city. Many would go to Rohtang and next morning which is about 51kms and come back the same day and live happily ever after. But we had to cross Rohtang La and go beyond the horizon....




    Day 3: Manali to Chandertal (Back to Chhatru) (13,000+ feet)


    The day had finally come to set out to the unforeseen territory. We packed up extra bottles of water, Instant Noodles and 12 eggs & butter (VERY VERY VERY BAD IDEA). The terrain was treacherous and unforgiving in simple words. Well off we went towards Rohtang after tanking up. The route is jam-packed with traffic and snarls are too common. Reaching Rohtang la took 4 hours and crossing the Pass itself turned out tough. In less than 3 hours we had reached height of more than 13000 feet braving Rain, sleet, snowfall, pothole, mud, sludge, slipping, sliding, extra weight, acute angles, rough terrain, icy cold water streaming in your shoes, little streams becoming big waterfalls, low visibility, clouds just under your ass. It was all happening. It really was. Worst of all, we didn’t care. We should have cared and put on our rain coats but we didn’t (BAD IDEA). After getting soaked and riding down from the pass, i had lost the feeling in my hands, my nose and my feet. Anyhow, we kept moving till the time we reached gramphoo from where you take a a nice road towards Leh and a downhill pebbled track to chandertal. A car driver pulled over and wanted to know about our trip and where we were from and stuff. Had a little chat with him and he gave a very helpful piece of advise. "If you don’t reach chandertal till 4PM then don’t push it. Just turn around." We double checked our supplies before moving. Status - Eggs broken (something told me it was a bad idea). Kept moving and wondering what to call the roads. Well, let me just say, if you ride to chandertal, then there is no road in this world that you will be scared to ride on. I can’t describe in words what it was like but i have attached some pics so that you can see with your own eyes. At times we were climbing a steep 30 degree incline with big rocks acting like stair and trust me a bike with less that 10 bhp and about 100~110 Kgs on board, it was really amazing how the machine performed. My two buddies were better with one riding a 350cc Royal Enfield and other one riding a 150 cc TVS Apache with no load. I was riding a 110 cc LML Energy. We kept going but now the weather was really upon us. Lashing with rain and after we had climbed steadily to quite some good height, the rain turned to snow. We kept moving riding thru snow storm, streams, rocks and the usual unbearable things. Even cross a glacier. We were only 19 Kms from Chandertal Lake when calamity struck. The road was blocked due to recent snowing. (it looked as if snow came down on the road just 2 mins ago). We tried crossing it but steep incline, no knobblies, and subzero temp kept us from crossing it. That marked the end of our trip. Suddenly from the other side came a car which came to a sliding stop as they did not expect us in that snow covered corridor. A guy came out to help and after 4 people out their man-power together, only then we were back to our way to Manali. But destiny had something else in store for us. The knees were numb and I stopped and popped my knees in front of the exhaust just get some heat to my knees. Didn’t work. Somehow managed to hop back on the bike and throttled it to the fullest, jumping over rocks and potholes, if this wasn’t running for our lives, then I don’t know what it was. I didn’t stop for anything, for the first time in my life I must have ridden like a pro rally biker. Standing on pegs, rear wheel sliding out of line and front suspension traveling full length that it the front mudguard broke away. There was one very ridiculous jump on which i would have usually slowed down, but I did exactly the opposite and gunned it, traveling at-least 4-5 feet in the air. Well, good thing was that the dhaba wasn’t too far and we reached just before the snow started falling really hard.




    Day 4: Chattru to Chandigarh.



    After surviving the night, thanks to the fire and the really hot tea, we packed up and started the return journey. This was going to be one gruesome day. With almost 350 Kms of riding in the mountains including some of the highest passes in the world, we had to cover 400+ to reach Chandigarh. We must have started at around 7 am and it took a while to gain the heat in the tires and the riding confidence. Once everything was on track we started gaining momentum and once again were crossing rocks and that entire traumatic tarmac with efficiency of a seasoned rider. Crossed Rohtang-la again but this time we stopped to check out the place. The motor-ski ride my friends opted was a rip-off (glad I didn’t do it). Drove down to the splendid valley of Gulaba where the horses run wild like stray dogs (sorry for the comparison but I guess you got the picture). The drive down hill was fast and at times too fast. We were stopped at Marhi by policemen for the same. After a word of warning from them, we next stopped at a place where they were giving helicopter rides to tourist. The problem was it too was a big rip-off. (I hate them for charging too much). Anyhow, we kept moving only to stop for food and drinks time after time. The 19 hours of riding in a day had taken its toll when we finally reached Chandigarh. What followed was a peaceful and dreamless sleep.




