Hampta Pass Trek
Trek conducted by 'India Hikes'
Region: Himachal Pradesh
Duration: 6 days
Highest Altitude: 14,035 ft
- Day time: 13°C - 18°C
- Night time: 0°C - 7°C
What makes Hampta Pass a terrific crossover trek
Hampta Pass is an unusual, special pass. It climbs out of lush green valleys of Kullu to a perpendicular overhang, high in the mountains. The overhang you stand on is almost like a balcony view to a different world below: the deserts of Lahaul. From the pass, you see the Lahaul valley in one wide panoramic sweep. It is one the most dramatic twists in landscape you’ll see!
Shea Goru campsite. PC: Nikshep Trinetra
Take the picture above for example. You can see the Shea Goru camp in Lahaul Valley. Notice the semi-barren hills around the campsite. Compare this to the greenery of the Jwara meadows in the next picture. None of our moderate level treks offer such sudden changes in scenery as the Hampta Pass trek.
Trekkers walk up the Jwara meadows while horses graze around them. PC: Anirban Banerjee
Added to this, each of the campsites on this trek are very pretty – Jobra which lies at the edge of the forest , the wildflower meadows of Jwara campsite, the river delta camp of Balu Ka Ghera, the desert oasis that is Shea Goru and picturesque Chhatru, besides Chandrabhaga river. Every day of this trek brings forth a different terrain to experience. Do the trek for its rapid, dramatic scenery changes and, of course, the novel pass-crossing.
Descending down to the Lahaul valley. PC: Nikshep Trinetra
What is included in the tour
- Accommodation – Stay is included from Day 1 to Day 5 (Jobra to Chhatru). You will be camping on all days of the trek (3 per tent).
- Transport – We will arrange for transport in shared cabs from Prini to Jobra on Day 1.
- Meals – All meals from lunch at Prini on Day 1 to breakfast at Chhatru on Day 6 are included. We provide simple, nutritious vegetarian food on all days of the trek.
- Camping charges – All trekking permits and forest camping charges are included.
- Trekking equipment – You will stay in high quality tents and sleeping bags in all the camps. Our high altitude sleeping bags can withstand temperatures as low as -10 ºC. We provide ice axes, roped, micro spikes, gaiters etc. as required.
- Safety equipment – First aid, medical kit, oxygen cylinders, stretchers etc. will be available at all campsites to deal with emergencies.
- Services of an expert Trek Leader – All our trek leaders are qualified in basic / advanced mountaineering courses.
- Services of an expert Trek Team – The mountain staff on this trek consists of well trained guides, cooks, helpers and porters.
What is NOT included in the tour
- Food during transit to and from the base camp – The trek fee does not include meals purchased during the drive to Jobra or return from Chhatru.
- Backpack offloading charges – If you wish to offload your backpack, there will be an additional charge of Rs. 1,000 + 5% GST. The backpack cannot weigh more than 9 kg. Suitcases/strolleys/duffel bags will not be allowed. Please note that charges will vary for last minute offloading in case you decide to offload your bag after reaching Prini (Rs. 350 per day inclusive of tax).
- Transport – We will arrange for a trip to Chandratal on Day 5 and drop to Manali on Day 6. This is not covered in the trek fee. The additional cost here will be INR 1,800 – 2,000 per person.
- Stay at Manali on the last day
- Personal expenses of any kind
- Anything apart from inclusions
Day 1: Arrive at Manali, reach Prini by 11:45 AM. Drive to Jobra (Indiahikes will organise lunch and transport from Prini). Trek to Jobra campsite (30 minute trek).
Day 2: Trek from Jobra (9,800 ft) to Jwara (11,072 ft); 7.14 km, 6 hours
Day 3: Jwara (11,072 ft) to Balu ka Ghera (12,411 ft); 5 km, 4 hours
Day 4: Balu Ka Ghera (12,411 ft) to Shea Goru (12,254 ft) via Hampta Pass (14,035 f); 6.65 km, 9 hours
Day 5: Shea Goru (12,254 ft) to Chhatru (10,898 ft); 6.87 km, 5 hours; visit Chandrataal and return to Chhatru camp
Day 6: Chhatru to Manali; 4-5 hours drive. You are expected to reach Manali around 4.00 pm.
Please note that you will be staying in tents on all days of the trek (3 per tent).
