How I prepared for the Hampta Pass trek

Born and brought up in Namma Bengaluru, I studied here, worked here and  Karnataka had all that to fulfil the wanderlust in me. It is an abundant beauty of western ghats, serene coastal beaches, hills to trek every weekend, an awesome climate all year and the only thing I would miss here would be the giant Himalayan mountains. Yes, Trekking to the Himalayas was my DREAM, which I never attempted! This dream came true through Hampta pass trek. This blog post is dedicated to how I set to prepare for Hampta pass trek. Read on!

Booking to Hampta pass via IndiaHikes

Now that I had completed most of the treks from western ghats, I wanted to challenge myself for a new adventure. That’s when I checked Himalayan trek from my wishlist. The easiest trek to attempt would be the Valley of flowers! After researching a lot, I got really tempted with Hampta pass trek because of the beautiful sceneries throughout the trek! Aug 15th was Independence day, a great time to trek to the Himalayas and served as a long weekend. With leaves approved, I started checking the slots in IndiaHikes, I was too late. It was already July and all the slots were full. So I just joined the Hampta pass trek wait-list (One of my co-travel blogger Sagar also joined the waitlist)and kept my fingers crossed! I was slightly disappointed I thought the Himalayas is far fetched this year at least!

We were on the Tadiandomol trek! Just had our breakfast and Sagar got a notification saying that the slots are now open for Hampta pass trek! We had to confirm in 24 hours and the trek was in next 15days! Voila! I asked him again “Are you crazy? Can we do it? We just have 15 days!”. As usual his reply was “Aren’t you crazy? This was one thing which you always want to do! Let’s go and explore!” and I just stared at him. In the next 5 minutes we booked the tickets worth 10.5 k per person!

Since it was a credit card, it was light on heart that moment 😀 (Wait for the next credit card bill :|). We discussed the Hampta pass trek the whole time we were on the Tadiandamol trek. It was crazy to already start planning for the next trek while still on the present trek.

Prepare for Hampta trek

We had less than 15 days! we were added to the already existed Whatsapp group (since we joined via waitlist) by the trek co-ordinator which helped in coordination. India Hikes sent us a series of emails on how to brace ourselves for the trek. They stressed on Physical fitness, medical condition and Acute mountain sickness. I checked the Youtube channel which helped in learning how the climate in mountains would be, how to prepare to face it. The videos were generic, so considering Hampta pass trek, a beginner level trek, I would be mentioning what exactly to expect and how to plan your trip with good budget.

Physical fitness – Prepare for Hampta pass

  • Run 5 km in 40 mins –  The primary requirement for the Hampta pass trek is to be fit. The target was to run 5kms in 40mins. Start running 30-45 days prior to the trek (scale gradually) and keep up the body fitness. I was able to scale this target in 10days and submitted.
  • Deep breathing – Since the Hampta pass is at 14,035 ft, the oxygen level is going to be less. So I started
    practising Pranayama everyday for 15mins, which really helped me at high altitude.
  • Medicines – Buy all the medicines given by the trek co-ordinator a week prior. Also, ask for Pharmacy if they take back unused medicines.

Important documents

The forms were sent by the co-ordinator/also available on the website. Take printouts and keep them ready a week before you leave.

  • Medical certificate – Yes, we need to get the basic medical checkup done by the doctor like Blood
    pressure, Pulse rate, BMI and other simple tests. This needs to be submitted to the trek day.
  • Disclaimer form – This is a disclaimer that you are responsible for fatal incidents and IndiaHikes will not be responsible. If you start reading them seriously, you would just get panic. No need to worry ! For IndiaHikes, our safety is the primary goal. Also great food and guidance compared to others.
  • ID proofs – Please take 2 to 3 printouts of your ID and keep them with you!

