Scheduled Departure: June-24, 2017 7 Nights / 8 Days
Trek through lush green high altitude meadows to a beautiful campsite at Chikka (3270m/10,791 ft), dotted with wild flowers and a waterfall close by.
Explore Gortbari, a little hamlet in Himachal with an interesting legend attached to it - local folklore says it is one of the three villages there (the other two being Chalet and Hampta) that lies on the route to heaven!
Best Time To Go: June, July & September
Hampta Pass trek is a moderately challenging trek with six days of walking. It begins from close to Manali in the Kullu Valley and finishes in Spiti and the Chandra Valley. The ideal time for this trek is May to early October. Any later than that, and you may not be able to camp at Chandratal. But the trek by itself is truly spectacular and even if you have to trek to Chatru on Day 06 and head back straight to Manali on Day 07, we would still recommend you do it.
When you trek with MHE, you can be assured that we are backed by many years in the business of providing safe and sustainable adventure trips. The staff you deal with in the office, all the way through to the guides and porters on trek, have years of experience in safe and enjoyable trekking behind them. We can advise you on the right gear, the right training, and no question is too crazy for us to answer.
Our trips are designed for your maximum enjoyment and comfort, taking into consideration the environment and conditions, wherever you are. And since we firmly believe that an "army marches on its stomach", our chefs on the expedition will try their best to cook up a storm!
We use the best available camping and safety equipment and try to ensure you are as comfortable as possible. Please remember though, that you are in a remote and difficult location, and your expectations should be reduced accordingly.
We believe in sustainable, ethical and responsible tourism. Our guides are all CPR-trained and First Aid certified, the porters receive above standard wages, and we do not allow them to carry more than 30 kg (the international standard set by IPPG). Our crew are all insured, and provided with suitable clothing and equipment.
We support the local economy wherever possible, and do NOT encourage giving any gifts of sweets, pens etc to the charming local children you meet along the trail. If you are really interested to donate something, please discuss with us first.
Our "all inclusive" trip means that you aren't constantly rummaging for money, and you know up front what is included.
Dates: June 24, 2017 Trip starts from: Manali No. of days of the trip: 20 No. of trekking days: 16 Maximum altitude: 4,270 Hampta Pass Trekking Grade: Moderately Challenging All-Inclusive Cost: 29,225 per head based on a 6 person group We are adventure lovers here at MHE and want to make adventure travel accessible to any one who yearns it. That is why we've introduced the Pay Monthly scheme. That's right, you can now pay in manageable monthly instalments for the Everest Base Camp and Gokyo Lakes trek! Simply call us for more details.
DAY 1: ARRIVE IN MANALI
Arrive at Manali. You could choose to fly into Kullu and drive from Bhuntar Airport - about a one hour drive. Or you could drive up from Delhi in an overnight Volvo, which is a pretty comfortable drive too. Whichever way you plan it, an MHE representative will be there to receive you and take you to your hotel. There’s nothing planned for the day. Just take a walk around the Mall Road, and spend some time acclimatizing to the altitude. Manali is at 2050 m (6,730 ft), which really shouldn't cause you any altitude related problems, but it’s a good day to get used to what’s up ahead.
Overnight at Banon Resorts or similar.
DAY 2: MANALI TO PRINI, TREK TO GORTBARI, 3-4 HRS TREK
It’s a half-hour drive to Prini from where the Hampta Pass trek begins. Gortbari is a little hamlet in Himachal with an interesting legend attached to it. It’s one of the three villages there (the other two being Chalet and Hampta) that lies on the route to heaven. When someone dies, their eternal soul has to pass through these villages, and the local folks believe that one can hear the sound of a trumpet blow, when a soul passes through on its way to heaven. These are the Indian Himalaya. Every hamlet, every village will have its own folklore and you will hear many more on Hampta Pass trek here.
You will camp a few kilometres beyond Sythen Village at 2710 m in a narrow valley.
Overnight in camp.
DAY 3: TREK GORTBARI TO CHIKKA 3-4 HRS
Trek through lush green high altitude meadow to a beautiful campsite at Chikka (3270 m/10,791 ft). Dotted with wild flowers and a waterfall close by, this is a delightful place to spend the night!
