Sweet Solang Valley
Trip Start Nov 02, 2011
142Trip End Ongoing
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I ask a few of the local trekking places about crossing the Rohtang La and they all tell me it’s closed, no options just closed
So I head back to see Ranjeev, he has sumitted Everest twice, and has led many expeditions in the Himalayas and various other countries and makes crossing the Rohtang La sound very possible
Okay so it all sounds good, only part I missed was the checking in at the Rescue Post! The jeep I was in, plus two others all stopped at the end of the road and around 30 men were crossing the Rohtang La, when I asked how to get to Murrhi check post they pointed… it was way behind us on top of a hill and I couldn’t see anyway to get there, so I decided there and then to cross with the locals and asked 2 guys if I could join them. Everyone looks after each other on the mountain and it really is the toughest walk I’ve been on… it’s the weather, really strong head wind with huge hail stones which are really sore, it’s deep snow underfoot which has iced over and in really steep parts is very dangerous. The wind caught me a few times at the wrong place which nearly sent me off the mountain and my two companions had to hold onto me more than once, in places it was frightening but we just had to get on with it, I’d made my decision so had to go with it. This is the only trek I could have given up on though, I was completely exhausted battling the elements and I couldn’t wait to get to the top of the pass as the wind apparently dies. It was quite a trip to get there though and ended up doing a bit of rock climbing which I hadn’t bargained for, and nearly broke my nose when I fell with my pole in hand, ouch, anyway I made it to the pass totally relieved, but more was still to come
At the top you can see just the top of road signs and roofs the snow is so deep up here, the surface is like nothing I’ve experienced before and I would love to record the sound of the crunching hollow ice underfoot. When we get over to the other side and look way down into the Spiti Valley I’ve no idea how we are going to get down, it’s a sheer drop. We all rest up and consider tactics before making our move and slowly getting down the first part, I’m delighted though that further on I can see everyone sledging down the mountain, what a thrilling day it turns out to be. We sit on our backsides and push off and steer as best as we can, and I’m just in fits of laughter it’s exhilarating and definitely the biggest ride I’ve ever been on! It still takes us a good couple of hours over though and I’m tired with a numb bum by the time I can see the village and the road being cut out of the mountain below.
After crossing the whole way, I get to the snow ploughs that are carving out the road - slip off the edge of the snow and fall 30 feet onto the road… ouch again… I luckily managed to break my fall around half way down hitting a snow ledge and I am very lucky I didn’t break something. We keep going and eventually get to Khoksar Rescue Post where I check in providing my passport details, a pat on the back, and a cup of tea, they were expecting me! There’s nowhere to stay here though so I again head off with the locals and jump a shared jeep up to Keylong through walls of snow and dangerously high cliff roads which are infamous. What an adventure, I was lucky though!