In the morning, we drive to the dam site at Jobra and from here walk through a very pleasant landscape. The walk initially will take us through a mixed forest having pines, spruce, deodar, chestnut and maple trees. We cross a beautiful meadow having a gaddi shepherd camp there. We will need to cross the river at a vantage point if the gaddis haven’t made a makeshift bridge somewhere along the river. We cross the river and climb to a beautiful meadow called Chikha along a side stream. Today’s hike is a gentle one and will take about 2 hrs. Having rested for some time one will be advised to walk up a short distance to a nearby waterfall which also plays host to a number of white capped redstarts. Overnight in tents.
It’s an interesting day’s hike today. We cross the stream immediately after the campsite and start gaining height and moving towards a gorge section towards the right side moving along the river. We will walk through boulder sections, meadows filled with wildflowers, cross a waterfall and a side river which might require careful handling to reach our campsite for the day, Balu-ka-Gheera. This hike will take about 3.5 to 4 hrs with a few breaks in between. This campsite is along a network of river channels and has big mountains guarding it on all sides. Our guides might also take the decision to walk for an additional hour and reach an upper campsite also called by the same name. This will make next day’s climb a bit shorter. We rest and relax at the campsite and get charged for the next day’s climb to Hampta pass. Overnight in tents.
Today weather and trail conditions will decide what time we leave but it’s going to be an early morning departure for sure, between 5-6:00 a.m. The walk is in all probability going to be partially/completely on snow depending upon season and weather conditions. From the camp we start with a steep climb on scree slopes to reach a ridge and from here we continue climbing towards another ridge which leads to the pass. This climb will take about 4-5 hrs and one will be rewarded with absolutely out of the world views all around. Indrasan and Deotibba peaks completely dominate the landscape and the ranges towards Lahaul look quite majestic. We spend some time at the top taking pictures and to have lunch and having regained our energy start climbing down carefully towards our destination for the day, Shea Gahru campsite, which is set beautifully between the mountains. This descent will take about 2-3 hrs. Overnight in tents.
On this day an early start is mandatory. We will start our day at 5 am. The hike today is completely downhill and in a completely contrasting landscape typical of Lahaul & Spiti regions. There are a couple of tricky sections in between involving careful traverse and river crossings so we let our guides carefully guide us through these sections. We move through a long scree and boulder section which overlooks the road leading to Spiti. We finish at Chatru and from here board the waiting vehicles to take us to Chandratal. This drive will take about 2 – 2.5 hrs. Chandratal is a complete delight to senses and lazing around the lake can be a surreal experience. Overnight in tents in Chatru..
Please note an early start on this day will give us a better chance of reaching Chandratal as there are lots of side stream crossings. Sometimes there is a possibility that the road to Chandratal is not open. Hence, we will camp at Chatru and get indulged in various adventurous activities such as Bridge slithering, Bouldering and Rappelling.
After breakfast we start one of the beautiful drives in the Himalayas from Chatru to Manali via Rohtang pass. Arrive Manali around 12 noon. TRIP ENDS HERE.
We believe that roughing it out necessarily doesn’t mean sleeping in smelly sleeping bags, compromising on safety by using low quality equipment and having unappetising meals. We focus on your safety, basic comforts and the environment while camping. Keeping this is mind, the following equipment is provided on the trek
The following equipment is provided on the trek :
|Windproof, Water resistant Warm jacket (with hood)||250|
Down jacket (for additional warmth)
|Lightweight & Warm Fleece pullover||75|
|Waterproof Trekking boots||300|
|Rucksack (60 ltrs)||150|
|Warm high-length woollen socks||50|
*Cost in INR per day
* Irrespective of when a trip is booked, the above condition will hold true
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) 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.
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
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 - Oct | Moderate + | Max Alt: Hampta Pass (4270m)
Day 01: Manali (2000m) - Jobra (2707m) - Chikha (3000m) (Drive / 45 mins) ( trek / 2 hrs)
Day 02: Chikha (3000m) - Balu - Ka - Gheera (3600m) (Trek / 4 - 5 hrs)
Day 03: Balu - Ka - Gheera (3600m) - Hampta Pass (4270m) - Shea Gahru (3700m) (Trek / 6 - 7 hrs)
Day 04: Shea Gahru (3700m) - Chatru (3300m) - Chandratal (4250m) - Chatru (Trek / 3 - 4 Hrs) (Drive / 5 hours)
Day 05: Chatru (3300m) - Manali (2000m) (Drive / 3 - 4 Hrs)
The striking highlight of any trek involving crossing over a pass into the Lahaul/Spiti region is the wonderful contrast in landscape that one gets to enjoy and Hampta Pass Chandratal Trek is similar in this regard. We start from absolutely lush green valleys of Kullu & Manali and land up in semi-arid region of the Lahaul valley. This wonderful trail is meant for everyone, right from fit/adventurous first timers to seasoned hikers. The pass itself is very inviting and poses fewer challenges compared to some of its brethren but is in no way a cakewalk. Hampta Pass Chandratal trek is quite interesting and moderately challenging in stages with the difficulty of the pass being governed by weather conditions. You will be required to cross the reasonably high Hampta pass (4300m), do a few river crossings, camp in complete wilderness and walk long stretches on certain days. The trek to Hampta pass offers unmatched variety & excitement all along the trail to take care of any exhaustion that might set in.
Hampta Pass trek starts from the beautiful Manali valley with a short ride from Manali town getting us to the starting point of the trek. It would be advisable to reach Manali a day prior to the trek. We endorse this for proper acclimatisation. Also, you get an opportunity to explore Manali and find some time for Manali trekking. We also have a beautiful orchard guesthouse in Manali.
During the first two days of the hike we move through lush green landscape having several meadows inhabited by local gaddis (shepherds). This is a very enjoyable and relaxed stage and one camps at beautiful spots. We walk along rivers and streams and cross a few waterfalls. There is an interesting mix of spruce, horse chestnut, pine, deodar, oak and birch trees all along this section. Shepherd dogs, sheep, white capped redstarts and whistling thrushes comprise the wildlife you get to encounter. Depending upon the season you will also get to see a good variety of alpine flowers. Next stage we approach the Hampta pass through a relatively challenging terrain which involves walking over scree slopes and boulder ridden trails. The route to the top might be under snow depending upon the conditions and might pose some difficulties. The close views of Deotibba, Indrasan and other unnamed peaks will give you a feel of being completely immersed in the lap of the mighty Himalayas. This is an experience you will surely cherish all your life. We crossover the pass and descend steeply to the grass lands of Shea Gahru. This stage would take about 8 hrs or so.
The last stage of the trek is in the stark and beautiful Lahaul valley and will take us to Chatru from Shea Gahru. This is an easy section with a few tricky situations to keep you on your toes. From Chatru we board a waiting vehicle to be driven up to the beautiful Chandratal lake. Chandratal is truly a jewel of the mountains being one of the finest high altitude lakes in the country. After this we return back to Chatru where we camp for the night. The next day we board the waiting vehicle and drive to Manali.
Alike other treks, even for Chandratal Trek GIO Adventures the assists you with professionally qualified expert guides. Our guides will run a small course on climbing techniques to get you to know more about the sport and get comfortable with it.
|Region||Himachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh - Lahaul, Himachal Pradesh - Spiti|