While many trekkers prefer to trek Hampta for it’s bumper accumulation of snow in a narrow funnel-like valley in the month of June, few people take their chances of doing a slog over a moraine ridge with no snow in the post monsoon months.
What looks like an absolute stunning alpine snow glaciers and bridges in the month of June transforms into a devious looking field of boulder-y moraine in September.
New season new views
Trekking Hampta Pass in Post Monsoon season has a unique side to it. A side that one hardly gets to see in summer season. If you are struck with the “Yeh Jawani hai Diwani movie” syndrome, then it is better you do not attempt Hampta Pass in late September. As you trek towards your first campsite Jwara, you will gradually see less of greenery. This gets replaced with more sightings of the raw barren Himalayan rock faces. Purist and experienced mountain enthusiasts will find themselves at home.
As you camp at Balu Ka Gera, you will be confronted with the view of Hampta Pass to be climbed the next day. There is no solitude of a monochrome snowy setting. Rani Nalla is found to be devoid of any snow bridges one is used to seeing in the summer months. What you do see is an impressive array of stream formation, trickling down the glacial basin which has completely shrunken into oblivion. The morning rays of sun are spectacular nonetheless and one can be excused for thinking for not camping here instead of Balu Ka Gera.
Steep ascent to Hampta Pass
The approach to traversing Hampta Pass is not difficult but can be a tiring one. Climbing the eventual 2500 feet to reach Hampta Pass is a long haul. With changing weather pattern and loose moraine ridge climb, one has to start early in the morning.
The colossal peaks surrounding the Hampta ridge look intimidating. A couple of un-named peaks around the Pass gives an impression of Biblical Beast of Lucifer with it’s two menacing horns. As one reaches the top of Hampta one can marvel the grandeur of the location as if it has come straight out of the epic verses of John Milton’s “Paradise lost”. At the background, Mt. Indrasen towering at over 20,400 feet looking like a sweet reaper. The descent down to Shea Goru is a brutal one.
Traversing the Hampta Pass in post monsoon months. Picture taken from Indiahikes archive
Shifting scenery in every direction
The whole landscape of the region takes a complete twist as you leave Kullu valley for the barren desolation of Lahaul Valley. There is compounded beauty in this valley which takes time for anyone to absorb. Shea Goru is right in the middle of an awesome trail. Never mind the snowless valley, there is so much more to fathom. If you look back from this point you can see the impressive Hampta Pass on your right. A look towards its left from a vantage point will give you an unobstructed view of Indrasen peak and its massive glacier basin.
The pointy formations on the barren peaks across the stream has a peculiar pattern and attracts immediate attention. The climb down along the stream all the way to Chatru is a fitting end to an outlandish Himalayan trek.
We have opened our September dates for this trek. Check them out here.