Hiking in White Tank Mountains

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For me it was like a life time experience, meeting with the peaks of Himalayas tasting the water coming straight from up there, finding peace within the nature, tremendously refreshing. Definitely there were tough conditions also; sleeping in the tents, spending time in chilled air but according to me without these tough conditions there would be no fun.
From my experience, while planning and preparing for trekking, I would suggest some basic thumb rules. Find out time for some workout, if u don’t want to hit gym it`s completely ok but do some endurance training. Stick to the basics like running, skipping, pushup’s etc. It will help you to complete your trek easily.

Day 1: It is 11 o`clock when my trek leader neeraj meet us at hotel. Then we went to prini by drive. He gave us packed lunch on the way to Prini our adventure of the trek is already started. From Prini we start the trek by stepping into a mixed forest of Deodar, Toss, Oak and Maple trees. The beauty is stunning. I cross a makeshift wooden bridge over the Rani Nalla. On one side tall Deodar trees rise to a height of over 150 feet. They are so dense that light doesn’t reach inside the forest. The trek is ascending in the edges of the Deodar forest. I cross numerous streams, water is not a problem on the trek. The change in scenery is dramatic. The Rani Nalla spreads out over a wide valley. After crossing the Nalla, Chikha is an hour away. It is a short climb over a grassy ridge.
My trek team is efficient. Within an hour camp and the kitchen is setup and tea with biscuits served. I had dinner with Rice, roti, dal and sabzi. It is delicious.

Day 2: The morning is brilliant. The sky is clear blue. By 7 o’clock in morning, the camp comes alive. After breakfast, we moved from chikha to Balu-ka-Gera. The trail crosses a little stream and starts an upward climb towards the closed end of the kullu valley. The scenery changes rapidly.
Below us, snow patches on the valley increases in frequency. Ahead, the snow covered slopes of the Hampta Pass reveal themselves. Everything looks snow covered. The snow looks magnificent. A while later we come to a rushing stream. It is wide and we need to take off our shoes. I don’t like the idea and think of ways of crossing the stream without wetting my shoes. I think of a few possible routes, but none seem without risk. Reluctantly I take off my shoes. The water is freezing and I can feel it to my bones, but stepping carefully I make it across. Sometimes we have to climb over boulders also but it is never difficult or tough. Some of my friends finding it difficult. Later the trail flattens out to reveal a large open flat valley. This is Balu-Ka-Gera. We make our way hopping over little streams and reach our campsite.
Snow slopes stretching from one end of the valley to the other climb upwards towards the Hampta Pass. Tomorrow’s trek looks very exciting.

Day 3: This is the third day of trek and it is drizzling. And our trek leader neeraj asking us to move to Shiagoru via Hampta Pass. The team is in good spirits and we quickly step on the snow in 10 mins. It is all snow in the valley. The first few sections are on flat snow and then serious climb on snow starts. It is only snow around me. It is clear no one has been here earlier. There are no footprints. The snow is soft and crunchy to walk on. Our trek leader make a fresh trail on the snow and we start following him. The Hampta Pass is not really at the centre of the top of the flank, but to the left, closer to the valley wall. I blindly follow my trek leader neeraj. The pass is a wide plateau. On its eastern flanks are the towering cliffs of the mountainside. It is closed on the eastern side. On the west, it curves to the left and drops down to Spiti. There is celebration, but we didn’t make it longer because of drizzling. It is a joy and risk to slide down. We are now in Spiti valley. After descending from Hampta Pass. We start looking for a place to camp in Shiagoru.
After I get inside my tent and quickly change out of my wet clothes. It was a mistake to wear two layers of track pants and now both of them are wet.

Day 4: Our fourth day is great.. There is no drizzling and the sky is clear blue. We all are now excited. Today is the last trek of our trip. Now we have to move towards Chatru and then drive to Chandrataal. It is again a steep climb up to the main trail. I make it easily. I make our way down on the loose trail of mud and scree. Looking down into the glaciers below, a slip looks like a bad fall. I try not to think about it. The scenery is different. I was expecting it to be barren, but surprisingly the slopes are green – but they are boulder strewn. Another surprise is Chatru itself. There is only 5-6 houses. I was expecting it to be bigger.
Our plans for Chandratal are flop. I heard the conversation between neeraj and tule ram ji (our driver). There is landslide on the way to Chandratal and road is not open. Instead of Chandratal we decided to go to kunzum pass. It is one of the highest motorable passes across the Kunzum range at an altitude of 4551 m.It serves as an entrance pass to the Spiti valley from Lahaul. Goddess Kunjum (Durga/Parvati) resides in a temple on the Kunzum top and keeps guard over the pass and wards of the evil. Visitors normaly do a round around the temples to seek blessings.
Then we come down to the batal and setup our camps. Batal is a village, It lies at the foot of Kunzum Pass and serves as the resting point for the tourists. Moreover, Bara Shigri Glacier and triangular peaks in the south can be seen from the Batal.

Day 5: It is a lazy morning, because we have party all night. I feel that place is very cold. Wrapping up breakfast takes time. We start only by 9 am to manali by drive. With the magnificent scenery we back to manali. In eight hours of drive, we are back in Manali and civilization.

SOME FACTS
Region: Himanchal (Manali)
Duration: 5 days
Grade: Easy to Moderate
Max Altitude: 14100 ft.
Approx Trekking Km: 26 km

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↑     Trekkers on the way to Hampta Paas

hamta paas, himachal pradesh, himachal, snow, trekking, photo travel, phototravel, travel through photographs, online magazine, photo travel magazine, photography, phototravel.in

↑     Trekking through Snow

hamta paas, himachal pradesh, himachal, snow, trekking, photo travel, phototravel, travel through photographs, online magazine, photo travel magazine, photography, phototravel.in

↑     Trekking through Snow

hamta paas, himachal pradesh, himachal, snow, trekking, photo travel, phototravel, travel through photographs, online magazine, photo travel magazine, photography, phototravel.in

↑     Trekkers taking rest

hamta paas, himachal pradesh, himachal, snow, trekking, photo travel, phototravel, travel through photographs, online magazine, photo travel magazine, photography, phototravel.in

↑     A view of mountains on the way to Hampta Paas

hamta paas, himachal pradesh, himachal, snow, trekking, photo travel, phototravel, travel through photographs, online magazine, photo travel magazine, photography, phototravel.in

↑     Trekkers on the way to Hampta Paas

hamta paas, himachal pradesh, himachal, snow, trekking, photo travel, phototravel, travel through photographs, online magazine, photo travel magazine, photography, phototravel.in

↑     Trekkers on the way to Hampta Paas

hamta paas, himachal pradesh, himachal, snow, trekking, photo travel, phototravel, travel through photographs, online magazine, photo travel magazine, photography, phototravel.in

↑     Kunjum Pass

hamta paas, himachal pradesh, himachal, snow, trekking, photo travel, phototravel, travel through photographs, online magazine, photo travel magazine, photography, phototravel.in

↑     View from Batal