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As you are well aware, temperatures are threatening to reach up to 50 degrees here in Delhi. For the people of Churu (Rajasthan) it has literally already crossed the 50 mark. Just let that sink in for a second here. Sounds ghastly, doesn’t it? It truly is!

Hampta Pass Trek

Sometimes all you need is a break

I am of the opinion that we need some well-deserved break from this terrible heat and it would be more than great if the Government of India decided to give all us working bees a month or so of (paid) respite. Now wouldn’t that be a dream come true?

But alas, that does not seem like a wish that will be fulfilled anytime soon. And that is why we must take matters into our own hands. Naturally, it is maybe not possible for all of us to just quit work for a month and sleep in the AC all day long BUT it is possible to take a mini break and escape for a few days.

Ok.. What do we do then?

Take the call and hit the road

Now, most people will suggest you book some room in a hotel with a pool and laze around it all day with watermelon juice in hand. Granted, even while typing it – it sounds appealing. But nah. I am not one to suggest these hoity-toity vacations. I like adventures. I like thrill. I like feeling re-energized, active and inspired on my vacations. I like feeling productive. And that is exactly what I want for you too!

I suggest you take a daring trek and make this break all the more purposeful. The rush of trekking up the mountains, the views that accompany this journey and the great memories you make on this amazing trek will be more than satisfactory to make your break a successful one.

But which trek?

A stunning view of Hampta Pass

The answer is pretty simple. Keeping the climate, the roads and the travelling season in mind – The Hampta Pass Trek is your best bet! This trek is one of the most stunning crossover treks of the higher Himalayan region and is bound to make you awe at every twist and turn.

 Region –  Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh

 Duration –  5/6 days

 Highest altitude – 14, 010 ft

 Average temperature – 27 °C to 3 °C

 No. of campsites –  3/4

 Difficulty – Easy to moderate

What is so special about the Hampta Pass Trek?

The spectacular route to Hampta Pass. (Image by Jagatsinh Parmar)

Thrillophiliacs and seasoned trekkers consider Hampta Pass to be one of India’s most colourful, vivid and dramatic treks. Why?

Because –

  • The change of scenery during this trek is unparalleled. You will climb from the maple forests in the foothills, reach some mountainous grasslands, go through lush green meadows and be at the intersection of some gigantic peaks.
  • The crossover from the Kullu Valley to the Spiti Valley after crossing the pass is one of the most attractive things about the trek. The drastic change from lush green fields to the desert oasis of Spiti is breathtaking.

    Breathtaking view of Spiti Valley

  • Several campsites along the way ensure that you get to see the most fabulous views right next to your eyes. Huge mountains, cascading streams, innumerable horses milling about and colourful flowers in the grasslands make it totally unforgettable.
  • The addition of the Chandratal Lake segment makes the trek even more exciting. The Moon Lake is best experienced in real life.

What is the best time to take the Hampta Pass Trek?

Base camp at Chikka (Image by Jagatsinh Parmar)

June to mid-October is the best season to take on this trek. The weather in the upper Himalayas is warm during the day and gets progressively cooler. This is the ideal temperature to gain altitude fast.

After October, it becomes very bitterly cold and temperatures fall to several degrees below zero, making this trek almost unapproachable. Mid June to Mid July is in fact the sweet spot for it. There is no snow in the lower areas and quite a lot of it as you reach Siaguru and the Hampta Pass. By August all of that melts away.

How to approach the Hampta Pass Trek?

The Hampta Pass Trek is approachable from the town of Manali. Here is a quick general itinerary to help you understand what this 5-day expedition looks like.

Day 1: Reach Manali

After checking in spend an evening in Manali.

Day 2: Trek to Chikka

4-hour drive from Manali to reach the base camp of Chikka.

Trek to Hampta through Chikka (Image by Jagatsinh Parmar)

Day 3: Reach Balu ka Ghera

4-5 hours trek from Chikka to Balu ka Ghera through the wild meadows.

Day 4: Reach Hampta Pass

Trek 14000 ft high to reach Hampta pass. Upon reaching you can see the clear view of gigantic glaciers and Pir Panjal Range.

Day 5: Back to Manali

Get back to Manali while seeing the glimpses of Rohtang, Hampta, and Spiti.

Base Camp at Balu Ka Ghera (Image by Jagatsinha Parmar)

What if I crave some more adventure?

