Khardung La – The Highest Road
TnT are on the road once again. Thomas and I joined up with Cat and Bella to hire a jeep to take us up and over Khardung La pass to the Nubra Valley, the region to the northeast of Leh along the border with Tibet and Pakistan. You might be thinking, “Another Himalayan Valley?” But this Himalayan Valley comes with a twist, or rather the road leading to it comes with a twist, and we just couldn’t pass it up.
Khardung La is the highest motorable pass in the world. That’s right, it’s the highest road in the world maxing out at 5,603 meters (18,380 ft). If you feel like challenging Nubra’s claim to fame, you have your work cut out for you. With all the passes we’ve crossed so far between Sichuan and Ladakh, we’ve only gone higher once during the kora around Mt. Kailash. And driving, the closest we’ve come was the road over Taglung La 5,360 meters (17.582 ft) leading into Ladakh, which is generally considered to be the second highest road in the world.
The drive was magnificent! And, with all the snow, hair-raising. Himalayas as far as the eye could see, stunning peaks, ice-blue rivers, and drop-offs galore. Of course, slipping and sliding along the snow-packed roads primarily drew our attention to those very dramatic drop-offs. What an adventure!