We’re having trouble accessing our main website at the moment, so in the meantime, here’s our provisional dates for this summer. Every year we rotate trips, and for 2008 we’ll be running one Manali-Leh (via Wari La) pass cruncher and two Spiti and Lahaul Epics. One of the Spiti trips is already booked up, so here’s details of the other two.
Manali to Leh via Wari La: 20 days, 20th July to 8th August, £875.
Spiti and Lahaul Epic: 16 days, 9th August to 24th August, £795.
Please note that on the date mentioned as the first date of the tour, you need to be in Delhi by noon. On the date mentioned as the last date, plan your flight to leave Delhi after 8pm.
We were pleased with how the rides went in 2007 so the itineraries are largely unchanged, bar a few tweaks here and there. As we expected, adding in a couple of 5000m+ plus passes at the tail end of the Manali-Leh ride threw down the gauntlet… especially when they’re as steep and untamed as Wari La. But there’s no better way of reaching Leh than a 40km descent (-:
We also like to work in new bits of trail whenever we get the opportunity. We were delighted to discover a singletrack finale (Dazzler’s Descent) to our Spiti trip, which plummets from the dizzy heights of Dankar monastery to the riverside settlement of Sichling. For ’08, the plan is to finish the ride a little further east in Tabo, home to an equally impressive, 1000-year-old-monastery.
There’s plenty of bike geek info over on the main site about what setup is best for riding in this part of the world. Our Spiti exploration is definitely geared towards ‘proper’ mountain biking, but there’s hopefully enough optional singletrack on Manali-Leh to spice things up for those who want it – and we’re adding more all the time. A hardtail with front suspension is our preferred weapon of choice for both trips, though a light full susser works well for Spiti, and intrepid tourers can tackle Manali-Leh on fully rigid setups, as long as you’re happy to forgo singletrack and some comfort here and there.
You may have noticed we’ve increased our prices from 2006/7, which we’ve had to do due to increased running costs, and fuel prices in India. We still feel the trips are really good value, especially if you consider that we limit the group size to 8 people, plus us. Many companies take groups of up to 16. 8 seems to be a good balance. Fun and social, but also personal and manageable.
Our man in Ladakh: Phunchok Anchok, jeep driver and problem-solver extraordinaire. We couldn’t do it without him.