Hampta Pass - Chandratal Lake - Baralacha la Trek
Trip Type: Trekking
Region: Kullu / Lahaul Valley - Himachal
Grade: Moderately Challenging
Duration: 11 days
Max Altitude: 4830m
Batch Dates: Custom Dates Only
Hampta Pass - Chandratal - Baralachla Trek Overview
One of the most scenic high altitude treks in Himachal Pradesh, it takes one to the crystal clear waters of Chandratal and then through the high passes of Baralacha-La. Also known as the Moon Lake trek. Culturally, it's the threshold to the mystical Buddhism practiced in Spiti, Lahaul, Ladakh and Tibet. The barren landscape in the upper regions and the green valleys below, make the trail awe-inspiring and one of the must-experience ones in this part of the Himalayas.
This is a custom departure tour and so please write to us for prices and more info on this trek.
Day 01: Arrive in Manal
Day 02: Drive Manali to Jobra via Panduropa, Setan (2700m) and Hampta villages and then trek to Chikka.
Duration: 1 hr drive + 2 hours trek.
A very scenic drive. It passes through apple orchards and forests of blue pine, cedar, oak, fir and chestnut. The villages that the trail passes through - Chhalet, Hampta and Ghoratbari. Legend is that when people die and are on the way to heaven, their souls have to pass these villages. It is said that people here hear sounds of crying if the soul is condemned to hell and sounds of a trumpet if it is ascending to heaven.
Day 03: Chikka - Bhalu Ka Ghera (3730m)
Duration: 5 hours
The path to Bhalu ka ghera is from Chhika. The trek passes through some spectacular landscape to just below the Hamta Pass, on a grassy bank sloping down from the cliffs. The impressive grandeur of immediate surroundings, the nearness of the Tokru-Shakru peaks, the wonderful coloring of the rocks and mountainside, all make this one of the best campsite on the route. Chikka also has the river, Alain Nullah, which has its snout in the Hamta Pass.
Day 04: Bhalu Ka Ghera - Shea Gahru (3200m) via Hampta Pass (4270m)
Duration: 8 - 9 hours
The trail now begins to ascend towards Hamta Pass and one can have close views of Deo Tibba and Indrasan peaks. After that, it is a descent all the way right to the campsite at Shea Gahru. "Shea Gahru" means a very cold place in the Spiti dialect because it is adjacent to a glacier snout. During summer, it's a grazing pasture or halting place for the shepherds on the way to the Lahaul valley.
Day 05: Shea Gahru - Chhatru (3360m)
Duration: 3 hours
The fourth day's walk is quite easy, along the river up to a boulder field, which is hard to cross during the monsoons. The river has to be forded at one point from where one can see the valleys of Lahaul and Spiti. The massive mountains of the Pir Panjal and Spiti ranges dominate the entire landscape till the campsite at Chhatru. Chhatru is a confluence point of paths from Rohtang Pass, Hamta Pass and Spiti.
Day 06: Chhatru - Batal (3960m)
Duration: 2 hours
We will have cars pick us up from Chatru to Batal. (Tempo Traveller will be sent specially from Manali it will drop the guests and staff off at Batal and return back to Manali.)
Day 07: Batal - Chandertal (4270m)
Duration: 4 hours
The trail starts off as a pleasant walk along the pastures bordering Chandra River. The path then leads over the rubble-strewn plateau, crosses a small stream and continues traversing the slope. The track is almost level, with a few ups and downs up to Chadertal. This high altitude lake is a majestic sight, surrounded as it is by the mighty Himalayan peaks. A vast flowerbed meadow is the camping site on the banks of the lake.
Day 08: Layover day at Chandertal
Day 09: Chandertal - Tokpoyongma (4320m)
Duration: 7 hours
This is a gradual walk as the trail rises and falls several times, but mostly continues beside the river. Approaching Tokpoyongma, the trail ascends from the mountainside and crosses a stream. A little before the campsite, a river has to be negotiated.
Day 10: Tokpoyongma - Tokpogongma (4640m)
Duration: 5 hours
The next day starts early to facilitate crossing a two mountain streams before the water level rises during the day. Mules don't take this route, as they will find it difficult to negotiate the steep ascent that starts immediately after the streams. The track then ascends steeply across the rock face and up a hill to the campsite.
