Tips on visiting Rohtang Pass

#1 May 1st, 2009, 18:36
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  • barochallo is offline
#1
Tips on visiting Rohtang Pass:

Hi guys.
I had a chance to visit the ‘Snow Point’ just about 10 km short of the Rohtang Pass when I recently visited Manali. Since a visit to the Snow Point/ Rohtang Pass is an integral part of the itinerary for anyone visiting Manali, I thought I’d just share a few tips that may be of help to you.

1. Start for the Rohtang Pass early in the morning. This way, you’ll be able to take your vehicle right up to the Pass/ Snow Point. My driver told me that during the peak season, there may be up to 2000 vehicles visiting the place. The ones coming late have to park a long way from the Snow Point (sometimes 1 to 2 km away!). Walking that distance in the cold and that height can be agonizing for the unaccustomed visitor. Pony rides are available but expensive.

2. The rates for hiring snow clothes/ guides/ skis/ snow scooters in Rohtang Pass and Solang Valley area are fixed by the Government, the notice is put up on the Mall Road.

The rates are as follows:
a. Warm coat, snow shoes and stick (set) INR 100 per person per day
b. Skiing Dress. INR150/ person/ day
c. Ski Dress with Ski Pair. INR 350/ person/ day
d. Ski Dress with Ski Pair. INR 350 + 150= INR 500 (with guide)
e. SNOW SCOOTERS
(i) 5-10 minutes ride. INR 500
(ii) 10-20 minutes. INR 1000
(iii) 20-30 minutes. INR1500
e. Horse Ride. INR 200

My tragedy was that I saw this notice the next day AFTER I visited the Snow Point. Our taxi driver took us to his ‘trusted’ shop (and I think all the hired vehicles have one such ‘trusted’ shop owner who gives him a commission on the loot). For me and my wife, my 10 yr old son and 5 year old daughter, he gave us each a ‘skiing dress’, one guide and ONE set of skis, and charged us INR 2000! This was literally highway robbery. Since the ‘snow clothes’ were quite substandard, mine did not even have any protection for the face. The ‘snow shoes’ were nothing but galoshes or ‘gum-boots’ that we wear in the rainy season in Mumbai! The snow/ moisture seeped through the boots and soaked our socks. I also realized that the guide was of absolutely no value and offered us about ONE Rupee worth of information. Very intelligently, he had taken along only one set of skis, since he probably knew we would not be ‘skiing’ for more than about 10 minutes each. It was profit for the shop owner, all the way…

3. Clothes. As a continuation of the above, do not depend on the rented snow clothes. Please make your own arrangements that should include thermal inner wear, a woolen cap-mask that covers the head and most of the face (monkey-cap as we call them in India), proper double layer gloves and at least a couple of sweaters.
It was minus 4 degrees C at snow point when we visited it. Most of us who have spent our lives in the plains (especially along the coastline) in India have no idea what that kind of cold can be like. As a result we take it for granted. I saw an elderly lady from Mumbai in a half-opened ‘snow suit’ (the zipper/ buttons had obviously malfunctioned) in her sari and single sweater who was literally shuddering in the cold. She was not even able to speak! My first move was to advise her to get into the car, turn on the heater, pile on whatever extra clothing she had and remain inside. I also warned her stupid relatives who were frolicking in the snow without a care for the poor lady, to leave as early as possible before something serious happened to her.

4. Altitude Sickness. Most of us think that this is an issue which is only of importance to mountaineers, trekkers and the like. On the contrary, it is these people who are well aware of this entity and take proper precautions. Once-in-a-while high altitude visitors like us are more prone to the suffering from the same.
Consider the following facts:
The Rohtang Pass is situated at 13051 feet above sea level. Almost 25 to 30 percent of people who travel to a height of 13000 to 14000 feet above sea level within a day can develop Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) and about 1% can develop High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE); the latter being a disease which can lead to death in a few hours if not diagnosed or treated in time.
Agreed, the more severe types of illnesses like HAPE and High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE) typically occur after spending one or two days at that altitude. But there are people (genetic predisposition, after surgery or radiation therapy, with pulmonary, renal, cardiac or carotid disease) who may develop these illnesses earlier on.

Unless I’m mistaken, after a climb of 8000 ft, mountaineers advise climbing not more than 1000 ft PER DAY. Now consider that the drive from Manali (8000 ft) to Rohtang Pass (13000 ft) takes about 1.5 to 2 hours. That’s like a climb of 5000 feet in less than two hours! Now further consider that there are many tourists who fly up to Manali from Delhi and the very next day, enthusiastically proceed to Rohtang Pass. That’s like a climb of 13000 ft in less than a day!
Giving all the details of Altitude Sickness is beyond the scope of this post. There are a number of excellent resources on the internet, for those who interested. But I will just try to list some precautions that one might take.

a. Consult your doctor before planning your trip. You may have a medical condition which may warrant caution/ rule out your visit to Rohtang Pass altogether. There are also certain medications that can allay/ prevent the symptoms of Altitude Sickness, that he may advise.

b. Ascend slowly. Go via Shimla. Spend a couple of days there and then proceed on to Manali. Schedule the Rohtang Pass visit on the last day of your tour (one day before you leave Manali). This helps you to acclimatize.

c. Drink plenty of water. Dehydration does occur and can worsen Altitude Sickness.

d. Avoid alcohol and tobacco/ smoking.

e. Consume a high carbohydrate diet.

f. Be wary of the following symptoms. If they appear, consult a doctor/ descend to a lower height. The descent itself may resolve the symptoms:

Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS): Fatigue, Headache, Dizziness, Shortness of breath on exertion, decreased appetite, swelling of extremities (shoes/ gloves suddenly appear to have gotten tight), social withdrawal.

