Spiti In End December. Yes It is Possible.

#1 Jan 16th, 2010, 12:53
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#1
This is my first post on India Mike. I would like to thank all the contributors who helped me make my trip to spiti valley possible. I did notice that there were many who taught it was too great a risk to undertake this trip along NH22/SH30 during winter.

Here is a brief summary with a few pictures (for proof :-) )

1) Left Shimla for Rampur at 10 in the morning
2) Reached Rampur at 1500hrs
3) The Peo Bound bus appeared in a few minutes. Boarded the crowded/ uncomfortable/little bus.
4) Reached Peo at about 1930hrs.
5) Stayed at the government rest house. Temperatures were freezing... Just took one picture of the mountains outside. A star trails picture with a 45minutes exposure (i think it was 45 minutes, my watch failed halfway) completely lighted up by the almost full moon.



6) Next day took the 0730 bus for Tabo. Encountered one landslide but it was cleared by some bulldozers in a few minutes.

7) Passed Malling nallah and realised how fragile the road in this region was. It always appears to be on the verge of collapse despite numerous structures built to stabilise it.

8) Reached Tabo at 1430hours. Came out of the bus to face the wind. The temperature was low, but the wind made it worse.

9) Stayed over at an infinitely hospitable family of a friend. Hired a car for dhankar, key and kibber the following day.

10) Access to Dhankar was frozen and the driver said it was not safe to continue. So we climbed a few hundred meters to the Dhankar monastery.

11) Pictures of the area from dhankar monastery below.


Pano Crop of Spiti Valley with dhankar monastery on the right



On the Manirang side of Spiti Valley



Union of Spiti and Key Rivers

12) Went onward to kaza and to Key monastery. It as already past 1pm but the sun looked like it was going to set in a few hours. Pictures of Key monastery below. It looks like a sunset shot but it was only about 3pm...




Key Monastery at about 3pm

13) Although Kaza was at higher altitude the chill was not that terrible due to the still air. Tabo is supposedly warmer but the wind chill there is just terrible. And the winds blow almost throughout the day. But the places all look awesome in winter. If the photos don't emphasis this, its more a shortcoming on the photographer's (ie me) part.



The worlds highest Petrol Station

13) Returned to tabo at around 6pm, but it was dark already.

14) As the road and weather conditions were unpredictable we had to depart the next day. Took the 0930 bus to Peo. Encountered one landslide near Malling but a bulldozer appeared out of nowhere and cleared it up in minutes.. Amazing!

Reached Peo around 5pm. Took a taxi back to Shimla.

Thanks guys... It's been a good trip.. Enjoy the pictures and let me know what you think...
#2 Jan 16th, 2010, 23:53
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  • vistet is offline
#2
Very nice trip report , splendid pics .... thanks.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nandman83 View Post The worlds highest Petrol Station
They still carry that sign ? I suspect that there is at least one petrol station in Nakchu , Tibet ( railway station , two ATMs and airport being constructed now ) at 4582 meters.

India has other , and better , stuff that beats China in the worlds highest category , though.
#3 Jan 17th, 2010, 00:07
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#3
Hi Vistet,

Many thanks for your comments. I understand there are some "highest" places in India that are not really the highest (khardung La, etc) but the places you pointed out in your site are awesome.. I was in ladakh but never heard of thugsey gompa. Have to do that some time! Thanks for that link...

Nandman
#4 Jan 17th, 2010, 00:15
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#4
Im sure there are a lot of similar claims being floated around in South America , its not a unique Indian thing.

Some years back I saw a quite funny site , there is this guy hunting out the lowest points in different countries. As I recall it he got arrested by the Swiss Guard on the Popes helipad...
#5 Jan 17th, 2010, 13:03
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#5
Nice Pictures !!
Brought a smile on my face to see this magical land again !
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#6 Jan 18th, 2010, 23:00
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#6
Thanks Lucid for the kind compliments.. It really is a magical place!
#7 Jan 18th, 2010, 23:39
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#7
Awesome pics .. We also had the plans to visit the land .. but because of tight schedule and puncture in our vehicle some 40 KMs from Kalpa .. we had to turn back
finally we managed to do only Kinnaur valley ... in New Year
My Pics:
http://www.indiamike.com/india/himac...24th-t94899/5/
#8 Jan 19th, 2010, 00:42
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#8
Thanks footballfreak.. some cool pictures you have there too.. I took the HRTC bus all the way so strenuous as it was, it kept me moving.. Haha!

So I shall check on chitkul next winter and freeze my brain there for a while too..
#9 Jan 19th, 2010, 01:15
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#9
Great! I went there in the summer, I can't stand the cold.. haha. Interesting to see what it looks like in the winter, thanks .
#10 Jan 21st, 2010, 23:46
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Thanks Jabbervock!
#11 Jan 21st, 2010, 23:49
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Nandman > i just noticed.. in your caption > Union of Key and Spiti river, its not key its Pin river and spiti.
#12 Jan 22nd, 2010, 00:01
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#12
Yo . . . its the pin, i noticed too!! awesome pics though
spiti in winter is just surreal! Way to go!!
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#13 May 30th, 2010, 00:48
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#13
Oh Yes!! Thanks Lucid and Troooon, it is indeed the Pin river, typo on my part! And sorry for the late acknowledgement, did not get the mail thats supposed to prompt me everytime someone replies!

Thanks again!
Last edited by nandman83; May 30th, 2010 at 00:49.. Reason: forgot to apologise for delay in reply.
#14 May 30th, 2010, 09:44
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#14
Maybe one observation Nandman83 missed out is that during winter, most hotels in Spiti Valley are closed and there is a severe water crisis since most of the water is frozen and there is hardly any running water.

Am surprised and impressed that the fuel station is working even in winter!
H V Kumar
#15 May 30th, 2010, 10:35
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#15
Hi Kumar,

Thanks for the reminder. When I was there, the rivers were in the process of freezing so there was still flowing water. However, the household water supply dwindles as all pipes are frozen.

I used eco toilets that use mud to flush (basically cover up the "business"). This combi of mud and human droppings is used as compost during the summer months.

All hotels in Tabo are closed. Kaza has one or two that are open (one by the name of Phuntsok Palbar I think) but no one picked up the phone when I called so I stopped over at the house of a friend's friend for lunch and returned to Tabo for the night.

It is too cold to be walking around to look for a hotel! So better make prior bookings before turning up in the chill of winter expecting to be accommodated in Kaza.

Shops are open at Tabo during daylight hours (thats upto 4pm in the afternoon!)
I heard the ones in Kaza open longer but do not know how long.

Power supply is unpredictable. Electricity supply was restored when I reached (after a 3 day power cut!). Only BSNL network mobile phones work. All other networks are useless here (as of december 2009)!

Thanks once again for the reminder Kumar!
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