Zanskar – a destination so remote, through terrain so treacherous – that it has become an annual fixture in the Xplorearth ride calendar! The 2020 rendition did not disappoint as riders travelled from far and wide to explore the unknown with us in early October.

Date: October 4-8, 2020


Day 0
The riders congregated in Manali for the start of the ride. Those in the group who had chosen to rent Xplorearth 310s rode up with the team from Shimla. We had representation from as far as Bombay and Nagpur on the ride, which meant a
very diverse group who all possessed a shared passion for motorcycling.

The riders set out from Manali over Rohtang Pass. As the ride coincided with the opening of the Atal Tunnel, the group had a clean run through to the top of the pass and down the other side, something one could only dream of in years gone by. The group then turned off from Gramphu towards Chattru on an old Raid stage to give the riders a taste of real off road riding. After a round trip of roughly 40km, they rejoined the main road and made camp at the nearly unrecognizable Sissu for the night.

Day 2 was set to be the most grueling part of the entire ride. The smooth tarmac at Sissu soon gave way to dirt, loose rocks, shale and even fesh fesh further down the line, leaving plenty of the riders on their rear ends through the course of the
day. Water crossings and oxygen deprivation played their part, and just when the worst seemed to be over, the riders had to tackle an extremely steep incline covered in deep fesh fesh, only navigable for most with the assistance of the backup crew.
Moreover, blasting on the hillside by the crews working on bringing roads to those unchartered quarters caused a three-hour delay, requiring the riders to complete the final stretch to Padum under cover of darkness. The day definitely
had it all, and the skills developed over the course of the same could easily equate to those picked up in a year’s
worth of regular riding (if not more!).

After the toils of the previous day, Day 3 was an optional rest day for riders who wished to recuperate for the return leg. Those willing and able set out to explore a road under construction to Sirse-La, a route set to connect Padum to Leh as an
alternative entry/exit for the region. The riders returned to base by early evening in anticipation for the long ride the next day.

The return leg from Padum to Sissu was a long and unforgiving one, full of falls, breakdowns and the like. With the assistance of the backup vehicles manned by Himalayan Motorsport officials however, all riders returned to the hotel
relatively unharmed – battered pride and egos aside.

The ride to Manali was a short and peaceful one, with the convoy travelling through the Atal Tunnel for the first time, much to the joy of the battered riders. A group dinner at Johnson’s Lodge followed, before everyone prepared to part
ways for their respective destinations the following day. Zanskar is, and will always remain one of the top destinations for motorcycling in our opinion. The entire journey is grueling from start to finish, and truly tests what the rider and his machine are made of. Keep an eye out for the next one!

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