Hampta Pass Trek – Himalayas Trek
“Somewhere between the start of the trail and the end is the mystery why we choose to walk.”
And got the chance to seek the answer again but not alone.This time with my best half.It was my second, first after marriage, high altitude Himalayan trek which I completed with my wife (first time doing any trek). We never know what we thought and where we progressed. We were thinking for Rupin Pass earlier but later due to toughness of it I zeroed for Hampta Pass and second time I registered with Trek the Himalayas.
Before to embark in a high altitude trek the toughest thing which plays a big role that is the fitness. This time I played a bit role of mentor to prepare someone for a high altitude trek. It a combination of running, walking jogging, stretching and walk with loaded backpacks in a timeline frame. Second major activity was collection of stuff.
As everything prepared and finished well on time. On 24 Sep 2015 we boarded Himsuta bus from Delhi to Manali. Next day it arrived at 11 AM. I already had booked my accommodation online and easily arrived there after crossing Vyas river. Our accommodation, Sambhala Hotel, a triple story building and have an art exhibition on its top floor. Weather was awesome with slight chill in air. After freshen up, took breakfast and headed for local sightseeing i.e. Hidimba Temple, Vasistha temple, Monastery and local market. After lunch strolled in Mall Road packed with tourists. Came back in dark, had dinner and slept with dreams of next day trek plan.
26 Sep 2015: Manali to Chikka :-
Wakeup at 5 AM. It was a clean sky but soon it overcasted . Had tea, bath and an excellent breakfast of omelet, stuff parathaa , coffee and tea. At 9:30 checked out from hotel and along the river Vyas crossed the bridge and reached at 10:00 AM at pre decided place,Rambagh. Soon a guy Madhududan arrived with Jyothi and put their luggage and departed for some breakfast. At other corner of the garden our trek leader Harindar arrived with Senthil, Sabari and Guru and soon they left to TTH base for freshen up. After then Pooja, Meena, Milan and Sailesh arrived and warmly shook hands. Then arrivals of six IT techies from Hydrabad and then a long wait for four Ahmadabad people.
All then walked to TTH base for briefing and required document submission. Loaded with backpacks in 4 SUVs and headed to Prerni village. It was a continue height gaining process through a bumpy and narrow road. After covering around 42 road loops (hairpin bands) at 2:00 PM offloaded near a small dam, Allain Guhugal Hydel Project junc_on, outskirt of a thick forest.
Now collected our stuffs and rest of the logistics loaded on mules that already waited there for our arrival. A small briefing and distribution of toffees, chocolates, biscuits and then head start at 2:30 PM in north-west direction through a thick forest.Crossed a small bridge and then encounter a huge rocky mountain on one side and deep, thick, lush green forest on other side . It seems a small gang with all their loots heading for some hide in deep forest. The forest is mostly Pine with an occasional Maple tree with its new lush green leaves. First time I came to know that we are following a running camp concept i.e. every day we have to pitch out tent and next day dismantle them and proceed further.
It’s the beauty of the nature. All on the team headed from different corner of the country with different religions, cultures, creeds and ethics. But on this trail no one asked for any one’s profession. Soon views turned great eye shots and we entered in a valley having a very high rocky mountain on left side of the trail. After covering a well distance jumped over a wired fence and fully embarked in the wild. Crossed a wooden bridge on a gushing Rani river and landed on a terrain full of moraine and boulders. At 4:15 PM we all took a small rest and clicked some pics. Sky seems overcasted and clouds on far mountain side were heading down towards valley.
Soon a small downpour but faded easily. Encountered a herd of sheep grazing lazily without any shepherd at that time. In between Meenu suggested to collect some wood for a bonfire at night. And every one tried to search and collect dry wood as much as one can. The biggest wooden lob was carried by Madhu, it was as heavy as many time he had to put it down to take a rest. Now we changed our direction towards north. It was quite steep path and as per trek leader it was final push of the day.
A 5:00 PM we stopped at the bank of a small water source for today shelter. All the luggage offloaded and distributed to concerned person. Kitchen guys were started their tasks and Harindar taught us how to pitch a tent and distribute one tent everyone to pitch it own. In between a heavy shower halt the whole process. I quickly covered my entire luggage with poncho and stand still under an umbrella with Archana. But soon it faded and we all resumed our job. Everyone had its own tent for the day.