Well, lucky for you the Hampta Pass Trek is a gift that keeps on giving. If these 5 days of expeditions were not enough for you, then you can even continue your journey toward the Chandratal Lake.

A scenic view of pristine Chandratal Lake

Chandratal Lake or Moon Lake is one of Spiti Valley’s biggest lakes and makes for a fantastic camping site. The gorgeous orange toned mountains, the sparkling water and the big wide sky makes it look like a scene out of the movies.

After departing from Siaguru, you can choose to drive to Chandratal from the road that leads back to Rohtang Pass. The drive is approximately 3-4 hours long. Camp the night here to view the gorgeous night sky of Spiti.

How should I prepare for the Hampta Pass Trek?

Running will help you build stamina

Fitness:

Now you know all about the where and whats of the trek. Time to get into some hows. The Hampta Pass Trek is not an extremely difficult trek but a basic level of fitness is most definitely necessary to complete it successfully. Make sure that you do some running, jogging and endurance exercises at home for a week or so before leaving for the trek.

Some basic exercises you can do are:

  1. Stair laps with weight.
  2. Vertical leg crunches.
  3. Extended planks.
  4. Body weight squats
  5. Running.

Packing:

Remember to pack light. You do not need 5 different pairs of shoes or 10 different t-shirts for this trek. The lighter and more efficiently you pack, the more comfortable you will be with the climb. That being said, here is a list of things that you most definitely need to make room for.

Make sure your bag has only essentials in it

  1. Clothes – quick dry pants, t-shirts, one sweater, one padded jacket.
  2. Protective gear – sunglasses, gloves, suncap, balaclava, thermals.
  3. First aid kit – band-aid; motion sickness, headache, fever, AMS medicine, blister ointment etc.
  4. Cutlery – one cup, one plate, one spoon.
  5. Light backpack of no more than 60 litres.
  6. Survival kit – torch, headlamp, batteries.
  7. Trekking equipment – shoes, trekking pole, shoe spikes (if needed).
  8. Plastic covers and zip lock bags.
  9. Toiletries – sunscreen, moisturizer, deo, hand sanitizer, light soap.
  10. Original photo ID.

A pair of trekking shoes will make your trekking easy.

Mental Prep:

It might be easy to think one day ‘let’s do this’ but a lot of trekkers face difficulty later on because they are ill-informed about the route, not physically prepared or simply unable to keep up with the rest of the team. Here are some things you should keep in mind before taking this trek.

  1. If this is one of your first time taking a longer trek, then be prepared to feel exhausted. It is not easy to lug up a mountain carrying several kilos on your back while crossing streams and boulders. Be prepared to feel drained. All you have to do is be determined to keep moving ahead.
  2. You will not be able to bathe every day. In fact, you may not be able to bathe during the entire Hampta Pass Trek at all. The most you can do is freshen up from time to time. Stick deodorants will be your best friend.

    Trekking long distances is a serious affair

  3. Please be very very careful about littering. The plastic bags in your backpack should store everything from soiled clothes, socks, sanitary napkins, used tissues etc. The higher Himalayas have an intense problem with plastic waste and there is no way you should contribute to it.
  4. Be aware of AMS. AMS or Acute Mountain Sickness can happen when we gain altitude rapidly. The symptoms are stomach ache, difficulty breathing, fatigue, loss of appetite etc. This can be cured with a course of Diamox. But if you feel too sick to carry on during the Hampta Pass Trek, do not over exert yourself. Health always comes first.

What are the costs?

Since the Hampta Pass Trek is almost a week-long affair, any travel package for it will definitely cost you somewhat close to INR 10,000.

The route does involve some treacherous paths and it is definitely not recommended to go there without a guide. Especially for a first timer. It is very important to be with someone who knows what they are doing up there.

For best prices, click here.

Are you ready?

Wow. That was a lot of information to take in, I know! But when you are thinking of planning something great for your break it is best to stay informed about everything. I would still recommend that you have an extensive discussion with your travel provider and learn everything there is to about this place.

The sight you will see when you cross Hampta Pass towards Spiti Valley

It is definitely going to be one of the greatest experiences of your entire lifetime. If you have been to quite a few Himalayan treks, then the dramatic crossover Hampta Pass Trek will definitely give you the goosebumps of feeling something new altogether.

Get Up Go!

What Should I Do Now?
  1. To book a spot for the Hampta Pass Trek – click here.
  2. To read more blogs about travel – click here.
  3. To check out The Hosteller Manali- click here.

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