Please note that the cost of transport from Chhatru to Chandrataal and return and Chhatru to Manali is not included in the trek fee. This will be INR 1,800-2,000 per person.
It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a copy of their photo id for entry at forest check posts on the trek.
How to get to Prini
Delhi → Manali
Prini is 3 km from Manali, which is a popular hill station in upper reaches of Himachal. Being a major road head on the route to Lahaul and Spiti, and further on to Ladakh, it is a hub for travellers and tourists alike. You will be able to buy some of your trek gear here.
Take an overnight bus from Delhi or Chandigarh. You will reach Manali early the next morning (travel time from Delhi is 12-14 hours/ Chandigarh is 8-10 hours). Tickets can be booked online on www.redbus.in or www.hrtc.gov.in. HRTC or HPTDC buses are usually on schedule.
From Manali, take an auto or bus to reach Prini, which is 3 km away. Indiahikes will arrange for lunch here, after which we will set off for Jobra. The drive to Jobra will be 1.5 hours and will be arranged by Indiahikes.
The meeting point is Hotel Keylinga Inn, Naggar Road, Prini. This should give you an idea:
The trek ends at Chhatru. You will visit Chandratal if the weather and road conditions are favorable. Indiahikes will arrange transport to Chandratal from Chhatru and back on Day 5. We will also arrange transport to Manali on Day 6. The cost of transport to Chandratal and back and to Manali is not included in your trek fee. This will be an additional INR 1,800-2,000 per person. It will take about 4-5 hours to reach Manali. If you leave before 9 AM, you’ll be reaching Manali well before 4 PM(depends on road conditions). Stay for the night at Manali and book your return tickets for the next day. Buses from Manali to Delhi leave between 4.00 and 6.00 p.m. You will reach Delhi the next morning.
Day 1: Reach Jobra
The base camp for the Hampta Pass trek is Jobra. The picturesque drive from Manali/Prini, along with 42 hairpin turns, has panoramic views of Kullu valley. The Rani Nallah, which you will trek alongside till it disappears under the snow of Hampta Pass, starts accompanying you from here. From the road head at Jobra, the campsite is a 30-minute trek through a mixed forest of pine, bright green maple trees and luminescent silver birch.
- Altitude: 9,800 ft
- Time taken: 20 minutes to reach Prini from Manali; 1.5 hours drive from from Prini to Jobra; 30 minute trek to Jobra campsite. Reach Prini by 11:45 am. Lunch and transport to Jobra will be arranged by Indiahikes.
View of Chikha, which is just ahead of Jobra. PC: Tanmay Bain
Cross the road where you get off from the vehicle and take the small path into the forest. The forest is mostly Pine with an occasional Maple tree with its new lush green leaves – a pleasant change in the vegetation. It’s an easy slope and after 20 minutes into the forest, you come to a bend with a huge rock which overlooks a meadow strewn with small rocks.
Camp in the meadows for the night to acclimatise better.
Day 2: Jobra to Jwara
- Altitude: 9,800 ft to 11,072 ft
- Time taken: 5-6 hours, 7 km
- Trek gradient: Easy-moderate. Easy walk to Chika for about an hour followed by 2 hours of ascent through a boulder section. Descent for 1-1.5 hours easing off into a level walk.
- Water sources: Carry sufficient water from Jobra. You can refill your water bottles from the river along the trail.
Twilight at Jwara. PC: Sourasis Das
The meadow near Jobra has the Rani Nallah or Rani river flowing in between and on either side you will see hills with rock faces. Some cows and sheep graze in the meadow which is lined with Maple and Pine trees. Early in the season one may find some snow by the side of the river.
You can traverse on the meadow or climb up the left hill. The climb makes the path slightly shorter. The river flows right in the middle and water is no issue. You can take a break here – Chika.
Jwara is to the right of Chika, and can be identified by a couple of waterfalls in the distance. Head right but stay on the left bank of the river throughout. The initial climb is mainly through stones and boulders. The going is never too difficult. The right bank of the river is laced with dwarf Rhododendrons in the lower and middle region of the mountain and Birch trees grow at the upper end.
Look back and you will see the Dhauladhar range with its snow-clad peaks. It makes a pretty picture. You will find a waterfall on to your left. Relax and replenish your water supplies at this spot.