Packing list – Prepare for Hampta pass

  • IndiaHikes sent a huge list to pack, Well my personal suggestion would be to pack your bag as light as
    possible. Even an extra undergarment is going to be heavy. So pack your bag efficiently.
  • It’s going to be cold I agree, but no need to overspend on anything which you only once. Read that again! I bought all the items in Decathlon. Go to entry-level gears, when you are sure that you won’t use it again unless for the Himalayas!
  • Rent your gears. That’s a great option when you feel you really don’t need to buy and keep in the wardrobe forever.
  • Must-haves
    • Trekking shoes with ankle support and waterproof – Must buy them. It is going to be useful for whatever trek you go.
    • 2 Dry fit trek pants – Buy one of them. The main idea is to wear a pant and T-shirt which dries up faster. So if you already have one of such kind, that should be enough.
    • 2 to 3 T-shirts – One dry-fit T-shirt. I used full sleeve gym T-shirt and upon that, I kept changing the normal T-shirts. Consider collared.
    • Baraclava – We would normally have it. If not don’t spend for a costly in Decathlon. Buy 2 of them from a local sports store.
    • Socks – Have normal full-length sports socks. Not ankle length.
    • Sun cap – We would normally have a sports cap. Carry that!
    • A towel – Buy one in Decathlon. Normal towels would not dry soon!
    • Spill-proof 2 light water bottles!
    • Lunch box, spoon and cup – carry a small to medium one. You can take the food twice in the small ones.
  • Rent them
    • Trekking bags – Rent them or borrow from your friends. Also, rent the rain cover for the bag.
    • Trek pole – Rent an entry level trek pole.
    • Fleece jacket.
    • Padded jacket – If you have a warm jacket and a light jacket then it should be enough.
    • Thermals – Needed only in last few campsites. So rent them better.
    • Raincoat – Don’t buy that uncomfortable poncho! Get yourself a raincoat and a rain pant.
    • Gloves – Rent entry-level gloves.
    • Torch – Carry a small one, if you have. Otherwise, borrow from a friend or rent them.
  • Optional buys
    • Extra sweater – Not needed as we can use padded jacket only.
    • Neck warmer – Not needed unless you are cold prone. Rent them. You can also use a baraclava instead of this.

Accessories – Prepare for Hampta pass

  • Toiletries – Toothpaste (small one), brush, toilet paper
  • Accessories – Sunscreen,  moisturiser,  vaseline and nothing else.
  • Carry extra plastic covers.
  • You can also offload the backpack in the website for 250Rs per day and during the trek for 350Rs per day
  • I used zip lock seal bags to pack and make it compact. This also helps to keep the things dry.
  • Take DSLR at your risk. Mobile phones with good cameras should be enough. I took phones only
  • Carry 2 full charged power banks.

Itinerary to reach Manali – Prepare for Hampta pass

  • Book a flight in advance from Bengaluru to Delhi. For local travel, use the metro in Delhi, it’s convenient.
  • Book accommodation near to airport and metro preferably. Consider OYO rooms in main roads only because interiors will be shady places.
  • Book bus from Delhi to Manali. The pickup bus stop would be Himachal Bhavan which can be reached by metro.
  • Reach Manali and bargain for an auto to reach Keylinga Inn, the base camp of Hampta pass trek by India Hikes.

Bangalore ~ Delhi flight booking

  • Since it was Independence day week, we literally had to pay more than the usual flight prices. We booked SpiceJet and Indigo for to and fro respectively.
  • Pro tip: When you go to north always make sure you have buffer days. Because the climate in the mountains changes drastically. Anything could go wrong and you might have to cancel the flight tickets

Delhi ~ Manali bus booking

  • Book in advance to and fro to Manali via HPTDC (preferred) and HRTC. It’s around 1.5k per person.
  • To Manali, book a right-hand side windows seat to get great views river Beas!

This was the prior preparation. If you have any queries, please email me or add comments here.

Also, Sagar has compiled a great playlist of the Hampta pass trek experience. Subscribe to SakreCubes channel.

Are you excited for the Hampta pass trek? Come let me take you there through this blog series!  Follow me on Instagram.

Like, Share and comment your thoughts on this travelogue. Subscribe and follow on Instagram for more travel photography.

Read other travelogues:

You may also like

4 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *