Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Raid De Himalaya 2006








Are you bored with the everyday routine?

* Is skydiving over shark-infested waters just a drop in the ocean?

* Does going backwards, on one leg, down a manali ski run leave you cold?

* Has rishikesh white water raftering begun to seem just a bit wet?

* Are you so far "out there" that you're practically back inside again?

Then maybe you should look at Raid!

Update 1.

It’s exactly one month to go for the raid. Preparations are at full swing. I intend to give you a weekly update on the preparations going towards the raid, and then, will come back and try and update the readers of the blog on the excitement, the perils, the expected and the unexpected, in short the story of my survival.

To start with here's my version of the background on what the Raid is.

Well for the name, as is clearly evident, it’s derived from french for the marathon event OF the Himalaya.

The Himalayas happen to have the highest motor-able roads and passes in the world. And raid is what you get when you take that terrain, that altitude, that weather and make a rally out of it. And that too at the lag end of "good" weather, just when the winter is setting in.

OK, enough ranting about on the irrelevant stuff: Here's the interesting trivia:

· 7 Days of driving in the most inhospitable climes, terrain, conditions

· 2100 Kilometres, so that's approximately 300 kilometres of riding in one day(Its actually around 400 on some days)

· 10 hrs of driving on a good day and 12 on a rough day(Average speeds are never above 40kmph on the raid)

· Approximately 25000 rupees worth of diesel burnt in 7 Days

· Engines idle all night long to avoid cold starts

· Rarefied air causes mileage to drop to half of what you get under normal driving conditions

· You need to fight altitude sickness, and hope your body acclimatises quickly to the altitude(as high as Tanglang La at 17 540 ft, highest pt in rally)

· No habitation for hundreds of kilometres at length

· Temperatures dipping to -25 degrees celcuis at night and -5 in the day

· X treme version participants zipping past you

Raid Trivia:

http://www.bcmtouring.com/articles/raid-de-himalaya/trivia.html

Brief history

http://www.bcmtouring.com/articles/raid-de-himalaya/history.html

A Nice Video Of Bikers going down from TangLang La

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feRXL7t4r-Q

Brief Description of the Raid

(As taken from the official site, its last year's tracks which will definitely change this year so to be taken with a pinch of salt)

28th and 29th September 2006
Pre Event Scrutiny

All vehicles will be inspected for conformity to International Standards of Safety and Preparation as laid down by the FiA. Owing to a large expected entry list this process has been allotted two days to complete, considering the great attention to detail that is required. Technical and Paperwork Scrutiny will be held at Motoworld, Navbahar,Shimla 171002.

30th September 2006
Leg 1 Shimla – Manali

An early start at 0600 hrs will take the rally from Shimla via Baldian to Narel. This a rough gravel stage and though short will set the mood for the days ahead. The second stage is via Narkanda, Bagi, Sungri to Bhadrash. This will be a tarmac / gravel run and fast. The third and fourth stages from Luhri to Kandagai will be half tarmac- half gravel. Though short and fast they are both uphill and relatively easier. From there a long transport via Jalori pass to Kullu and Manali will follow.

Another description:

The Raid flags off from Shimla and makes its way through the classic Himalayan country of tall cedar forests. Rushing through Baggi and Khadrala it finally wends its way up the steep Jalori road to the first of the Raid’s many passes – the Jalori Jot. Then down to Shoja, the whine of engines and smell of scorching rubber cutting through the crisp October mountain air. If climbing uphill to Jalori takes its toll on the engines, then downhill towards Kullu kills the brakes and clutchplates!! The Raid winds up for the day at the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Manali.

The Raid will halt at Manali for the night after a run of about 400 kms.











1st October 2006
Leg 2 Manali – Kaza

The 250 kms “Himalayan Experience” will start on this day. The raid will be flagged off by 0700 hrs for Kaza. From Gramphoo a 104 kms dirt stage will take the raid via Losar to Pangmo.

The last 30 kilometres will be the smoothest tarmac run. From there to Kaza will be a short transport.

The night halt will be Kaza.

Another description:

From Manali up to the Rohtang Pass at 13,000 ft, the Raid enters Spiti Valley on the second day’s run. It races along the roughest of roads (or what pass for roads) along the swift, unforgiving waters of th

e Chandrabhaga river, via Gramphoo, Chhatru, over the Kunzum Pass and Losar, until finally sighting the night halt -- Kaza. At the end of the day the overall images that crowd every driver or rider’s tired mind are those of boulders, boulders and yet more boulders!










