High Roads News Sticky , 2015 (archive)

( updates right now from behind the Great Firewall , less
snappy )

DECEMBER 21st , LADAKH SNOWLOCKED : Srinagar-Leh closed , and BRO retreats from Marhi ( south side of the Rohtang La ) and Koksar (north) . No fresh veggies in Leh for a couple of months..

December 16th : Rohtang cleared from Manali , northern slope down to Koksar to be cleared by tomorrow.

December 12th : heavy snowfall closes the Rohtang La . Eleven centimeters of snow in Keylong & Kalpa. Light snowfall over the Kunzum La @ Saach Pass.

Heavy snowfall takes out Srinagar-Jammu-Leh road and Leh airport for a day , December 11th. Twenty inches of snow in Gulmarg.

Srinagar-Jammu road , December 8th : two militants killed , four wounded in confrontation close to Srinagar : two police , one tourist , one local .

Himachal weather update , November 27th : HP receivs a brief kiss of snow at the 2000 meter level ( Shimla , Manali etc ) . Day and nigh temperatures still above zero . One cm of snow in Keylong.

SRINAGAR-LEH UPDATE , NOVEMBER 12th : Srinagar-Kargil open in alternate direction , every second day.

Srinagar , November 6th : eleven CRPF police wounded in grenade attack. Expect tense situation until Modis visit is over.

November 5th : heavy snowfall in Drass , Kargil & the Zoji La, Srinagar-Leh road closed.

OCTOBER 26TH : MAJOR EARTHQUAKE IN AFGHANISTAN , hundreds of dead , shakes northern India – so far material damages only on the Indian side. Sad day in an already torn nation.

October 24th : Rohtang La now beyond the tipping point , subzero both day and night. The snowfall predicted in the coming days will be around for a long while.

September 24th : online permits introduced for day visits to the Rohtang La at himachal.nic.in Daily quotas :

500 commercial Manali vehicles
100 commercial Himachal vehicles
100 out of state commercial vehicles
300 private vehicles

Himachal Pradesh , September 22nd : first snowfall over the Rohtang , Baralacha and Kunzum La. Open roads.

Himachal Pradesh , August 31st : eighteen dies as a local bus plummets down to the Sutlej river bank near Rekong Peo on the NH22/Hindustan-Tibet road. In a case of spectacular bad timing bus drivers in Una district shut down all traffic the same day as a protest against proposed new road safety legislation.


Jammu-Srinagar road OUT
impressive rains in Himachal , Mandi bus station under a lot of water
high and fast water in all Ladakhi rivers after days of continous rain
trekkers airlifted from Markha trek
Himachal weather forecast : more rain all coming five days
Leh , Srinagar , Kargil weather forecast : cloudy to sunny coming days
Manali Standoff , take two ( July 9th ) : NGT new hearing set to July 16th. July 6th : National Green Tribunal shut down all tourist activities at the Rohtang after previous court orders have been flaunted ( five thousand vehicles yesterday vs the permitted one thousand etc ) – and dock the pay of a number of Manali officials until changes are made. SAACH PASS OPENS , JULY 4th : this means finally all four routes to Leh are open. SPITI UPDATE , JUNE 25TH : Manali-Kaza still officially closed ( i.e. no buses yet ) , despite all contrary rumors. Bad , bad conditions from Gramphu and eastwards with snow and slush. Heavy rain predicted , also on the Shimla/Kinnaur route. J&K and Himachal weather update , June 23rd : monsoon kickoff , heavy to very heavy rain predicted coming days. Manali , May 26th : Supreme Court upholds the ruling of the National Green Tribunal : max 1000 vehicles per day to the Rohtang La , and a two tier tax on regular vs diesel vehicles. LADAKHI INROADS : JUNE 13TH : MANALI-LEH OPENS , 2015 : cfirmed on official Leh site , all vehicles , June 16th Light traffic only , still not confirmed from Le. Weather coming days : thunder , rain and some clouds. Interesting days. June 6th : Border Roads reaches the Baralacha La . Remaining road to be cleared Baralacha La to Sarchu , Leh-Sarchu already open. June 3rd : Rohtang weather coming days : snow and rain. + 4 degrees lowest nights in Keylong , still just under zero at the Rohtang. May 28th : Manali Taxi Union strike ends : same traffic limitations to the Rohtang , taxes on hold until June 8th. May 26 : Snowfall over the Rohtang and in Keylong (!) takes out the road again. Manali , May 22nd : Supreme Court rejects Manali Taxi Unions plea for a stop to the traffic limitations to the Rohtang La & diesel tax. Full hearing May 26th. Manali , May 20th : very calm days on the road below the snowline , with the NGT cap and taxi union strike. See separate post below. When the traffic over the Rohtang resumes : 1) no traffic on Tuesdays , same procedure as every year , only Border Roads maintenance 2) second priority HRTC buses for Lahaul , and eventually Leh . 3) third priority Rohtang day trippers , only 1000 vehicles per day , and the new diesel tax. Manali-Leh , May 15th : Rothang La open for cars , not buses . Open road from Keylong to Darcha. Temperatures still dancing just above/below the freezing point at the Rohtang La : still time for more avalanches. May 11h : HRTC buses now running from Koksar ( north side of the Rohtang ) up to Key long . May 4th : Rohtang cleared from Manali beyond Marhi up to Rani Nullah , i.e. six kilometers from Rohtang top. On the north side the bulldozers have grinded to a halt , after using up all the stockpiled fuel. Fuel to be airlifted in. Srinagar-Leh fully open , May 25th Srinagar-Leh OPEN , May 8th : Light vehicles only first , buses and trucks to follow after more work by the BRO. Fresh veggies for all – congrats ! May 2nd : first crossings of the Zoji La – on foot. April 18th : Zoji La cleared almost cleared now , from both sides. Borders Roads new goal to open within a week .Weather forecast coming days : mix of clouds , some more snow at the high end of the road, and later sunny . ZANSKAR : Kargil-Padum road open SPITI UPDATE June 23rd : some second and third hand reports of the Kunzum La now opened , no details. June 7th : open road Shimla-Kaza-Losar , BRO has ( one report so far ) reached the Kunzum La. . Manali-Kaza still closed after Batal . NEPAL , MAY 12th : NEW 7+ EARTHQUAKE, epicenter 68 klicks west of Namche Bazaar. Friendship Highway from Kathmandu to Lhasa out already after the first earthquake – massive destruction in Kodari/Dram


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