Mis-Adventures of My Leh - Ladakh

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Mis-Adventures of My Leh - Ladakh

Postby dheerajsharma14 » Mon Jun 15, 2015 3:47 pm

Pasting the experience of Chandrashekhar Rao posted on the DoW Blog Comments section at the link here

I pen down our (self [aged 58] and my brother [aged 52 years]) experience on our (mis) adventurous trip to Leh and its territories. We took a sharing Innova taxi from Srinagar to Leh. Reached Johilla Pass around 1100 hours. As we were late by 1 hour from Srinagar, Johilla Pass was closed for maintenance and the locals told that it will now open at 1500 hours and it did. We had dinner on our way and reached Leh late in the evening by about 2230 hours. Took a hotel and went to sleep. We travelled in the local magnetic hill etc., booked a 350 cc bullet for going to Pengong lake the next day. We had everything with us, warm clothes, rain coat, shoes, hand gloves and some medicines (which we picked up from the tips on the web). However, when we started from Leh at 0700 hours we did not take any rain-coat or warm clothes as the weather was warm and clear, I even put off my vest and was on just a full shirt. We reached Charu by 0800, had breakfast and then proceeded further. By 1030 as we reached Chang La-Pass (altitude of almost 18000 feet), the weather suddenly became rough and it started raining followed by heavy winds, they were chilly very chilly. There is a hotel at Changla which provided us much needed protection from rain, however the cold was unbearable. As my younger brother was not feeling well, the hotel owner so kindly provided us a snow jacket which my brother wore. After half an hour, came the snow (which I always wanted to experience). My brother picked up the syndrome of Acute Mountain Sickness. Some co-travellers provided him with a couple of Diamox, which did not help him much. He started feeling very uneasy and lied down on the sofa. Everybody advised that he should be immediately shifted to Military Hospital which was down the hill and an hour’s travel. I requested passing taxies for help and they very kindly agreed to take him down. We got separated and lost communication although he had a postpaid Airtel connection. It was about 1200-1230 by this time, and there seemed no prospects of any improvement in the weather condition. All along I was in the hotel having tea and ‘Noodles’. At this juncture two young men approached me and asked if I had a spare hand gloves, which I did have. In turn I asked them to assist me in taking my bullet down the hill to the hospital where my brother would have been taking treatment. They agreed. Just when we were about to leave I realised that the key of the bullet with not with me. I searched frantically in my bags, the overcoat and the hotel but to no avail. I realised that my brother had parked the bike and it had gone with him. I was in a hapless situation. Just when the two gentlemen were about to leave the hotel, I gave them my brother’s number and asked them to get in touch with my brother and send the keys back to me. I waited and waited and nothing happened untill 1600 hours. I was stranded at Chang La. I went to the military base camp for assistance. They tried calling my brother and those young guys but due to rough weather no contact could be established. The military officials advised me to let the bike be where it was and leave Changla immediately as night halt would be a problem for me due to cold weather and low oxygen. I took lift by a DRDO vehicle and went down back towards Leh. The DRDO officials kept on trying calling my brother whenever there was signal but there was no response. Finally when we were approaching Charu the call went through and my brother told that he was at Charu. I took a sigh of relief and reached Charu and saw my brother sitting and sipping tea at a hotel. He told me that he was taken to Military Hospital where they gave him oxygen and some medication. He also told me that he vomited blood 2 times due to his sickness and when he was feeling better the Military doctors sent him down to Charu. We reached Leh and did not go to any other place thereafter and returned back to Srinagar.
I share this experience with the tourists going to Leh & Ladhak region for the reason that nothing is certain there and one should not ever take a chance with the unpredictable climate. Be always fully prepared to face any situation.
We are sorry Mr. Deeraj Sharma for not sticking to the advises/guidelines/tips posted by you and your readers. Had we done so we would have saved ourselves lot of trouble and our visit to Leh and its surroundings would have been much more enjoyable, adventurous and pleasant. Anyway there is always a second time.
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Re: Mis-Adventures of My Leh - Ladakh

Postby aashish2137 » Mon Jun 15, 2015 4:36 pm

Chilling tale of misadventure. There's a thin line of difference between an adventure and an accident, that is, your life.
Thank us by thanking yourself.
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Re: Mis-Adventures of My Leh - Ladakh

Postby MetalHead » Wed Jun 17, 2015 11:34 pm

People should always go to Leh with much care and preparation. Not sure why people don't follow that and think that they are strong enough to face any challenge.

Anyways, good that the brother was ok.
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Re: Mis-Adventures of My Leh - Ladakh

Postby dheerajsharma14 » Wed Jun 17, 2015 11:44 pm

Yeah bad and bitter fact is ignorance of AMS especially with the influx of more and more tourists.
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