We will meet at a centrally located point in Manali and from here board a vehicle and be driven up to Batal. This is an interesting drive which crosses over from the lush green valleys of Kullu & Manali into stark dune-like landscape of Lahaul & Spiti valley via the famous Rohtang pass. We will spend some time at the pass and then start descending into the Lahaul valley. We will stay at Batal today to get acclimatised to the lower levels of oxygen. Upon reaching Batal we will set up our campsite and towards early evening head out on an acclimatising hike. Overnight in tents.
After breakfast we set out on the trek. We cross over the Chandra river and start moving up from Batal. It is a reasonably long walk all the way up to Chandratal and will take around 6 hours. We get very fine views of the Bara Shigri glacier and some high Himalayan peaks enroute. Chandratal is a jewel in the mountains and the minute you set your eyes on it the exhaustion of the day's hike will vanish. The scenery at the lake is quite remarkable with the lake surrounded by high mountains. The lake also called Moon Lake and gets its name from its half-moon shape. There are several gaddi shepherds scattered around the lake giving it a beautiful character. Overnight in tents.
We set off early in the morning from Chandratal to Tokpo Yongmo. The trail is gradually ascending and we will be crossing many small streams on our way, all of which meet the Chandra River below. The landscape is stark and arid with lots of scree slopes and boulder fields. Our final river crossing of the day will be the large stream "Tokpo Yongmo". We will cross it from a suitable point and camp for the night after crossing the river. Overnight in tents.
Again today, we start our day early as we need to cross a couple of rivers while the water levels are low. The trail is picturesque and the snow-capped peaks of the Chandrabhaga range stay with us through the morning. The first river we cross is relatively easier than the second one of the day which will be Tokpo Yongma. We cross the river over a snow bridge of wade across depending upon the conditions. The campsite at Tokpo Gongma is beautiful and has a few shepherds close by. Overnight in tents.
Today we ascend the high slopes of the Chandra valley to get great views of the snow clad Himalayan ranges beyond the Baralacha pass. It's great for photography with plenty of photo opportunities. We will first climb up to the Baralacha La South summit and from here move down to cross a river and trek through a beautiful and long meadow section to reach Baralacha La North summit where we have the Manali to Leh road meeting the pass. Baralacha La means "pass with cross roads on summit" as roads from Zanskar, Ladakh, Spiti and Lahaul meet on top of the pass. It also gives rise to the three rivers of Chandra, Bhaga and Yuman. Once we reach Baralacha La, we board the waiting vehicle drive onwards to Manali. Trip ends here.
For travel from Delhi to Manali & back, one can choose between air, rail & road. For air travel, the closest airport is Bhuntar (Kullu) airport. There are a couple of flights that link this airport to Delhi airport
Train travel though not very popular is available to cover a certain distance. One can either take a train to Pathankot or Jogindernagar (narrow gauge). From both these places one will need to drive to Manali. For train details, you could log on to www.indianrail.gov.in and for online railway ticket bookings you could log on to www.irctc.co.in .
There are frequent Public Transport buses including Volvos available from Delhi to Manali that cost about Rs. 1300 per person. They take about 15 hrs to cover the distance. A private vehicle could also be arranged for if you require the same.
Season for this trek is from mid-June to mid-October. In the early days of the season we will catch a lot of snow on the high passes which reduces considerably by August. As the season proceeds we might catch rain towards Kullu-Manali valley but on the other side in Spiti, we will have sunny days. Days are generally going to be sunny and warm (12-20 °C) while the night temperature at the highest campsite would be in the range of -2 to 6 °C. In the latter part of the season (Sep – mid-Oct) there is very little snow on the trail and good weather throughout but with possibility of snowfall. The days are sunny with temperatures hovering around (12-18 °C) and the evenings start getting cold with the onset of October and nights are comparatively colder (- 6 to 4 °C).
Please keep in mind that the above information is not exact and does not account for sudden changes. Whatever the temperatures and conditions rest assured we will be prepared to handle it with ease as we use equipment of very high specifications.
It is very important for this adventure trip that you need to be equipped properly and with a bit of back up. Mountain/adventure travel requires one to be adequately equipped with the right kind of personal gear. Since one is travelling in the wilderness there will be hardly any opportunity to buy anything once you hit the trail so we urge you to carefully pack everything into your bags. Also please keep in mind you can rent out or purchase equipment from our Gear Store, if required.
…LOADS OF ENTHUSIASM!! AND A PLEDGE TO LEAVE NO TRACE
Carry your stuff in a duffel bag, soft shoulder bag or a rucksack. Avoid suitcases, trolleys or any other hard luggage. As you will be walking long distances carrying a rucksack, avoid bringing unnecessary items on the trek. Please avoid carrying expensive watches, jewellery and electronic items on the trek.
NOTE: In case you are planning to put your bag on a mule or taking a porter please get a duffel bag or rucksack and keep it in mind that there is a possibility that the bag at times might brush against a rock or a tree and get slightly damaged so don't get very expensive bags. Also in case of damage we shall not be held accountable.
We are mountain lovers and have pledged to bring no harm to them in our pursuit of running organised wilderness travel in the Himalayas and seek your assistance too in this regard. We are more than convinced that one can have more fun on a trip if we go about it in a way that no harm is caused to the ecology. In this regard we have a set of guidelines that we adhere to based on the tenets of 'Leave No Trace' & 'Tread Light' policies. These guidelines are very simple and emphasise on travelling in small groups, better planning, understanding impact of camping, proper waste disposal, respecting local cultures, sensitivity towards wildlife and so on. We have a complete section on our trekking code in the 'GIO trekking Manual'. This manual will be couriered to you once you confirm a trip with us.
