"Never stop exploring"

lundi 1 novembre 2010

Himalayan Canyon Team and Top Rock Adventures Team caught under heavy snow storm

Since the 14th October, 9 "Himalayan Canyon Team" Members are in Manali to explore more canyons, to repeat and re bolt all canyons opened last year and to develop more climbing areas for bouldering, traditional climbing or for lead climbing.

They display also basic and advance canyon techniques along with Search and Rescue techniques to locals.

But before to start any kind of program we felt it will be a very interesting step to get an over view of the area.

Thus, Top Rock Adventures has organized a bike tour from Manali, across the Rohtang Pass(3978m) and all around the Lahaul and Spiti valey.

Once all the 6 Emfield bikes and the 4*4 Toyota from the Himalayan Canyon Team along with Top Rock Adventures Team reach Chattru in Lahaul valley, the weather changed into an heavy snow storm late in the evening.

Hopefully and before the snow covered all the valley we had time to spent and climb in the bouldering area. The weather conditions were excellent due to an extremely dry air. The rock was very sticky offering the best conditions for extreme climbing.

Suddenly, temperatures drop down very quickly and frizzed our finger. The snowfall became heavier and the night took part.

We could manage a very nice camp fire giving us a kind of warm atmosphere.

When we check the weather forecast we new this storm will come and we might get stuck in Lahaul valley for some days.

That's exactly what happened!

Early, the next morning we packed the camp and left towards Gramphu, the road crossing point, to get back onto the Rohtang pass and the exit way back to Manali.

Unfortunately, one of the bike broke down and we lost a lot's of time on a road covered by 2,5 feet of snow. The heavy snowfall never stopped covering more and more the road.

Finally we load the bike into a truck that got stuck further on the road. We again load 4 more bikes and left back the truck to try to find any kind of shelter, cave or shepherd house.

At 5.00PM we found a group of small houses, locked! The dark was setup and the snowfall was never ending.

We had to open the houses to get in and to spent time until the weather cleanup. We had no any choice to break the lockers to put in safety all the Himalayan Canyon Team, Top Rock Adventures Team and Lola, Djoty, Jeanluc and Sandrine daughters.

We had to accommodate our self in a very small room for the first night having no choice and completely tired from this long day fighting against the snow storm on the road.

The next morning we discovered the place cover by 4 feet of snow but the weather was super clean and the sky was as blue as the Mediterranean blue sky!! Pure!!

We opened one more room full of grass stored for dry during the winter by the villagers.

We removed part of the grass into another shelter and make a comfortable grass bed for 4 of us. We also built a shelter roof with wood sticks and ply to increase our living room space.

By the time Stéfane et Jeanluc left to Gramphu to collect some information about the road pass condition. Also we wanted to know when the PWD (road department) will clean up the Kaza road where the truck was stuck along with the bike inside.

We knew that if we leave the area we will recover our bike only after the winter season, in June 2011!!

Finally a very cooperative police officer assured us the road will be cleanup within 2 days. We just had to wait and enjoy the amazing view of the earth of the Himalayas covered by an heavy snow coat.

We spent 4 days in our shelter sharing food rations and a small warm fire place.

Al the team members were carrying excellent high altitude clotsh and equipment to face extreme weather conditions.

On the fourth day, PWD clean up the road and so, we decided to move to Koksar, the military camp and junction point to Leh road in Laddak.

Our food rations were becoming less and less even if we cold have some supply from Gramphu. In Koksar, we found Indian dabbas and a sleeping place in the HPTDC rest house.

The next day we start early in the morning by -5°c temperatures and on a frozen road, icy like a mirror we reach the Rohtang pass.

On the top, the road was not cleared from the snow and it was a very extreme excise to drive our bikes.

Lola, 11 years old and Jeanluc daughter stayed on the bike during the entire travel encouraging her father when he was getting tired and sleepy!

It took us 6 hrs to drive from Koksar to Marhi in very extreme condition of temperature and road.

It has been a grateful team experience. We didn’t knew each other before to go trough this experience. It is the kind of situation where you come to know a lot about the other team partner.

Both teams, “Himalayan Canyon Team” and “Top Rock Adventures Team” had built a very strong friendship and professional relation leading to new extreme project in the near future! Don’t give up following our news.

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