Hitting The Trail of Hampta Pass

A Trek is not about the destination, it’s all about the journey. Every trek has its own characteristics. They teach us important lessons of life which we don’t learn in our routine life.

Trekking is an activity that challenges the physical as well as the mental aspect of a person.When you are at the top of the mountain you realize how small your problems are. It definitely makes us humble and teaches us how to survive in minimum sources.We realize how beautiful this world is! Trekking is necessary to know oneself, to know our limits and our capabilities. It keeps the wanderer alive in you. There’s nothing more relaxing and satisfying than being in nature and cleansing your soul.

Why Hampta Pass

I had once read an article about Hampta pass and since then it was in my wish list. But I didn’t anticipateit would happen so soon

Hampta pass Trek is one of the most enthralling and enriching experience for mountain lovers. It lies at the altitude of 14000 ft. approx. on the Pir Panjal range in the Himalayas. Beyond Hampta pass trekkers can choose to extend their trek towards beautiful Chandrataal Lake.

The crossover of the valley is breathtaking. The pass connects two beautiful valleys Kullu and Lahual, where one gets to see various ever changing Landscapes. Incredible views of glacial valleys, thick pine forest,open meadows, adrenaline pumping water and adventurous crossing of High Altitude pass. Due to all these attractive features Hampta pass proves to be ideal trek for the newbies and trek lovers. One can experience attractive surprise in every turn over the journey which gives immense pleasure and peace at the same time.

JOURNEY

After a long discussion with family and my trek leader Annirudh sir of IBEX HIKES whether Hampta pass would be ideal for me, I decided to go for it. The only qualms I had about this trek was whether Ill be able to do this difficult level trek without any friends and a solo journey till I reach the base camp. But then I realized we are most experimental. A solo trip is very important because it helps a lot in self exploration. You should spend time with yourself and discover new and sometimes strange things about yourself.

Started with the solo flight journey from Nasik to Delhi airport where I met Pravin,a fellow trekker, the only company I had in a 12 hours Bus journey from Delhi to Manali.

Day 1: Prini Basecamp

We had our hotel stay at Prini which is approx. half a drive from Manali. After breakfast we had a brief introduction with other 45 trekkers. We all proceeded for an acclimatization walk which is necessary before starting any high altitude trek as our body need to adapt to the decrease in oxygen molecules at a specific altitude. After a soulful early dinner we headed to our rooms as needed enough rest for the next day trek.

Day 2:  Prini – Jobra- Chika  {7 hours}

After a short briefing by our Annirudh Sir about our climb and safety, we left Prini base camp with our packed lunch and a small bag pack. Prini to Jobra was a strenuous walk. The route has 40 hairpins bent with a beautiful panoramic view of Kullu Valley. Most trekkers prefer going Jobra by taxi but our group decided to walk all the way to Jobra which is at 9800 ft.it took us 3 hours to reach there. After lunch at Jobra the actual climb started to Chika our campsite for the night. We walked through tall pine trees and towering Himalayan peaks and a beautiful stream running parallel to us. We took a halt at a small dhaba run by a couple who offered us Buttermilk. After regaining some energy now the gradual ascent started and it took us 3 hours to reach our first campsite. The beautiful meadows filled with wildflowers alongside crystal clear stream makes Chika amazing camping location. We had a lovely, hot dinner in our dining tents and ended our day by discussing our entire day experience with trek mates.

