Winters is the time of holidays and festivities. This is also the best time to take to the roads. One such name that reflects in mind when thinking Winter voyages is that of Lahul and Spiti Valley, a popular hill station famous with the bikers in Himachal Pradesh.
Planning for a holiday in Winters takes a lot of effort and to-dos as the weather is usually on its extreme side. Even if you are one of the crazy adventurous kinds, a lot of pre-planning needs to be in place for the right execution of your plans and things can’t be left to just ‘go with the flow’.
This is your complete thesis on Spiti Valley, what to expect, dos and don’ts and all the tips you could have asked for. Thank us later! Read on-
1. Expect bone freezing temperatures
Needless to say, as soon as you cross Kinnaur Valley and enter higher regions of Kinnaur such as Nako, you will experience bone freezing temperatures. Carry enough woolens, hot bottles and necessary winter gear.
2. Keep ready to drive on icy roads
Ice and snow on roads that make the road prone to skidding. A prior experience of riding driving in snow and slush is a must as one hard brake can lead you either flying down the gorge.
3. Expect no basic facilities along the road
By facilities we mean very basic food, even basic stays, roads without mechanics, ATMs, water or gas stations for kilometers. Also, it will be wise to carry extra car batteries and fuel as below freezing temperatures can pose a threat.
4. Snow means no water
The water in pipes freeze in the snow time and hence, there will be no toilets with running water. Only dry pits (traditional toilets) are used where there is no water available. You need to boil water and use it quickly as soon as possible.
5. Expect road closures and no means of public transport
Snowfall and subsequent landslides can lead to road closures that can span for a couple of days to few weeks to few months. Hence, preparedness and enough cash can only make survival happen.
Public transport will be affected immensely. Keep your family informed on using any such transport option.
6. Expect villages and townships under hibernation and only a handful people around
Local guides and villagers will be rarely found as most locals shift to lower plains at the time of snow. Going for help to local townships can often turn hopeless.
7. Power outages spanning a couple of days to a few weeks to few months
When it snows heavily, the electric poles and cables are swayed away or gets buried in a loads of snow. Carrying enough spare batteries and power banks can help. Carry enough cash as ATMs might not work as well.
8. Mobile networks are drastically affected
Similar to electricity, mobile networks are a rare thing in Winters here. Travellers have to depend on public Wi-Fi hotspots if any.
9. Expect bare minimum medical help and support in case required
Carry basic and any ongoing medicines in enough stock to last long for a month or so in case required. Do not rely on anything to be procured locally. At times people have to use a helicopter to be dropped off to a safe spot in case of a medical emergency. Shimla will be the nearest major help.
These tips and pointers have been jotted down to make you arrive at fair and wise decisions before you prepare for your travels. After all, the right itinerary for a trip to Spiti Valley in winters is not a small decision.
Image Credits – D'roamers
Any information taken from here should be credited to Skymet Weather