Marsimik La is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 5.590m (18,339ft) above the sea level, located in the Chang-Chemno Range, in northern India’s Jammu and Kashmir state. It’s one of the highest mountain roads of the country.
The road to the pass, also called Marsimek La, has disastrous conditions and only 4wheel drives are allowed with competent driver. The track to Marsimek La was built in 1983 under the supervision of Sonam Paljore, an Everester. There is also a small temple called "Chak Mandir" which has a picture of Lord Shiva.
Starting from Pangong Lake, the ascent is 31.04 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 1.290 meters. The average percentage is 4.1 %. The track will challlenge you with the steep slopes (towards the last few kms), loose soil and lots of sharp stones and big rocks all around. And with rareified air, your car will run out of breath.
The road is impassable in winters. Great trail for experienced wheelers. Avoid driving in this area if unpaved mountain roads aren't your strong point. 4x4 required. Stay away if you're scared of heights. Expect a trail pretty steep. Wet conditions may make for tough driving along the muddy road. The climb is simply terrible, with a notorius lack of oxygen that tests the organisms and a high degree of steepness. Most people feel altitude sickness at around 2,500-2,800 meters. Near the pass, oxygen is in short supply. If your car is not properly prepared, it will not have enough power to do the climb, and especially considering that the track is very steep, and rough.
Do not travel this pass in severe weather conditions. Avalanches, heavy snowfalls and landslides can occur anytime, being extremely dangerous due to frequent patches of ice. It has a well-deserved reputation for being dangerous because of unpredictable snowstorms and blizzards, and driving under these conditions, can be extremely challenging. The zone is a hostile, barren land.
Pic: Ashutosh Adkar