High Roads News Sticky , 2015

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LADAKHI INROADS :

Manali-Leh closed since November 10th

Srinagar-Leh closed since December 24th , latest closure ever .

Roads will open earliest in mid-April from Srinagar , and a month later from Manali.

NEPAL :
February 1st : heavy snowfall in Manang region , Jomosom airport closed.
No word on the Friendship Highway from Kathmandu to Lhasa.

PAKISTAN-XINJIANG/CHINA :

Khunjerab pass closed , opened last year in May.

SIKKIM-CHINA :

Nathu La closed for the winter.

HIMACHAL WEATHER , February 3rd :
Kinnaur : heavy snowfall esp.at Sangla , also Kalpa , Rekong Peo etc along the the NH22/Hindustan Tibet road. One meter of snow at the Rohtang La.

Snowfall over Saach Pass January 13th

KASHMIR WEATHER , February 2nd : heavy snowfall blocks Jammu-Srinagar road.
January 15th : First snowfall at Gulmarg , a few inches.

Jan 13th : Omar Abdullah “feels sorry” for skiers : Gulmarg slopes green , not white.

( All of 2014 – waiting in to May for fresh veggies in Leh , the flooding in Kashmir , and the late , late closure of Srinagar-Leh has been kicked in to oblivion. The photo comes from my Srinagar-Leh run in early December. Change on the way here , like a FGQ ( Frequently Gasped Questions ) and a timeline. )

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19 thoughts on “High Roads News Sticky , 2015

  1. This year there has been a lot of snow in Ladakh so you can expect the road opening date 2012 to be on the later end of the possible spectrum.

    It’s been cloudy most of the time from Dec 2011 through Feb 2012, which often means snow on the high passes. And it has actually snowed down here in Leh area several times this winter, which is unusual.

  2. Hey Vistet, please add “September” to your security update for Kashmir strikes about the Innocence of Muslims video protests.

  3. Hey, surprising and good news on 30 March 2013! Vegetables arrived in Leh over Zoji-La from Kashmir a couple of days ago! It’s only ponies so far, but vehicles usually come through a week or two later.

    But then today the sky was dark all day, and there was actually thunder in the afternoon, so maybe it snowed on the passes again…

  4. Vistet, I need quick advice.

    Tomorrow AM I’m flying Delhi Leh for 2 days.

    I’m 63 and travelling with 2 fourty year olds.

    Should we take Diamox to avoid being wiped out on our 2 days in Leh?

    I flew Lima to Cusco a few years ago and had the most ripping headache for around 8 hours.

    Please share your advice.

    Regards,

    Govinda Swami

    • My advice would be to

      (1) always decide on medication with a doc , preferably a travel doc
      (2) follow the advice from the specialist docs in the field : medicate for any flyins to 3000+ meters , esp. when you’ve had symptoms before.

      Statistically your two friends are also at slightly higher risk for altitude sickness , being under fifty.

  5. Hi Vistet, im planning a trip to Leh July 2014 with 2 friends. We are all in our mid-40s. My friends are pretty healthy people but im slightly asthmatic, underweight, with low blood pressure n high pulse rate ( abt 85/min at rest). My chief concern is AMS so i plan to take Diamox n drink sufficient water ( will try not to over-drink) but i am wondering if there are other ways i can prevent headaches n AMS when i get to Leh since i still have about 8 months to prepare. Would flying via Srinagar help with the acclimatization? Im not totally comfortable with road trips in India, cos of hazardous conditions and motion sickness on bumpy roads so would appreciate any other options you suggest..

    Thanks very much!!! Doris

    • Sorry for not answering earlier , the first reason being that I was behind The Great Firewall in the tibetan regions Kham and Amdo ( China ) when this came in.

      Staying in Srinagar or anywhere else below 2000 meters won’t help in acclimatization ( Sherpas based in Kathmandu also get AMS , I saw one striking example at Gosaikhund ) , but one or two nights in Gulmarg will be a positive factor , even more so if you include a ride up to Affarwat with the gondola , two hundred meters higher than Leh.
      Another positive factor is spending the first night(s) lower than Leh , in Ule Tokpo or Alchi – see my “vertical maps ” post.

      Re asthma ( background info only , discuss this with your doc ) : asthmatics generally do well , sometimes even better at altitude. There were asthmatics working on the construction of the railway to Lhasa , and they had a lot less problems than the overweight category. You will have to deal with very dry air , and a lot of dust esp. on road trips , a face mask or even just breathing thru a scarf might help a bit with this. Hotels/guesthouses with a nice garden is always a plus ( also tend to have better food ) , obviously they will have better air than a hotel facing a busy road – and all of central Leh will have a lot of traffic nowadays with the season in full swing.

      • Thank you very much Vistet for the reply!! Definitely makes me feel better abt the upcoming trip :) All the best in yr trips!!!

  6. All of Ladakh is still suffering from shortages and lack of vegetables and fruit, because both roads are STILL not open! The current rumour is that Zoji-La will open tomorrow, but it’s been “probably opening tomorrow” for the past two weeks! It’s already 40 days later than last year, so everybody used up all their supplies already.

    • Zoji-La opened on 10 May but then closed again on the 11th. 300 trucks came in but all their fresh fruit and vegetables were devoured immediately and the shortages continue! Current rumour is it will open on 18 May.

      Thanks for your sympathy!

  7. Okay, now it’s real, Zoji-La is open and we’re eating fresh fruit in Ladakh on 16 May 2014! There were serious shortages recently, of fuel, vegetables, fruit, and general items in shops.

  8. There was a flash flood in Gya (Ladakh end of the Manali road) in early August 2014, but I don’t know if it affected the road. It was an anomaly and people say it wasn’t related to any local weather. They think maybe a glacial lake burst open or something.

  9. The Srinagar-Leh road stayed open its latest ever, until about 17 Jan 2015! We bought fresh (well, frostbitten) tomatoes on that day, but I think no more fresh stuff came in after about the 18th.

    Now the big travel news for tourists in Ladakh is that the Chadar Trek is closed since 17 Jan 2015 (and guarded by police so don’t even think about sneaking in). A landslide far upriver in southern Zangskar blocked the river temporarily. If it breaks, it will wash out the Chadar trek area violently.

  10. Just read almost all the comments. Me and my brothers are making plans to visit Rohtang Pass around 18th of April Is it possible any chance we might find the roads open? I don’t know anyone else to ask this thing.

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