Xplorearth led an ADV-Moto expedition into Spiti at the end of June 2021. Though the same was initially scheduled for the month of May, lockdown and travel restrictions played spoilsport and the ride was postponed by a month. This did not dampen the spirits of the participants however, and 15 riders from across the nation arrived in Shimla for the start of what was to be an epic ride!

Date: June 24-30, 2021


The riders congregated in Shimla 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.

The riders set out from Fagu towards Batseri in the Sangla Valley, which was to be our base for the night. The route comprised smooth and broken tarmac both, as riders made their way down the Hindustan Tibet Road before starting the narrow, winding climb up to the hanging valley of Sangla.

Day 2 was a long day of tarmac, broken tarmac and dirt riding from Sangla all the way to Kaza, through Nako, Gyu and Tabo. The day’s riding would prove to be a test of both skill as well as endurance for all the riders involved.

DAY 3 
After the toils of the previous day, Day 3 was an optional rest day for riders who wished to recuperate for what was to come. Those able and willing rode from Kaza to Hikkim, the village playing host to the Highest Post Office in the world! After sending off post-cards to their loved ones, the riders proceeded past Komic, where they were familiarized with certain off road riding techniques. After a few hours’ training, the group returned to Kaza for a hearty meal and well earned rest.

We woke to the sight of rain in Kaza and what appeared to be fresh snowfall clearly visible on peaks visible from our hotel. The day was the most eventful and challenging on the entire ride, as we faced rain all the way from Kaza upto about halfway to Kunzum Pass. As we toiled up the dirt roads, rain turned to snow, with the thick flakes rapidly obscuring vision as well as dropping temperatures drastically. Near the top of the pass, snow had settled on both sides of the road, providing a haunting yet beautiful ascent to the top. After paying our respects at the Pass, the group began the descent on the other side. Rain and snow were the norm for the remainder of the day, and we all were grateful for the lunch halt at Chattru.
Just when it appeared that the worst was behind us and the tarmac was within mere kilometers, we were faced with a landslide across the road that had stopped the other traffic on the road dead in its tracks. After some skillful riding, help from the group and skillful maneuvering by the 4x4s, the group was able to cross over to the other side over the landslide, which was eventually only cleared by the authorities the next morning! The riders coasted into Sissu for a warm meal and good night’s rest.

After the previous day’s toils, the group took the Atal Tunnel through into Manali, where we stayed at the brilliant Anant Maya Resort to culminate the event. A group dinner and certification ceremony followed, before the participants headed off their own ways the following morning.

Spiti remains a challenging destination despite the progress in roadworks etc. across the region. Whether it be the treacherous water crossings or even the unexpected change in weather, it remains a memorable ride for a number of reasons no matter how many times we go back!

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