Day 3: Chika to Balu ka Gera {8 hours}

5 am and I’m wide awake. I hardly slept for an hour as the tent was fluttering whole night due to strong winds but waking up on the foothills of Himalayas and embracing the views of snow-clad mountains glistening under the blessings of the sun makes you forget all the pain. We started with our next campsite Balu ka Gera at 9.30 am and experienced big boulders beneath the water surface. The valley is now widened a bit. Wildflowers in pink and yellow were seen all over the valley. The trek was tougher than what I had anticipated in terms of terrain. The route was now rocky and ferocious river kept us company. The main highlight of the day was river crossing which is just before Jwara. The river water comes up to the knees and flows with a lot of force. We took off our shoes, tied it to our bags and formed a human chain to cross the icy cold water. Our legs were numb and cold and we couldn’t feel it for some time. This adventure couldn’t have gone better without this river crossing experience. It was dangerous as well as thrilling. We reached Balu ka Gera campsite at 5 pm which is identified by sudden flat terrains. Balu ka Gera means mound of sand and it is formed by sand and dust bought by the river. All the trek mates played few games and ended our day with heartfelt conversations and a lovely soulful meal.

Day 4: Balu ka Gera to Hampta pass and back {12 hours} SUMMIT:

I got ready for the summit, only to realize it was much tougher than I anticipated. We left for our summit at 8.15 am after a warm-up session. After few moments of ascending to a higher altitude a bunch of my companions began to capitulate. The altitude sickness started to settle in the vulnerable teenage souls as they showed all the symptoms. There came a point when snow stretch started and now it got tricky as we first needed to walk perfectly on snow. Tripping on the ice could do worse. Though I fell many times on snow; that’s how I learnt to use my pole stick to balance my body and ensuring secure footwork for digging and step cutting. It was 1 pm and we were still far away from the summit. Some trekkers decided to go back to our tents. I was in a dilemma! What if I go ahead and couldn’t climb the snow peaks?I had no close friend whom I could ask for moral support.  Sometimes you just have to stop being scared and listen to your heart. That’s what I did and around 30 of us started walking on a long trail. It was nerve-wracking to walk on such a small path. A little streak of balance lost and we would wall down. It was 2 in the afternoon and the summit was nowhere to be seen. Jill, a fellow trekker, started crying and her husband, Anup, could only encourage her to walk a little more after all we had come so far and cannot give up just for few steps. Praveen proved to be my best moral support though we both cried for a brief moment as we were missing our families. Just when I was about to give up someone waved at us from the pass which was just 200 meters away. We reached our summit at 2.45.

Oh, what a beautiful crossover! All you feel is humbled in front of these snow-capped mighty mountain peaks. If ever you want to get lost, this is the place. I believe nature brings solace to all your troubles. I was completely lost in the tranquillity. So much zeal that I could Feel my lungs inflate with an onrush of the scenery. This is what it feels like to be happy. We took a group picture of 19 trekkers and had our lunch on the ridge. It was already 3.30 pm and we decided to descend as the weather was getting threatening. It started drizzling with gushing cold winds. Descending on the snow is again tricky. I slipped twice on the snowy slope around 100 feet downhill. Which is why, we decided to slide down instead of walking. It felt funny to slide on the snow like any kid! It was 7 pm and the sun slipped off the shoulders of the peak. We struggled to find the route back as the narrow streams had now transformed to huge ones due to the downpour and we had to drag ourselves through them. Thankfully, a young, experienced trekker, Saee, guided me throughout; sometimes through physical help, sometimes emotional. It got darker. Saee informed me that we had to rush a little more back to the tents. At 8 pm, we reached the campsite, fully drenched, hungry and tired but what a feeling of contentment it was! Today we walked, tripped on snow, jumped above big rocks, hiked through knee-deep water; but with all that pain and bruises, it was all worth it!

Day 5: Back to the Base Camp:

Going down to the base camp is as demanding as going up. It took us 8 hours to reach our base camp. Taking a bath after 4 days and the feeling of sleeping on a bed after so many days made me value for the small luxuries that we get in our life.

What I learnt from Trek:

Trekking to the Himalayas was a life-changing experience for me.

It taught me about the change and to be positive in life. Patience and gratitude are what it teaches the most. It makes us humble and values small luxuries in life. It washes our spirit clean. It’s not the mountains, but it’s us who we conquer.