    Day 5: Chandigarh to Delhi.



    Not much adventurous riding this day. It in-fact is the most boring ride of my trips. Driving in plains for 250 Kms only stopping half way for some food. That pretty much sums up the day except for the fact that my buddy towed another royal Enfield bullet with his because the guy ran out of fuel. He father was some sort of big guy and he wanted us to stay at their place for the night. We declined courteously and entered Delhi at 9 pm. After some parting pictures we bid good bye to my friend and reached home. Ahh….what a trip this was. Something I will tell my grandchildren about.



    Distance Covered - 1400 Kms
    Total Trip Expense - $ 80 US
    Danger Meter - 4 (on a scale of 5)
    Recommended to go there - You bet. Go prepared.

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    The 3 Kms long tunnel

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    For you Mr. BigRichard

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    How it looks on google earth...

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    #1
  2. earthroamer

    earthroamer Stuck in Pindadesh

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    Great report, Chanderjeet! What an adventure! I love it when you Indian adventurers post your pictures here so we can see the Himalayas.
    #2
  3. Southest US Thumper

    Southest US Thumper Extreme n00b Supporter

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    Awesome!!! You've done it again, great report and pics.:clap
    #3
  4. SFKLR

    SFKLR Noob. Again.

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    Chanderjeet--awesome ride report, as always. :clap You have fans in California.
    #4
  5. Chanderjeet

    Chanderjeet IndiYeah !!

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    Fans in Cali. Wonderful :)
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  6. darkside_of_d_sun

    darkside_of_d_sun Mountain_Raider

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    Nice stuff there!!! Good going man!!!

    Cheers,
    Shamik
    #6
  7. Snuffy

    Snuffy Long timer

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    Always enjoy reading about your adventures. Are you riding a new bike this trip? Great pics!!
    #7
  8. Chanderjeet

    Chanderjeet IndiYeah !!

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    Same bike, new luggage bags and a offroad mudguard. With a shoulder bag tied up like a tank bag :p
    #8
  9. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Aspiring advrider

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    Spectacular! Fans in WA too! :clap
    #9
  10. RonS

    RonS Out there... Supporter

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    You guys are fucking crazy! That's why we like you <img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider/icon10.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Grin" class="inlineimg" />
    #10
  11. Desi_Kermit

    Desi_Kermit Dont worry eat curry ...

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    Wicked !!!
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  12. Chanderjeet

    Chanderjeet IndiYeah !!

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    Fans in WA. I'll take that.
    I was in seattle for a couple of weeks last year. Should've met you folks.
    #12
  13. Hayduke

    Hayduke ///SAFETY THIRD/// Supporter

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    Fans in Colorado, too. Nice report!:thumb
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  14. bigrichard

    bigrichard Long timer

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    Next time you or any of the other Indian ADVriders are going to be on this side of the globe let us know

    If there are technical reasons keeping you from posting bigger pictures no prob, but don't worry about bandwidth :bmwrider
    #14
  15. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Thanks for the link Chanderjeet!! Awesome, as usual..

    We are waiting on your second collage!! :deal
    #15
  16. Salil

    Salil Himalayan Odysseus

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    Wonderful adventure. Thanks. And this Gramphoo - Losar stretch... if you can do this, Ladakh would be cakewalk for you and your bike. They have proper roads on the Leh route, unlike the Gramphoo - Losar stretch that hasn't seen a paved road for eons. Great going!
    #16
  17. Kamala

    Kamala Long timer Supporter

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    You have once again upheld your position as the ADVRider Rockstar of Ride reports! You have fans in Boston too Chanderjeet! :D
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  18. gen

    gen Been here awhile

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    You have fans in Japan!:clap
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  19. Cooltours

    Cooltours Rider of passion

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    You guy’s really are superstars! Your names will be written in the history-books right next to such shiny ones like the Viking, Rough1 or MikeO. You for sure rock! One fan in Switzerland!
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Foooo THESE are snow-walls!! </o:p>
    #19
  20. Chanderjeet

    Chanderjeet IndiYeah !!

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    Super thanks to all..
    #20