Day 11: Tokpogongma - Baralacha-La (4833m) - Manali
Duration: 6 hours
The day starts off with a half-hour steep ascent to the top of the ridge. After that, the trail proceeds through a boulder field with great views of the Koa Range peaks to the Southwest. Before reaching Baralacha-La one has to cross a stream. In ancient times, Baralacha-La was an important part of the trade route as roads from Spiti, Ladakh, Zanskar and Lahaul meet here. On the Northwest lies the Bhaga River while the Chandra flows to the Southeast. Near Baralacha-La is the beautiful emerald lake, Suraj Tal, the source of the Bhaga River. From Baralacha-La, a jeep will take the team to Manali. The road winds through Zingzing Bar, Patseo, Deepak Tal, Darcha, Keylong and Manali. Check into a hotel after arriving in Manali.
1. Camping Tents, Kitchen, Dining tents and Insulated Sleeping Pads.
2. Nutritious, high calorie food will be served.
4. Guide, Cook and camp helpers.
5. Horses carry loads on the route.
6. Transport Kasol/ Manikaran to Road head and back.
- All expenses of personal nature like drinks, tips, telephone calls, mineral water etc.
- Sleeping Bags. (We recommend to get bags which are comfort rated to - 5 to - 8 deg C)
- Accommodation and food in Kasol/ Manikaran
- Medical and evacuation expenses, we strongly recommend to purchase suitable insurance cover.
- Backpack 40 - 50 Lts with rain cover.This you will need in case you choose to offload your larger pack onto a horse/porter
- Day Pack 15 - 20 lts - You will use this to carry your camera, water bottle, Trail layers, trail food etc.
-Trekking Shoes: Please do not wear sports shoes as on most treks as we go higher it gets harder to use the sports shoes. We recommend shoes with a good hard sole and also ankle support preferable water proof. While we do not subscribe to any particular brand you can try the Quechua forclaz 100, 500 or 600.
- 2 -3 pairs of cotton socks.
- 2 pairs of woolen socks ( these are ideal to sleep in and best to use when in camp. We do not recommend them while trekking).
- Pants: 3 pairs (including the ones you wear) - Ideal are the quick dry light weight synthetic pants. Alternatively track pants are also comfortable to trek in. We do not recommend you get Denims or Jeans as they get hard to trek in.
- Tshirts 3 pairs (including the ones you are wearing) - Preferable cotton t-shirts that are full sleeves. You can also choose to get T-shirts with collars, they offer extra protection for the neck from sun burns.
- Synthetic Fleece Jacket - 1 pair.
- Wind proof/ Water proof Jacket - 1 pair.
- Down filled / Hollow fiber fill insulated Jacket - 1 -pair ( optional - get this if you want to stay extra warm at camps.)
- Thermal liners - 1 pair upper and lower (optional).
- Raincoat/ Poncho - what ever you get make sure it is something that will cover your daypack and camera too.
- Warm Beanie - make sure it is something that covers your ears. You can also use buffs, scarfs etc in addition to your beanie.
- Gloves - Lightweight synthetic gloves made of Fleece or you can also use woollen gloves.
- Sun Cap- 1 no
- Sun Glasses with good UV protection.
Other necessary things that we recommend you get:
- Toiletries - Sunscreen SPF 40+, Moisturizer, Lip balm, Soap, Toilet paper.
- Repair Kit (needle and thread).
- Headlamp/ Torch.
- Water Bottle- Ideally keep two bottle 1 litre each.
- Trekking Pole - Optional.
- Plastic Packing covers. (Please pack all your gear in waterproof plastic bags so that your clothes etc do not get wet while on horses or porters. Also carry extra plastic bags in case you need to pack wet clothes.)
The terms and conditions mentioned below shall apply for all programs undertaken through us. While maximum efforts are made to ensure the safety of the participant. However, Above14000ft their management or employees will not be responsible for injuries of any nature, mental or physical, whether caused directly or indirectly due to any adventures or their allied activities.
1. All participants are requested to download the risk form sign it and get it with them on their respective trips. You can download you risk forms here.