River crossing after Chikha. PC: Samir Mehta
After the waterfall, you move towards your right, heading towards the river, which has a lot of boulders around it. Take off your shoes if you wish and jump across the rocks on the Rani Nallah. The water is icy cold as one would expect. You are now about half way through your trek as you enter a walled valley. On one side of the valley are the rock faces and on the other end is the river below. Once you cross the river, you are at Jwara where nature is at her dramatic best.
Day 3: Trek from Jwara to Balu Ka Ghera
- Altitude: 11,072 ft to 12,411 ft
- Time taken: 4-5 hours, 5 km
- Trek gradient: Moderate. Short meadow walk followed by boulder section for a couple of hours, leading to a trail on loose rocks all the way. Very gradual incline through the day.
- Water sources: Carry sufficient water. You will find streams along the trail to refill your water bottles.
Lush meadows surround the campsite at Jwara. PC: Dr. Samir Mehta
The river has snow flows melting and feeding it while numerous sheep and mules feed on the green grass. In front are snow-clad mountains beyond which lies the Hampta Pass.
Walk along the Rani river heading into a rectangular valley. On your way you will find a variety of tiny flowers – purple, yellow, pink etc. The trees are now left behind. You won’t find them anymore for quite some time. It takes about half an hour to cross the valley. After you come out of Jwara, you need to walk further along. The terrain flattens as you reach Chota Balu ka Ghera where you can rest for a bit and have a quick snack. Then continue further along the river, crossing small snow flows and jumping across rocks.
Towards the end, the rocks are quite far apart and jumping across gets tricky. Soon after, you will reach the destination for the day – Balu Ka Ghera or the bed of sand. The ground is formed mainly by the sand and dust brought down by the river.
It is a level ground and behind you are the mountains you will traverse the next day to cross the Hampta Pass. Pitch your tent and enjoy a beautiful sunset behind the Bandarpunch peak. You are now close to 12,500 ft above sea level.
Day 4: Balu Ka Ghera to Shea Goru via Hampta Pass
- Altitude: 12,411 ft to 12,254 ft via 14,035 ft
- Time taken: 9 hours, 6.65 km
- Trek gradient: Moderate. An hour of gradual ascent after which the trail becomes steep uphill till the pass, interspersed with short descents. 2 hours of steep descent from the pass, easing off into a flat walk.
- Water sources: None. Carry 2 litres of water from Balu ka Ghera. Late season streams likely once the snow melts.
Climbing to Hampta Pass. PC: Samir Mehta
Today’s trek can be broken into two stages – the climb to Hampta Pass which is moderately steep followed by a steep descent to Shea Goru. You will want to take a small break at the top of the pass so make it your target to reach the pass by lunch time, have lunch there and then start the descent.
You begin your day by heading towards the mountains from Balu Ka Ghera. You may get a pleasant surprise with lots of tiny pink and yellow flowers growing by the side of the river. Move along the river for an hour after which you will be above it. At some points the trail may fade out so be careful not to get lost. Stay with your team. After an hour of gentle gradient in a rock fall prone area, the climb picks up. This is the first serious incline you will encounter. Half an hour into the climb, you will reach the first plateau. Here you get to see the Deo Tibba peak right in front of you. If you are here during early summer, there is a good chance that this entire section is filled with snow. At other times, you may get only some patches of snow.
Take a breath, wait for your team to catch up and begin the next ascent. This is another inclined part which has two stages to it and finally ends at the ridge. The climb will take you 20-30 minutes. From the top of the ridge you will see another parallel one, which is your next destination. Hampta Pass is a bend away from the top of the second ridge.
Before descending down to the side of the second ridge, continue walking on the first ridge for a small distance to get a 360 degree view of the intriguing mountain peaks like Peak 5260 surrounding you. This is a good spot for a panoramic shot. After descending down and 15 minutes of going by the side, you begin the vertical climb which gets over in 20 minutes. You may be panting at the end of it but you are almost there at 14,000 ft, atop the Hampta Pass.
The descent is slightly trickier than the ascent. It can vary slightly depending on the snow condition too. Sliding down may be an option if there is snow. From the pass, take a turn towards the right. You can see the Lahaul side of the pass below. Go down in a zig-zag route and then stick to the right flank of the mountain. You will have to walk over slippery soil and stones too. In half an hour the first downhill run is done.