Today’s halt was nearby a water stream whose musical noise was echoing the whole valley. This site is surrounded with a big rocky mountain on backside and a deep valley on the right side. A green patched hill on other side of the valley laced with dwarf Rhododendrons in the lower and middle region of the mountain and Birch trees grow at the upper side and an icy, glacial cold hill on left side. On other side of water stream some other trekkers have pitched tents and on down side of the valley YAHI group had pitched their trademark big tents.
Soon a call for tea and distribution of sleeping bags and mattresses. At 6:30 it was a call for soup. All gathered around the piled woods and fired up with the help of Kerosene but a rainy spell destroyed all efforts and joys.
Now rain was on its full swing. I tried some pics of bonfire but could not fully succeed. Then at 8:00 PM it was dinner of lady finger, chana daal, Rice and roti. In sweet dish it was Haluwa. On request, after meal, we also got warm water to drink. And soon every one packed on their sleeping bags for rest of the night. It was instructed to don’t directly sleep after dinner as it will help in acclimatization. So I tried some long exposure shots of nearby tents and a small orange light at far distance on the hill in the dark.
I tried to sit quietly and think for a small moment about the mountain, this valley, stream, rain and about the dark. I could easily hear the sound oftik-tik on outside tent roof. And it was like fulfilling a childhood dream. When I used to live in my hilly homes a long back in times there used to be sloppy roofs of slates on top floor of house and whenever a downpour or hailstorm hit that roof a musical sound echoed inside give a soothing feeling. And in this dark night in this wild I was experiencing same feelings.
Definitely today journey was quite strenuous especially for those who have travelled and climbed up same day. Hats off of them as this were not a joke. In the unmatched musical sound of rain and nearby melody of water stream I tried for a good sleep under the hanging clouds over the high looming mountains.
27 Sep 2015 (Chikka to Balu ka Ghera):-
Night was not very pleasant. At continue intervals, first at 1 then at 3 and last at 4:00 AM my sleep get disturbed and after that I could not sleep. At nearby Archana slept well. A strange sound from nearby tents was occasionally echoed which in morning I figured out that was due to coughing of Nishtha. At 5:30 AM I came out of tent. Throughout night it was snowfall on upper reached and rain in the valley side .So weather was quite cold and misty. Nearby high peaks in backdrop were started shining in morning sunlight. But tent site was still far from any sunrays.
On far upper side on the mountain a moraine kind of the patch can be seen and on its top section a sharp pointer was emerging out. It is called “Indra Killa”. As I asked to Neeraj “can we go there” he replied that it quite difficult but whenever anyone tried to go near to that the “Indra Killa” get disappeared. May a myth but the trail towards it was quite unmanageable.
Freshen up got hot lemon tea and packed luggage. At 7:45 took breakfast of cornflakes, Omlet, bread with jam and butter and coffee. Dismantle our tents, submit them with sleeping bags and 9:15 AM departed with crossing the water stream. Water was so cold I think no one dared to wash one face. Everyone was fit as expected by me so far.
As per Harindar today’s journey was quite long but not very tiring. But it was not as such for us. Initially it was a upward journey in north-east direction over the small but stable stones along the river. It was like climbing over the stairs which gradually turned into boulders and moraines and simple walk turned into hopping and bumping.
I encounter on the way the herd of sheep which was shining as a patch of white color in my camera last night dark.
At 10:15 AM we reached under a big black color boulder and took a rest. A small fountain in his receding state was marking his sign on the stones. Soon we resumed our pace.
Now river started to turn into deep stream dividing a barren zigzag stony terrain from a green forest of Bhoj patra (Himalayan birch). Now the valley was started to open in a different terrain leaving almost all greenery behind.