2. Payment terms will be 100% in advance along with program confirmation. We accept online bank tranfers.
3. Refund and cancellation:
- If you cancel 45 before the trip begins, Above 14000ft will retain 30% of the trip cost.
- If you cancel 30 days before the trip begins, Above 14000ft will retain 50 % of the trip cost.
- If you cancel less than 30 days before the trip begins, or, are not present when the trip begins, there will be no refund.
4. Above14000ft will take every care to ensure that itineraries are followed to the letter but circumstances beyond control may necessitate changes. In case of changes routes and properties, Above14000ft will accept no liability but make arrangements for substitution of equal.
5. Above14000ft will accept no liability for any damage, losses and expenses suffered by any client as a result of sickness, quarantine, weather conditions, war, strikes, riots or any other cause outside our control.
6. Any damage, other than that attributable to fair wear and tear, to the equipments by the participants will be billed to you. Our decision on all such matters will be final and binding.
7. In the event of any dispute, all matters will be subject to the sole jurisdiction of the courts of Himachal and the prevailing law of India shall prevail. Recourse to the courts of any other country will not be applicable.
We feel that it is an ethical obligation for us to educate our guests to the potential risks and hazards inherent in all outdoor programs and activities. We believe that it is our responsibility to provide quality curricula, skilled staff and sound risk management plans and procedures.
Our guests and our reputation are extremely valuable to us. We are honored to work with quality people and maintain an excellent reputation. Toward that end, risk management and safety is of paramount importance at Above 14000ft. Our safety record is excellent.
Staff competence and sound operational procedures are the core of our risk management system at Above 14000ft. We are proud of the overall quality of our staff screening, training, evaluation, operating, emergency response and evacuation procedures. Consistent emphasis is placed on accident prevention, judgment and decision-making that occur during planning of our programs. Our risk management procedures and practices meet or exceed industry standards and are constantly re-evaluated and improved as needed.
All outdoor programs contain inherent risks to participants with the potential to cause personal property loss or damage, illness, injury and even death. While Above 1400ft provides professional staff and quality risk management, we cannot completely eradicate all risks or hazards. No matter how well-managed, all outdoor activities involve unforeseen hazards (rockfall, sudden illness, being bitten or stung by a wild animal or insect, cold air and water temperatures, even other participants) that can present risks to participants and even to skilled instructors. Life is unpredictable so is Mother nature.
The community of Above 14000ft instructors is comprised of experienced outdoor educators and professional mountaineers that are informed of our emergency response procedures. In addition, all have current first aid certification.
It is a standard practice on every Above 14000ft program for guides to cover applicable risk management issues and rules designed to prevent accidents; for guests adherence to the rules and a positive mental attitude are essential.
Above 14000ft conducts a reconnaissance of each program area prior to bringing guests. This means that someone from Above 14000ft has been to the program site to look at the facilities, talk with the locals, check travel distances / times, locate the nearest medical facilities, and generally get an overview of the challenge level of the area.
Minor medical incidents (e.g. minor allergies, upset stomach, diarrhea, minor sprains, bruises, and blisters) may be treated in the field by basic first aid, over-the-counter remedies, medications or rest. More serious injuries and illnesses (e.g. fractures, severe allergic reactions etc) will require evacuation of the patient to the nearest medical facility, in which case we attempt to contact client administrators and parents.
The remoteness of some of the areas in which we travel combines a good news-bad news situation: they are among the most beautiful places on the planet and they can create complex evacuation and communication problems in the event of an emergency. While we carry a communication device (radio or cell phones) on all of our courses for emergencies, this does not guarantee reliable communication to support teams or rescue. Radios and cell phone reliability is effected by atmospheric and rugged terrain conditions. Sometimes groups may be separated from the radio or phone for several hours or more than a day.
While Above1 4000ft provides professional staff and practices quality risk management techniques we make no claim to completely eradicate all risks. If we did, we could not call our programs "adventure", nor would the benefits be as great, because after all, risk is an integral part of adventure. In the best sense, to participate in an adventure is to engage in an exciting or remarkable undertaking, in which risks are encountered, dealt with, and successfully negotiated.