Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Himalayan Seasons II: Lahaul & Spiti

On the trail between Komic and Demul  in Spiti  at an altitude around 4500 metres

This is the second part of an eight part essay on the seasons in the Himalayas one part every week. This part covers Lahaul and Spiti.

December to March
It is peak winter and temperatures in Kaza can be down to -20C on some nights!  The road from Simla to Kaza along the Sutlej is kept open despite snowfall which can block the road from time to time. Some hotels and guest houses in Tabo, Nako and Kaza continue to function. For winter photography this is the time! Be prepared for delays due to snowfall and road closure.

April and May
In the valleys spring would begin in April. The apple blossoms would come into bloom especially near Tabo and o along the drive between Nako to Kaza.  From Mid April the weather is suitable for jeep safaris as the warmer days would melt some of the snow and make the passes feasible. The weather would still be cold and expect freak snow storms even in May!  

June to September
These four months are the peak season in Lahaul and Spiti. The days can be hot and sunny and temperatures can rise to 25-28C! The Kunzum la pass would be probably open in mid June and remain open until mid October depending on snowfall. It is possible at this time to make a full circuit route starting from Simla going upto to Tabo and Kaza in Spiti then across the Kunzum la into Lahaul and then down to Manali. The more intrepid can continue the circuit by following the road from Manali to Leh (two days) and finally exiting Leh either by flight or carrying on down to Srinagar making it a trip of a lifetime but you need a lot of time for this! The valleys are green in June-Aug becoming brown with the approaching autumn in Sept. Late Aug to mid Sept is  a wonderful trekking  time and good for the high pass crossings  like Kibber to  Tso Moriri across Parang La.

October and November
 There are not many tourists at this time. The tourist traffic remains until Kunzum la pass is open. Once it closes the traffic also dwindles. The first two weeks of October can be interesting as the autumn colours are quite spectacular! The road from Simla remains open and it is possible to do a journey into Spiti and return the same way.

Photography Locations
Here are some of the good photography locations:

  • The monastery complex of Tabo in the early morning
  • Old Dhangkar monastery and fort
  • Chandratal Lake
  • The village of Komic located at 4500 metres
  • The drive from Kaza to Kibber via Ki

For an overview of the region please do visit my photo galleries.

1 comment:

  1. Spiti Jeep Safari is one of the most adventurous thing that most of the people would like to go for it and after reading your blog i must recommend to the persons who love doing such adventurous things. Really nice blog content about Spiti Jeep Safari worth reading your blog.
    Thanks for sharing the post....



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