The heavy snow forced us to turn back, but am happy it gave us a chance to test the SUV’s 4×4 capabilities.
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Reporting on a short drive in the snow. (Am I the first one here?).
Dt. 14/11/22, 0730 hrs. Z8L D AT 4×4.
Drove up from Naggar (HP) towards the Atal Tunnel, with an intent to cross over for a day trip to Sissu. Accompanying me was my 91-year-old dad with a triple bypass and multiple angioplasties in the proverbial rearview mirror.
It started snowing soon after crossing the Beas bridge at Manali. Light flurries quickly became heavier flakes as we gained altitude. Crossed Solang without turning on the Terrain Mode, but within a few minutes, the snow was a few inches thick on both sides of the road. Some vehicles coming downhill advised us to turn back as the Atal Tunnel was being closed down temporarily, due to much heavier precipitation in the upper reaches (and beyond, into Lahaul).
Undeterred, and wanting to test the 4×4 capabilities of the “Green Goblin”, we proceeded further uphill (up to the place where the tourists rent ATVs and Snowmobiles for their fun and games. Luckily, it was early morning, and the news still hadn’t filtered down to the honeymooners (and disco boys) in Manali. That’s when I turned the dial to snow mode. and drove on for another 2-3 km, up to a point where a Himachal Roadways bus driver coming down in the opposite direction told us the tunnel was closed and there was heavy snow ahead.
Disappointed, but nonetheless happy to have been able to test out the 4×4 (High) on the Scorpio-N, we descended – keeping all wheels engaged till the slush lasted – there was a fair amount of tourist traffic, both local taxis, as well as Kias, Hondas, Toyotas and Suzukis, headed uphill, with some struggling to grip the road, which by now had patches of semi-black ice.
Coming to the car’s performance, am happy to report that it matched expectations with 4WH engaged. The vehicle was rock stable on both ascent and descent, with no skids at all (I was driving defensively on the downhill stretch because some idiots were zig-zagging across the road in their 2WDs in the opposite direction.
Will make another attempt tomorrow to cross the tunnel tomorrow, weather permitting, of course. Some random pix attached.
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