Pooja Korde, a young architect from Nagpur decided to add one more adventure to her life story. And, after finishing her last academic examination, she logged online, surfed Thrillophilia and selected the Hampta Pass Trek, an easy option for a trekking newbie.
On the last day of the trek, when we asked her to summarize her entire trip, she replied, “Sleep deprivation, raging cold, rain, and the stress of living under low oxygen!” After a few days, when we contacted her to share the same experience in a detailed version, she started by saying, “I miss the peaceful nights and gazing the stars at 3 am. Without mobile phones, crowds of people, pollution and blah, life is amazing in the mountains.”
IT STARTED WITH A CLICK
“After hours of search for an easy trek for the novices, I decided to go for Hampta Pass Trek because the photos were mesmerizing and beautiful. I was slightly nervous to comprehend if my physical and mental health was good enough for the trek or not, but on the other hand, I was uber excited for my first high altitude trekking experience in the Himalayas,” says the architect who is fond of traveling, exploring different places and meeting new people.
She booked a flight from Nagpur to Delhi and reached Manali by bus. Thereafter, began once-in-a-lifetime journey for Pooja that helped her see her potential and made her believe in her wild spirit and undaunted courage.
GO STRAIGHT UP!
Hampta Pass Trek is every adventure lover’s paradise that starts with beautiful landscape on the Manali side in Himachal Pradesh, lush green valleys of Kullu to the overhanging mountains that give the magnificent views of the world below – barren yet stunning Lahaul.
Hampta Pass is an integral part of Manali, India’s favorite adventure zone and has been voted as one of the easiest trails for the beginners. With a stopover at Chandra Tal, this trip is full of adventure and scenic moments.
“From Manali, we reached Chikha via Jobra in a car where the fellow travelers and I were briefed about the trek, advised to consume food with high protein and other guidelines required to scale the trek were given. After an overnight stay at Chika, we all started the trek from Chika to Balu ka Gera traversing through the dense forest of pine trees, bright maple trees and birches. The best part was that everyone was made aware by our representative to be concerned about the environment and we cleaned the trash along the way wherever we found it.”
Here is the account of Pooja’s Hampta Pass experience in her own words!
THE REAL DEAL
“It turned out to be the longest day of the entire trip. Where ascend and descend take around 8-9 hours, it took me 11 hours. I caught the reflection of the blue sky, snow capped mountains and a small rainbow in the water. The dazzling beauty of that place made me fall for it even more. Carefully, we started walking slowly, from rock to rock over endless boulders and then up slippery snowy slopes.”
“After around 11 hours, I reached the campsite at Shea Goru where we all were served hot fritters and tea. It turned out to be the most difficult day for me. I was shot up with a severe headache and felt short of breath due to low oxygen levels. But my condition improved by the end of the day as I was fed with enough food and water. Also, that was the most chilling day of the entire trip.”
“WHAT THE HELL?”
“There were a number of instances during the trip that made me say, “What the hell am I doing here? I shouldn’t have come here because it is punishment. But on the other hand, exact opposite thoughts would fill my head and I would think that it was the best choice I ever made. I experienced white snow, pure greenery, humongous mountains, water flowing through the rocks, crossing a river and so much more that I didn’t have to take another adventure to witness all of that. The feeling that I had been waiting all my life to take a solo trip and challenge myself. Coming out of the comfort zone and embracing it was truly priceless!”
“WHAT THE HELL?” Again!
“It was time to trek down from the top. Early morning, we had to cross the River Rani with extremely chilled water up to our knees. Only a few minutes into the water and we couldn’t even feel our feet. Although crossing the river was the easier part of the entire trip, the high altitude and thin oxygen gave some of us severe headaches. By afternoon, we reached our base camp Chatru and the mission was accomplished.”
“Telling my experience to you all is only a gist of what I truly saw and felt during the trip. Despite low oxygen levels, sleep deprived nights, early morning treks and bone shattering cold, waking up to such beautiful sights every morning filled my heart, lungs and mind with unbelievable joy. It engulfed me and left me full to be able to get back to the normal life and to recall about all these days with amazing memories of that place.”
THE DAY THAT MADE THE MOST MEMORY
“The whole journey was totally different and new for me. I had never trekked before. Each and every corner of the nature totally mesmerized me and got me speechless. I’m glad I did what I loved and will continue this passion of travelling in the future also. The best part of the trek was the day 3, i.e. The Hampta Pass. I got sick during the journey because that day was a little difficult. I cursed myself for coming on a trek, but just the next minute I was so in love with the surrounding nature that I was again feeling happy and energetic. This continued during the whole trek. And, as we reached our campsite for the day, that feeling was inexplicable. I was so proud of myself. And all my sickness was gone.”
Check Out : Best Things to Do in Manali
WORDS FOR THE READERS
1. Take your warm clothes as much as you can. I realized the level of cold after going there, and after wearing 5 layers of clothing also, I was too cold.
2. Warming up your body is a must. Exercise is necessary before doing any trek.
3. Be mentally prepared for the adventure.
4. Live in the moment. No camera can capture your moment as much as you can feel it by being there and living that particular moment.
5. Don’t go or try to buck up with the speed of your group. Walk at your own pace and achieve your goal.
6. Get ready to walk beyond your comfort zone. Things are not always good all the time, but totally worth it.