At 11:15 AM we reached at a completely rocky section which has a very high rocky mountain on one side and a deep slippery section direct landing in the river. Under the mountain a big rock totally covered the path. Other side of this rock a fountain was sprinkling its rushing water worsen the slippery conditions. Under the fountain it was a completely naked stone with almost at an angle of 50 degree of about 40 feet in length was taking of test of every nerve. I never have seen such exposure in any trail so far. A small slip could land any one directy on the running water below. A YAHI group ,who had cancelled his expedition due to yesterday’s bad weather and snowy condition, arrived just at this section to make things pathetic. Any how everyone crossed it successfully. Neeraj, our local guide, helped us most of the time at this section. Climbed further and took a rest. Meet some foreigners who were heading down at upper point.
Soon resumed our pace and now we all landed in a different land and more interesting thing was waiting. It was river crossing, most essential and must to task. It was first time for everyone to cross it. Time was 11:45 AM. The stream was around 10 feet wide and with a depth of almost upto waist line cutting it way through the big boulders on upper side and instantly converted in a fall after crossing the trail and . It was not easy to cross it on own. Suddenly a shepherd appeared from upper side of river behind the boulders and told us that there is a way to cross it. And instantly Senthil , Sabari, Archana and me try to climb up over the big boulders for a distance but could not find any way. So we decided to get down and cross it through conventional route. Rest of the team started to cross it with the help of Harindar and Neeraj. Suddenly Senthil found a narrow section and tried to cross it but still other side stone was out of reach so he jumped instantly without thinking any other way. As he landed on other side his foot slipped and landed completely on his hands and chin. As he stand up his mouth was full of blood. There was a cut on inside of lower lip and some injury on front tooth. All this happened within a fraction of second and we all on other side just merely were spectators. So rest of all descended. I put off my sack and camera and rolled my trouser and with help of Neeraj first let cross Archana. Water was icy cold and stones were very slippery. Suddenly I merged in water up to waistline. Instantly all lower skin turned red due to cold .I came back and crossed this time with small backpack and camera and came back. And third time crossed it with my sack. As I have seen other team mates some have slipped in running water and get complete wet on bottom line. Few of them changed their clothes downside behind the rocks.
As we crossed, a group of around 15 people of YAHI were heading down but without any interaction they started cross the river. I helped few of them by providing my support with a lob.
River crossing was completely a must to do task and was part of this trek. Other side of river was our lunch point including to dry ourselves. We eat puri and dry fried potato. Withing 30 minutes resumed our pace. On the trail we meet previous batch of TTH who was heading down with unsuccessful summit due to bad weather.
Now we entered in a walled valley. It was now a steep section to climb up along the river and then a sharp right in eastern direction for a relatively flat section. My head was seems getting colder and heavy. Wind speed up its pace and weather seems to overcast and soon few droplets with mix of ice flakes. Far on mountain side it was snowing on upper reaches. We all took our ponchos out but within 10 minutes rain stopped.
Now the terrain was relatively flat and we were moving in north-east direction. At 3:00 PM we reached at Balu ka Ghera.
It was very secure site in terms of any strong gale and bad weather conditions. On front side it has a massive mountain shining in fresh white snow and on down the valley was nurturing with the water passing down at a few distance from right side of our tents.
Saw here few other tents on the ground from different groups. We all pitched our tents again but this time with proficiency. Yesterday snowfall leaved his marks as few snow patched still visible near the tens. Nishant was pitching tents near to that of ours and was struggling. I finished my job but due to my headache I could not helped him a lot and soon Ankit took charge and assist him. For a moment I though how a person compelled due to circumstances at such point and even after the trek for a long time this shame could not easily faded from inside me.
Almost everyone complained about uneasiness. Actually at the river crossing we all lost a big part of our energy and even after that in a windy and bad weather situation we crossed a good distance. So it started to take a toll on all our body. I had headache and took a small sleep and felt comfortable.
In ancient time, still followed in Himalayan ethics especially in Nepal, whenever any kind of expedition gets executed there was always a proper arrangement of prior worship of mountains to find permission and to avoid any bad omen. In reality if we explained it in spiritual way we have crossed and try to overpower a super natural power (river, jungle, mountains, snow patches etc.) without a taxation. But this time almost everything was fine.
It was 4:00 PM and weather was slightly deteriorating again, getting darker with cold wind started. We took tea with pakoda and it was now a scattered rain with a mix of ice granules and very soon it get faded.