Overnight at camp.
DAY 4:TREK CHIKKA TO BALU-KA-DERA 3-4 HRS
You clamber over boulders and stones in the beginning, but it’s an easy walk. You will pass the waterfall on your way up – stop over to fill up your water bottles if you like. You need to cross the river to head to the other side, so take off your shoes if you like, and jump across the rocks on the Rani nala. Yes, the water is icy cold, but cold toes are far better than squishy wet shoes for the rest of the trek!
Your next campsite is at Balu-ka-Dera (3700 m/12,210 ft)) at the base of the Hampta Pass. This is actually a wide river bed and the Rani river branches out on either side. It’s a sandy piece of land full of little stones and pebbles (Balu-ka-Dera actually means “where sand settles”), and you are flanked by snowy mountains on either side, and yes, it could get a bit chilly here in the night.
Overnight at camp.
DAY 5: TREK BALU-KA-DERA TO SHEA GORU 6-7 HRS
The Hampta Pass Trek on this day is moderately challenging with a steep ascent to the top of the Hampta pass (4270 m / 14,091 ft) which takes about three to four hours. The trek starts off with a gentle gradient and about an hour later you will hit your first serious incline. Thirty minutes later you hit your first plateau. There will most likely be patches of snow all around and the Deo Tibba peak is right ahead of you. There is some more climbing still left to do, before you hit the top of the first ridge and it will take you around 30 minutes to get there. From here, you can see a parallel ridge running – your next destination. At the bed of this second ridge is Hampta Pass. The last part is a bit of a vertical climb, but it’s over in about 20 minutes – will leave you panting for sure but you’ve reached the top of Hampta Pass! It will be cold and wind here, and don’t be surprised if the weather Gods decide to bless you with some rain or snow – just enjoy it!
The descent is always trickier in our opinion and this one is no different. It will take you around 90 minutes to reach the valley below. Just stand there and take in the 360 degree view – you’re surrounded by snow clad mountain on three sides and right ahead of you is a clear path that leads to Shea Goru! It’s an easy level walk from here to the campsite for the night.
Overnight at camp.
DAY 6: TREK FROM SHEA GORU, DRIVE TO CHATRU, TREK BATAL TO CHANDRA TAL 4HRS DRIVE, 4 HRS TREK
The first views of the Chandra Valley and Lahaul await you on this day. The Hampta Pass Trek starts with a gentle downhill walk from Shea Goru and in about an hour you will see the Chatru roadhead ahead of you. Our vehicle will pick you up from here and drive you to Batal (32 kms / 02 hrs). From here, the trek to Chandratal will take you around three hours, with packed lunch on the way. Chandratal literally means “moon lake” and is named so because of its crescent shape. You are now in the Spiti part of the Lahaul and Spiti district and you’re surrounded by snow-capped mountains all around! It’s a captivating sight indeed!
Overnight at a campsite near the lake.
DAY 7: TREK CHANDRA TAL TO BATAL, DRIVE TO MANALI 3 HRS TREK, 5 HRS DRIVE
After breakfast you trek back to Batal and then drive straight to Manali about 160 KM away, passing through Rohtang La on the way. Packed lunch will be served enroute.
Dinner and overnight stay at hotel.
DAY 8: DEPART MANALI
Breakfast at hotel. After breakfast drive to the Kullu airport. There are several companies with Volvo buses that will drive you out from Manali to Delhi almost every half-hour after 4 PM. The drive back to Delhi takes around 13 hours.
Cost Per Person: ₹29,999/- Minimum number to run the trek: 6
Transportation from and to Manali.
Seven nights accommodation in expedition camping tents and hotels on twin sharing basis.
All meals - 7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, and 7 Dinners.
All government taxes included.
Costs Do Not Include:
International/Domestic air fare or train fare.
Pick up and drop off from airport/railway stations not included. We can arrange for it however, so let us know if you need to get picked up or dropped off. Nominal charges apply.
Unforeseen expenses that demand a change in itinerary like natural forces, changes in weather, road blockages, flight/train cancellations and illness.
Medical, Travel, or Evacuation insurance.
Expenses of a personal nature - tips, laundry, phone calls, beverages.
