The first Escape was planned during middle of June 2013. The actual date of start was delayed by five days due to heavy rain and cloud burst in the upper Himachal and Uttrakhand regions. Also the plan to cover Spiti valley was altered keeping in view the road bridges were breached at two places by rains.
The EscapeRoute was to take the participants through one of the toughest high mountain passes connecting Himachal Pradesh to Jammu & Kashmir regions. The Saach Pass is set in middle of border between the two states and is usually the last pass to be opened after winters snow.
This escape saw eight participants. Starting from and ending at Delhi the drive took participants through Pathankot, Dalhousie, Khajjiar, Chamba, Teesa, Killar, Cherry, Udaypur, Keylong, Jispa, Sissu, Shoja, Narkanda, Shimla. The drive covered three high Himalayan passes – Saach, Rohtang & Jalorie.
The road through the pass connect the remote Pangi valley of Himachal Pradesh to the rest of the state, In absence of the pass vehicles have to detour more than 300kms through Kishtwar region to reach Pangi area. At places the road is cut through sheer cliff faces.
The picture depicts one such place. The road is cut in to the rock face and the vehicles passing through go behind the fall. SPay of cold water mist hits you as you pass behind the wall of water thundering down a few feet away. Wall of ice greet the traverse at the top of the pass and the road- nay the path – is strewn with stones and rocks thrown by ice glaciers. Clear water from snow melt runs across the path in profusion making navigation some times a horror.
With virtually no population for fifty kilometers from final ascent through to the sharp descent it is imperative that the driving is done very very carefully.
The first map on right shows the total route taken. The round trip covered the Shivalik, Pir Panchal and the Zanskar ranges of Great Himalayas.