|Day 2, Rohtang Jot, 13,050', H.P., India
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Start ride: 7:00 AM
Marhi via Rohtang Jot to Chhotadarra
Ride: 8 hours total
Miles Ridden: 35
Start Altitude: 11,050 ft.
End Altitude: 12,103 ft.
Highest Point: 13,050 ft.
Huffing and puffing, granny gear through the mists, seven miles up to Rohtang Jot. We
pause for pictures and roll down into Spiti. The road is very rough, but the view is
spectacular. Clouds shoot over the pass and down into the valley below. Snow-covered
mountains appear in the distance. The switchbacks demand caution. Since the area below
Marhi, we are above the tree line. At the valley floor, we turn east on to a much more
primitive road. As we climb into the valley, we cross many streams of snowmelt from above.
We all walk the first one, but I decide to ride the rest, to the cheers of the other
riders! I waterproofed my bike shoes, so my feet stay dry. My bike is amphibious! The road
is glacial moraine debris. We reach our campsite, and wash up in clear icy water. The sun
sets to a pinkish purple in a barren landscape.