When we have groups of 4+ people we supply a comprehensive first aid kit carried by your guide. For individual trekkers and small groups (less than 4 people) we supply a basic first aid kit carried by your guide.
All guides and porters are fully equipped with gear and clothing (snow gear, warm gear, sleeping gear).
Sleeping bag and inner based on the altitude (this is supplied is most of our treks. Do check the inclusions under price details to be doubly sure).
What gear you will need to bring with you:
Sleeping bag and liner – a 3 or 4 season bag is recommended, depending on your trek (if it's not in your inclusions already or if you prfer to use yopur personal one).
Down jacket – need for this depends on the season and where you are going.
Kit / duffel bag – required to pack your gear in (suitcases are not suitable).
Please note: Unless you advise us otherwise we will assume you are bringing these items with you. If you need help to buy or rent them, please just let us know, we’re more than happy to help.
Other items that we recommend you take on trek:
Loose comfortable T-Shirts NOT COTTON or long sleeved shirts for sun protection
Long trousers (for cultural reasons, we request you not to wear tight pants or
shorts. If you really want to wear shorts, please make them loose fitting and long)
A warm jacket / fleece pullover
A thermal layer (shirt and pants)
A water and wind proof layer (jacket and pants)
Woollen or thermal gloves
Sun hat and sun glasses
Woollen or fleece hat
Scarf / stretchy ‘buff’
Socks – depending on the season bring either warm, woollen socks or cool, breathable cotton socks
Comfortable and worn in trekking boots
Sandals or flip flops for camp
A comfortable day pack with adjustable waist and shoulder straps
Personal toiletries - shampoo, soap, shavers, moisturizer, travel towel, etc
Ziplock bags are handy for convenient leak-proof storage
Sun block and lip balm
Dust mask/ scarf / stretchy ‘buff’ for dusty trails
Personal first aid kit + any personal medications you need to take + water treatment tablets/drops
Camera, batteries and charger, music, book
Airtight and waterproof ‘dry bags’ are great for 1) keeping your clothes dry and 2) storing your dirty
laundry separate from clean clothes!
Sleeping bag liner – either silk, cotton or fleece
WATER BOTTLES - please be able to carry 2 litres of water and have bottles that can handle boiling/hot water
HEAD TORCH and spare batteries
Your sense of humour and adventure!
What to take with you in your day pack:
Please carry the following in your day pack, as a minimum:
2 litres of water (please make sure your water bottles will take boiling/hot water)
Sunscreen, sun glasses, sun hat, lip balm, dust mask / scarf / ‘buff’ to help on dusty trails
Warm fleece or thermal layer and gloves
Water proof layer
Any money you want for snacks/drinks along the trail
CRITICAL – take any personal medications you require during the day – you will not see your kit bag until evening.
The rest you can put into your kit bag which will be carried by the porters, whom you won’t see until camp in the evening. It’s a great idea to use dry bags (ie airtight/waterproof) in your kit bag to store your dry clothes in to keep them DRY in case it rains and one to put your dirty laundry in (to keep from making everything else in your bag smell bad!).
Food on trek:
You will probably be surprised by the menu items on an MHE trek. We know how important food is, and we don't stint by giving you 2-minute noodles and Cup a Soup. You'll get real food, home cooked style. And plenty of it!
If you have any special dietary requirements, please advise us when booking your trek so that we can cater for you. Note: sometimes not all dietary requirements are able to be met, but please inform us and we will certainly do our best!
Some tips for staying healthy:
Do NOT drink or brush your teeth with tap water or untreated water!
Drink only properly boiled water or use water purification tablets, such as iodine. Bottled water is available, but as the plastic cannot be recycled we request you to consider the waste impact of your bottles – we recommend you drink boiled water or use iodine.
Your hands are perhaps your biggest enemy in terms of your health as they get very dirty during the day. Wash your hands before every meal or snack. People often think they get sick from the food, but it’s far more likely they forgot to wash their hands!
During the trek DO NOT try to test your fitness and walk too high, too quickly! Listen to your guide and take their advice as they are trained to look after your safety. Altitude sickness is a killer and you MUST take it seriously.
It is recommended that your personal medical kit includes not only your preferred painkillers, but also throat lozenges, plasters, strapping tape for blisters, etc. If you are taking regular medication you MUST bring those medicines with you PLUS an extra supply in case one pack is lost.
