March 6, 2019

The Beginning

They say you have to be a little crazy to do Spiti in Winters, but you have to be absolutely INSANE to do it with your family.

Our interests and ideas when it comes to the outdoors and wildlife have always matched beautifully and have been unforced – but this was something else altogether. With extremely low temperatures and high altitudes; fear of snow storms, avalanches and being stranded in the middle of nowhere; driving on slippery snowed-out barely-there roads; electricity, working toilets and OXYGEN being the biggest luxuries, the four of us were all set for the expedition and honestly could not have asked for better team members.

With our Leopard spotting luck going well these last 2 years, we decided to stretch it and track the elusive Grey Ghost of the Himalayas, the Snow Leopard. Seeing a snow leopard is every wildlife lover’s dream, probably the ultimate wildlife experience on the planet – clubbing it with a white Spiti experience? Beyond perfect. We signed up for the Snow Leopard Expedition with Rana Sidhu, a mountaineer and explorer with unlimited knowledge of the mountains, and we were off.

The following photographs cover the ‘getting there’ journey which ended up being a different kind of adventure altogether.

Accompanying the story with Doria by Ólafur Arnalds
The first view of the Greater Himalayas from Narkanda
Day 1 and we’re stuck already.
Rana and Sonu winching us out.
Narkanda to Pooh
Car wash, Himalayan style!
It was there that we discovered that our front tyre was COMPLETELY flat and destroyed.
Finding a temporary solution till Pooh, while Dad was making calls to figure out a way to get a brand new tyre in the middle of nowhere.
It was the perfect place to be stuck, honestly.
Comfortable at the Army Post in Pooh. Waiting for news of the tyre.
Thanks to some INCREDIBLE humans, the new tyre travelled from Chandigarh to Rampur overnight and reached us at Pooh around 11 am the very next day! Day 3 was spent at the Army workshop, getting the tyre set and working – lost a day in Kaza, but ended up acclimatising better!
Day 4 Morning, we were off to Spiti.
Khab. One of my favourite spots – the confluence of Sutlej and Spiti River.
This view always makes me feel like we’re close to home.
Found this spray painted at the Kazigs. Mix feelings about it though.
Cuties!
Climbing up to Nako and Malling Nala… again, one of my absolute FAVOURITE roads.
The view and climb takes your breath away, quite literally.
Ugh, my heart.
And suddenly, as we approached Tabo…. it all turned white.
And it kept getting whiter and whiter.
And we were home.

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    2 Comments

  • Vasundhara March 7, 2019

    Just WOW! You pictures are breathtaking.

    Reminds me of the time my family & I did a road trip to Leh, Ladakh and an unsuccessful attempt at Pangong (our car wasn’t fit to survive an avalanche). Nowhere near as ballsy but a very special memory nonetheless.

  • Audity Baro March 7, 2019

    A picture does speak a thousand words, and these do speak aplenty. Looking forward to the next.

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