If anything was to be more dangerous than the terrifying roads Rick and Lisa had conquered on their way to the dam project in Tapri as we witnessed in the series premiere, it was going to be a narrow, winding road set high atop the cliffs of the Himalayas appropriately nicknamed “the Ledge”. In episode two of IRT: Deadliest Roads, the veteran ice road truckers commence their journey on a mission to haul a steel cage from the 300 MW Baspa II Kuppa Dam to the Karcham Dam. In order to reach the Kuppa Dam, they must pass through the site of the Karcham Dam and navigate off of NH 22, which is the main highway, and onto a dangerous road that follows the Baspa River to the dam site.
This road poses a danger for the drivers in a variety of ways. First, the roads are narrow and the drop-off into the valley thousands of feet below is nearly vertical. Some parts along the road provide weak guardrails that provide nothing more than a stern warning to keep away from the edge. Second, the road is littered with falling rock and landslide zones, as evidenced by perforated guardrails and jagged pieces of rock sitting awkwardly along the edge of the cliffs. This is especially dangerous during the monsoon season, when torrential rains can unleash these deadly forces. Lastly, though the traffic is not nearly as heavy as it is along the main highway, oncoming cars pose a danger to everyone on the road especially as they appear suddenly around a bend. Oftentimes, the challenge is not only to detect the presence of an approaching vehicle, but to be able to navigate around it tight-roping the edge of the cliff. If the road absolutely cannot allow two vehicles traveling in opposite directions to pass each other, a tug of war ensues as both drivers try to hold their ground while attempting to put the opposing vehicle in reverse. These types of encounters on a road already fraught with perilous obstacles can be a recipe for disaster.
The Ledge is one road you may want to avoid.