Srikanth's Travel Diaries
Srikanth's Traveldiaries is a blog run by Srikanth who enjoys discovering both India and far-away destinations. He shares his travel stories and beautiful photography with other travel enthusiasts. He is on social media on Instagram as TravelwithSrikanth and on Twitter as TraveldiariesHY
Hampta Pass Trek
The idea of Hampta Pass Trek happened with the idea of Everest Base Camp Trek in September 2018 (which is now deferred to March 2019). I wanted to check for the endurance and also the fitness that I was able to garner a similar (Himalayan Trek) before going on the most ambitious EBC Trek.
Demographics of Hampta Pass Trek
How to Reach Hampta Pass
I would share on our journey which most possibly would be the same for all starting from Delhi.
Hampta Pass is best accessible from Manali which is a couple of hours drive from the city.
Hampta Pass Trek would take anywhere between five to six days depending on you wanting to include Chandrataal to it which most of the trekkers do for the lovely moon lake on the other side in the Spiti – Lahaul belt.
We are from Hyderabad a group of 5 all excited Adventure seekers from our organization who decided to embark on this exciting Hampta Pass Trek and started our planning 3-4 weeks in advance with all the four of them going to the Gym regularly to enhance their endurance.
Our Day wise Itinerary
One: Hyderabad to New Delhi
One: New Delhi to Manali (by Volvo Bus)
Two: Manali to Hampta Village (short drive in a car through a ghat section)
Two: Hampta Pass Trek starts (Hampta Village to Jobra the halt for the Day One of the Trek)
Three: Jobra to Chika
Four: Chika to Balu ka Gheera
Five: Balu ka Gheera to Hampta Pass to Balu ka Gheera
Six: Balu ka Gheera to Hampta Village & Manali
Eight: Manali to New Delhi & to Hyderabad
We started on a Sunday, 10th June at 07:25 hrs in a Jet Airways flight (we were lucky to get a cheaper flight ticket on Skyscanner) and reached New Delhi around 09:00 hrs. The journey was smooth without any challenge and we started exploring on what next as our bus to Manali was scheduled for 19:00 hrs that evening.
After spending sometime repacking our backpack to ensure the weight is evenly distributed, we then set out to Connaught Place in the Delhi Airport Metro and what a wonderful ride was it being a Sunday we didn’t face any rush.
In no time did we reach Shivaji Park and then onward to FLYP@MTV where we decided to halt for lunch. Spent some good time eating lovely food and using the Zomato Gold membership that I had in India with which we got 1+1 on food for all orders we made.
We then checked into an OYO for a afternoon nap before heading over to board the bus in the evening.
Journey to Manali
After boarding the bus, we got a nice Scania bus leased out by Himachal Tourism with water bottle and a neat blanket, we started on time and did reach the city outskirts. The bus was a bit slow owing to the traffic and stopping by the driver at multiple places.
We stopped around 23:30 hrs for Dinner at a roadside Dhaba and enjoyed the roti and dal before continuing on the journey. Let me tell you the journey inspite of being in a Volvo could be tiring due to the duration of travel.
As things might go wrong, there was a flat tyre and took sometime to get it rectified in between.
Continuing, we stopped for breakfast somewhere close to Mandi, the place was pathetic to say the least and we didn’t have much as the taste was very bad.
Took a breather reaching our campsite around 11:00 beside Beas river a few kilometres before Manali.
Day One of the Hampta Pass Trek
After freshening up in the campsite and a lovely lunch, we were all set to go in a 4×4 vehicle to Hampta Village. Starting at 15:00 hours we reached the place around 16:30 hrs to start the trek.
We started for our onward journey to the trek destination and reached the village.
Our trek guide was a wonderful gentleman and I am sure you would agree as I continue sharing my story.
We trekked a modest 2 hours to our first halt of the day to Jobra. The trek was easy and not much of a challenge though. The guide and the staff accompanying him were quick to pitch the tent as we went collecting wood for our bonfire as we sipped in warm masala chai and snacks.
We completed our dinner around 21:00 hrs and called it a day to get ready for the trek next day.
Day Two of the Hampta Pass Trek
We woke up around 02:30 all of a sudden to view the lovely milky way and the lovely stars and thanks to Madhu from our team who woke us up on time.
We woke up back at 07:00 hrs to go on a short trek before starting on the route to Hampta Pass. After a lovely breakfast, we started back to our next destination, Chika.
This was a day long trek and we had lovely sandwiches and tetra-pack juice on our way navigating through the boulders, streams, and the wonderful waterfalls.