As we look around the tents a lone trekker was getting down from the Hampta side and told us that he is from TTH batch and did Pass but could not crossed it. And no one know where he stayed for night. At 6:00 PM it was soup with roasted corns. At 7:00 PM it was dinner of brinjal,massoor dal, rice and roti . In sweet dish it was sewayiyaan. At the end we got warm water also. During dinner Harindar told us that due to weather it may be possible that we only go upto Hampta and turned back to this point. Its only depends on mule keeper that will be he mentally capable to cross the Pass with all mules safely to other side. And at 8:00 PM I finished all of the day. Sailesh Sir was feeling quite tired and I think didn’t took dinner.
Today I meet here with different persons. Few were Nitin Rana, Vijay, Vikas Negi,our mesh incharge from Rishikesh. All were very helping and generous in nature. Today very late I realized that we are sleeping more than 12K feet instead of 8K feet.
28 Sep 2015 (Summit day and back to Balu ka Ghera):-
I woke up at 11:50 due to nature’s call and came out with Archana. It was a very clear and bright moon shining its light over the mountains and whole valley in the down. I woke up again at 3 AM and then at 4 and after could not sleep.As I step out of tent it was very clear sky and two trekkers were taking long exposure photographs.I also took some shots.
Freshen up and at 6:30 got black tea. After it we almost all gathered in the sunny but cold weather outside and placed mattresses for yoga for 30 minutes. Shailesh sir were our mentor for this activity.
At 8:00 AM we did breakfast of aaloo paratha, daliya, pickle and coffee. Leave our luggage in the tents, packed our lunch and small backpacks with all necessary things i.e. water, poncho, medicine, lunch pack but except torch (first mistake of the day) and departed for destination at 9:00 AM (second mistake).We all formed a circle and got instruction from Harindar for the day.
It was very crystal clear weather and bright sun. As we hardly completed 1 mile, I was in the mid of the team, and as I turned back suddenly I saw Meenu on down side retreating back towards campsite. As I asked to Milan he told that she was feeling some breathing problem so decided to turn back. And I think a wise decision by an experienced trekker.
We crossed the water stream from left to right side and walk on a relatively flat surface for 30 minutes. Now continue bolder formation and after few steps at 10:30 AM we all took a small rest.
Then an almost flat surface with small greenery with some red color flowers peeking out. Now we were on the steep ascent over the sharp stones under the “Indrasan” who was continue watching our slow pace.
A small chit-chat with Mailan, Sailesh and Pooja and for most of the moments I remained with them and came to know that at one point Milan also decided to turn back but tried continue remain on the trail. All the batch mates were doing fine so far. Archana mostly remain on the front portion and insist many time to pick up the pace but I could not do so. At 11:00 AM we reached on the top part of the Balu ka ghera where site forming a muddy and sandy flat surface. Now we crossed it from right to left side and have to remain on left flank of the mountain till Hampta Pass. Now we took a small rest and very soon resumed the pace.
Now trail was getting tougher and gradually steeper. Stones started to turn into boulder, our breath into panting and our stride into baby steps.
At 1:00 PM we reached at our lunch pint of the day, a plateau beside a water source. It was packed lunch of aaloo-neutrila with roti and Rasna and with boiled eggs/potato also with biscuits and cookies provided by trek leader at the start of the trek.
We were now at the snow line level and at far on other side on snow covered mountains cloudsformation started to taking shape. It was now getting colder. I came to know via Neeraj that Nishant and Shivani turned back just before the lunch point with a porter. Again a wise decision of the trekkers. At 1:30 we resumed and started again for a similar rocky walk as we just scaled.
At 1:50 PM we were on the top of the boulders and a snow patch welcomed us. A broken table half inside the snow was showing daunting side of the patch. Crossed it and along the left side of it and then anotherstony inclined part again had to scale. After it a snow patch and we all gathered there.
It was 2:15 PM and our trek leader Harendar told us that we had to move fast as we are getting late and it’s everyone’s own responsibility to push oneself own.
Again on the left side of the patch a vertical section was waiting to test our cardio. This section leads us in a gully, engulfed in very powdered form of snow but relatively flat section. We left the flat section on mid and climbed a very steep wall of rocks on the left side and this was our final push of the day.
