Ever since we launched the Hampta Pass Trek in June of 2011, we have repeatedly been asked about the choice of mid-June as the start of the trek. Indiahikes, Founder and CEO, Arjun Majumdar explains Why Hampta pass trek in June is a fantastic trek.
Let me clarify something, the Hampta Pass is a grand trek for any season. And the Hampta Pass is open to trekking for more months in the year than our other treks like the Ali Bedni Bugyal, Rupin Pass or Goecha La. There is a simple reason for this: Hampta Pass, at 14,500 feet, is at a lower altitude.
The snow on the Hampta Pass trek in June gives you the feeling of trekking in winter. Picture by Adtiya
Hampta Pass Trek in June is special because of the snow. The amount of snow that you will see on Hampta Pass will make you believe that you are trekking in the Arctic. I make no bones about it – snow is a big draw for most trekkers. And the way it is laid out on the Hampta Pass brings on a different dimension to the whole trek.
It has also got to do with the terrain. Most treks that we conduct are over very open valleys – like the Rupin Pass or the Miyar Valley. The Hampta Pass, on the other hand, is a crossing that starts out in a narrow valley and stays that way until the very end, when we descend at Chatru. The narrowness of the valley accentuates the gathering of the snow.
Hampta Pass Trek in June –
In mid-June, you will find the first patches of snow. From Day 1, you can spot snow lining the sides of the valley walls. Day 2, onwards as you climb through the Jwara meadows, the number of snow patches dramatically increase. To a point where you only see snow everywhere. Immediately after this, you hit the first snow bridges over the Rani Nalla.
On Day 2, you camp at the Balu-Ka-Gera campsite. This campsite is a beautiful campsite located on a wide river bed with snow mounds rising all around. It’s the ideal pit-stop for quick acclimatization climbs around the camp in preparation for the next day’s adventure of the Hampta Pass crossing.
The next morning, just as you step out of the Balu-Ka-Gera campsite, the Rani Nalla disappears under you – under a vast snow bridge. It reappears briefly as it widens to a flatbed of clear water – in fact, your last water source – to go under snow and ice never to be seen again. It is strange to think that a good part of your trek to the Hampta pass is actually over a snow glacier on the Rani Nalla.
The next few hours of trek are entirely in a snow valley that stretches end to end. Climbing the next 2,500 feet over multiple snowy ridges, you reach the Hampta Pass, a narrow flat snow plateau. Mt Indersan and Deo Tibba tower over it. The monochrome snowy setting is everywhere.
Getting down from the pass involves a near-vertical descent through snow ledges and gullies into the valley of Shiagoru. If the climb to the pass on snow isn’t thrilling enough, the valley of Shiagoru will definitely make you question the existence of this surreal view. In-fact, for the first time, you pitch your camp on snow (Shea Goru Campsite).
On the next day, the descent is again on snow, over mounds of the moraine. The trail re-enters an even narrower valley. At times, the sides of the valley are too steep to hike and you have to drop down to the snow at the valley bottom to continue your descent. The trail finally ends at Chatru, crossing glaciers and snow patches. Some of the snow patches stretch forever. We camp at Chatru, right next to tall snow patches, under which clear brooks bring us water for the camp.
Final Thoughts –
In a nutshell, mid-June is a great time to do the Hampta Pass if you want to experience snow – and see snow in its various hues. It is special because it is accentuated by the narrow valley of the Hampta Pass. The Hampta Pass trek in June is one of the best times to complete this trek. Considering the immense volume of snow and the sheer natural beauty, it is a must-do trek in June.
A few days later, in July, the snow comes down and the valley turns green and the experience changes altogether.
To know more about the Hampta Pass Trek click here. In case you have any questions or queries, feel free to mention them in the comments section below and someone from the Indiahikes team will respond to you.