The winters, a season that engulfs Spiti. The pristine white covering the valley like a white cloak, the iced river beds, and the clear crisp skies are worth the trip. Though, as beautiful and as mesmerizing Spiti may be it is imperative to understand, that this remote mountain has a treacherous journey. More so, in winters. Spiti is a place where time stands still, you see the sunset in many hues. It’s a mind-bending experience to go from the lush green region to reach a cold mountainous region filled with monasteries and villages around the area.

White Spiti On Ice


1 Spiti

Spiti is a place where time stands still, you see the sunset in many hues. It’s a mind-bending experience to go from the lush green region to reach a cold mountainous region filled with monasteries and villages around the area. It looks ripped out straight from a post card, the panoramic view is breath taking.

However, back in the 90’s this Spiti was out of bounds for travelers. The roads were extremely arduous and at a point difficult to get to in a vehicle. Though as times have progressed, travelers have found solace in this little valley nestled in the mountains. Everyone wants a little piece of this heaven.



2 Road trip and the how to’s

If you want to know white Spiti or winter Spiti is nothing short of an adventure. There is no other way to lay it out for our fellow travelers. This isn’t one of your weekend getaways but it’s a hard-core trip from the start to the end. But let me not scare you, because you may be intimidated by the journey but what you find at the end is pure, unadulterated beauty.

One thing to keep in mind while traveling in winters is, phone reception is bad, so download the maps, sketch it out and be sure of the routes in advance. Private transportation is hard to find, so keep an extra tire, and accessories of your vehicle at hand.



3 Routes to take

Let’s understand that completing the entire circuit of Spiti in winters is not quite possible. As the two major passes ‘Kunzum Pass’ and ‘Rohtang Pass’ remain closed during winters. The one route that remains open throughout the year is Shimla to Kaza. One can start their journey from Shimla and reach Kaza, that’s the same route you take to get back.

The distance from Shimla to Kaza is about 451 kms. You can reach Kaza from Shimla in two days, if you drive without taking too many breaks. If you want to enjoy the beauty of the landscape then you would require three days to reach Kaza. The conditions keep changing if there is snowfall along the way. You must consider these situations as you plan the travel.

The next most important aspect is the people you will be traveling with. You must make sure everyone is aware of the terrain, weather and any situations you’ll be running into. Make sure if you’re taking a car at least two more people know how to drive, or on a bike you have fellow riders. One must be extremely careful of the black ice on the roads.



4 Layering and clothing

The temperature in Spiti during winters goes down to subzero. To manage such condition, you should plan your clothing in layers. Wind proof jackets, woolens (caps and gloves) are essential if you want to avoid frost bite. Shoes must be water proof and the soles hard, as you will be walking in snow quite frequently. If you’re riding all the way you need to be packed with a riding jacket that has rain liner and warmth liner. With thermals and riding pants. A good quality helmet that has anti-fog wind glass. Always keep first aid box handy. In this weather, layering your clothes is the best way to travel.


5 Money and finances

The ATM in the valley in winters most probably will be out of order, given that the internet connection is slow and mobile connectivity almost nil. So, working ATM wont be easily available. Its better to keep enough cash to deal with the situations accordingly. Don’t rely completely on your plastic cards when visiting white Spiti.


6 When in Kaza

As we know many roads are shut down during this cold weather, so the best way to visit places like Kibber, Komik, Langza, Gite, Hikkim can be done only by trekking there. It is better to take a local guide along, for you may not know what you may have to deal with. Even if you’re a seasoned traveler.



7 Accommodation

Normally, during winters most of the hotels are closed. Possible option for stay is Home Stays. You’ll have to plan your stay much in advance to be on the safer side. Mostly, you’ll be staying with the locals enjoying the life they lead, the food they eat. Also, there is usually availability in monasteries as well. However, its best to stay with the locals, do give them advance notice so your host can make the arrangements. Remember, during winters the water pipeline will be frozen, so there will be an issue of running water however, your host will provide hot water. But don’t be wasteful. During winters the cost of wood goes up, so take as much as you need and save if possible. The food will be basic but a warm room and a full belly is really what one needs.


8 Worst case scenario

If in case you are stuck in conditions that it’s snowed in or the roads are blocked, do not panic. The local villagers are used to such scenarios and they will make sure to help you. They will keep you warm and fed. Don’t worry about your vehicles, it will be brought to you with the help of the locals and officials.


9 Tip of the day

House of Travelers will help you plan and execute a wonderful trip to the valley. So, if you’re looking to enjoy the White pristine Spiti. You know whom to call.

Happy Exploring!