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.
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…
When the skies cleared, white capped mountains prodded out above a stark, exposed river gorge.
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. Continue reading ‘Sach Pass 2007 Photos’