Hampta Pass Trek is considered as one of the most doable (moderate) and beautiful trek in Himachal region. There are many variations in this trek scenic landscapes, open green pastures, huge meadows, glacial valleys and crossing the Pass makes this trekking expedition to Hampta pass an exciting one. The added attraction to this Trek is the visit to the famous Chandertal Lake in Spiti. It takes a few hours from Chatru to high altitude Chandertal lake and an extra day is therefore added to otherwise a four day Hampta Pass Trek.
The best months to trek are May and June and August through October.
The closest station is Manali. Therefore, the trip starts from Manali to Chika via Jobra. From Jobra the trek is undertaken by walk. This route comprises the first day. Balu ka Ghera is reached on the second day. You would cross amazing boulders, Gendrame and Rani Nallah on this day. The third day destination is Sia Goru from Balu ka Ghera via Hampta Pass Trek. You will come across mind boggling and stupendous glaciers, cornice formation and snows all the way along. The maximum altitude will be reached on this day i.e. 14, 100 ft. Day four will start from Sia Goru and end up in Chatru.
The following day is left for Chandartal Lake visit and stay at the Chandartal Site.
3 Hours Before Flight Time
Wooden bridge cross over to reach Chikka campsite
Today we start the day by assembling at the Manali gol chakkar at 9.30 am post breakfast. We start the drive by 10.00am to reach Jobra by 11.30am. This road drive consists of an uphill of 42 hair pin bends of the Kullu valley. Just reaching on Jobra there is a dam being constructed over the Raani nalla (river). There are a few wooden and cemented dhabas right there. This is the starting point of the trek. We collect our packed lunch for the day and start the trek. The trek is a short one for about 2 hours to our campsite Chikka. Chikka is a covered spot from the left ranges making it pretty warm in the night.
20mins away from Chikka, we turn back to look and get this sight…!!
The literal translation for Balu ka Gera is “Land of sand”. It is a grey sanded site which takes about 6 hours to cover at a moderate pace. Right from the Chikka site, we start our climb on boulders to reach the Raani nalla (Raani river flowing towards our right). The Raani nalla is pretty deep and needs to be crossed from the boulders side hereon. It is generally deep till the waist and it’s flow keeps increasing in the day time. Hence it’s important to cross it in the earlier half of the day when the water levels are comparatively lower. On crossing this nalla, we trek through a patch of greenery. This area is also Jwara and the mid-point of today’s trek. Jwara has amazing multi-coloured flowers and on the other side of the river we can spot the Himalayan birch trees with few small patches of the yellow rhododendron bushes in some parts. We keep trekking on this route and take a gentle climb over the muddy trail and a few boulders to take a left into the valley. On reaching here, we reach the open lands of the grey sand. Another 45mins of walk and we reach our camp for the night, Balu ka Gera. We are right at the foot of the climb for the Hampta Pass that we will are scheduled to attempt the following day.
Climbing the final ascent to the Hampta Pass
After a good breakfast, we start our trek with a climb. This day is our Hampta Pass day where we reach the tallest point of our trek, 14,100 feet. We trek for about 9 to 10 hours in total. We start with a gradual climb which gets steeper over boulders. We rest for a couple of times during our climb and enjoy the majestic views of the mountains all around. After reaching the first clearing we keep ascending the reach the boulders which takes us right to the Hampta Pass. Peaks as Deo tibba, Indrahasan can be seen from the Pass. On reaching at the Pass we rest for some time and have our packed lunch for the day. Reaching the Pass is half way of today’s trek, and descending to Shia Goru is equally challenging. This is a steep descent over stones with mud around. Rainy conditions can make this descend difficult making it very slippery. From this descend we can see our campsite Shia Goru on our left. Also, there are the fixed camps of Geologists doing Glacier study that can be seen. We cross their camps to reach to ours. Today’s trek is the longest and the toughest day of the entire trek. On reaching the campsite we hydrate well, have our meals and rest.
Shia Goru campsite
We start our day by crossing the Shia Goru nalla, which is right next to our campsite. We cross this nalla bare foot since the water is almost waist high. We form a human chain of hands and cross carefully in the super cold water. This fun activity charges our energies and we set of to descend to get to Chattroo. The Shia Goru nalla now is to our left and we follow it all the way down where is meets in the Chandra Bhaga (C.B) river that flows to Pakistan. On our way down we trek through beautiful patches of the rock faces. After clicking a few pictures and sipping water we continue our descent. Now is when we can see the road on the opposite side towards where we are heading. A steep descent takes us right at the meeting point of the Shia Goru nalla into to C.B river. We cross it at the meeting point to go to our left of the nalla and trek for about 1.5kms to reach the road at Chattroo.
After a light meal we attempt going to Chandrataal and return back to Chattroo. Chandrataal is a beautiful alpine high altitude lake situated at an altitude of 14,000 feet. It is an attraction for people on full moon nights as the reflection of the moon is visible during this time. Even in the evenings, it is a beautiful place to visit. It is super windy due to its altitude and the terrain to get to this lake is not very pleasant. Having said that, the route is also very beautiful in terms of the mountains and peaks visible around. The famous Chacha – Chachi dhaba is also enroute at a place called Bataal that we cross to go to Chandrataal.
After spending some time at the lake we head back to Chattroo our camp and have our dinner and rest.
Road at Chattroo
Today we start our drive after breakfast to get to Manali. We head towards the road to Rohtang pass and cross over it to get to Manali. This route is also very scenic and beautiful. In order to avoid traffic we start by 8am so that we can have lunch directly in Manali. For people with motion sickness, it is advised to take an Avomine and sleep. We see a lot to cyclists and motorbikes travelling from Leh on this route as well. Travellers come from Spiti (behind the Chandrataal route) are also seen.
We reach Manali by 1pm and bye byes to our fellow trekkers and team Wanderers until next time…
Total trek distance – 27km approx.