Stuck in Spiti – My Over Adventurous Trip to Hampta Pass

I was planning a trek in the mountains for a long time and some treks were in my mind. In the past, I have done valley of flowers, Hemkunt Sahib in the month of September 2016. This year, I wanted to trek again in the Himalayas. Chopta Tunhnath, Hampta Pass and Deoria Taal were on the top of my list. I also researched about the Roopkund trek, however, it requires more stamina and effort. Finally me and my friend chose to cover Hampta pass trek and made necessary bookings. At the time of bookings, we were not aware that it is gonna be a memorable journey which we would not be able to forget our whole life.

Hampa pass trek view
View From Hampta Pass

Beginning of Hampta Trek

We two friends planned our trip to Hampta pass, considering the challenges and views that lies ahead. The weather was really very pleasant and there was nothing to worry about. We packed our bags and left on 18th September. The track started as usual on 19th and we were accompanied by 4 people from Israel and one girl from India. They were Dael, Asaf, Zeon and Roni, amazing people from the foreign land and our best buddies during this amazing adventure. The day of 19, 20 and 21 went very normal and we were happy with the trek to Hampta pass. On the morning of 22, we woke up and found light rain. That was nothing unusual as it had rained previously as well. When this rain turned to snowfall, we knew that something was wrong as it was very unexpected.

We decided to skip Chandratal and started trekking towards Chhatru to drive towards Manali on the same day. It was a 3.5 hour normal walk, and it turned out to be a very risky 6 hours walk for us. We somehow reached our vehicle at 4 PM thinking that this is the end of our troubled. Little did we know that it was an expended one. We couldn’t reach Manali as road was blocked near Rohtang. We asked our driver to take us to Khoksar so that we could find a place to sleep for the night. It was 6 when we reached there and found everything occupied. Our next stop was Sissu, people was generous enough to let us stay and we found one homestay there.

Life in Sissu – Ray of Hope

We were expecting some way of communication there but the only BSNL tower was non operational due to the storm. It was 5 days back, when our family heard from us and it was getting anxious for us. We were really not sure about the next time, when we will be able to call them or get in touch with them. We had a dinner and tried to slept with a heavy snowfall outside. It was a breathtaking view outside, but we weren’t happy. One phone call to the family would have ended our tension and we could’ve relaxed.

sissu Lahaul-Spiti during Snowfall
sissu Lahaul-Spiti during Snowfall

The next three days were spent looking out of windows and finding a silver lining in the sky. We also played various games suggested Roni, only way to pass the time and keep us away from the worries. On the night of 24-25, the snow was less and it turned into rain. That was enough to make us hope for a sunny day tomorrow. The whole night was spent looking for a glimpse of stars. We finally saw clear sky in the morning and it was like Diwali for all of us. We could finally expect someone from defense to find us and take us home. On the afternoon of 25, we saw one officer and he instructed us to start walking the next morning and reach the Rohtang tunnel as there were buses which would take us to Manali. We spend the time until dawn inspecting the sky as it was a fear among us that the snow might start again.

Happy Ending

Waiting outside the Rohtang Tunnel Manali
Waiting outside the Rohtang Tunnel Manali

The stars were very bright and they seemed brighter to us, as it represented that the sky was very clear. We woke up at 4:45 and at 5:30 we started waking, as promised by our Israeli friend, Zeon. We reached the tunnel at 8 in the morning by covering a distance of 7 to KM by foot. Army and BRO took us to Manali through tunnel. That was the best part of our extended holidays. The happy ending we all wanted and maybe deserved.

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