This blog tells you exactly what's difficult about the Hampta Pass trek, why it's rated as Moderate and how you should prepare for it.
We classify Hampta Pass as Moderate trek. Many reasons come into play to grade a trek -- the gradient, the terrain, the highest altitude or the accessibility of an exit from the trek. All these reasons come into play while grading a trek.
There are two reasons why Hampta Pass is graded as Moderate.
1. Quickly climbs to 14,000 ft
This no mean altitude. Moreover on the Hampta Pass trek you gain altitude very quickly. You start by driving from Manali to Jobra. During that drive itself you jump from 6000 ft to around 9000 ft where you set your first camp.
From there within two days you climb to the pass at 14,000 ft. That's a quick gain in altitude and naturally the trek makes you susceptible to altitude sickness.
To add to it, once you are deep into the trek, at Balu Ka Ghera or Shea Goru (on the other side of the pass), the exit is not easy. You have to exit the valley by trekking.
2. Tricky terrain
On this trail, you cross rivers and overhangs.
After you cross the Hampta Pass, you enter Spiti. You come across a lot of rubble, rocks and scree on this terrain. You also cross overhangs overlooking the river.
These tricky sections raise the difficulty of the trek.
If you are trekking with Indiahikes, our teams will ensure that these sections are fortified either with ropes or with technical support.
Snow and rain on the trek?
Snow is going to be present almost till mid-July on this trek, especially towards the pass. After that you'll mostly see only snowpatches. If you are trekking with Indiahikes, our team will provide you with gaiters and microspikes to navigate these snow patches.
As it is a monsoon trek, you can expect it to rain on some days of your trek. It won't rain all the time. But make sure you always have your rainwear handy.
There could be a rare case of cloud burst or where the weather has turned exceptionally bad. In such a situation, our team will take a call to stay put or to retreat. While there's nothing to worry about, you should be mentally prepared for such scenarios. It is recommended that you keep a buffer day in your travel plan for such situations.
How to Prepare for the Hampta Pass trek
In light of these challenges, what you need to do is prepare really well for this trek. This trek is a good place to start if you are fit beginner. You must start your preparation at least a couple of months prior to the trek.
Your target for this trek is to be able to jog 5 km in 36 minutes consistently during your preparatory phase. This will ensure that you are able to complete the trek comfortably.
You must also work on strengthening your core muscles, your legs, even your upper body. You'll be carrying your backpack and trekking uphill, so you need to do some squats and planks apart from jogging.
If you have any questions, please drop them in the comment section below. Also make sure you read the Hampta Pass trek page carefully before setting off on the trek :)