Xplorearth led the first edition of BMW Zangskar Ultra in late August this year. The last of the truly untouched regions in the high mountains, Zangskar remains one of the most challenging and rewarding riding destinations anywhere on the planet today.

Date : AUGUST 22-29, 2022


Day 0
The riders congregated in Manali for the start of the ride. Registration formalities were complied with, bikes were checked up and small niggles fixed, and a briefing was provided to all participants about what to expect for the coming days.

An acclimatization day for the group. The riders set out from Manali and passed through the Atal Tunnel, before turning right towards Gramphoo and then hitting the off-road stretch to Chattru, a taste of what was to come in the days ahead. The water crossings that were extremely deep due to the heavy rain that had been falling all monsoon only a week prior had mercifully become shallower, and the riders had a challenging time making it there and back, before continuing on towards Sissu for the night. 

Day 2 was the run from Sissu to Padum. We set out early in the morning, hoping to avoid bad weather till we crossed over Shingo La and into the Zansgskar valley. Once down the other side of the pass, we were greeted by beautiful skies and comfortable temperatures, which made the challenging ride an extremely enjoyable one. The group made it into Padum before the sunset despite some inopportune landslides, and had an early night in preparation for the day to come.

Day 4 took the group from Padum to Kargil, via the Drang-Drung Glacier and Pensi La, with over a hundred kilometers of off-road in between. The dirt was fast and wide, with roadworks in progress, and the riders made good progress. A short stop at the spectacular glacier, and the troops carried on to Rangdum for lunch. More dirt and broken roads followed before the smooth tarmac roads through the Suru Valley, and the riders finally arrived in Kargil in the evening after an extremely rewarding day.

Day 4 took the group from Kargil to Leh, via the Batalik sector and a relatively unknown pass to most – Humboting La. The ride was a mixture of dirt, broken and smooth tarmac, on a route that most who have been to the region also are not likely to have travelled. The halt for the night was Leh.

Day 5 was an optional rest day for the group, with those willing and able making an attempt at summiting Key La, the highest Pass with a completely off-road approach in the mountains at present (18,603 feet). Though the initial part of our day’s journey was tarmac, we soon hit the dirt and the altitude gain was extreme. Light headedness and oxygen deprivation was common, with a number of riders struggling as we made slow progress up the mountain. With the help of the backup vehicles and oxygen carried along by the team however, the entire contingent surmounted the pass before returning a few thousand feet lower for lunch. The rest of the day was to be spent in Leh however the group would like, with a long run awaiting us on the final day. 

The final day of the ride was the return from Leh to Manali via the main highway. Several high passes were surmounted, and the roadworks in the region meant the group made good time, arriving in Manali by the evening. Certification and celebrations followed, to cap off a truly exceptional ride.
Zangskar remains one of the most challenging riding destinations in the world, despite the speed of the roadworks in the region. It truly is the last of the (relatively) untouched regions in the Himalayas that is accessible to the general public, and one that provides a unique experience every single time we go back!

Contact us today to get started!
Telephone: +91 9816004137
Email : [email protected]