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Thread: IJC in Kalam, Chillin in snow! :)

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    Default IJC in Kalam, Chillin in snow! :)

    Alhamdolillah, team IJC is back safely



    NN Report;

    An annual snow cross trip by IJCians has been a regular feature since 2008. Initial trips had mainly been in the Galiyaat. Back in the days, the trips were done in early January, but the weather change meant that the major snowfalls have been occurring later n later. In 2012, IJC ventured towards Kalam side in beginning February and it was an amazing trip. The next year trip on similar dates to Kalam was even better! Some would say it was the best ever!!
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    People who take interest in IJC activities know, how passionate some of us have become about national offroad rallying. Infact the last few times, the IJC rally teams have entered no less than 4-5-6 entries in the events, be it Cholistan, Jhal or Rohtas!
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Now as
    <st1:place w:st="on">Cholistan Desert</st1:place> rally happens on 2nd weekend in February, making it difficult to manage both the snow cross and rally on two simultaneous weekends. Hence the 2014 snow cross was cancelled. Same thing happened this year as well. Some of us made some half hearted plans, and some even visited Galiyaat individually! But kuch tishnagi reh gayee thee! After seeing the MJC and frontier 4X4 snow cross events, my thoughts were, why haven't we gone somewhere as well! So with so much rain happening recently and news of snowing in various parts of the country, I couldn't resist and floated the idea of visiting somewhere in search of snow! Got positive response from some, and with long weekend coming with no prior commitments, it was............................lets go! <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    In the end, not as many could join due to various constraints/ commitments. But 10 of us left early Saturday morning in 5 vehicles for Kalam. The progress was steady. Well before Mingora we took the bypass road onto the other side of river swat. The road was lovely, flowing curves with beautiful lovely green surroundings. There was a lovely cloud cover to top it off and Mani n I kept admiring it all. After a hearty chappal kebab lunch break at Matta (before Madayn) we continued on. The lovely road continued all the way to
    <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Bahrain</st1:place></st1:country-region>. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Once past
    <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Bahrain</st1:place></st1:country-region> we had the completely broken track/ road / offroad to Kalam, approx 35km. The progress here was slow for some, steady for some and for our new resident rally driver Mustaghese Sb, it was testing ground for his TLC. The last I heard was..........................kamani walee gari ko iss sae kuch nahee hota...........................and than the throttle was floored, he reached Kalam over half n hour before anyone else!!

    On the way, as usual, I provided lifts to many locals, at one stage we had 9 people sitting in the back daala. Which proved not a wise decision, because I have removed the loader leaf springs from rear for rallies, the daala started bottoming out frequently on bumps. Felt too bad to ask people to get off, so we asked them all to move max to front of daala, and at slow speed we managed to progress slowly. One by one the local passengers got off at their destinations, and our progress speed improved.
    <o:p></o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    Once we all reached Kalam, we were a bit disappointed that there wasn't as much snow left as expected. Overall the surroundings represented a very cool, serene and quiet Kalam. After a quick hot refreshing tea, we checked into the Greens hotel. Than after a discussion with locals, we headed towards a nearby mountain and began accent on a snow covered narrow off-road track heading up towards a village. Because the temps weren't as low, the snow had packed up and become rather dense, which meant it converted to black ice very easily after one or two passes of vehicle tyres. Also the incline was rather steep and so progress was rather slow. Mustaghese and Zahid did put on snow chains and tried to lead the way, but it wasn't an easy track. The excitement of making each steep turn by pushing n rocking the vehicles was great. But as it was fast getting dark, so we decided to turn and head back to the hotel and hit it again the next morning.
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Back at the hotel, we had ordered food already, so we all headed straight for the dinner table. Hot food followed by hot tea refreshed everyone. To top it off, I suggested hot halwa as sweet dish, everyone exclaimed a universal yes! Unfortunately it wasn?t to be, all shops of Kalam had closed early and there weren't any ingredients in house to make the halwa. We even contemplated Egg halwa, but turned out the hotel only had limited eggs, so if we had egg halwa, there would be no eggs for breakfast (we wanted early breakfast, n the shops would open after 9am), so disappointingly the halwa wasn't to be. Anyway, the chit chats, gup shup, remembering old trips, everyone describing their own experiences, the time passed so quickly. At midnight everyone hit the beds and slept within minutes after a long day.
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    The next morning all were up early, the outside views were mesmerizing all round! The hot early morning tea served on the first floor terrace of the hotel with amazing views was the best thing anyone could ask for. The breakfast was also done out in the open, in a bright, clear, sunny yet chilly day.
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    After loading stuff in our 4X4 we left for Kalam pine forest. The forest was as amazing as ever. Most of the snow had melted, but we still had some to play a bit. Then we found few frozen puddles, slowly n cautiously we crossed one, and than once we were reassured..................................... everyone had great mud bash!
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Than it was time to hit the mountain road again. So far I resisted putting on snow chains, and had managed to cover terrain by reducing tyre pressure to 16psi cold. Mustaghese Sb TLC was leading way, but progress was difficult due to incline n packed snow. Eventually, I did put on snow chains on all four wheels and lead the way. The progress was still not quick. One or two side slopes were rather tricky, but we managed them steady. Apart from me remaining vehicles only had one pair of snow chain, and even following me on the steep track was proving difficult for rest. So eventually we decided to turn round.
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Mustaghese n Imtiaz disappeared yet again on the return journey between Kalam and
    <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Bahrain</st1:place></st1:country-region>! We stayed in mid pack and moved at a relaxed pace. Imtiaz had already ordered Karahi lunch at <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Bahrain</st1:place></st1:country-region>, so by the time the last vehicle arrived, lunch was almost ready and was enjoyed thoroughly. It was already well past 4pm by that time. So we decided it was going to be a non-stop run back to home! Alhamdolillah we made it back safely home just after 10pm.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    The radio banter / chit chat during the journey was on going and were hilarious as ever. I must thank all 9 manchallas, who joined on this wonderful trip at such short notice, truly appreciated. Extra thanks to Imran for his pleasant companionship in NPP with unending discussions during the journey.
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Finally, extremely thankful to Almighty for all his blessings and for providing us these opportunities to visit the most gorgeous parts of our beautiful country!
    <o:p></o:p>
    Attached Images Attached Images      

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    aha great.............
    LEGENDS OF THE NORTH

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    Great to hear waiting anxiously for clicks and stories.

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    great...looking forward for pics...
    Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I?m going to take tomorrow ....

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    IJC in Kalam Chillin in snow!  -1553650

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    IJC in Kalam Chillin in snow!  -1553651

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    IJC in Kalam Chillin in snow!  -1553652

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    IJC in Kalam Chillin in snow!  -1553653

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    IJC in Kalam Chillin in snow!  -1553654

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    IJC in Kalam Chillin in snow!  -1553655

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