Highest road in the world, Khardong-La Pass, Ladakh

by John Wilson November. 13, 2019 210 views

Ever wondered what it's like to reach the peak of the world's highest road? Neither had I to be honest but turns out it's a great experience.

Icicles by the road (and the odd snowflake falling) near the peak of the Khardong-La pass, reputedly the world's highest road at around 5600 metres or 18380 feet. Even higher than Everest base camp.

Icicles by the road (and the odd snowflake falling) near the peak of the Khardong-La pass, reputedly the world's highest road at around 5600 metres or 18380 feet. Even higher than Everest base camp.

The road to Khardong-La starts just outside the city of Leh, the main centre of Ladakh, India. Leh is located in a valley in the Himalayas at a mere 3500 metres.

The road to Khardong-La starts just outside the city of Leh, the main centre of Ladakh, India. Leh is located in a valley in the Himalayas at a mere 3500 metres.

The road winds up through typically barren Ladakh landscapes.

The road winds up through typically barren Ladakh landscapes.

After around 90 minutes of driving we reached the snowline.This was in October, just before the cold weather arrived.

After around 90 minutes of driving we reached the snowline.This was in October, just before the cold weather arrived.

The road goes on and on,but here we were getting close to the top. And more snowflakes, still a bit of a novelty for me coming from a temperate climate.

The road goes on and on,but here we were getting close to the top. And more snowflakes, still a bit of a novelty for me coming from a temperate climate.

At last, the top. Great to see there's an oxygen cafe nearby.

At last, the top. Great to see there's an oxygen cafe nearby.

Hopefully though you're thinking more about hot drinks at this point than oxygen.

Hopefully though you're thinking more about hot drinks at this point than oxygen.

There's a climb to get to the the temple at the top of the Khardong-La pass. The high altitude ascent up the steps does leave you a little short of oxygen - I suppose you could say the Himalayan view is breathtaking.

There's a climb to get to the the temple at the top of the Khardong-La pass. The high altitude ascent up the steps does leave you a little short of oxygen - I suppose you could say the Himalayan view is breathtaking.

So, that's what it looks like at the top of the `highest motorable road in the world'. Mind you, a couple of other roads claim something similar. And you may have noticed not even the signs at the top can agree on the height - 17982 feet? 18380? But let's not have such details spoil a good story.

So, that's what it looks like at the top of the `highest motorable road in the world'. Mind you, a couple of other roads claim something similar. And you may have noticed not even the signs at the top can agree on the height - 17982 feet? 18380? But let's not have such details spoil a good story.

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There are 4 comments , add yours!
Benny Law 2 months, 1 week ago

Yes, breathtaking views. Very nice post, John.

2 months, 1 week ago Edited
John Wilson Replied to Benny Law 2 months, 1 week ago

Thanks Benny!

2 months, 1 week ago Edited
Heike 2 months, 1 week ago

5600m - never thought there could be a road...Crazy. The highest I have ever been was about 3000m in the Austrian Alps, and already there some people get problems with the oxygen. Your photos show a really majestic scenery!

2 months, 1 week ago Edited
John Wilson Replied to Heike 2 months, 1 week ago

Ladakh scenery is incredible. 5600 metres is 3 times our highest mountain in Australia!

2 months, 1 week ago Edited
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