Just over half way, another 14km would take me 3hrs to finally summit Sach!
This is the toughest and most epic pass I have ever cycled. Although not as high as many of the other himalayan passes, Sach is steep! So steep that in many instances I resorted to pushing. It took me 7hrs30 to cycle 32km of up from 2200m to 44oom, (although the total days ride was actually 8hr30 (58km) taking into account the first 11km were downhill and then the 14km descent to the police check point over the other side). While it was supremely tough it was also utterly stunning, and therefore will remain one of my favourites.
Shortly after our staple breakfast, a parantha and omlette, we dropped for 11km down from Killar to meet the and cross over the Chandrabhagga. Its hard to photograph steepness but this photo gives some sense of the gradient we were about to grind our way up.
The pass is a relatively new road built just over 10 years ago which has shortened the distance from Killar to Chamba (the main town in the area) by about 500km! The pass is open from June to mid October
My struggle is lightened by meeting of pretty school girls, Priya and Sunita who were living in the roadworkers camp with their families. The eagerly clambered up the slopes to get a photo of us with their cell phones.
The police check point was no more than a couple of shelters and a disheveled shack that could barely pass as a dhabba. The shack 'dhabba' owner was also far from friendly, so clearly sleeping there was hardly an optioin. With no sunlight or energy to continue further to the first village, another 25km away, the young and friendly policemen, Kritik and Guldeep realised that we were in a pickle. Despite their rules of not allowing anyone to stay in their camp, they welcomed us and even had 2 free beds to spare with satellite TV and dinner included (and they didn't even snore!)
I couldn't have asked for a better spot - warm and toasty after an awesome day and safe in the hands of some super friendly policemen! Thanks guys!