If you have any allergies and/or take any medications, you MUST advise us when booking your trek!
Trekking trails vary from wide, road-like avenues to narrow, slippery paths built out over enormous drops. In many places, a fall from the trail would be fatal. One must pay attention at all times to where you are placing your feet. Be especially careful not to move while looking through the view finder of your camera!
Be prepared for the weather:
Each altitude has its own weather, from tropical heat to arctic cold. In the main trekking seasons in the spring and autumn, the weather is generally stable and even the high passes may be free of snow and relatively easy to traverse at times.
Some trekkers who have encountered an easy day at altitude may spread the word that boots and warm clothing are not required. This is a mistake. Sudden storms occur at any time, dumping snow on the passes without warning. At that point, anyone poorly equipped will not be able to proceed and may even be stranded for a number of days risking their life and the lives of others.
You are heading into the worlds highest mountain range. Be prepared for changes in temperature and weather!!
Altitude and preventing Altitude Sickness
Being in a hurry in the mountains can be deadly. Acclimatization is the word used to describe the adjustments your body makes as it ascends to higher altitudes.
Ascending slowly, with appropriate rest days and drinking plenty of water is one of the best ways not to get Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). Data indicates that drinking 3-4 litres of fluids (water, soup etc) per day to avoid dehydration helps in the acclimatization process.
You should not plan to go to high altitude if you have heart disease, difficulty breathing at sea level or are pregnant. You should consult your doctor about any known medical conditions if you are considering trekking in high altitude (over 2500m).
Avoid sleeping pills, alcohol and smoking while at altitude as they tend to decrease breathing and lead to AMS.
The first aid kit carried by your guide includes Diamox and other altitude medications and he/she is trained in the identification of AMS symptoms and their treatment. You MUST take their advice. If anything happens to your guide the first aid kit has a Wilderness Medicine handbook with comprehensive information about altitude sickness and other ailments.
When relevant, your pre-trek briefing will include information about what to expect and what to do to avoid AMS before embarking on your trek.
While all main meals are provided on trek, do not forget to bring some money for drinks or snacks that you might purchase on the way. You will be surprised by what is available on the popular trekking routes.
The amount to carry on the trekking routes depends on the area you are going to trek in, so please ask your guide for advice. Tipping is now common but there is no strict rule about how much the tip should be. Needless to say, you should only tip if you are satisfied with the service.
Photographing and interacting with local people:
During your trek you will have many opportunities to photograph local people and the amazing scenery and you will use tons of film/memory space! When you want to take a photo of a person, please ask them first and respect their right to refuse – you will be surprised how easy it is to convey the request to take someone’s photo even when you don’t share a common language!
If you have a digital camera it is considerate (and fun!) to show them their photo and if it’s possible to arrange to have copies printed and sent to them this is an amazing gift! However do not promise to do so if you are not sure you can deliver on the promise, so please talk to your guide about this! Photos can be a brilliant way to establish a connection with local people, but please respect their right to privacy.
Refrain from giving money or food to children. There are many good organisations working to help these children and we recommend you support them instead of encouraging them to beg. One other way is to collect books, pencils and other such articles and donate them to village schools you will find on your way.
Considering the Environment: There are many ways you can help to conserve the environment of the area in which you trek. Here are some simple tips.
While trekking you have to be careful not to destroy the very environment you are enjoying so much. It is not only for your enjoyment - people and wildlife rely on this environment for their drinking water and food supply and many places are of enormous religious significance to local people.
Pick up any litter along the trail.
Burn all your toilet paper and bury your faeces when not in camp, make sure you go at least 50m away from any water source.
Try and avoid making a campfire - if you must, be sure to use only fallen wood. Do not consume food cooked on wood fires.
Drink boiled/treated water instead of mineral water as the plastic bottles are a problem.
Stick to the trails to prevent erosion and damage to fragile alpine flora.
Ensure all rubbish is packed out (or burnt/buried if appropriate).
All tour participants should obtain their own personal insurance which covers medical and emergency evacuation at a minimum. You will of course also want cover for loss or damage to personal effects, flight or trip cancellation etc.