Day 01: Manali – Marhhi. 23.3 miles /37.5 km, (Climbing 4,166 ft/1,270 mts.) (Height – 3370 Mts.) (Ride - Muddy at Manali, good road thereafter. Solid climbing the entire way) (Grade: - 10 %) .
This is first day of our cycling expedition. Easy road till village Palchan 10km from Manali from Palchan the climb begins towards Rohtang Pass. Being the first day we suggest camp at Marrhi 12km before Rohtang Pass. Overnight camp.
Day 02: Marrhi – Keylong. 55 miles /85 km, (Climbing- 2,185 ft/666 m) (Height – 3350 Mts.) (Ride - Road poor-rutted and rocky towards the top of Rohtang Pass, okay to Khoksar , Khoksar- Sissu road in very bad condition. About 800 m climbing to the top of the Rohtang, then flat after reaching the bottom on the other. Good road, some easy climbing side) (Grade: - 09 %).
We start our day by finishing our final climb of 12 km. to Rohtang Pass 3955m. From the top if the weather is clear we get beautiful views of the glaciers & snow clad mountains of CB range (Chandrabhaga Range) on the other side of the pass. The road descends 22km down to Khoksar village & then a flat road of 15km. along the Chandra River to Sissu village. Along the Chandra River with gradual gradients in-between till Tandi. At Tandi we leave behind the Chandra River & continue up along the Bhaga River to Keylong, the district place of Lahaul. Camp/ Hotel at Keylong.
Day 03: Keylong – Patseo. 29.6 mi/47.6 km, (Climbing - 2,005 ft/611 m) (Height –12,500 ft/3,811 m) (Road is not in good shape between Darcha and Patseo-dusty and rutted, some loose rocks. Uphill, but no hard climbing) (Grade: - 08 %)
We continue further along the Bhaga River for 21km to reach Jispa. From Jispa the road continues along the Bhaga River till Darcha. From Darcha the road climbs in switchback turns & gradually leads to Patseo. Good camping site for overnight stay.
Day 04: Patseo – Sarchu. 40.3 mi/65.3 km, (Climbing -3,543 ft/1,080 m) (Height –13,950 ft/4,253 m) (Road bad with loose stones around the Baralacha La, good once on the flat before Sarchu. Baralacha La very long and tough climb) (Grade: - 10.5 %) .
The difficult section of our trip begins today. We would need to be more cautious since we would be staying for next 2-3 days on an average altitude of approx 4400m. From Patseo the hard climb begins for next 30km to Baralacha La 4880m. We pass two small but beautiful lakes of Deepak Tal & Suraj Tal on our way. The views from the pass are rewarding. Road descends from the pass to the plains of Sarchu. Overnight at camp.
Day 05: Sarchu – Pang. 50mi/ 81.8, (Climbing – 827 M) (Height – 4530 M) (Road good. Gata loops and on up to Nakeela Pass all climbing. Not good surface-just loose rocks, rutted, most looks as if it's never been tarmac. (Grade: - 12 %).
(An extra day in case it is not possible to make the same stretch in one day)
We continue on the plains of Sarchu for the next 25km before the 10km of switchback climb to Nakeela Pass & then descend to Whispy Nalla. And again climb to Lachung La 5065m to descend to Pang at 4630m. This is going to be the toughest day of our expedition. Overnight at camp.
Day 06: Pang – Debring 33.0 mi/53.1 km, (Climbing –1,000 ft/300 m) (Height –15,400 ft/4.700 m) (Very good road. Flat or slightly downhill after the short climb from Pang up to the Plain.) (Grade: - 08 %).
Easy day with initial climb to the More Plains / Pang Plateau, the flat section for 42 km. to reach Debring at the base of Tanglang La. The arid mountain views on both the sides of the road are a feast! Overnight at Camp.
Day 07: Debring – Upshi. 49.2 mi/79.2 km, (Climbing –2,185 ft/666 m) (Height –12,000 ft/3,600 m) (Road mostly good, except for loose rocks for a few km at the Tanglang La, starting 1km below the summit, Manali side. Big climb to the top of the Tanglang La, 40 km downhill on the other side) (Grade: - 09 %).
A gradual climb to the top of Tanglang La 5360m. Though the climb is gradual the altitude makes it difficult. Once at the top you are rewarded by some awesome views of the never-ending mountain ranges. From Tanglang La descend for 29km to Rumtse, & then the road continues in a narrow gorge with extremely colourful mountains on both the side, till we exit at Upshi on the banks of Indus River.
Day 08: Upshi – Leh. 42.5 mi/68.4 km, (Climbing –1,000 ft/300 m*) (Height –11,500 ft/3,500 m) (Good road, but dry, dusty) (Grade: - 05 %).
Easy flat road section till Leh. One can make stopovers to visit Thiksey & Shey monasteries on the way before reaching to Leh. Overnight stay in a grade -A hotel, for well deserved rest.