Looking towards Lahaul from Hampta Pass. PC: Samir Mehta
A u-turn brings you right below the pass. From here it is a straight down hill trek on snow; you could also follow the zig-zag path down until you hit the valley below. In an hour and a half you will be at the base of the valley. Tall snow-clad mountains surround you from three sides and the open side leads you to Shea Goru.
Shea Goru is an almost level walk from here. It should be an easy walk though some may find it tiring after the long day traversing the pass. You will find the river again, flowing to your right. Choose a nice camp site close to the river and retire happily for the day after crossing the Hampta Pass.
Day 5: Shea Goru to Chhatru; drive to Chandratal* and back to Chhatru
- Altitude: 12,254 ft to 10,898 ft to 14,100 ft
- Time taken: 4 – 4.5 hours; 6.87 km
- Trek gradient: Moderate. 2-2.5 hours of walking on moraine and loose rocks on gentle inclines, followed by descent to Chhatru across a couple of glacial flows.
- Water sources: Carry sufficient water from Shea Goru. You will find a few sources on the way to refill your water bottles.
* depending on the condition of the roads and weather
The pretty, red flowers of Shea Goru. PC: Parimala Ranganath
As you move closer to the road, the descent gets a little tricky. You will need to traverse by the edges of rocks and sometimes it might just be easier to get down into the river/glacier bed below to skip the rocky section and get back up.
There are also a couple of places with slippery soil. So you need to be nimble and hop down them to prevent yourself from sliding.
This section would take 2½ – 3 hours when you are out of the mountains. You are still at a height but you have the road right across and the Chandra river separating you from the road.
Two to three huge glacial flows come down from the mountains on the side to the Chandra river.
You will need to cross these streams to reach a camping spot which has water.
A view of Chhatru campsite surrounded by the barren mountains of Lahaul. PC: Udit Kapoor
Choose a camping spot close to one of the numerous streams that join the river. Chhatru is a lovely camping site. You get lovely views of the different mountain ranges. The Chandra river flows in speed right below.
If the roads are clear and devoid of snow, a visit to Chandratal, the moon lake is a must when you are in Spiti. Chhatru is about 70 km away from Chandratal. You will take a vehicle to Chandratal from Chhatru. The journey takes about 3 hours and the road is quite bumpy, so it is advised that you start well before 3:00 PM. Those who have motion sickness, don’t forget to take Avomine tablets.
If you have some energy to spare, walk up the hill next to Chandratal. From the top, apart from being able to identify the moon shape of the lake, you’ll be able to see a second lake out in the distance surrounded with scenic peaks like the CB-13.
Since Chandratal is at an altitude of 14,100 feet there are good chances of being hit by Acute Mountain Sickness if you’re not well hydrated. Head to the Safety section to find out more.
In late summers, the road opens up to Chhatru and beyond. If you are early or late in the season, Chandratal may be ruled out and you may have to walk on the road upto a place where the road has be cleared off its snow flows.
Clear blue waters of Chandrataal. PC: Geet Tryambake
Day 6: Drive from Chhatru to Manali
After an early morning debriefing, bid the Spiti valley goodbye and head back to Manali. The journey from Chhatru to Manali passes through Rohtang Pass and can take upto 4 hours. The scenery all through the route is a treat in itself. Don’t forget to ask our trek leaders to teach you some group games like Hand Uno and Lateral Situations, to play on the way back!
GET YOURSELF FIT
The Hampta Pass trek is classified as a moderate trek . You trek up to an altitude of over 14, 380 ft. You start from an altitude of 9,800 feet at Jobra and reach the highest point of 14,035 feet at Hampta Pass. Your first day of trekking- Jobra to Jwara sees a lot of altitude gain (9,800 ft to 11,000 ft). You have to make sure your lungs are strong for this.
This trek requires a good amount of cardiovascular endurance. You can begin by jogging everyday. Start jogging at a slow pace and then keep increasing your pace day by day. In order to be prepared for high altitude trek, you should have a combination of distance and speed targets.
In case you’re just starting with a regular fitness routine, you can phase out your distance targets in the following manner –
- Target completing 5 km in 45 minutes when you begin
- Gradually increase the distance to 7 km. Target completing this in 63 minutes
- Before you go on the trek, you should be able to walk at least 10 km at a stretch. Target completing this in 90 minutes
In terms of speed, make sure you’re able to jog 5 km in 35 minutes before the start of the trek. If you are 45 years old and above, your target should be completing at least 3 km within 29 minutes before you go on the trek.
