Lonners Expedition recently organized an expedition to Hampta Pass in which, the team of Lonners participated themselves.
The expedition began from Manali, as most of the expedition in the Himachal do. From Manali, we took a cab which took us to the beginning of the trail, via the small village of Prini. The beginning of the trail was marked with the remarkable, pop-up retail store, which would soon become a common sight for us at every base camp, where we had a breakfast of omelet and tea and finally began our journey. Our trek began from the shanty shop and into the pine forest. The trail was easy and safe as the forests are not occupied by any sort of Animalia; but what the forests lacked in fauna, they made up in the spectacular flora. The fabulous panoramic view of the forest, with the thin stream passing through it and the occasional wide greenery, all combined to provide a surreal experience.
From where the Pine forest ends, we got the breathtaking view of the valley and the Rani Nala flowing towards us. From here, the first base of Jobra was visible to us, as previously mentioned every campsite was marked with the indistinguishable yellow tarp of the shanty shops. We ascended and climbed our way to Jobra and after a brief halt reached Cheeka, which is usually the first camping ground. But filled with enthusiasm and still have the stamina required in us, we pushed ourselves further and aimed to reach the campsite of Jwara the same day. The path was steep but manageable and we stopped near the waterfall before Jwara to catch our breath.
As we waited to catch our breaths, we saw a white curtain of fine misty fog approach us; and as anyone can guess, that meant reduced visibility. We quickly put on our bags again and went further on the trail only to find this splendid waterfall in between our way, which we had to climb in order to reach Jwara. Thrilled, we scaled the waterfall and reached the shanty shop at Jwara and found the ground flat enough to pitch out tents and call it a day.
From the shanty, we learned in the morning that we had to cross a river to go further and after a hike of 15 minutes, we indeed came across the river we had to cross. The cold water was almost knee deep and we crossed it with the help of the human chain we formed to face the rapid waters. This day of the climb was much easier in comparison to the day before. We reached an open meadow which was with us for most of the day. Our guide for the trek was the river and always keeping it besides us, we reached Balu ka Gera, our campsite after a rocky ascent. From our camp, we could see the beginning of the ridge near the Pass.
On the 15th of August, we began from Balu ka Gera, excited because that was the day we would be at Hampta Pass. Comparatively, this was the hardest day of our entire trip but it was still not too difficult. After reaching a wide, shallow bay of the river, we had to scale yet another waterfall, this time a little steeper and longer and then cross a ridge. From here, we saw the beginning of the trail to Hampta Pass and to reach there, we had to cross the frozen stream which was feeding itself. And after a tiring and steep climb, we finally reached Hampta Pass. The euphoria we felt it is indescribable. Nothing can describe the ecstasy and thrill can only be experienced in person, there is just no alternative.
Thereon the journey was easy but still so beautiful. We climbed our way down to Shea Goru where we spent the coldest night of our entire trip. Then next morning we again crossed a river, colder this time and much more thrilling than before. After descending ourselves most of the day, we say a thin white line in the valley below us and then saw a tiny little red dot moving across it. Realizing that that was the road to Chandra Tal, which meant that in the opposite way was the road t back home, we were re-energized and scurried our way down to Chatru, which is the village from where we all went back to Manali; concluding our trip.
The trip was amazing, but all that I have to add is that you, yes you, should experience it yourself. There is no replacement to actually being there and visiting the place yourself and experience the thrill and euphoria yourself.