Going through the steep stretches, and trekking our way, we reached our next camping site at around 17:00 hrs to head over to the tents before waking up a few hours later for some nice tea and snacks.
We then completed our dinner around 21:00 hrs before calling it a day after a long trek through a moderate stretch of the day.
Day Three of the Hampta Pass Trek
Chika to Balu-ka-Gheera was a lovely but I must admit, one of the toughest of the stretch of Hampta Pass. Toughest of the tough people are gonna get hit by High-Altitude Sickness. We were enjoying the packed lunch which our Trek Guide cum Cook was preparing for us. It was par excellence I would say.
Day Four of the Hampta Pass Trek
Day Four of the Trek is a tough one as you start from Balu-ka-Gheera to Hampta Pass and back again to Balu-ka-Gheera.
We already started feeling a bit tired, stressed and a few of us starting getting slower in our pace as we moved further.
This is a trek route where you did experience stretches with boulders, no set path as you make your way, water crossing, steep trek over ice and snow.
We took around 6 hours to trek the last bit to Hampta Pass and had to take multiple breaks as we are now nearing an altitude of 10,400ft above sea level. This is where you are tested for your physical and lungs performance as oxygen levels drop.
Having conquered Hampta Pass, we sat down at the Pass / Summit for a while as we enjoyed the nature and the surroundings.
Interesting Fact: On a clear day, you can see Deotibba and Indarsen Peaks from Hampta Pass
After sometime at the Pass, we started back to Balu-ka-Gheera where we are to camp for the night.
The return trip from Hampta Pass took around 4 hours and was equally strenuous and exciting and we were just about started and we were struck in a hailstorm that was hitting us hard and slowed us down badly. With no where to stop, we continued on the trek back but carefully.
We reached back at our camp site around 18:00 hrs and had hot Maggi (there is something in the Himalayan region that adds a taste to Maggi which you otherwise won’t get in the cities).
Finally, we settled for dinner and were surprised on the lovely treatment our trek guide wanted to give us. Can you believe, our trek guide made hot gulabjamoon for us at such a height after he trekked the entire day with us.
Back to Manali
We got up early in the morning to start back to the place we started our journey on the Hampta Pass at around 08:15 hrs. Enjoying the paths that we came through a few days back, we reached Hampta Village around 1330 hrs before heading back to Manali.
A wonderful Trek that we enjoyed to the core and also the challenges as you attempt to go closer to nature and the beauty it has in store and the effort that we need to put to let it be intact.
In case any trek companies read my blog-post, I would sincerely request them to advise the trekkers coming with them to not litter the place as we saw a few trekkers litter the place with banana peels, coke cans and other plastic stuff which will impact the nature negatively which will harm our mother nature.
Equipment & Dressing for Hampta Pass Trek
Hampta Pass Trek is in high-altitudes and one should adequately dress.
We carried the below to ensure we were properly prepared and would recommend the same:
- Jacket with a fleece (dual cover)
- Thermals (top and bottom)
- Inner wear
- Half and full hands t-shirts
- Head scarf to protect your head from severe sun
- All weather hat
- 70 + 10 Ltr backpack from Quechua for durability
- Head torch
- Woolen socks
- Bed liner (silk one from Decathlon)
- Trek 500 boots for better durability and support while trekking
- Sunscreen lotion
Few Tips to keep in mind
- Plan your trek in advance and don’t rush to complete it
- Take steady steps and enjoy your trek at all stages
- Ensure your lungs are strong and you have strong stamina instead of anything else
- Carry medication – Diamox 500 is very handy but do try Garlic as this is a home made remedy for High Altitude Sickness which is more effective
- Carry less luggage, you would not need a bath in such temperatures so pack accordingly and carry light
- Do not carry heavy equipment
- Carry sleeping bags only if necessary as the trek company provides one, instead carry a sleeping bag liner for hygiene
- Drink enough water, do not take water from the main stream but take it from the sub-streams that join the main Nala
- Carry enough protein bar / Snicker bars for energy as chocolate helps in enhancing energy
- Carry Sunscreen and take caution if you wear half-sleeve t-shirts as they might cause sun-burn as it did in my case due to the extreme direct sun light at such altitude
- Finally dont litter any trash there, be a good eco-citizen and carry back your trash and put in a designated spot and help in keeping Himalayas clean!
A big thank you to ScoutMyTrip and Camp Jungle Brooks for a lovely trek experience. Should you need the details of our wonderful trek guide, do contact me on social media or post a comment here and would be glad to connect.
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Until my next blog-post, this is Srikanth signing off for now.
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