I am a 26 year old born in a small hill station in Tamia in M.P. That was the beginning of my bond with the mountains.
I have a strong connection with my bike that first took me to the Mountains and that's where I started trekking. The mountains have made me modest and turned me into a story teller.
My dream isn't really to cover the entire of the Himalayas but to discover and explore some of the hidden gems it contains.
With high and dark pine forests, glacier valleys, river-side camping and much more, Hampta Pass is a complete package.
It all starts with a roller coaster ride toward Jobra Base Camp. The route includes 40+ sharp bends with a picturesque view of Manali and Kullu Valley. This is followed by a short walk to the campsite through the pine forest. This walk is a very different experience. The sight and sound of the river fill the air which runs vertically beside the rocks making the mountains look carved with a mountain knife.
The long walk toward Hamta is a challenging ascent
Through boulders and cold weather followed by a river crossing which literally puts your motivation to test. The wooden bridge that crosses the small river stream consists of a panoramic view of your previous base camp and a huge waterfall toward your next camp. The view plays a big role in not allowing you to lose motivation. You will witness a triangular valley view during sunrise making it appear as though the mountain's changing colour every 10 minutes from above on the hills till you start your day.
On the way to Balu ka Ghera (Land of Sand), you can experience varied landscapes with the view changing every 500m
From sand to meadow to glacier to a few surprising river tunnels to wild horses grazing by the riverside. It's so picturesque that it instantly reminded me of wallpapers on my computer from Windows 98.
The most challenging walk for any trekker is from Balu ka Ghera to Hampta Pass to Shea Goru. From Hampta ridge, you're directly exposed to a view of another snowy mountain, the sight of which made me want to go skiing too. While continuing your walk on Hampta Ridge, you will see a 360 view of the mountain with a sudden descent to Oasis Mountain Dessert.
Our last night of riverside camping led us to the last camp near Chandratal Lake
Where we arrived after another round of river crossing. Chandratal Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes you'll see in India
Gear and equipment that's indispensable for me
Reading the above, motivation and energy is not all you need on this trek.
Here are a few essential you must carry.
To protect your belongings from rain and during a river crossing
Trekkers have to always be ready for rain at any time and anyplace on this trek including 3-5 river crossings. It's something you always need to keep handy.
You will be walking on varied terrains like meadows, boulders, snow, sand, and rivers. On every small crossing, removing your shoes is not convenient. Please invest in something waterproof with a good grip and high ankles.
Wet clothes from rain and river crossing make you realize your need for quick-dry outfits.
For balancing and distributing your and your backpack's weight on ascents and descents, to walk on boulders, during river crossings, and on snowy edge walks, you will need the assistance of a trekking pole
Why I absolutely recommend Hampta Pass for you
As I mentioned earlier it's a complete package. As a trekker, if you'd like to test yourself on whether you're ready for a high-altitude trek or not. This is a good choice to make since it's a moderate trek. Riding through lush green pine forests, exposed go the view of the entire Kullu Valley leaving Manali behind. It a mix of all things, forest, mountain, snow, desert, river walk, meadow view and much more.
Everyday you'll see the least of two types of landscapes with dramatic twists. No other moderate treks combine such varied and unexpected change of sceneries. Every campsite has a different view if you just wake up early and take a short walk further against the hills to see the panoramic view of your campsite during sunrise. This will make you realise that all the hard work and trek efforts are worth it.
Here is my suggestion of gear for this beautiful trek