Strength – Target 3 sets of squats with 15 in each set
This is another area you should work on. There is a lot of trekking distance that you will cover in high altitude carrying your backpacks. You have to walk on uneven terrain during the trek. It could be taxing for your legs. For this, strengthening your legs will help. You can do some squats to strengthen them. Do around 3 sets of squats and calf raises with 8 squats and 20 calf raises in each set and work towards reaching your target in 3 weeks.
Another aspect that will help you trek comfortably is flexibility. For this, you can do some stretching exercises – stretch your hamstrings, ankles, quadriceps, hip flexors, lower back muscles and shoulders regularly. On your trek, it is important that you arrive on the slopes with your muscles relaxed. Carrying a backpack, however light, can become a strain after a while. These exercises will help you to be in good shape before the trek.
Here’s a guide to help you get fit for the trek.
THINGS TO TAKE
Hampta Pass is conducted during the monsoon months, so it highly likely you’ll encounter rain/snowfall on your trek. Ensure you carry a windcheater and rain pants or a poncho to have a comfortable trek.
- Trekking shoes: Carry trekking shoes and not sports shoes. The trail will be slippery at several places and will require shoes with good grip and ankle support. You can watch this video to learn to choose the right trekking shoes.
- Backpack (40-60 litres): A backpack with sturdy straps and a supporting frame. Rain cover for backpack is essential.
- Daypack (20 litres): As this is a crossover trek, you would only need a daypack if you are offloading your backpack.
- Three layers of warm clothes: Carry two sweaters, and a padded jacket. If you are more susceptible to feeling cold, add another layer.
- Three trek pants: Carry light cotton trek pants. One of your pants can be tights that you can wear as an inner layer while trekking, especially on the Pass day.
- Three collared t-shirts: Carry light, preferably quick-dry, full sleeved t-shirts that prevent sun burns on the neck and arms. If you’re too cold, you can wear two tshirts together for more insulation. A common mistake that trekkers make is not changing their tshirts often enough. Regardless of how cold it is, the body tends to sweat a lot. Trekkers who don’t change to fresh clothes fall ill due to wet clothes and are often unable to complete their trek.
- Thermals: Carry thermals (top and bottom) to keep yourself warm at night. Keep your thermals fresh and don’t wear them while trekking.
- Sunglasses: Sunglasses are mandotory. In June, there will be abundant snow on Hampta Pass, and you would need it to protect yourself from snow blindness.
- Suncap: At high altitude, the sun is extra harsh, as the UV rays don’t get filtered. So carry a suncap to protect yourself.
- Synthetic hand gloves: Avoid woollen gloves as they will get wet if you touch snow. You can add a fleece glove as an inner layer, and wear two gloves on each hand if you’re more susceptible to cold.
- Balaclava: You’ll need this to cover your head, as most of the heat escapes from your head.
- Socks (2 pairs) and a pair of woollen socks: Apart from two sports socks, you can take a pair of woollen socks for the night.
- Headlamp/LED torch: Mandatory
- Trekking pole: Watch this video to understand why you need a trekking pole.
- Toiletries: Sunscreen, moisturiser, light towel, lip balm, toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitiser. If you plan to use wet wipes to clean up after a trek, make sure you do not leave the used wipes/tissues back in the mountains since these are not biodegradable. The same holds for used sanitary napkins. Carry a zip lock bag to put used tissues and napkins. Bring this ziplock bag back with you to the city and do not dispose wet tissues and sanitary napkins in the mountains.
- Cutlery: Carry a spoon, coffee mug and a lunch box. We insist on trekkers getting their own cutlery for hygiene reasons.
- Two water bottles: 1 litre each
- Plastic covers: While packing, use plastic bags to compartmentalise things and carry few extra plastic bags for wet clothes.
