Saturday 10 | September '05

home | route | comments | about us
the vast expanse of pangong lake
today's pics (16)
the road to marsimikla
on the way to marsimikla
desert and dust
stark horizon
omi at the pass
the way back
local cowboy
back at the lake
azure pangong tso
prayers on the lake
view from the car
sunset on the lake
lake at dusk
Day 16 - Marsimikla - the highest pass << | >>
8.20am: Spangmik   >  Marsimikla  >  Spangmik :2.30pm

Although Khardungla is considered the highest motorable road, the pass at Marsimikla is higher at 5590m. Normal vehicles can't make it up, but bikes and four wheel drive vehicles have managed and this is just the kind of challenge that turns Omi on. So off we went early morning to conquer the world's highest 'jeepable' road.

on the way to the highest pass
on the way to the highest pass

We spotted the first of the local wildlife - marmots - on the way, but unfortunatley the camera I have can't zoom in enough so I don't have any decent pics to put up.

After a toughish climb which was made to look like a bit of a cakewalk by the Land Cruiser, we got to the top and stopped for some shots. A light snowfall greeted us on the top and we shivered, took our shots and set off back to our guest house on the lake.

marsimikla - the highest pass in India

snowing at the pass
snowing at the pass

We got back in time for lunch and ate at the restaurant on the lake front, took some more lakeside shots and got back to the guest house to rest and get set for more adventure.

At the guest house, while I was filling water from a little stream for my bath, a small cow came towards me from upstream. Seeing me it stopped dead and gave me a scared look. I spoke softly to it in the hope of putting it at ease, at which it raised its tail and pissed straight into the middle of the stream - and of course I was just a few feet downstream with the water jar filling up nicely.

The guys took my pants off teasing me about Go Mukhi - or cows piss which is considered good for health and all the rest of it!

A word about our hosts at Spangmik. The man of the house climbs over a mountain and into a valley with his Pashmina goats every day. Apparently, for their coats to flourish they need the exercise and the bracing air of the mountainside. This pretty much takes up his whole day, then in the evening there he is cooking for us. Also the simplicity and honesty of these folks never fails to amaze me.

Highlights: The record breaking climb which the car made easily

Downsides: The bitter cold at the pass when it snowed
  << | >>
today's route - 80 km
day 16 km odo
Spangmik   184662
Lukung 8 184670
Ugro 8 184678
Phubrang 4 184682
Marsimikla 20 184702
Phubrang 19 184721
Spangmik 21 184742
total 80 4112