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Slope of Hell : Ride to Heaven!

For the last three weeks, we had been planning a night out at Eco Camps, Mahabaleshwar; but to no avail. Last week also, we failed to book the camps, thanks to superfast, super-ghumakkad Mumbai janta!
We needed at least a good ride, if not a Saturday exotic night stay.  I had heard of Slope of Hell, from Inddiethumpers and also my regular ride mate Rudra. He had been there once, few years back. So, we finally decided to ride and conquer the Slope of Hell last Sunday.
I was on my Bull RE-TBTS, and Rudra on his Pulsar 220. He was aware of the route up to Kamseth, Pune. Also, not much of information is available online about the place. So, our motto was not only to beat the slope, but also to mark it on Google Maps. We have though got it published on GoogleMaps, it's still not searchable. So, I am providing here a route map, and also the location i.e. 18.73, 73.54.

Route Map to Slope of Hell, towards West is Lonavala
We met at about 7AM, at NH 4B naka, near Panvel and started the ride. Weather was all cloudy and a pleasant ride was obvious ahead. Our aim was to ride past Lonavala at single stretch. So we were both on wings on NH 4. Clearing Lodhivali, few kilometers before the ghats, it started raining. It was Karthik Purnima, and a devotees’ yatra was ongoing alongside the highway. Watching the people, riding on wet roads, suddenly I felt Rudra has clamped his breaks; my mind reacted, breaks were applied instantaneously and I was lying on road, thankfully avoiding any major accident. Except few bruises on right knee, torn
denim, bent leg-guard, loosened right rear view mirror and scratched console, luckily everything was fine :p Yes, one more thing was hurt, and that was my confidence. For the first time I skid on road, and I really felt bad. But, the best thing was that nothing big happened. It would have been uglier, but He saved me.
From there, we were on peace ride up to Kamath’s restaurant, Lonavala. There we had light breakfast, and I got the mirror fixed. Our next stop was Kamseth, where we had to take help of local guys for the turn towards the Pavnagar-Kamseth Road, through Baura Ghat. We lost our way on ghats, and Rudra had to contact an ol’ mate to confirm the road towards the mighty Slope. It was a left turn, towards a hill, near a power plant, through a Goat Farm. Road was about 8 feet wide, even narrowed by bushes on either side through stretches and in bad condition. Slope was moderate, but the tar was wet due to rain. So, we decided to maintain at least 10 meters distance while riding up. Pulsar’s engine coughed and stopped mid way. I crossed him and continued the ride. The way ahead was not lesser than a Horror movie plot, surrounded by thick bushes, clouds on top, big old banyan tree on one side, chirping birds and crickets’ hum….everything was stopping me to take a halt and wait for Rudra.
Few more bents and we were at the concrete platform, from where one needs to start for the pre-ride of ultimate Slope of Hell ride. We stopped there and had a walk upslope to inspect the route. What we saw was the Mother of all slopes – The Slope of Hell – 45 to 60 degree of slope, little muddy, full of stones and grass. What else we found were hundreds and hundreds of little yellow butterflies, making it nothing less than heaven, if not it!
A distant view to the Slope of Hell
The Slope Of Hell
Trying luck on catching some Butterflies
 Then it was time to ride the Hell. First, I tried to win the Slope, and while posing-while-driving my rear wheel started rotating freely without any friction and I had to shut the engine off. I tried again and again cleaning the mud that got struck in treads, but all that I could do was tire-burning! Rudra’s help too couldn’t help me to move further. L It was then Rudra’s try, who has already seen my Bull failing to ride the heights. He put his Pulsar 220 in first gear and started roaring, I was all ready to help him ride over the slope, with all my muscles strained. Alas, he too got stuck midway the slope at a place where it was almost vertical. We did everything, including placement of a metal bar on that part of slope too, to get past that; but all in vain. We rested for a while, had some snacks and water and tried again, but the day was not ours!
"You didn't perform well, ain't Happy!", "Me too" :]
Clicking a few snaps, enjoying the panoramic beauty of Mumbai-Pune Express Highway sprawled in the valley, we decided to ride down the slope, back to Mumbai. When we started, it was cloudy and as we reached NH 4, it started raining hard. Riding at our own speeds, we got parted somewhere on Expressway. Riding alone a little further on Expressway, I met my second accident and slipped on oil-slick or something. This time again, my right knee received the hit and bruises; and again what injured worst was my confidence! Thereafter I rode over-cautiously on the slopes, in the rain. I met Rudra again near Lodhivali, and parted to our destinations on JNPT Naka, near Panvel.
Panaromic view of Mumbai-Pune Expressway
Another angle
This ride has got an especially special place in memories. This was for the first time I met an accident, that too without any mistake from my riding side. I didn’t only hit my right knee twice, also got my riding confidence somewhat battered. And overall, we couldn’t win the mighty Slope of Hell! All said, may be we will try the ride again in near future, on a bright sunny day, if you’re interested, you’re invited! J Last but not the least, a sincere advice – please don’t attempt the ride alone; do go in a group of two or three at least, and happy riding!
For more pics, you may visit the album clicking here....

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