Archana was leading this time with Neeraj on the front. I was behind them. Behind us Madhu and Jyothi were coming up. Then Sulbha and Anuvrat and then Sabari, who was still on the gully.
At 3:00 PM I just reached at the corner of the final point. Archana and Neeraj were already there just few seconds before me. I hugged her and suddenly few warm drops rolled over my cold cheeks. It was a victory of faith, training, long callous efforts of us and also of a mentor.
I clicked few pics. Had few steps down towards the Spiti Valley. Spiti Valley mountains looked quite open and completely barren but our hard luck we could not make them.I think the other side descent is quite tricky and totally depends in the snow conditions.
It was a completely flat rocky section with like stairs of big stones. Behind us all came slowly, first were Madhu-Jyothi, followed by Sulbha-Anuvrat and Sabari then Senthil, Ankit-Sonam, Vaibhav and then most inspiring personality of the day Milan. All applaud for his brave efforts. Have clicked a group pic and within 15 minutes we decided to retrace our foot marks and returned.
As we were descending the first descent of the trail Pooja, Sailesh, Guru and Nishtha were on their way up for the top. Sabari was already descended on the bottom of the rocky path in the gully and he sought to me to take Guru up. I then moved down and helped Guru to took him on top. Nitin and Neeraj took care of Nishtha and Pooja. Now at 3:40PM again a group photo.In between few snow flakes had made their entry. Now all have made their way down. I think Mahak and Shivani Desai have decided to turn back somewhere mid of the trail after lunch point.
As I have seen from above point actual Hampta Pass is the whole gully section but not possible to cross it due to very high snow. We had already made this but just to see the pass from above and the Spiti region we climbed this section. Mount Indrasan on its full glare was smiling on all our success.
We were started our descent slowly. We all already were very late and I sensed this as the third mistake. I think our trek leader was not that much aware or he just ignores these timings. And we were supposed to do some blunder. Clouded were started to descending. Our pace was very slow and after crossing two snow patches, at 5:00 PM able to cross third and last patch of the snow which we encountered at 1:50PM during ascent.
It was getting dark and sun was spreading its last ray of the day. At this moment downward valley was shining in its full bloom. At 6:00 PM far downward upper part of the Balu ka Ghera makes its visibility behind a ridge. But still it was quite far. All the tiredness was starting take its toll on the body. Most affected parts were legs and knees. And I think all were going through same situation.
Now Nitin, Neeraj and Harindrar were lagging behind with Pooja, Nishtha, Sailesh and Milan and everyone was moving with their own pace. Me and Archana were far behind of Sulbha, Anuvrat and Ankit. At 6:15 PM we were at the edge of Upper Balu Ka Ghera and it was pitched dark. We had not any torch so I told Archana to wait for Senthil and Sabari. Within 10 minutes they reached. From four of us, Sabari had only single torch which run only on the dynamo power system (one have to charge it by moving a small wheel on it enough to give power for 10 minutes and then again have to move its wheel again to charge it).
And we completely lost our return path. Only one sound could be clearly heard and that was of murmur of water flowing on our left side but not visible how far. We only knew one thing that along this water we only able to find our path. So we climbed, hopped, jumped, crossed muddy and patchy streams and twisted on or off the stones. And one point we came over a steep section which was not easy to descend in dark. So retreat our path for little distance and changed it. As I looked up towards rest of the team, two torch lights could easily be seen. And I assured that rest of the team has touches but still not enough for them to descend easily.
Luckily at 7:15 PM two torches could be visible far down side and heard a whistle sound. We also shook our hand in void. As we approached, four young men were heading towards us. The first asked for any kind of casualty and then asked for others. They told us that we climbed quite up from actual path rather than going down but were still on a path which could lead us down to camp. They then asked for availability of torch in the rest of coming team and we assured them. Two persons accompanied us and two headed up for others rescue. Though big full moon was risen up and was on its full illumination so now it was little easy to navigate on the descent.
At 8:30 PM in complete dark we arrived safely at camp site, Balu Ka Ghera.I say thanks to Rinku (one of the persons who rescued us) and he politely told me “Nahi sir Thank you nahi. Aisa hota hai Pahadon main. Kabhi aap kisi ki help karte hain aur kabhi koi aapki”. What a man. Such simplicity. Later I came to know that even he was not part of our team.