I m living my passion.How about you? What makes you live your passion? If you haven’t tried climbing a mountain yet, do give it a try. Your perception about life will change for good.

 

I was blessed to find some good souls on the trek who had my back forever. They helped me during difficult terrains and were emotional support throughout. It is rightly said “There is no wifi in forest but you will still find real connections.”
I am extremely Thankful to Aniruddha Jadhav sir for guiding me always and I highly recommend IBEX HIKES Trek group whoever wish to start trekking.

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Author
Hello, Welcome to Soul Sessions I am Nidhi Vaishya, born and brought up in Mumbai Currently residing in Nasik. I am a Mom of two and an Avid traveler. I am a Royal Enfield Rider by passion. An obsessed Trekker who finds solace in nature. Travel is my Therapy and I Love telling my Travel stories. I truly believe in this quote “Travelling isn’t always about running away from things, sometimes it’s about running into what you truly want”.

Comments 39

  1. Ram
    Reply

    Your passion is admirable Nidhi just keep it up

    9 August, 2018
    • Sarika vaishya
      Reply

      Congratulation 👌👏👏…All the best n more to achieve like this trek Nidhi…..you will be good guidance for Tisha too.

      10 August, 2018
    • Deepali
      Reply

      Hi
      Ur passion is admirable
      N I can feel the experience
      N even I want to njoy the beauty n wants to explore.
      Keep it up

      12 August, 2018
    • Jyotsna Mishra
      Reply

      Wow… you set an example for women socially homemaker well done .. keep it up 👍🏻👏🏻

      13 August, 2018
  2. Dr Amol Wankhede
    Reply

    Very nice write up nidhi.
    Keep it up

    9 August, 2018
  3. Anjali
    Reply

    Firstly …..It is exhilarating for me and exorbitantly pleasing that you are doing something of your choice which makes you happy…Kudos for you achievement….May you have one of the best moments during this journey.

    9 August, 2018
  4. Anjali
    Reply

    I have a suggestion for you which may make this blog more appealing and intresting to read.
    The content of the blog should be short and sweet.
    Long blog seems to just beat around the bush.
    I hope this suggestion would be helpful and easy to implement.

    9 August, 2018
  5. Rupali Vispute
    Reply

    Very nice ,your words can be feel us the experience of that place, that beauty and thrill also… I wish I can do it too

    9 August, 2018
  6. Shweta chaudhari
    Reply

    Hi nidhi I liked your experience which you have shared. Till now I never met such adventurous women like you…
    I would like to go trek with you to explore such beautiful places.

    9 August, 2018
  7. Rashi Kaushik
    Reply

    Too good nidhi….n so well expressed!!!

    9 August, 2018
  8. Pratibha ahire
    Reply

    Ur experience about trekking surely made me think to take up this challenge…..well written with all details but a bit lenghthy

    9 August, 2018
  9. Charul verma
    Reply

    Superb….Amazing description….could feel each bit of it

    9 August, 2018
  10. Anju Uppal
    Reply

    Kudos to my little sister. I am impressed you followed your passion. Beautiful write up. It has given me energy to join you in your next trek. Blessings and good wishes to you.

    10 August, 2018
  11. Sarika vaishya
    Reply

    Congrats dear👌👏👏 more to achieve like this trek….you will be good guidance to Tisha too …she will be following you.😊😊All the best .

    10 August, 2018
  12. Shailesh Vaishya
    Reply

    Good work keep it up ..All the Best 👍

    10 August, 2018
  13. Medha Barde
    Reply

    Hey Nidhi…
    Very Nice… U just refresh the memories of Hampta..
    Wonderful writing…👍

    10 August, 2018
  14. Saira Ahire
    Reply

    Ur blog made me live this trek with you.. though m not a ardent fan of trekking but I truly njoyed this experience with you.. Putting thoughts across is not an easy task becos u hv to relive the trek again in ur mind.. Must say u made a difficult task possible.. kudos to tht.. Not many have the guts …

    10 August, 2018
  15. Mamta
    Reply

    Wow!! Chase your dream! I hope you witness beauty throughout your journey!!