High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE): shortness of breath at rest, breathing with a gurgling sound, wet cough with frothy sputum, fever and respiratory failure (person stops breathing).

High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE): mental confusion, difficulty in keeping up the group, lack of coordination while walking (inability to walk heel-to-toe in a straight line), lethargy, coma.

And having said all the above, I must also confirm that having taken all the necessary precautions, a visit to the Rohtang Pass is an incredible experience that must be enjoyed by possibly everyone. The scenery, the environment, the very feeling of being up there is fabulous! I was unfortunate not to be able to go right up to the Pass, but rest assured, I will make that trip sometime in the future!
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#2 May 7th, 2009, 22:06
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  • barochallo is offline
#2

The HP Tourism Signboard

The signboard giving details of the payment to be made for visit to the Rohtang Pass

#3 May 11th, 2009, 11:41
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  • ashwinnaagar is offline
#3
Can someone tell me about places other/beyond snow point where i will ot encounter crowds. And any other secret place at rohtang where i'll get better views?
#4 May 11th, 2009, 11:43
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  • ashwinnaagar is offline
#4

beyond rohtang

I want to get a glimpse of the spiti valley type of landscape in one day. So is it possoble to go to some place beyond rohtang and come back the same day?
#5 May 13th, 2009, 03:48
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  • vrttanta is offline
#5

Thumbs up rohtang pass trip

Informations which i got from this blog (http://www.indiamike.com/india/kullu...-t79336/)seems to be perfect to plan trip.

I am planning to visit kullu-manali next week (17 may 09), do u have any idea, can I experience ski now ... as traveler agencies are saying I will.. but dont believe them, as they can say anything to extract money
#6 May 16th, 2009, 15:41
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  • rajiveanand is offline
#6

Alcohol and tobacco/ smoking

Quote:
Originally Posted by barochallo View Post Tips on visiting Rohtang Pass:

d. Avoid alcohol and tobacco/ smoking.
Smoke and drink a lot, because your driver will do the same.

R.
#7 May 17th, 2009, 00:36
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  • barochallo is offline
#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by rajiveanand View Post Smoke and drink a lot, because your driver will do the same.

R.
I guess, that would be the quickest way to reach the 'Rohtang'.... Pass (the word Rohtang in Persian means 'Pile of Dead Bodies!!)

barochallo
Last edited by barochallo; May 17th, 2009 at 11:35..
#8 May 17th, 2009, 15:27
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  • rajered is offline
#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by vrttanta View Post Informations which i got from this blog (http://www.indiamike.com/india/kullu...-t79336/)seems to be perfect to plan trip.

I am planning to visit kullu-manali next week (17 may 09), do u have any idea, can I experience ski now ... as traveler agencies are saying I will.. but dont believe them, as they can say anything to extract money
There is snow in Rohtang even in the month of June.
#9 May 17th, 2009, 15:41
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  • delhiwala is offline
#9
You will get enough snow at Rohtang for your skiing.

In fact few days back, the pass was closed for traffic due to snow !

Quote:
Originally Posted by vrttanta View Post I am planning to visit kullu-manali next week (17 may 09), do u have any idea, can I experience ski now ... as traveler agencies are saying I will.. but dont believe them, as they can say anything to extract money
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes - Marcel Proust
#10 May 17th, 2009, 23:26
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#10
thanks buddy
#11 Jan 16th, 2013, 14:23
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  • rrk is offline
#11

Few more tips

I visited Solang valley during Dec 2012 along with family and though to share few more tips for not getting looted.. !!!

1) It will be difficult to avoid driver and go to your own finding a shop to hire snow clothes/ guides/ skis/ snow scooters as he will say it is kind of insurance for them so that these shops will help in case of any emergency (not sure how much it is true). So if possible try to arrange on your own a day before you want to visit or go early and bargain for the rates given by Govt. They will always try to loot you for more money and never stick to Govt. price.

2) Do not go for package (ski dress + ski pair + guide) choose "Skiing Dress. INR150/ person/ day" and stick to it. There will be 2-3 people in the shop pursuing you to take package, but do not do it. Say I will not ski and do not need guide, and once you go to Solang valley there will be lot of people providing sking service and you can hire there.. Also you will ski max for 10 minutes.

3) In Solang valley there is a rope way (Rs. 500 per person) to go higher the mountains...if you plan to use it do it first once you reach Solang valley as there will be very less people on top and you can enjoy more spending more time there (Sking/Sliding was available on top)

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