Kinner Kailash Parikrama trek in Winter
“How will you know the way, the weather is bad, there is a lot of snow,” the senior officer said. “I’ve hiked all over the Himalayas, I hiked the Pin-Paravati pass in a snow storm,” I retorted. “Ok, I’ll give you the permission if you write a statement that you take responsibility for your safety.” And that’s how I got the permission to hike the Kinnaur Kailash Parikarma on my own. Although the route is a traditional pilgrimage route around the sacred mountain of Kinnaur Kailash, technically foreigners are either supposed to have group of four or be guided.
I got off to a bit of a slow start jumping on a bus to Lambar where I would start the trek with a bus driver who loved taking his time, stopping the bus and shaking hands with everyone he knew. Then he decided he really didn’t want to finish is route so he turned around about 4 km before Thangi and 10 km before Lambar under the pretext that there was a landslide blocking the road ahead. There was no landslide, so much for my theory that bus drivers in India are the only government employees who do their jobs the way they are supposed to be done. Maybe this guy had previously been a tea drinking postal worker, for what ever reason he dumped me and the other passengers along side the road. I walked for about 15 minutes before managing to get a ride in a jeep to Lambar with some of the other locals from the bus. After a lunch of rice and dhal in Lambar, I headed off a bit later than I would have liked. But not before a local advised me that not to go over the Charang La, “too much snow” he said. “So I keep hearing,” I replied as I walk off towards the Charang La. Read more…
Chaka meadows hike , Kalpa
Chaka meadows hike is for the ones in tireless twenties wanting to savour the spectacle of Kinner Kailash mountain range from close or for the ones in late forties when knees begin to protest against the gradient and you start appreciating the least challenging of the mountain trails. The trails starts from a point on Kalpa Roghi road near charming Kalpa ( Chini village) which is around 10 kms from district headquarter , Reckong Peo. One don’t need any prior trekking experience but a sound pair of lungs. I would say it’s a modest trek with great returns. The hike is steep though. We started hiking from a trail near hotel Rakpa Regency which leads to Chaka Meadows. Early morning start is advised because it gets quite arduous when the sun starts hitting on face and suddenly you start feeling the backpack load. Read more…
Lamkhaga Pass (5284m) is one of the most beautiful and challenging treks I’ve done so far. This 8-day trek connects the beautiful villages of Chitkul in Baspa valley(Kinnaur, Himachal) to Harshil (Gangotri region, Uttarakhand) through some of the remote regions, usually not accessible for civilians. The amount of fresh, deep snow made hiking at higher altitudes extremely difficult. Spending two complete days navigating through knee level snow (& sometimes till the waist) was a gruesome process but it’s the stunning mountain views that was truly the highlight of the trek! Read more….