Winter, as it seems, will arrive at the beginning of this year and, hopefully, with a lot of snow. There was snowfall at Khardung La earlier this month, in the first week; and now it’s snowing everywhere. Virtually all passages in the valleys of Himachal, Ladakh and Spiti have witnessed snowfall and some of it. I am putting this little post as a precaution for anyone planning a trip in the coming days. There was snowfall at Rohtang and Kunzum Pass over the weekend.
Snowfall at Rohtang Pass, Chandratal, Kunzum Pass and Baralacha La
The Rohtang Pass has received more than 10 cm of snow in the past few days. The unexpected change in the climate led to the sudden closure of the vehicle traffic pass; leading to about 20 people getting stuck up there. These people were later rescued and, as of now, authorities have issued an alert to people traveling in the region. The pass is expected to remain closed for the next 48 to 72 hours until the weather improves. Tourists and local residents bound for the Rohtang Pass were not allowed to go beyond Marhi due to the continuous snowfall that resulted in the disruption of the roads leading to the pass. Officials said state transport buses between Manali and Kaza were temporarily suspended.
Likewise, Kunzum Pass and Baralacha La have also received a lot of snow in the past few days and are closed from now on. Chandratal also received its first snowfall and people at camp sites had to travel back to Kaza.
Manali Leh Highway
Almost all passes on the Manali Leh road received snow and the entire stretch is off limits to civilians at the moment. There is no confirmed word on the reopening, but you can expect it to remain close for the next 48 to 72 hours at least. The word of caution now is that if you have immediate plans to travel on that road, it is best to give them up for at least a week. Even after that, there is no way to say when it might suddenly snow again, resulting in a shutdown again. Currently, flying from Manali to Leh is not the safest decision.
Srinagar Leh Highway
Like other passes, Zoji La has also received snow in the past few days. The pass is expected to reopen in the next 48 to 72 hours, depending on the weather, but from now on people will be stuck on both sides until traffic is allowed.
It also rains in Leh and Khardung La is closed. Some tourists were trapped in the Nubra valley on Sunday. People were not allowed to travel from Leh to Nubra or vice versa.