Recently one of the PHOTO JOURNEY viewer set us a long message asking about places to find snow in the month of June. 7 years back I was going to Lahaul & Spiti via Rohtang Pass and we planned to take a break at a place where lot of tourists were stopping to enjoy snow sports. We also parked the car on one side of road where lot of tourist cars were parked.
It was very foggy and we could hardly see beyond the road. As we got down from our car, there were lot of kiosks to rent out snow gears. Before taking any decision, we planned to get climb to the area where lot of tourists were having fun on snow scooters. The snow was very dirty as you can see in these photographs. Because this was not fresh snow and this road becomes very busy during summers, all the dust settles down on white snow and the whole space looks very dirty.
In fact, this is the time when snow is hard. It was very disappointing for us, but we were happy that we would be seeing snow on next terrains where tourist cars hardly go to make these white landscapes dirty.
Now obvious question is – what is the right to visit Rohtang pass to find white snow. So 2 obvious answers are – winters when these hills get fresh snowfall. At that time, you need not to even go to Rohtang Pass. Probability is high to find snow in Manali as well. The other good time is when Rohtang Pass opens for Spiti. If none of these times work for you, there is another way to find snow around Rotang Pass.
Most of the times, especially in summers tourists go till the beginning of the Rohtang Pass. Practically it’s even impossible to go till the end of Rohtang pass because of heavy jam on the way, near Marhi. So if you plan well and don’t get the bad jam, plan to go till the end. At least keep crossing the areas where you see lot of tourists. Road situation would get worse as you move, so be prepared and plan to drive in a good vehicle with appropriate accessories. Following army trucks can be a good approach or at least try to find out the timings of these army trucks. There are few advantages of following them – you would get out of jam in lesser time because they step out and try to clear up the chaos. But they do only for their trucks. The advantage is that you get a good sense about the road ahead of you. If stuck, they can be helpful.
I know Rohtang Pass is special, but I always recommend Solang nala instead of Rohtang pass if snow is available in both the places. One of the main reason is time saving, although you would not find all snow sports here. But I find Solang more beautiful and paragliding experience of Solang is special. Of-course the snow would be prettier :).
Here I would want to add a disclaimer that snow situations vary from time to time and inflow of tourists, so what I experienced might not be true in June this year. But there is higher probability of having same experiences during this time.