Hampta Pass Trek: Based near Manali (6,726 ft.) in Himachal Pradesh, Hampta Pass (14,100 ft.) connects Lahaul and Kullu valleys of the state. Forests, grasslands, deserts, meadows, rocky & slippery terrains, steep ascends & descends river crossing, this trek is full of natural punches! Here are some fundamentals about this ‘not to be missed’ trek:
ALL ABOUT HAMPTA PASS TREK
Trek Level: It’s a medium level difficulty trek and therefore is recommended for slightly experienced trekkers. You should have done 2-3 treks and should have negotiated an altitude of around 9850 ft.
Guide: Due to unpredictable climate and changing & challenging terrains in Hampta Pass trek, you ‘will’ need an experienced guide and a group of people. Therefore, even if you are repeating this hike, go with a professional operator, regularly taking it up.
Best Season: June-October. Due to the high altitudes, the climate is cool through the year. Besides snow & below zero-degree temperature, erratic weather is also an issue. Summers witness the least amount of snow possible at that height, enhancing the possibility of treks in those terrains.
Physical Preparation: Any fit person aging over 14 years can take Hampta Pass trek. But you need to prepare. With lesser oxygen at heights, your heart needs to work almost double to keep you going. Add to it 10-12 Kg backpack on sharp inclines up & down and rivers too. Therefore, before heading for any high altitude, you need to build your stamina, legs & back strength, flexibility and balance over minimum a month.
Practice daily for 1 hour. Begin with 5 minutes of jogging without break and build upon it. Add to it 3 sets of 8-10 squats. Use as many stairs as you can with 10-12 Kg (great, if 15 Kg) backpack. Before you head for the trek, on plains, you should be able to cover 10 Km walk at a stretch of 90 minutes or 4.5 km jogging in 25 minutes.
You should be able to walk with the 10-12 Kg backpack for 6-7 hours a day. For flexibility & preventing soreness of muscles & joints, routinely practice enough stretching & shoulder exercises.
Food: The food served on the trek is North Indian. Breakfasts & dinners are heavy and lunch light. You take meals early. Try getting used to this kind of meals cycle for a month to adjust your body.
Carry ‘only’ Essentials: You need a 50-60ltr backpack with the rain cover to stock in a walking stick, torch, sunglasses, trekking shoes, floaters, water bottle and first aid & medical kit.
Clothing includes trek pants, full sleeves T-shirts, Fleece T-shirts & jacket, thermals full set, wind & waterproof jacket & pant, sun & woolen caps, waterproof & woolen gloves, cotton & woolen socks, neck-gaiter and cotton & woolen socks. Toiletries include sunscreen, intense moisturizer & lip balm, toilet paper & wipes, hand sanitizer, antibacterial powder, toothbrush & toothpaste and quick dry towel.
The Itinerary: It’s a 5-6 days’ trek. Day-1 Reach Manali and travel to Jobra to start the trek. Hike to Chika. Day-2 destination is Balu ka Gera. Day-3 is Shea Goru via Hampta Pass. Day-4 target is Chhatru as the base camp and drives to & from Chandrataal (if weather & paths allow). Day-5 reach back Manali.
Reaching Manali: Railways, road, air, Manali is connected well on the transport network. The nearest railway station is 50Kms away, at Jogindar Nagar. Bhuntar Airport is 52 Km from Manali. Taxis are readily available. Road route claims 12-14 hours. Overnight Volvos and other buses are the best. Use the traveling time sleeping & relaxing. Land in beautiful Manali in the morning to tread further.
Suggested Reading: You can reserve one additional day in Manali and visit Vashisht Temple Manali
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