Mandatory Personal Medical Kit
- Diamox – 10 tablets (to prevent AMS)
- Dexamethasone – one strip
- Nifedipine – 5 tablets
- Crocin – 6 tablets (fever)
- Avomine – 4 tablets (motion sickness)
- Avil 25mg – 4 tablets (allergies)
- Combiflam – 4 tablets (Pain killer)
- Disprin – 6 tablets (headache)
- Norflox TZ & Lomofen– 6 tablets each (diarrhea)
- Digene – 10 tablets (acidity)
- Domperidone – 6 tablets (vomitting)
- Omez/ Rantadine – 10 tablets (antacids)
- Crepe bandage – 3 to 5 meters
- Gauze – 1 small roll
- Band aid – 10 strips
- Cotton – 1 small roll
- ORS – 10 packets
- Betadine or any antiseptic cream
- Moov spray (aches, & sprains)
Please carry the below documents. Document two and three need to be downloaded (PDF), filled in, signed and handed over to the trek leader at the base camp.
- Original and photocopy of government photo identity card- (driving license, voters ID, etc.)
- Medical Certificate and Disclaimer (to be filled by the trekker) – Download PDF
- Medical certificate (to be filled by a doctor) – Download PDF
Here’s a guide to help you pack for the trek –
What are the risks on the Hampta Pass trek?
Since the Hampta Pass is a pass crossing trek, in case of emergencies there are no easy exits. In winter, the trail will have snow at higher sections. Micro spikes will be provided to walk over slippery snow patches. On the first day’s drive from Manali to Jobra you gain 3,075 feet. With significant altitude gain there are chances of being hit by Acute Mountain Sickness. To prevent this we recommend that you stay well hydrated and go on a course of Diamox starting from Delhi.
What Indiahikes does to ensure your safety:
Our philosophy is simple. We ingrain safety aspects in the people we work with, in the processes that we follow and in the equipment we carry. All our trek leaders are trained repeatedly on safety issues and protocols. Most issues are resolved with their intervention.
But we strongly advocate the statement,”Prevention is better than cure.” Right from the time you decide to register for the trek till the last day of the trek, these safety procedures will be running in the background. We have listed a few of them below.
1. Fitness criteria before registration
Over years of organising high altitude treks, we have found that safety issues thrive amongst those who are unfit and unprepared for the trek. So we have introduced an eligibility criteria for the Hampta Pass trek. Anyone who wants to register for the Hampta Pass trek has to meet the fitness requirements, with the ideal BMI. The BMI and fitness regime will require proof. A high altitude trek is not to be taken casually.
2. Monitoring health on a trek
Any abnormal reading will be paid special attention to and action will be taken immediately.
On the Hampta Pass trek, your Trek Leader will be monitoring two aspects thrice a day.
- Oxygen Level
- Pulse Rate
Your Blood Pressure levels will be checked once a day.
This will help us ensure that your body is acclimatising as required.
Every trekker will be given a Health Card at the beginning of the trek.The Health Card is issued to monitor the trekker’s daily health, wherein he will be entering details about his health everyday. It also contains details of what symptoms he should look out for and what action he should take during emergencies. These Health Cards will be taken back at the end of the trek.
4. High Altitude Medical Kit
Your trek leader will also be carrying a full-fledged high altitude medical kit. This will include basic medicines and specific medicines catering to altitude sickness – Diamox, Dexamethasone (tablets and injections) and Nifedipine. Your Trek Leader will also be carrying a portable oxygen cylinder throughout the trek. In addition to that, there are oxygen cylinders installed at all high campsites for any emergency situations.
5. High Altitude Trek Equipment
To ensure safe trekking on snowy terrain, Indiahikes will provide you with micro-spikes to attach to your shoes. This will give you good traction on hard snow. To avoid snow from entering your shoes, Indiahikes will provide you with gaiters that you can put on over your shoes. You will have qualified technical guides with you, who will lead the way on difficult terrain, where there might be too much scree or moraine.
All our sleeping bags and tents are custom-made for high altitude. If it is cold outside, it will be around 10 degrees warmer inside the tent. The sleeping bags can withstand temperatures up to -10 degree Celsius.
6. Being hydrated and well nourished on the trek
You need to drink a minimum of 4 litres of water every day during the trek to ensure that you’re well hydrated. De-hydration on a trek can make you lose energy very quickly and intensify the effects of AMS. Your trek leader will brief you about the amount of water that you need to carry with you at the start of each day as well as water sources on the trail.
We provide trekkers with nutritious meals to ensure that they are energized to complete the trail each day. Apart from this, snacks or packed lunch is provided wherever the trail before a meal break is likely to be long. Make sure that you do not skip any meal as this can lead to serious health emergencies on high altitudes.
With all these processes and equipment in place, you can be rest assured that you will have a safe trek with Indiahikes.
