Escape to the natural wonders of Great Himalayas, just south of Manali, for an unforgettable experience. Hampta Passtrek is the beginners delight in every way easy access, dense pine forest, beautiful meadows, adrenaline pumping river crossings and a high altitude mountain pass called Hampta. It got its name from the Hampta village and shepherds and villagers used this pass to enter in Lahaul Spiti valley of Himachal. This was traditional alternative route between Lahaul and Kullu Valley before the road was made over Rohtang Pass.
Hampta Pass is a moderate trek with a scope of mixing lot of other adventure activities to suit varying duration and interest of trekkers. It start from the Prini village and takes us to the majestic foothills of The Great Hiamalayas, the Pir Panjal Range which is the largest range of the lower Himalayas. Over this trek one will see different hues of nature as you gain altitude from thick green pine forest to awe inspiring view of Mt. Deo Tibba and Mt.Indrasan and their snaking down glaciers to the barren landscape of Lahaul and Spiti valley.
The trail for the trek begins after you cross the hydel power project buildings, it takes you into the pine forest with occasional bunch of other trees like Maple, Walnut, Oak and Alder. After walking for sometime with a mild gradient you have to cross a beautiful nala over a wooden bridge can stop here for water and a photography break.
This trail leads to a open meadow with river Hampta flowing on one side, here you will get the first view of Deo Tibba and Indrasan. On the other side of river you will see beautiful rock faces and above those there lies the manali lake.
This meadow is called Chikka and is the Camp for the day. Chikka has lush green grass so you will find some sheeps or grazing there, nestled in between of rocky mountain face and pine and maple trees. On one side Rani River is flowing and few small ponds and nice and flat camping places. On top of that majestic views of snow clad mountains and evening might see the twinkling lights of Manali town from some spots.
You can do campfire here for that team work is required go into the forest and collect dry logs of wood in further camps no wood is available. After having pitched your tent, traverse the meadow, climb the hill for height gain and have bonfire with the hot fantastic dinner.
After the excellent quality sleep, be ready for the next destination Balu Ka Gera which is about 4-5 hours gradual ascent from Chikka. Have a heavy breakfast start your day with a small walk and then crossing the river over the huge logs put by shepherds.
Keep watching the Gendarme (mountaineering term which is a pinnacle of rock on a mountain ridge) right infront of you, keep walking on left bank of river. This entire walk will be through the rocks and boulders. On the way you will get some superb boulders to try your hands and hone your skills on bouldering. After few hours of walk you take a right turn and here come the thrill and chill the crossing of nullah. Take of your shoes and just take the plunge…no only knee depth only. The water is icy cold so don’t stay in water for too long. Now you are just halfway from your destination.
On one side you have superb rock face and river flowing beneath them and right in front of you valley full of snow and trees are left behind only small bushes. Walk along the river through boulder you will reach Balu ka Gera which means Heaps of Sand. This is flat ground with river flowing one side and a nice water stream just near the campsite. Its water will be used for drinking and for food. In the night from here you can try your hands on night photography of stars with snow clad mountains.
Next desination is Shea Goru after crossing the highest point of trekHamptaPass.
Todays trek would be moderately steep and then steep descent from the Hampta pass. While approaching the Hampta pass you can see some the wonders of mountains like Cornice formation, Glaciers and their snouts and of course snow along the way. Stay at Hampta for your lunch at an altitude of 14500ft and be ready to careful steep descent and wear your backpack in case you fall your backpack will save your back.
From top you will be able to see your campsite, it seems very near but it takes good two hours to reach there. Tall snow clad mountains surround you from three sides and the open side leads you to Sheagoru. Again you have the river flowing to your right. Choose a nice camp site close to the river and retire happily for the day after crossing HamptaPass.