Finally, Manali – Leh Highway and Rohtang Pass goes closed for the season 2012 – 13 and now the long wait of about 6 months starts before the adventurists and motorists starts to live their passion again one of the most adventurous roads of the world 🙂 … Now, the Manali – Leh Highway will most probably open up in June 2013 and it is advised to all of you who are making plans for this adventure ride to Ladakh over Manali – Leh Highway shall plan their trips post mid of June. Even there was snowfall at Rohtang Pass last day and more snowfall at Rohtang Pass and parts of Lahaul Valley is predicted in the coming few days as well.
Regarding planning the trip to Manali – Leh Highway, next season, it is always nice to plan your journey in last 15 days of June or first 2-3 weeks of July when you can find ample of snow on roads and roads will be open by that time from both Srinagar as well as Manali side to Leh – Ladakh. However, please keep in mind that road conditions hardly improve on Manali – Leh road and remains almost quite challenging + adventurous all throughout the season. It improves slightly towards the end of season that is September or October first week but by that time snow is all gone and risk of closure increases. So, you need to be prepared for all the adventure that Manali – Leh Highway offers a traveller in the month of June – July and situation worsens when monsoon comes in late July, August and early September now a days. So IMHO, overall whatever best window you will get so that you avoid monsoons, see ample of snow and roads are open for you will be like 20th June – 20th July window.
If you want to see beautiful colours of Ladakh then second half of September is THE best time to visit Ladakh when these colours are oozing out vividly and of course, the road conditions does get better in late September type when rains reside the region completely. Any ways, coming back to topic, you can read more below:
MANALI: Given the possibilities of heavy snowfall on the Manali-Leh highway, Border Roads Organization (BRO) has decided to officially close the highway from Sunday. Rohtang pass experienced fresh snowfall on Saturday while there are strong chances of more snowfall in the coming days.
"Given the circumstances on Rohtang pass, the highway has been closed officially," BRO commander at 38 BRTF Colonel Yogesh Nair said, adding that BRO would continue the widening and metalling of the highway until snowfall blocks the highway permanently. Now the administration would be responsible for all activities occurring on the Manali-Rohtang highway.
Despite snowfall, Manali-Keylong highway remained operational all the day on Saturday. Hundreds of residents of Lahaul crossed Rohtang safely. Fearing early closure of highway, people from Lahaul are reaching their homes from all parts of the state while students and those residing outside the Lahaul valley are leaving the valley.
Meanwhile, the administration has decided to set up rescue posts on both sides of Rohtang from November 15. With weather conditions turning hostile, two rescue posts – one at Marhi and another at Koksar – would be installed for the safe movement of vehicles and pedestrians.
Manali-based Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports (ABVIMAS) puts up the posts in two phases from November 15 to December 15 and then from March 15 to May 15 every year. Each post would include police, medical team, rescue experts and wireless operator. After setting up of the posts, travellers using this route would have to register themselves at both the posts to ensure safe passage.
Manali sub-divisional magistrate Balbir Thakur said that administration was keeping an eye on the activities of tourists and local residents taking the road. "Rescue posts would be set up for the convenience of public on November 15," he said.
Snowfall brings down temperature
Fresh snowfall on higher reaches of Kullu and Lahaul-Spiti brought a drastic dip in temperature on Saturday. Rohtang pass received 10cm fresh snow while the adjoining peaks also experienced moderate snowfall in the evening. Hundreds of tourists thronged Rohtang to witness fresh snowfall on Saturday. Snowfall triggered cold waves in the lower regions as well.
Tourism industry in Manali is hoping for a good time ahead due to abundance of snow at Rohtang. The minimum temperature in Manali was recorded at 2 degrees Celsius and it was -2.1 degrees Celsius in Keylong, the district headquarter of Lahaul-Spiti. Local meteorological department has predicted Western Disturbances after November 13.
External Source: Manali-Leh highway closed till next summers