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Lahul & Spiti Valley

01-July-07 to 12-July-07

[Introduction] [When to go] [Planning] [Dehra Dun - Narkanda] [Narkanda - Kalpa] [Kalpa - Tabo]
[Tabo - Kaza] [Kaza - Manali] [Manali - Dehra Dun] [Map]

Planning a trip

It is best to go in an anticlockwise direction as the ascent is gradual and you reduce chances of High Altitude Sickness in Kaza. If you reach Kaza via Manali the gain in height is sudden, from 2050m to 3600m, crossing Kunzum La in between, 4551m. On the other hand, if you stop at Narkanda (2708m), Kalpa (2960m) and Tabo (3050m) the ascent is gradual and you acclimatize well.

Alternative to staying at Kalpa is at Chitkul, but then it is high 3600m and you have tented accommodation only at Rs 3000/- a night!

Once you’ve decided when to go and where to stop, the things you need not decide is how long and which hotel to you stay in. In Narkanda there is only one hotel (The Hatu, HTDC) which you should book, beyond that there are numerous options and its best to leave it open. Take each place as it comes, spend as much time as you want and then move ahead. Because of the challenging nature of the area it is difficult to plan the duration of stay and you will only land up with cancellation charges.

Though people do the trip in a Maruti800, the part between Losar and Gramphoo is really challenging and I would not do it in any car which did not have a high ground clearance. Two thirds of the entire road is metalled, except for the part above, though even the metalled parts have ‘hair raising spots’ in between.

Things to take

  1. Road map Sunscreen
  2. hats, which wont blow off in wind
  3. sunglasses
  4. first aid kit
  5. lots of warm clothes (we had sleet falling on our car in July)
  6. Raincoats
  7. Umbrellas
  8. titbits to eat and drink and a more than adequate stock of Medicines .
For the vehicle
  1. TWO spare tyres
  2. foot pump
  3. every conceivable spare
  4. rope
  5. cloth for cleaning and spare headlight bulbs.
We crossed a parked Honda City on the way with both tyres punctured; 4hrs drive away from the nearest puncture shop!
[Introduction] [When to go] [Planning] [Dehra Dun - Narkanda] [Narkanda - Kalpa] [Kalpa - Tabo]
[Tabo - Kaza] [Kaza - Manali] [Manali - Dehra Dun] [Map]