WE WERE READY TO FLY halfway around the world to northern India. Then, thanks to the live weather channel that is Instagram, we saw an unseasonable winter storm dump more than 2 feet of snow on our targeted destination. Our bikepacking trip between the farming towns of India’s Ladakh region had been swiftly whited out.

A local I was in touch with confirmed my fears that it was a no-go so I organized a hasty three-way phone call with photographer Kari Medig and our friend Carl Moriarty. Either the snow would melt and we’d be able to sneak in and out before the door slammed shut until springtime, or we’d have to find a new spot. I desperately emailed a seasoned Ladakhi guide named Tsering Angchok to get his take on our predicament.

Is the weather windy and cold or just cold right now?

Windy and cold up high, otherwise just cold. The days will be sunny.

Will there be too much snow on Gongmaru La pass next week?

Not much snow. You will cross the pass.

The 10-day weather forecast looked surprisingly stable and we were ultimately swayed by Angchok’s confident and optimistic take.

The first part of the trip took me to Delhi, India’s congested capital, where in the first six hours I committed a sequence of errors that reminded me I was a traveler fresh from the first world. I tried to pay for a taxi with old rupee banknotes that had been recently demonetized by the Indian government. Then, after mistakenly leaving my ATM card in a bank machine,

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

Related Interests

More from Bike

Bike4 min read
Blank Slate
“Hi, I’m Kristin,” I say. “I know, we just met.” Their confused look, the one sometimes laced with mild offense, is one I’ve come to know well. I’ve had this conversation at nearly every social gathering I’ve ever attended. It still happens, but not
Bike3 min read
Launch Pad
When mountain biking took hold in the loamy, wooded petri dish that is western Canada, a uniquely gravity-focused aesthetic emerged. Gravity was already kind of a big deal, given the high concentration of world-class skiing and snowboarding. And duri
Bike5 min read
Lost Cargo
Name: Wyatt Brown Breed: Chocolate Lab Last Seen: Squamish, BC In June of 2013, Frankie Choltco-Devlin and a buddy were on a weekend-warrior road trip through the Sea to Sky corridor. They’d brought their bikes, climbing gear, camping gear, general d