The Hampta Pass trek is ideal for first-time trekkers as it packs in everything from dark pine forests, open meadows, glacial valleys and an adventurous of a lifetime.
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Here is my Hampta Pass Trek blog: The last time I read about them was in dreary textbooks in school, not quite properly assessing the sheer enormity of their presence. It was only recently that everything fell into perspective.
So off we went, into the wilderness of one of the most intimidating yet calming mountain ranges of all time, to witness for ourselves what it would be to be in a place of absolute calm and peace. Our journey commenced from Manali to Prini by road. Then onwards, by foot to Chikha.
As anticipated, the conditions, even for a fit person, were hard-hitting. Sleeping in tents, crossing ice cold rivers and navigating the dense forests were just the beginning of the adventure that lay ahead. When one night, while trying to catch some sleep, I heard a wolf call out, I knew we were in a place where to panic only meant pain. I felt threatened but when there is no other option, it is better to send up a quick prayer and hit the sack.
The Route: Hampta Pass Trek Blog
Day 1: The trek starts with stepping into a forest of deodar, toss, oak and maple trees. The beauty is breathtaking. Soon, we cross a makeshift wooden bridge over the Rani Nalla. On one side are tall deodars that rise to 150 feet. They are so dense that it is difficult for light to reach us. On the way, we cross numerous streams but they are not obstacles in the trek. Soon, the Rani Nalla spreads out into a wide valley. We soon find ourselves in Chikha and start climbing over the grassy ridge. After all the trekking, wholesome and nourishing dinner is served.
The Jwara Nalah Crossing: Hampta Pass Trek Blog
Day 2: The morning is brilliant with the sparkling warmth of the sun. By 7 o’clock the camp comes alive. After breakfast, we move from Chikha to Balu-ka-Gera. We cross a stream “Jwara Nalah” and it is a best part of this entire hampta pass trek blog and start an upward climb towards the closed end of the Kullu Valley. The scenery changes rapidly. Below us, snow patches on the valley increases in frequency. Ahead, the snow-covered slopes of the Hampta Pass reveal themselves. Everything is dazzlingly white. The snow looks magnificent. On the way, a dancing stream welcomes us. I take off my shoes and step into the freezing water. The chill freezes my bones but a sense of adventure beckons.
The Big Day Hampta Pass Crossing
Day 3: No sun, only a light drizzle. We move to Shiagoru via Hampta Pass. The serious climb starts now. It is clear that no one has ever been here before. There are no footprints. The snow is soft and virginal. The pass is a wide plateau. On its eastern flanks are the towering cliffs of the mountain side. On the west, it curves to the left and drops down to Spiti Valley. There is celebration in the air but we make it short because of the rains. We walk down and soon find ourselves in Spiti Valley. We halt and camp in Shiagoru.
Day 4: The fourth day is a Himalayan blessing. There is no drizzle and the sky is clear. Today is the last trek of our trip. We move towards Chatru and then drive to Chandrataal. It is again a steep climb up to the main trail. The scenery is different. I was expecting it to be barren, but surprisingly the slopes are green—but they are boulder strewn. Another surprise is Chatru itself. There are only five-six houses. I was expecting it to be bigger.
Our plans for Chandratal Lake proves to be a flop, thanks to a sudden landslide on the way to the lake. Instead, we decide to go ahead to the Kunzum Pass. It is one of the highest motorable passes across the Kunzum range at an altitude of 4,551 m. It serves as an entrance pass to the Spiti Valley from Lahaul. Goddess Kunjum (Durga/Parvati) resides in a temple on the Kunzum top and keeps guard over the pass and wards off the evil. Visitors normally do a round of the temple to seek her blessings. We then come down to Batal and set up our camps. It is a village that lies at the foot of the Kunzum Pass and serves as the resting point for tourists. Moreover, the Bara Shigri Glacier and the triangular peaks in the south can be seen from Batal.
Day 5: It is a lazy morning as we’ve partied all night. We start only by 9 am for Manali —and back to civilisation.
1)One month prior to a wildlife trek, you should build up stamina, muscle strength and flexibility. Running, skipping, pushups and other forms of exercise help.
3)Carry healthy food like dry fruits, and energy bars.
4)Essentials like a torch, extra batteries, first-aid kit will come in handy.
Region: Himachal (Manali)
Duration: 5 days
Grade: Easy to Moderate
Maximum Altitude: 14,100 ft.
Approx, Trekking KM: 26 km
Source: Indian Express