Towards Khardung La   82989
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2 Shyokh valley
3 North Pullo, 4700
4 Arganglas, 6780
5 6543
6 5609
7 Khardung La, 5368


Location: Vicinity of Khardung La (5329 m)      by: Pedrotti Alberto
Area: India      Date: 23-08-2015
Here I am at the last of the 60 kms of ascent that are needed to climb the Khardung La from its north side.
The Khardung La is commonly dubbed as «highest motorable pass of the world», although there is some reason to believe that this is not true.
One reason, for example, might be that my GPS, which had reported 5372 m four days before on the Chang La, here reported "only" 5368 metres. For further information on the disputed topic "highest pass", refer to N.18327, which is related to yet another candidate, namely Taglang La.
Visible down in the valley is the checkpoint of North Pullu, where passports and Inner Line Permits are routinely checked, since all the area north of Leh is restricted. Even for a quick trip from town to the pass you need to be equipped with a permit, since there is another checkpoint (South Pullu) also on the opposite side of the pass. Although, riding through it at dinner time, we were not checked at all...
In the background, beyond the Shyokh valley, there is the Karakoram range, the highest summit visible from here being the Arganglas, 6780 m.

7 HF, Canon G1X, 32 mm equiv, f/5.6, 1/640 sec.


Nice! Seems also to be a nice downhill track with the bicycle.
2015/11/21 13:25 , Jens Vischer
Indeed, due to its importance as main connection between Indus valley and Shyokh-Nubra the Khardung road, besides being open all year round (!!), is also kept in a fairly good condition, with respect to the other passes.
Also consider that this summer the more desperate road conditions were to be found down in the valleys, not on the mountains. Maybe I will illustrate this in future panoramas, but es hat sich eine Schlange gebildet...
2015/11/21 15:17 , Pedrotti Alberto
Great landscape.... also great: Biking at an altitude about 5.300 mtrs. Do you feel there a reduced air resistance? It must be round about the half as on see level...

2015/11/21 20:58 , Jörg Engelhardt
Maybe on the asphalted switchbacks of the descent from Taglang La I had a bit an impression to fly. But I cannot say if it was the reduced resistance or simply the fact that I was finding an unexpected European-style descent after a fully Asian-style ascent full of dust and stones. Incidentally, in that occasion I had even the illusion to be riding on the Ferleiten side of the Glocknerstrasse: maybe because of the layout of the switchbacks on the mountain flank, maybe because of the presence of a substitute Wiesbachhorn on the opposite side. This is just to prove that there may be a lot of fantasy in the impression of the moment...
Descending from the Khardung La, on the other hand, we could not enjoy the some impressions, because the speed could be at most 12 km/h... Consider that in the previous comment I was comparing this road with those of Wari La and Chang La: everything is relative!
Since you look interested, I have a special offer: Now also the south view of the pass is available. On, zooming in,you may also single out, besides the South Pullu checkpoint, some wrecks of fallen trucks, which are ubiquitous on these roads.
Regards, Alberto.
2015/11/22 00:13 , Pedrotti Alberto
Great pano, great comment!!!
2015/11/22 12:17 , Hans-Jörg Bäuerle
Cycling is your brand...
2015/11/22 23:38 , Giuseppe Marzulli
Interesting! Seems to be a moderat upward slope.
2015/11/26 15:15 , Jörg Braukmann
Jörg: the slopes on these 5000 m roads are always gentle, mostly not exceeding 5%, because having half the oxygen than at sea level affects not only the engines of cyclists, but also those of buses and trucks!
On the north side of this pass the ascent from 3100 to 5300 is spread over 60 km, yielding an average of less than 4%.
Cheers, Alberto.
2015/11/26 21:37 , Pedrotti Alberto

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Pedrotti Alberto

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