    10 August, 2018
  16. Geetika Gupta
    Reply

    Hey Nidhi I can feel the beauty of the place in each n every word of urs beautifully written 👏🏻👏🏻
    In luv with the place would luv to join U next time 🤗 ur my inpiration

    10 August, 2018
  17. Naeem
    Reply

    Very well written. The pics are breathtaking. I am sure the real life experience of being there alone is far more surreal and exhilarating.

    11 August, 2018
  18. Dr Sushil Ahire
    Reply

    Great write up Nidhi, happy for you to follow ur passion, discover our soul is what Himalaya is all about

    11 August, 2018
  19. tushar sonawane
    Reply

    Hello mam, this is awesome.. Try making a personal/travel blog page on instagram and post it there too.

    11 August, 2018
  20. Aaditya
    Reply

    Really nicely put….
    This is a very special skill you have.. to put our experience in words… thankyou

    11 August, 2018
  21. Sandeep Goyal
    Reply

    Seems you have climbed above your fears in different walks of your life with this Hampta pass , u sound confident & ready for more peaks to be conquered….

    Keep rocking & inspiring the fence sitters .

    By the way a good write up as well !!!

    12 August, 2018
  22. Deepali
    Reply

    Hi
    I can feel Ur experience
    N would definitely like to join u

    12 August, 2018
  23. Rekha
    Reply

    Great going. .
    Wish you all the success and cherishable memories like this in future

    12 August, 2018
  24. Sanjay Chawla
    Reply

    Nidhi Great write up , Excellent pics , next time whenever you plan let me know will love to join

    12 August, 2018
  25. Rahul
    Reply

    Hi
    I was about to drop idea of treking due to fitness issues but after going through your blogs i m so inspired to continue to explore.

    13 August, 2018
  26. Rakhee KB
    Reply

    Great write-up Nidhi… Expressed it so beautifully…u ve made my mind to do such treks…n experience d beauty of nature n thrills too…Keep Going👍

    14 August, 2018
  27. Shweta
    Reply

    Beautiful write up Nidhi. I love your passion , could feel your journey n it’s truly exciting. Can’t wait to read more from you. Keep writing n inspiring

    15 August, 2018
  28. Shweta
    Reply

    Beautiful write up Nidhi. I love your passion and perseverance. Could feel your beautiful journey and it’s truly exciting. Would love to read more from you. Keep writing and inspiring

    15 August, 2018
  29. Shreya joshi
    Reply

    Hi Nidhi…
    I could experience your feelings just by reading your write up…
    It’s amazing…perfect balance of words…
    Keep trecking n writting …
    All d best

    15 August, 2018
  30. dr.namrata patil
    Reply

    👍proud of u dear. U r inspiration for all ladies, who always said that we don’t have time because we r married . U have proved that “All progress take place outside the comfort zone”. Start where u r, use what u have, do what u can. 🙏

    15 August, 2018
  31. Vinita
    Reply

    Congratulations sweetheart😘💛So well written. Keep writing & inspiring! You blog will definitely inspire and touch peoples life❤️

    16 August, 2018
  32. Nilu Somani
    Reply

    truly classic vignette of embassy tourism life👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻

    17 August, 2018
  33. Jil Sutaria
    Reply

    Hey Nidhi…it is really nice blog reminded me of the beautiful Himalayas.. The way I cried that day makes me laugh now..but yes I was fighting myself.

    24 August, 2018
  34. Sachin Kalambe
    Reply

    Nice Blog !

    28 August, 2018
    • Nidhi Vaishya
      Reply

      Thank You!

      28 August, 2018
  35. Pravin
    Reply

    Very nice.. from now hampta pass added to my wish list.. . Hope many more to come. Good luck nidhi.

    25 September, 2018

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