Road Condition - Nubra - Shyok - Pangong Tso Route 2016

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Road Condition - Nubra - Shyok - Pangong Tso Route 2016

Postby dheerajsharma14 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 5:42 pm

Loads of people ask me about direct route from Nubra Valley to Pangong tso lake, due to the lack of number of days. Getting references from everywhere they keep insisting about going through either Wari La Pass or Shyok Village. While the former is very long and desolated, meets just before Chang La the latter is shorter, more desolated, almost deadly route. The chances of getting help on any of the routes are very slim and if something goes off, you are at the mercy of nature or miracle, especially on the Shyok Village route connecting Nubra and Pangong!! Even the local drivers rarely take these routes and probability of getting some one to say yes for Shyok village route, is very slim.

So, any one taking still taking must be equally aware of these risks, if still interested. In addition to the above information, one of the readers "Siddhartha Gautam" did went through the route in recently (June 2013) and thanks to him for sharing his first hand experience back on the blog too linked here. The challenges and fears he might have faced is commendable and once must be ready for what he has written before thinking of the route. I am sure you guys can make a judicial choice after reading through his experience of Nubra - Shyok Village - Pangong Tso route.

I am pasting it below in the community too, so that we can keep it preserved in the structured way and it benefits all the members of our community.

Siddhartha says:
hi everybody………just back from ladakh trip and covered agham to shyok on RE classic 500…..GROUND 0 condition………..pl dont take this route as the pics displayed are very good than the actual condition of the road as of 7 june 2013…………road till agham from khalsar is very good but the moment you take the left turn for shyok village the real fun starts…..bumpy ride till first 14 kms but easy…..then there is a landslide zone and we were the group of 3 bikers and all the bikes needed to be lifted to climb an almost 90 degree cliff of rouhjly 10 feet…..after crossing that river stones are all over the place and no track of road for further 5 kms ……and all of a sudden you see shyok rver right in front of you with a Z type of crossing…….first one is shallower with 2 feet deep but huge and loosely packed stones on the river bed that dont allow the essy negotiation and took a huge toll on bike chasis…….2nd river crossing is a bit deeper with 3 feet to 3.5 feet deep but smooth at bed…….but this shallow track is only 8 feet wide and if you loose the track by mistake with the flow you get urself into 5-6 feet deep zone…….sounds normal but scary in reality…….after river crossing next 5 kms again bumpy but dirt track there……..and then you find the tarmac road till shyok and further to durbuk……but lot of water crossings in the middle but managable………we were at agham 1:30 PM and shyok at around 7:30 PM…
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Re: Trip Report | Nubra - Shyok Village - Pangong Tso Route

Postby Shriram81 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:16 pm

How about going via Wari la from Nubra to Pangong around mid August? I know its time consuming and still it provides new route to explore...
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Re: Trip Report | Nubra - Shyok Village - Pangong Tso Route

Postby dheerajsharma14 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:43 pm

Shriram, though it is nice to explore but be prepared to feel the desolation. Leave early from the Hunder or Diskit and skip Panamik to go over this route.
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Nubra to Pangong Tso from Shyok Route Conditions

Postby dheerajsharma14 » Wed Jun 03, 2015 3:08 pm

Partha has just returned from Ladakh trip and have reported the road conditions from Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso by Shyok route in Dow Blog linked here

Just came back from Ladakh last week. Thanks a lot to DoW for providing all information required for this trip. We took this route from Nubra to Pangong via Shyok as I did not want to cross Khardungla and Changla and spend n extra day. I got an excellent driver by name Karma Sonam( contact 9419215110, 9906991011) who is not only an expert driver but also a great travel companion, guide and a very good human being. He has been quite familiar with the Shyok route and he agreed to take us through the route. We traveled on 24th May, 2015 and Karma confirmed that there will not be any water on the road. The route is one of the most scenic routes in Ladakh with beautiful blue Shyok river beside you for most of the journey. It is also a journey of a lifetime as you will be driving on the river bed in may places. As it seemed the road got destroyed in landslide in a few places (and there has not been any attempt to repair it for quite sometime). Karma has been quite familiar with the detour. But remember we saw only one car in 4 hour ride to Durbuk.
It is a journey worth taking if you are adventurous and travelling in summer and have a very confident driver like Karma. I actually traveled with my parents (80 and 70 year old), my sister, wife and son( 12 years old).
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Re: Trip Report | Nubra - Shyok Village - Pangong Tso Route

Postby wanderingsuman » Sat Jun 06, 2015 1:14 pm

All, I just went through this route on 26/05/2015. I had no plans to go through this route, because of earlier feedback, and because I was travelling with small kids, aged 6 and 11.
However, on our way back from Nubra to Leh, when we reached Khalsar, we came to know that Khardung La pass is closed due to an accident, and our driver Rigzin Stakna (#30 on the list of drivers)
ladakh-zanskar-travel-guides/listof-taxi-drivers-for-ladakh-srinagar-leh-manali-t353-110.html#p21304
suggested we take that route..there were 3 other Innovas, and Rigzin assured me that numbers give strength :-) Mind you, I did not know the other Innova occupants, but the drivers knew each other!