It was about 30 KM high altitude journey in 12 Hours. Archana had some headache and I was suffering with some knee injury. We got hot water and tea. At 9:15 had dinner of Rajma, fried rice, matar paneer withRasgulla. At 9:15 PM rest of the team reached and all were fine with not any big problems. Milan and Sailesh got some massage help for mule’s owner. All was fine and at 10:00 PM I tried to sleep after a feet massage under the clear sky with full moon light.
29 Sep 2015 (Balu ka Ghera to Jwara via Chikka):-
I woke up at 4 AM. It was a perfect deep sleep night after a long duration. I tried to sleep again but failed. At 5:30 went out and freshen up. At 6:00 AM had tea. In between a discussion was going on between trekkers regarding to stay an extra chilling and sleepless night at Chikka or move further and stay at hotel at Manali, having more luxurious option to stay. And I with Archana decided to stick with first one.
During the chit-chat Guru told that “when I arrived at the bottom of the last ascent in the gully I was gasping badly and completely blank and could not see anything. I turned back and tried to figure out but could not see anything,Then I bow down to knees, breath heavily and looked up and I saw you waving hands. And literally at the moment I wanted to quit.But suddenly I realized how we came here so far.We everyone invested a single penny of our hard earn money, gave our best prior the trek for preparation and have already come so close. Its not the moment to retreat”. And that’s the spirit of a real trekker and a great motivation.
Had breakfast of Macaroni, Poha, cornflakes, and coffee. Took our refreshment for the trail , dismantled tents and departed at 9:15 AM. It was very clear sky with slight morning chill.
It was downward journey through zigzag path. At 10:20 AM took a small rest and resumed pace again. Lot of small streams we crossed on the way and Neeraj, Harindara and Nitin helped all people very generously.
At 11:15 AM we crossed river crossing point. This time we crossed it from upper side through a small and negotiable patch. I remained trail sweeper for most of the time. In between interacted with lot of people on the way and with a big group of YAHI who was heading up. Now a series of correspondence of congrats and all the best. It was not very easy to say goodbye to these compassionate natural things. “Indrasan” and “Indra Killa” were looming far above. And I managed to freeze the moments in my photos.
People were hurrying during descent to make early arrival at Manali to get accommodation and in this course suddenly negotiating a small descent Jyothi’s ankle get twisted badly. Luckily the horseman was near and he helped immediately with his own instinctive skills. At 12 noon we passed through tricky stony section under the waterfall. At 1:15 PM along a stream we finished our lunch of the day and proceed further.
At 1:45 PM we crossed Chikka camp site where we stayed during ascent. Harendar decided to stay at further down side on a more secure campsite near the forest area, Jwara. So all move further. At 2: 45 PM we crossed wooden bridge and at 3:30 PM we reached our final camp site.
Jwara camp site is a perfect for camping. It has a high rocky mountain on one side and thick jungle on upper side with a natural water source very near. Other end of the section Rani river flows on its own grace.
As I checked, Guru was bit struggling with his shoes and on asking he told that the sole of one shoe has torn out and he managed it by tying it with a thread from a long distance of the slopes.Really a “Ruf & Tuf” and must have style of a hiker.
Soon tea get prepared and enjoyed by everyone after a long walk. Then vehicle person get communicated for pickup and at 4:00 PM all headed down towards road side to reach Manali except Archana, Nishant, Shivani and me. A final group shot had taken. We all adieu a goodbye and wish every departing person to meet again on another trail.
It is never easy to detach from people with whom we spent almost one week and shared every inch of the trail. For few moments we sit idle and when asked Archana she replied that she is not feeling well and it seems like we left alone in this wild. And this is the beauty of nature. Nature always works to attach every bit of every element and same being happened here.
We started to pitch our tents. Soon it was sunset followed by getting dark. Some lights at far down side of dam were twinkling. And then I sensed that we are very close the road head.
