Stranded across the Rohtang

Travel time: October 1995  |  by Roshni P.

1st attempt at the Pass

The next morning, the MP had left for Manali. He had started very early in the morning so we could not catch him. We too got ready and thanked the kind man and headed towards Manali. Of course, we made a stop at the temple to please him in to letting us go. But he was probably not in a mood to pardon us. At Koksar, they stopped our vehicles and did not allow us to go further.

We lost track of the MP – maybe they went towards the Kunzum La. The authority informed us that there were 2 snow cutters working their way from the two sides and the work would be done by the next day. We went to the same old Dhaba that we had been to, the first time we were in Koksar. He was getting out of supplies and thus was rationing the food. I had bought a can of sardine (my lovely trick!) which we ate with great delight – only the food was too less. None of the shop owners would allow anybody to sleep overnight as there wasn’t enough supply to sustain anybody etc. Of course, they let the needy stay but those of us who could afford it – could return to Keylong.

We decided to return to the first point where we could get shelter. Sweety knew another ‘friend’ in Gondala – almost halfway to Keylong. So, we went and banged the door. The host, being gracious, opened up his quarters for the needy! This is the great part of being in this country! Being a government employee – he had all supplies and was well cared for. The night passed, Sweety and Capt. Zadu decided that they would rather stay for more time than going to Koksar and returning from there. We were getting short of diesel. It was decided that my father and I would go with Pradeep. If we managed to go across, we would arrange for a car to pick the two later.

The next morning, the gypsy had trouble starting. So, we threw 2 tins of boiling water, started a small fire at the base of the jeep to ‘de-ice’. After an hour, the jeep started. We bid our adieus and headed to Rohtang. Again, we were stopped at Koksar. The two snow cutters had got stuck and could not be repaired, so new ones had to be brought in. Also, as they made their way up, the snow from the upper road could fill up the road below again! So maybe they had to start again. This was NOT good news.

© Roshni P., 2003
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The trip
 
Description:
On a recce trip to the newly opened Spiti valley, I learned why mountains are nobody's friends! From there on, no matter where I go, I am always prepared for the worst!
Details:
Start of journey: Oct 12, 1995
Duration: 14 days
End of journey: Oct 25, 1995
Travelled countries: India
The Author
 
Roshni P. is an active author on break-fresh-ground. since 18 years.