2nd October 2006
Leg 3 Kaza – Komik - Dhankar - Pin - Kaza

This Leg is the "Rest Leg" for the Raid but a "Cliff Hanger" nevertheless.

Kaza to Thangyud Gompa at Komik will be the first stage. Uphill and thro

ugh a heart stopping gorge to a plateau at Langze the gravel stage will be fast and entertaining. The vistas of the real Himalayas c

an be enjoyed as can the tea at the Gompa, where a regroup is planned since the transport to Lingti is back via the same road.

Lingti to the Dhankar monastery is an uphill gravel stage. Fast and replete with hairpin bends after long straights! Enjoy. The other half of this stage down to Sichiling is pure tarmac with short straights into hellish hairpins. Enjoy this too. If not, then the fact that "there are parapets" should offer some consolation!

Once is not enough. This stage will be done twice to give competitors a chance to perfect their maneuvers!

The last stage will be from Lidang to Demul. Another dead end road will result in a wait for the last car. If nothing else this will be a character building exercise and patience will be the learned reward. This stage is all gravel, frightfully steep and with a cliff drop that will make Stallone quake!

Fortunately the rally will only race in the uphill mode! Be careful on the recce and the race day here.
Survivors will return to Kaza for the night.

Another description:

This Leg is the "Rest Leg" for the Raid but a "Cliff Hanger" nevertheless.

Kaza to Thangyud Gompa at Komik will be the first stage. Uphill and through a heart stopping gorge to a plateau at Langze the gravel stage will be fast and entertaining. The vistas of the real Himalayas can be enjoyed as can the tea at the Gompa, where a regroup is planned since the transport to Lingti is back via the same road.Lingti to the Dhankar monastery is an uphill gravel stage. Fast and replete with hairpin bends after long straights! Enjoy. The other half of this stage down to Sichiling is pure tarmac with short straights into hellish hairpins. Enjoy this too. If not, then the fact that "there are parapets" should offer some consolation! Once is not enough. This stage will be done twice to give competitors a chance to perfect their maneuvers!










3rd October 2006

Leg 4 Kaza - Darcha - Patseo

The pressure will steadily increase both on the resources of the participants and their vehicles from this Leg onwards. 200 kms of competitive stage driving, the real Hima

layas and 2 major passes await them.

The first stage will be the return trip on the same 150 kms from Kaza to Gramphoo. From Gramphoo the Raid will head to Darcha for a second competitive stage. This will run from Darcha to Patseo - 18 kms.

Instead of the usual grind to Pang for the ritual exorcism of oxygen there will be a quick regroup at Sarchu and a third competitive back to Patseo for the night halt !

Another description:
This Leg is the "Rest Leg" for the Raid but a "Cliff Hanger" nevertheless.

The Raid sets its sights on Ladakh. The real Himalaya starts now. There is little wonder that prayer flags flutter incessantly at every high pass for they whisper silently

to the gods. Whether it is the great panoramic expanse of the Morey Plain or Baralacha La, Lachhulung La or any othe pass, each crossing means you are one step closer to the great unknown. The winds are icy and the mountains silent as you focus only on your destination – the Indian Army outpost at Pang. When you get there you can only begin to appreciate what our jawans face everyday at Siachen, for Pang is just an acclimatization point.












4th October 2006
Leg 5 Patseo - Sarchu - Pang- Leh

A long day ahead with 4 stages. Patseo to Nakee la will be the first stage of the day. All tarmac it should be both entertaining and very fast. Debring to rumtse will be Stage 2. Over the Tanglang La at 17 540 ft this will be the highest point on the rally! The night halt will be at Leh.











5th October 2006
Leg 6 Leh - Mugleb – Leh

6th October 200
Leg 7 Leh - Manali

7th October 2006

Prize Distribution after the final Scrutineering and the conclusion of the Raid at HMI Manali.


So people as you can see, with the conditions survival is a challenge. Not to mention the wish that your vehicle takes the brutal assault!

Your wishes needed )


4 comments:

Harveen said...

ru going for this man??

Insouciant said...

wo ho thats like a RAID guide for all raiders and non raiders

Man I'm jealous... anyways have fun veeray..

and a promise: Next year- raid + 2(aman)= Kickass fun

SIMRAT said...

ZIP
ZAP
ZOOM

RAID ON bud!

vrinn said...

well here comes the BIG and the awaited one...
workout workout workout man!!
its gonna be one taxing expedition!! wishin u a podium finish:)
will catch ya on NDTV ;)