01-02-2017, 0950 hours, Lidang, Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India:
Yesterday we bought rope from Kaza market. This was the only precautionary measure we took and the idea was to tie the rope around the tyres as a substitute to a chain. This would help to get a better grip if the road was covered with snow during our attempt to get out of Kaza today. The rope was put to use today as a towing line between our car and the other cab we had hired. We failed on our first three attempts at towing – either the rope couldn’t support the stress as the other car pulled away; or the towing car would struggle to move itself on the incline along this particular patch.
But the good news we got from Mr. Sanjay Mehta as well as the local cab drivers was that this uphill climb was just about 100 m long and then the road descended downhill. This was favourable for us since our car could move ahead on its own along the downhill patch with gravity assisting it. So we made the fourth attempt, tying both the cars together by looping the remnants of the rope three times round and also using a strap which the hired cab driver had got with him. This arrangement helped distribute the tension in the tow lines equally and reduce the stress. In addition, this time round everybody pushed the car from behind, including the passengers and drivers of the Tempo Travellers stuck behind us. We were finally able to make the climb till we reached the straight patch.
Four of our team have shifted to the hired cab ahead to increase its weight so that it gets good grip and tows our car easily, while Mr. Mehta is being accompanied by Abhishek in our troubled car. The rope has again snapped but as we have hit the downward inclined road now, the car is on the move behind us, on its own. We will stop after we reach a straighter patch, where our hired cab driver has predicted that we will have to stop, re-tie the ropes and tow the vehicle once again.