Nevertheless, you will need to be cautious and report the slightest of symptoms to your trek leader as soon as you feel them.
What you compulsorily need to know if you’re going on the Hampta Pass trek
If you have registered for this trek, then here is some information that you must know in order to have a safe trek. At Indiahikes, we believe that as long as you are well-informed and well-prepared, you can survive easily at high altitude.
First thing you should know is that Hampta Pass is a High Altitude trek. It climbs up to an altitude of 14,035 ft. So it comes with its fair share of risks – altitude sickness, lack of easy exit points, unfriendly terrain and extreme altitude gain.
Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)
AMS is one of the biggest dangers on a high altitude trek such as Hmapta Pass. AMS occurs when your body isn’t acclimatising to its surroundings. It can accelerate very rapidly, so it is important to identify the symptoms as soon as you see them. Before you read further, watch this video to understand the symptoms of AMS.
Where on the Hampta Pass trek is AMS likely to affect you:
We camp at Jobra (9,800 ft) on Day 1 to help your body to get acclimatised to high altitude since you climb over 2,000 ft the next day. It is is especially critical that you start drinking enough water and dress up warmly at Jobra to get used to the temperature drop from Delhi to Manali to Jobra. Given that you will be continuously ascending till the pass crossing day, you need to be cautious at all times.
Drive to Chandratal:
After the trek gets over at Chhatru people tend to forget that they still have to stay hydrated. Even though you’re driving to Chandratal, the lake is at an altitude of 14,100 ft which is higher than Hampta pass itself. Since you’re gaining more than 3,500 ft in less than 3 hours, there are high chances of getting hit by AMS. So it is strictly advised that you stay well hydrated throughout Day 5 and Day 6.
If you feel any symptoms of AMS on the trek, you must report to the Trek Leader immediately. Do not wait till the end of the day’s trek. Do not try to handle it yourself either. Our Trek Leaders are well-trained and experienced to handle any cases and they will be the decision makers in any such cases.
Watch the video below to understand how to treat and prevent AMS. The information in this video is rare to find. With this knowledge, you can probably save your own life or another’s trekkers life.
As a first step, your trek leader will run you through the Triple One Test – One Disprin, One litre of water and One hour of rest. If you’re suffering from dehydration, this will solve the problem and you will be fine in one hour. If the symptoms don’t go away, then he’ll begin to treat you for AMS, perhaps with a course of Diamox. If you’re already on a course of Diamox, your trek leader is likely to increase the dosage.
It is very important to be on a preventive course of Diamox on the Hampta Pass trek. Diamox helps prevent AMS by around 80%. Click here to know how it works.
Exit points on the Hampta Passtrek:
The safest point on a trek where a trekker can descend to and rest is considered an Exit Point. On the Hampta Pass trek, if an emergency occurs before crossing the pass, you will need to descend to Jobra. If you have already crossed the pass, then the Chhatru would be the closest exit.
Manali is where you’ll find a hospital in case of a medical emergency. Descending to the closest exit and getting to Manali could take up to a day or more depending on where you start from.
Why you should personally know about the risks and precautions of high altitude treks
If ever you find yourself alone at high altitude, either while trekking independently or with another organisation, there are some life-saving steps you can take. Firstly, you should be able to recognise symptoms of altitude sickness. So acquaint yourself with the symptoms.
Secondly, there might be instances when you have to administer medicines to yourself or to a fellow trekker.
There are three life-saving medicines that you should always carry on you – Diamox, Dexamethasone and Nifedipine.
If you are trekking independently then you need to know when exactly to administer these medicines and in what dosage.
The video below will help you understand what medicines to administer when and how much. Sandhya UC, partner at Indiahikes, explains in detail about HAPE and HACE. Here, you can learn about the advanced symptoms are and how to tackle them.
It is a myth that fit and experienced people are not affected by Acute Mountain Sickness
If you’re of the opinion that fit people don’t get AMS, please get rid of that notion right away. AMS can affect anyone without paying heed to their fitness and prior experience at high altitude! Altitude sickness does not distinguish between a first timer and an experienced trekker.
ATM point and Mobile connectivity
If you need to withdraw money before the trek begins, do so at Manali or Prini.
There will be no mobile network beyond Prini. So make sure you finish all your important phone calls here. Please inform anxious family members about poor connectivity during the trek.