motorcycle ladakh

IS IT SAFE TO TRAVEL ON MOTORCYCLE TO KHARDHUNGLA PASS, NUBRA VALLEY, CHANG LA AND PANGONG LAKE IN WINTER SEASON?

Road trip to Leh-Ladakh is quite famous because of the insanely beautiful route and mind-blowing landscapes you will come across. Leh-Ladakh is commonly referred to as ‘adventurers’ paradise. This place is also well known for attracting bikers. Tourists are eagerly waiting for Manali-Leh Highway and Srinagar-Leh Highway to open up. Even though summer is the best time to visit this place, some people opt for more adventure and plan to take up a winter trip. Let us take a look at the important checkpoints on the way to Leh-Ladakh and places around and the risk factors involved in a winter voyage to these destinations.

KHARDHUNGLA PASS

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The road to the Khardhungla pass is known to be open throughout the year because it is maintained by the Army. The altitude at which this pass is located is pretty high (almost 18,400 ft) and serves as the path to the famous defence base of Siachen glacier. The security arrangements are pretty tight at the same time the road is pretty well-maintained. Sometimes, if the weather is extreme, you will not be allowed to ride your bike through the pass until the weather settles. Therefore, look out for sudden snowstorms and other weather anomalies.

NUBRA VALLEY

Nubra valley on a lower altitude and is not as cold as the Khardhungla pass even during winters. The road is open all through the year except for extreme weather days. The valley remains warm and green during most times of the year and is completely safe to take up a road trip provided you are well-equipped.  Do not plan to stay in the valley because most of the housing facilities will be closed during winters.

CHANG LA

The road to Chang la is adventurous in itself because of its geographical built. The steep slope towards the pass and you need to ride with utmost care. During winter, the roads get lined with ice and your vehicle is prone to skidding a lot more than during the other parts of the year. It is important to make sure that the tyres of your motorcycle are new and are capable of providing enough friction on the mountain slopes. Even though it is quite dangerous to trip to this pass on a motorcycle, one wouldn’t say it is not doable.

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PANGONG LAKE

The road trip towards Pangong Lake from Leh will mainly cover the Manali-Leh highway and the route ascends towards the lake. The route is about 160 km long and will take about 7 hours during winter because you need to maintain low speeds to ensure safety. This road is always in quite a good condition and is well maintained even during winters. The lake of Pangong remains frozen throughout most of the winters. You can see the frozen lake which is a spectacle by itself. Ice- Skating activities are also noticed around this place during this period. So it is totally worth the effort you put to ride to this beautiful lake.

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