From this forum, I did not have a good prognosis about this route, but based on Rigzin's assurance, off we started...then, the other option was to wait for ever in Khalsar, till Khardung La opens! Wari La was not open at that time, so that route was not an option.

So, instead of going up to Khardung La , we (4 Innovas) went down to towards Shyok River. Initially, the road was extremely beautiful and paved, and going by the banks of Shyok river..

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Shyok river..
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Initial Tarred road from Aghom
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Then at one point the road was blocked by stones, and we needed to take a deviation to the river..

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end of tarred road..
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Then again, on drive-able and scenic road..
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Until we reach a point, when the Innova cannot carry on with the passengers on board. So, we get down the car and walk, while the drivers bring the vehicles around..
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And then, we get out of river bed and hill road starts..unpaved and really scary..

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Then, finally we reach Shyok...

Remember, this road has no services, and extremely risky. Many places you have to literally make the road by placing stones etc. All four of our drivers collaborated and helped each other. Take this road only if you are in experienced hand...and you are in a group of cars.
If you are travelling alone (like we did), see if your driver can make a group of fellow travelers (like Rigzin did for us)
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First road block..drive towards the river
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Re: Trip Report | Nubra - Shyok Village - Pangong Tso Route

Postby dheerajsharma14 » Sat Jun 06, 2015 3:10 pm

Suman, beautifully explained. This will really really help many take the decision because first hand experience other than old fags like us helps people more in realizing what is the risk there. Numbers is the only name here and you must have realzied too. In case you are alone on this route, literally you cannot do anything on this route. Remember we went alone but we were ready to leave our body and souls in case anything happened :lol: :lol:

I will add more pictures to this thread to assure people that this is not cake walk and you have to be in group plus must be ready to analyze the situation with experienced set of locals/drivers to pass through it.

Thank you so much for explaining the whole sequence, extreme help as we from DoW also do not want people to ignore the warning on the forum and take the route blindly without analyzing the situation of desolation and team work required here.

I am also sharing the pictures of my adventures into this route where once we were stuck in sand while making the road for ourselves, that scared us like help with no one around and then we had a puncture but thankfully we could fix it.

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Re: Trip Report | Nubra - Shyok Village - Pangong Tso Route

Postby dheerajsharma14 » Sat Jun 06, 2015 3:14 pm

More pictures to the story...

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Re: Trip Report | Nubra - Shyok Village - Pangong Tso Route

Postby wanderingsuman » Sat Jun 06, 2015 4:26 pm

It was Really scary indeed, Dheeraj. Looking back today, it feels very good, but that time I was just praying that we reach Shyok safely somehow, and wondering what would happen if we got stuck/car broke down and dusk came.

We too got stuck in sand and stone many times...since we had 4 experienced Innova drivers, they helped each other to get the cars unstuck.
Some more pictures..
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The road to Shyok..
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Rigzin had a shovel in the car, and it was used multiple times to make the Innova unstuck..

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Shovel to get car unstuck
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Scary road in rock fall zone..

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Scary road thru rock fall zone..
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Re: Nubra to Pangong Tso from Shyok Route Conditions

Postby zackowacko » Sat Jun 06, 2015 8:22 pm

Thanks for the update.
I am sure it will be helpful to many who wants to do the route this year.

Is this route advised for a self driven attempt by a group of first timers to Leh?
Keep Moving!
Thanks to all DOWers.
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Re: Trip Report | Nubra - Shyok Village - Pangong Tso Route

Postby shwetachheda » Sun Jun 07, 2015 7:04 am

thanx all for so much detailed info.

i just posted 2 days back asking about Nubra- Shyok village- pangong tso route..
will be taking this route on 22nd July
n got reply fro Mr. dheeraj as well..
n fortunately today came across this post.

My question is how much time it took to reach pangong?

theres one more option to this route via wari la..with longer than this route.. i read
is that risky too?
we hired a car with RIGZIN only..
want to confirm is the same person
can someone post his details?
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