Leh-Manali-Chandigarh

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Leh-Manali-Chandigarh

Postby marlowcma » Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:31 pm

Hey guys,
Me and a buddy are planning on heading to Ladakh for an epic 6 weeks or so of touring but some advice would be really helpful. We're not experienced tourers at all and have merely done a crossing of france but we figured this is one of the last chances we'll get to do something epic together as we are both starting jobs after this time frame so we figured we go big...and we chose the himilaya.

The plan is to do the trip unsupported. Does anyone know how regular food/water/accomodation is as it is important in determining whether we need a tent, sleeping bags, a stove etc.

Also What experience does everyone have with the weather. Accuming we'll get to Malanali by the end of September I know thats when the 'season' is officially less suited to cycling in Ladakh, however the declining altitude on the ride into Chandigardh makes me feel as though the weather might become less of an issue as we get out of the high himilaya and into October.

Also what experience does everyone have with the roads and is there anything miscellaneous that you would suggest/advise. Thanks alot, Charlie
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Re: Leh-Manali-Chandigarh

Postby iviehoff » Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:11 am

Crazyguyonabike.com will give you a selection of travelogues to give you a hint.

http://www.masterlyinactivity.com/links.html has a collection of links on Himalayan touring. Though sadly pocketsprocket.com which was a really useful resource seems to have closed or migrated. But Laura Stone who created it has written a book on cycling the Himalayas - maybe that's why - which you should probably buy.

Leh-Manali-Chandigarh alone can be done in not much over a week, so you must have quite a lot of other adventures in mind to fill up 6 weeks. Leh-Manali itself can just about be done without tent/cooking equipment, but it's a bit of a risk because you might encounter some bad weather which slows you down so you can't get to the next place in time. When you consider also your undefined other adventures, it becomes rather hard to say.

Expecting the passes to/from Ladakh still to be open in late September is rather optimistic. Later in the season there is good cycling further to the east, Uttar Anchal area, as masterlyinactivity.com describe on their site. But even in the more populated areas and on tarmac you can need to cover quite a lot of ground to get to the next accommodation.

If you've never done this kind of thing before, you should be taking advice on what kind of bicycle will survive being ridden heavily laden on bad roads.
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Re: Leh-Manali-Chandigarh

Postby Neil Wheadon » Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:11 am

How are you acclimatising to the altitude?
Leh - 18875 Foot
Menali - 13050 foot
Chandigarh - 1066foot

Yes it's downhill on this trip, but most tours go the other way
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Re: Leh-Manali-Chandigarh

Postby iviehoff » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:52 am

Neil Wheadon wrote:How are you acclimatising to the altitude?
Leh - 18875 Foot
Menali - 13050 foot
Chandigarh - 1066foot

Yes it's downhill on this trip, but most tours go the other way
Neil

It's a fair point but the altitudes you cite are not of those places. I normally cite altitudes in metres, but here goes.

13,051 ft is the height of the Rohtang Pass, which Manali lies at the foot of. Manali itself is about 6,000 ft.

18,379 ft is the incorrect height shown on a sign on the Khardung La, whose actual height is 17,582. The Khardung La is not on the Leh-Manali highway, rather it lies to the north of Leh on the way to the Nubra Valley, and therefore is distinctly optional, though probably worthwhile if you actually go over to Nubra and are acclimatised to get over it.

Leh itself is at about 11,500 ft, and the highest pass on the Leh-Manali is the Tanglang La at 17,480 (again there is an incorrect claim of, maybe not coincidentally, 17,582 on a sign on the pass). They do like exaggerating the height of their passes. There's a website somewhere that documents falsely claimed mountain and pass heights.

Nevertheless, there is a requirement for acclimatisation and as OP is planning to go for 6 weeks I rather presume he must have some additional plans to facilitate that. I've always wanted to go to Zanskar.
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Re: Leh-Manali-Chandigarh

Postby hufty » Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:01 pm

Personally I always tour with tent and stove, but there are noodle stops and other accommodation options every so often along the road so I wouldn't worry about finding something somewhere as long as you're not picky and don't leave it too late. If you've got Laura Stone's book, she mentions one stretch with no accommodation that therefore necessitates a tent, I think between Pang and Tanglang La. Well that's changed! Oh and finding water isn't a problem, but I would take a filter of some sort.

A couple of years ago I met a bloke who had only decided to do the ride in Leh, had bought a European "trekking" style hybrid bike somewhere there and was riding to Manali with just normal clothes and so on in a backpack as luggage. I assume he did okay, he was certainly doing more miles per day than I was, and was certainly more adventurous than me in the sense of just going at it on a whim.

As others have mentioned it's the high passes that are the problem in the shoulder months - life goes on in Keylong for example you just can't get a bus to Manali. I am sure some locals walk over in flipflops and flimsy coats and think nothing of it.
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