At 6:30 PM had soup and popcorn. And then we spend some time in kitchen tents with cooking guys. At 8:00 PM we had dinner of masoor dal,mix veg, rice and chapati and sweet dish of custard. Then it was a bonfire and we enjoyed by making a circle around it discussed a lot of things. I tried some long exposure shots to capture star trails. At 9:15 PM returned in tents with two bottles of hot water. It was a clear sky and slightly windy as out tents were continuously flapping. Around 10:00 PM sleep took over its charge for the rest of night.
30 Sep 2015 (Jwara to Manali):-
The night was pleasant and only once I came out of tent during the night due to natures call. An emergency light was still illuminating outside the kitchen tent. Slept further and woke up at 5:00 AM and it was very clear sky but very chilly due to wind.
It was still dark but some mules were grazing near the tents. I felt some urge to freshen up and headed directly towards the toilet tents erected on the edge of the area and whose flapping and nonfunctional zippy door opened towards the valley side. As I entered it was continuously flapping and shaking sometime due to strong gales. It shook many time so bad that I had to hold it with both hands due to its door was not properly closed . And suddenly at a point it shook and bent at 90 degree and in the beam of my torch some brown color object just passed through in front of my eyes. I thought a bear have jumped over my tent and due to fear I instantly freeze for some fraction of moments with goose bumps in my whole body. I was in sitting position so only in automatics reaction my both hands were full of loose soil. Again that brown object oscillate in back direction and then I minutely checked it and found that it was the cover of this toilet tent only which was tagged over the tent by some porter during its building up. And I literally smiled. It was like someone played a prank with me. Suddenly I realized that if it would be the real thing then nearby grazing mules might be the first creatures at the moment who disturbed and provide a signal for any kind of danger and instantly my inner soul stable a silent and mock relation with them. Again this is the beauty of nature who acted to make unison with different kind of objects.
At 6:30 AM we got black tea and I took some snaps of nearby area. Archana took a relatively cozy shelter in kitchen tents till breakfast.
One thing I noticed that in the early morning when I wake up in the dark the emergency light was still illuminating outside the kitchen tent. Later before breakfast when I asked this thing to kitchen guys they told that due to light wild animals,especially bears, do not dare to come close to tent sites. And one more lesson I learned for survival in wild.
Nearby high peaks were shining in the morning sun and around 9:00 AM our camp site started to bask in warmth of sun. At 9: 30 AM we all 4 people took breakfast of egg paratha, cornflakes with coffee in the bright and cozy weather. Soon we packed out luggage and tent and departed towards road head at 10:00 AM. At 11:00 we reached at road head were 2 sumo vehicles were waiting to us. All backpacks and luggage from mules get loaded on both vehicles and slowly we drifted downward for our last journey of the trek.
On the way some snow peaks were shining and whole down valley was looking like a green bowl. We moved in between the apple gardens and the apple crop this time was ready to move it from trees to cold storages. Some labors were picking up the crop and filling the trays. We also tasted some fresh apples. Bending with curves of the slopes and enjoying the natural weather we reached Manali at 1:00 PM.
Our bus timing for Delhi from here was 6:30 PM so we took a small rest at TTH base and took lunch. Meet all MICA guys who were heading for some local sightseeing .They offered to stay in their hotel room and gave keys of his hotel room . I really impressed with their generosity.
We Strolled around mall road and headed to a garden called Van Vihar. Shared a evening tea with TTH guys and with some of our trek mates who came there to collect trek completion certificate. At 5:30 PM packed our dinner and departed for a long night journey by a pre-booked Himsuta bus of HRTC.
And we completed Hampta Pass. A another trail get mapped.
It was a journey which elevates us collectively to a new point and gave new dimensions of the trekking and as well of different aspects of life.
I personally felt lucky that I got such a good company of nice people who hailed from different corners with different vistas for life and headed together us in this wilderness and finished the trail very well. I am very thankful for their great companionship. Also thanks for TTH, again they have provided a superb and optimum logistics with all generous team members (Harindra- trek leader, Neeraj-local guide, Vikas Negi-mess in-charge, Naveen Rana and Ajay-support members and Maamu-mules owner).And again thanks to mighty Himalaya which grant us and provide us the path to see its eternal and never ending beauty.
Shakti Prasad Raturi