If you're looking for something to do this summer, and for a good cause, the Himalayas are one of the most uncharted biking zones in North India. Offering high altitude trails with mountain, crossing five high altitude motorable passes including one the world’s highest. Each one is unique in its own right. BaraLacha La, is one of the most winding, Naki La and Lachung La are like twin brothers standing tall next to one another, Rohtang Pass is the most unpredictable and moody of them all, and last but certainly not least is the toughest to cross, is Tanglang La. Not for the faint hearted, this is a once in a lifetime event that cyclists around the world dream of.
Total Duration : 10 Nights / 11Days
Region : Manali, Lahaul, Ladakh
Grade : Challenging
Best Season : June to September
Accommodation : Hotel/Guesthouse / Organized Campsite
Day 1 : Reporting at Naggar Nature Base Camp, Manali( 6200 ft).
Orientation and general information about the expedition. A Senior instructor will do the briefing and talks about rigours of the expedition and the safety measures that each one of us should keep in mind throughout this expedition. In the evening we will go for a short test ride fully loaded with all the gears provided.
Overnight at Nature Camp/Hotel,Manali
Day 2: Manali to Marhi
We’ll be covering 38 kms on our first day, and a thrilling one it’s going to be. A gradual uphill climb through lush green valleys and Himachal villages. We may stop at checkpoint for a quick rest and to enjoy the panoramic views of pine and deodar trees at the same time. We will experience many hairpin bends Rahalla Falls and then uphill to Marhi. Marhi offers picturesque camping sites and prepares up for the muddy ascent of Rohtang Pass.
Overnight at camp, Marhi.
Day 3 Marhi to Rohtang Pass and on to Sissu
An early start this morning, we will be approaching the first high altitude pass of our expedition. Following the zig-zag roads ascending us to reach Rohtang La Pass after pedalling some 18 km we will arrive at Rohtang La Pass (13052 ft.). Offering stunning scenic views on the horizon of snow covered peaks and glaciers of Spiti Valley. After a refreshing halt at Rohtang La Pass, we will enjoy a steady downhill ride leading our way Gramphu village on the highway along Chandra river. From here we’ll begin off-roading and cross the raging torrent of the river at Khoksar before continuing a to Sissu in the foothills of the Pir Panjal range. Sissu (also known as Khagling) is a small town in the Lahaul valley and located on the right bank of Chandra river.
Overnight at camp / Guest house, Sissu
Day 4: Sissu to Jispa
Our day begins with a steep uphill ascent to Gondhla, around 250 m higher than Sissu. After this we continue downhill (a lot of fun but keep your hands on the breaks!) until Tandi which is situated at the confluence of the Chandra River and Bhaga River. As we cross the towns of Tandi and Keylong there comes a low gradient uphill which will lead our way to Jispa. We will setup camp on the banks of the Bhaga River.
Overnight at camp, Jispa
Day 5 Jispa to Zing-Zing-Bar
A 10 km trail climbs gradually to reach Darcha, where we will have a short break at Darcha and prepare to climb to Patseo (3650 m).The terrain is much more challenging than before and as we march forward we will be entering the land of Lamas. On the distant horizon you can see the desolated areas and stunning views of the Himalayan ranges. Once we reach Zing Zing Bar we will have a rewarding hot tea.
Overnight at camp, Zing-Zing-Bar
Day 6 Zing-Zing-Bar to Brandy Nallah
Today starts with an uphill climb to Baralacha La Pass at 5030m. Travelling deeper in the Ladakh Region, we cross high mountain passes, cold deserts and arid patches with no vegetation.The BaraLacha La is the boundary between two separate regions distinguished by their physical characteristics. Here the gigantic ranges are covered with perpetual snow, furrowed by glaciers, and they arise from amid dense forests which clothe their flanks up to a certain elevation. They are separated by deep gorges, whose sides are precipices, and though which large rivers flow. As we pedal forward we cross Deepak Tal situated at 14,000 ft with the snow-capped Mulkila peaks forming a scenic backdrop. The pass is arid with no vegetation, the sides of the mountains looking more like a quarry covered with loose rocks and scree. Our route descends gradually to the wide Sarchu Plains and we descend the gorge area of Bharatpur to cross mountain rivers before reaching our destination of Brandy Nallah.
Overnight at camp, Brandy Nallah
DAY 7 Brandy Nallah to Nakee La via Lachung La Pass - Pang
As we already arrived at Brandy Nallah yesterday, today we start with a relatively easy short ride and soon after we enter the ‘22 loops of Gata’ that zigzag all the way to the summit of Nakee la Pass at 5050m. Days are more exciting now as we ride to one mountain pass to other, giving a feeling of accomplishment. A short downhill ride to Nakee La Pass will lead the way to another ascent which will take us to the second highest pass on the Manali Leh highway- Lachung La Pass (5150m). Feel a sense of pride as you take pictures to document this achievement. A long descent follows down a steep sided gorge, which is our campsite for the night at Pang. The road here is likely to be the worst of the trip with a distinct lack of tarmac
Overnight at camp, Pang
Day 8 Pang to Tsokar Lake via More Plain
We start the day with a 8 km uphill climb before reaching the flat top of the More Plains at 4700m. This barren area is known for its extreme temperatures in the morning and evening, fast winds and sandstorms. As we pedal forward we pass through Rupshu, the waterless high altitude desert with only sign of life is the hardy Nomadic Changpas who can be seen tending their yaks in this most desolate place. We’ll be spending the night at Tso Kar Lake (4700m) as our camping destination for the night which is short tour from the Manali Leh Highway.
Overnight at camp, Tso Kar Lake
DAY 9: Tsokar Lake - Tanglang La - Upshi
Crossing Tanglang La (5360 m) the world's second highest motorable pass means we’ll have a challenging day ahead. We will not spend much time here since it is not advised due to the high altitudes so we’ll continue to pedal downhill to reach our campsite for the night at Upshi (4084m). As we pedal down we will have our first view of greenness as we see small Ladakhi farms and gompas.
Overnight at camp, Upshi
Day 10 Upshi to Leh
Travelling back to Leh, we’ll take a little detour to visit Hemis, the largest and richest Ladakhi Monastery. From here it’s an easy gradual downhill ride passing the Indus River, Karu, Thikshey Monastery, the ruins of Shey Palace and Chortens garden to enter Leh.
Overnight at hotel, Leh
Day 11 : Leh to Khardungla and back to Leh
Today, the last day of our expedition we will get ready to cycle up one of the world’s highest motorable passes, Khardung-la, at an elevation of 5602m after peddling 45 km and gaining 2000m in a day. It’s not an easy ride and this is the ultimate challenge of the expedition, but the view from the top is spectacular, stretching from the Indus valley in the south, over endless peaks and ridges of the Zanskar range to the giants of the Saser Massif in the north. Unfortunately we won’t be able to spend more than 15 minutes at the top owing to its high altitude. But the sight and the sense of achievement make it well worth it! After some must-take photos we’ll cycle down into the city of Leh where we say goodbye to the amazing group. Congratulations! You have just pedaled down some of the world highest motorable passes and cycled approximately 500 kms. Feel proud while receiving the Certificate from White Peaks Adventures for successfully completing the Manali Leh Cycling Expedition.
Your White Peaks Adventure ends here.
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