Sach Pass 2007 Photos

I love looking at the photos taken by people who’ve been on the trips. It’s great to see another perspective; often they trigger forgotten memories, whether they be tinged with smiles or grimaces… And, (I’m not ashamed to say) it makes me proud to think we run trips in this part of the world. Northern India is a stunning, fascinating, testing and complex place, and it’s good to share it with like-minded cyclists.

Mark was our ‘official photographer’ on the inaugural Sach Pass trip. It was a challenging ride. Both logistically for us, due to a limited infrastructure for tourists in these oft overlooked side valleys; there’s very few developed places to stay and the steep sided river gorge rules out camping much of the time. And by the fact that even though we were riding in October, when the weather really should be settled and sunny, 2007 saw the dregs of some serious storms. We even stumbled upon the dog-barking capital of India – and that’s saying something. Not to mention that 4400m Sach Pass is one tough climb to crack. Though much of the way is paved, the road is unusually rough in fits and starts, and the gradient is knee grindingly steep. It still ranks as one of my favourite passes in the Indian Himalayas, thanks to the sheer variety of scenery. The descent is epic and the riding on the Chamba side of the valley is sublimely different – tree-clad Himalayan foothills with quiet villages and a baking, sweaty heat.

Here’s a few of Mark’s great shots that I’ve captioned, from his gallery here.

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The ride kicks off with a massive climb to Rohtang Jot – 52km long – where we wrestled with colourful Tata trucks. Then a storm lashed down on the descent…

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When the skies cleared, white capped mountains prodded out above a stark, exposed river gorge.

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Tut Jack. That looks like more than a dab (-; The climb to Sach Pass was relentless and rough – but stunning. We’d waited two years before running this trip, figuring the new pass would have time to bed in. In fact, a landslide had damaged it over the summer, and it was only just open again in time for the ride.

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The road was also being widened. A couple of times we had to stop while sections were dynamited in typical nonchalant Indian style. Most of the ride is on tarmac of varying quality and unpaved surfaces. Sometimes though, gravel had yet to be laid over a bed of stone and rocks, making for some pneumatic drill-style descents.

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I love the way this lady in a sari – in this case a rather fetching shade of lime green – is leaning casually against my bike as she chats on her mobile phone. That’s the way it is in India – bikes become part of the street furniture.

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Cara and I on the long climb up to Sach Pass. I was running the prototype Extrawheel (I’m the first to admit there was little in the panniers!), to give it a run before our trip to China.

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Occasionally, waterfalls tumbled down between the pine trees, catching the sunlight.

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Ah, blue sky. Nothing like a mountain peak…

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Lush, green and steamy hot Kangra Valley seemed a world away from the rugged, untamed landscape of Pangi that we’d experienced just a couple of days before.

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And our destination, McLeod Ganj, home of HH Dalai Lama and all things Tibetan.

James was on the same trip (though he was often a blip in the horizon!) and has put up a gallery here:

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5 Responses to “Sach Pass 2007 Photos”


  1. 1 Tegid January 24, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    Hi both,
    Looks like you had an great time! The photos really are inspiring.Maybe next year we’ll actually make it onto one of the trips! Cass,thought you might like to know, I’m now the proud owner of an Inbred 29er.Great machine, took it to the Picos last sept and its standing up well to a good old welsh winter. Just looking into fitting it with an Alfine rear hub – now there’s a thought! Hopefully see you soon.

  2. 2 Manish Singh February 22, 2008 at 5:45 am

    Hi there,

    Your Sach Pass cycle tour photos on PBase were the first thing to show up on a google search when I forst heard about Sach Pass. And those photos have been an inspiration for a while for a motorbike trip up there. Couldnt do it last year, but its on this summer.

    I am writing to check if at all you will be share just a little detail about where would one stay at night between Tandi and Chamba when crossing the Sach. Do you know if Udaipur and Killar have any hotels or guest houses? We will be carrying tents but some in the group would probably find moe happiness under a solid roof!

    By the way, we are a group of 4 friends from India and France and its a personal, non-commercial trip. We’ve done a few through to Leh before.

    I really do hope you are able to write back.

    Manish

  3. 3 Dheeraj S. June 2, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    Hi there… it’s good to see some of the pictures you clicked on the way to/from chamba on sach pass, i like the ones on your official site better… and yea, there is a mistake in your blog; the lady in the picture is not wearing a sari, she is wearing a punjabi suit…

    hope to see more pictures from your guys’ trip to india!!!

  4. 4 samsung行動電源 June 23, 2013 at 1:00 am

    I am not in a position to see this internet website properly on my cellphone

  5. 5 Anonymous July 31, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    I like to share knowledge that I have accrued with the 12 months
    to help improve group overall performance.


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Please check out our main website for details on our bike trips to the Indian Himalayas.

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