This is one of the most important aspects of travelling in the high Himalayas and cannot be ignored or set aside. Acclimatisation basically means our body adjusting to lower levels of oxygen (rarefied air) & reduced air pressure as me move up. In case one does not acclimatise properly there are chances of the person facing extreme discomfort and this can be fatal in extreme cases. While there is no set route to getting properly acclimatised there are a general precautions and steps that one can take to initiate good acclimatisation. Our trekking guides will assist you with these steps and also once you book a trip with us the 'GIO Trekking Manual' which will cover this aspect extensively will be couriered to you. This is sure to help you enjoy the trek in very good shape.
Most important thing is to select the right trek keeping in mind your experience or inexperience, health, objectives & ability. Our senior team people can assist you with this, so when contacting us do mention if you need guidance on this front also refer to our trek grading system mentioned below. Once the right trek is selected comes your preparation. Once you have booked a trip with us we will courier the 'GIO Trekking Manual' to you which will have a complete practice drill explained in details.
We have broadly classified our treks as below:
Easy These treks are 3 to 5 days long and involve walking for about 3/4 hrs daily. The trail on such treks is well defined but not always flat. These are great for families and first timers
Moderate On these treks one is not required to trek for more than 5/6 hrs a day. Also the terrain is not too difficult. These treks are normally a week or so long. For these treks prior trekking experience is not necessary. Very rarely on these treks would one camp at altitudes higher than 3800m. These treks are great for first timers or for veterans wanting to go on a trail which is relatively less demanding
Moderate+ These are moderate treks with mostly one difficult day. These trails are fine for fit beginners also.
Vigorous On these treks one can be required to trek continuously for more than a week through remote areas and at times trekking for more than 7 hrs a day. On most of these treks one has to cross passes or areas which are snow covered and involve camping at altitude of more than 4000m. Fit people with some kind of hiking experience & a spirit of adventure can contemplate going on these trails.
Strenuous These treks apart from having continuous trekking stretches are at places technical and might require assistance from trip leader/guide and other staff people. All these treks have rest days in between. Also all of them involve crossing passes or areas having altitude of more than 4500m. First timers are discouraged from walking such routes.
Expedition Style These involve long walks at high altitudes at times around 6000m. Camping can also be well over the snow line and on glaciers at times. Safety ropes, ice axes and crampons might be required on these treks. These treks are not technically very difficult but are considerably challenging. Previous vigorous/strenuous trekking experience is required.
Great Indian Outdoors (P) Ltd. takes utmost care to ensure safety of its clients. However in the case of any unforeseen mishaps, Great Indian Outdoors (P) Ltd. will not be liable for any injuries caused or for loss of life. All disputes rising due to the above are subject to the jurisdiction of the courts in New Delhi/Delhi only. All participants would be required to sign an Indemnity Form before the start of the program, without which they would not be allowed to take part in the trip/program/activities.
5 Days | Jun to Oct | Mod+| Max Alt: 4900 mts (Baralacha La)
Day 01: Manali (2000m) Batal (3907m) [drive/5-6 hrs]
Day 02: Batal (3907m) Chandratal (4300m) [trek/6 hrs]
Day 03: Chandratal (4300m) Tokpo Yongma (4320m) [trek/5-6 hrs]
Day 04: Tokpo Yongma (4380m) Tokpo Gongma (4640m) [trek/5 hrs]
Day 05: Tokpo Gongma (4640m) Baralacha la (4900m) Manali (2000m) [trek/5 hrs & drive/7 hrs]
This 5-day adventure trek is like a short and very sweet treat. In about a week you are able to hike through some of the finest trekking destinations in the Indian Himalayas. This is a moderately challenging trek which involves camping and trekking at reasonably high altitude and crossing a few glacial rivers. Fit first timers in the company of experienced guides will also enjoy the trek.
In the first stage we drive from Manali over the Rohtang pass into the Lahaul valley to reach Batal from where we start our trek the next day. This halt is planned to help one get acclimatised to lower levels of oxygen at these altitudes. Next day we trek from Batal to Chandratal (Moon Lake), Chandratal a high altitude lake at 4300m. This glacial lake gets its name from its half-moon shape and is a fantastic sight to see with high mountains all around, no wonder that several gaddis (shepherds) camp around it. Camping near the lake is nothing short of bliss!
From Chandratal we start climbing up and for the next couple of days we trek in the upper reaches of the Chandra valley. There are great views of the Mulkila range and its glaciers. In this stage we walk on scree slopes and stark yet stunning semi-arid landscape typical of the Lahaul & Spiti region. Adding to the adventure quotient will be the river crossings at Tokpo Yongma and Tokpo Gongma which will need to be handled carefully depending upon the conditions. Our guides might use rope and some equipment to assist crossing if required.
In the last stage of the trek we ascend the high slopes of Chandra valley and come out at the beautiful meadows below the Baralacha La which play host to a lot of wild flower varieties. The expansive views of the Himalayan ranges beyond Baralacha La provides a good contrast to the views of the earlier stages. We will finish our trek at the pass at the famous high altitude highway connecting Manali to Leh. From here we drive back to Manali to end a spectacular trek.
Chandratal trekking in the Himalayan range is so fascinating. Trek to Chandratal remains open for a maximum period of the time, from May to October and August is a bit difficult for Chandratal Trek. Walking on Chandra Tal trek will surely provide you an ultimate experience alike the experience of going to the moon. ChandraTal is one of the sacred lakes of India and catches the attention of lots of Hindu devotees. Also, the color of the water of this lake keeps changing from orange to reddish to blue to green as the day ends.
|Region||Himachal Pradesh - Lahaul, Himachal Pradesh|