The Prep

In my previous post, I had mentioned that we’ve been planning this for a long time, thought I might as well share some stuff that’ll help you plan your trip to Ladakh.

Basics:

Access to Leh: Leh is inaccessible by road during winters due to snow and landslides. The roads open in June and are open till late October /early November depending on the weather. Leh can be reached from Srinagar on side and Manali on the other. The NH 1 & Leh-Manali highway are one of the most accident prone and dangerous roads, owing to the altitude and the constant risk of landslides.

Access to Spiti: Similar timing as above but the roads are primitive/kuchha roads if not non-existent.

Here is a list of essentials for a road trip, (this is list for a trip by car, things may be a little different if you plan to travel by bike)

  • Sleeping Bags
  • Tents (optional)
  • Kerosene/LPG mini stove
  • F&B essentials (tea, milk powder, instant noodles etc)
  • Warm Clothing, thermals
  • Rain Coats
  • Tyres & tubes
  • Puncture kit & pump
  • Jerry Cans
  • Toolkit & jack
  • Car socket-to phone charger
  • Car Socket-to laptop charger
  • Batteries
  • Torches
  • Long Nylon Rope- towing, tying, multipurpose
  • Funnel
  • Garbage bag for wrapping jerry can n prevent fumes
  • First aid kit
  • Glow in the dark tape (marking essential items so you can find them in the darkness easily)
  • Copies of IDs & Passport photos
  • BRAKE OIL
  • ENGINE OIL
  • COOLANT
  • Headlight & tail lamp bulbs

For detailed info on the manali-leh highway check this out http://devilonwheels.com/index.php/places-on-manali-leh-highway-a-detailed-description/

-Akshay

Before we begin

For the last few weeks, most of my waking moments have been spent planning this trip, I probably have been dreaming about it as well. I’m as excited as a kid who’s just received some candy. It’s not without reason though, this is going to be a well deserved holiday and the longest in a long time. More importantly I’ll be in the Himalayas for the first time in life. I have traveled to Himachal and Uttarakhand in the past but this is in a completely different league altogether.

My friends and I have been talking about it and planning for it for a little over a year now. It’s sort of become a major milestone, so much so, we’ve been putting off other things saying, “ladakh se wapas ake karte hain” (you could say we are just being lazy, but its more of a giving importance to the trip sort of thing). It all began when my friends had been to Solan last year, they had a great time and then one of them stayed back a little and headed on to Keylong. When he got back and shared his stories, I got hooked and since then this has been playing at the back of my mind.

Well after months of lazying around, saving up and waiting for the snow to melt and the roads to be cleared. We finally are going to head out in a couple of days. We’ve stocked up on food and drink, arranged for a sturdy SUV, we’ve even plotted out the route. All of this wouldn’t really have been possible though without some help from the good folks at Mountain Dew, who’ve agreed to pitch in and support us. Thanks guys.

Alright then, we’ll be off in a couple days and making our way through Manali, Lahaul & Spiti, reach Leh and head towards Nubra valley and on our way back, head deep in to Spiti as we make our way through Kunzum La onto Simla and back. On our way we’ll be passing through numerous mountain passes, we hope our driving skills hold up and also that there’ll still be some snow around.

We’ll be documenting our journey over the next few weeks and try and upload and post as often internet connectivity allows us to.

-Akshay