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Rathore Cottage, Forest Colony, Reckong Peo, Himachal Pradesh 172107

EXCELLENT
81 reviews on
Harjinder Singh
Harjinder Singh
2021-07-28
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Had a great experience with team Raacho during Kinnaur Kailash trek.
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Sandhya Rathore
Sandhya Rathore
2021-04-14
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Raacho is the go-to team to explore treks and terrains that you wouldn’t find on internet.
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Sanjay Chadha
Sanjay Chadha
2020-09-25
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Sonu is a wonderful host. We had a lovely trip with him…
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Sayan P
Sayan P
2020-09-12
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I didn’t go for any trek with them. But meeting with someone like Sonu Negi is the best thing that happened in my Kinnaur trip last year. In him I earned a friend, philosopher and guide. He brings out the essence of the Kinnaur region. “Son of the soil” you can say. Vastly experienced and knowledgeable guy. This is your “Docsahab” sending you best wishes from Kolkata. Eagerly waiting for a trip with you again next year.
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Shweta kashyap
Shweta kashyap
2020-07-10
Verified
It was ossum
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Frequently Asked Questions

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No. Shirkhand Mahadev Yatra route is located in outer Siraj region of Greater Himalayan National Park of Kullu district, whereas the Kinner Kailash Yatra route falls completely in Sairag (Kalpa) valley of Kinnaur.

First you need to reach Reckong Peo, the administrative HQ of Kinnaur district. You can take any one of the three routes from Reckong Peo. 

  • Tangling village-Gufa-Kinner Kailash Shivling route. 
  • Ribba village-Parvati Kund-Kinner Kailash Shivling route.
  • Purbani village-Parvati Kund-Kinner Kailash. 

Kinner Kailash (6050m) is a holy peak towering over the Kalpa (called Sairag by the people of Kinnaur) valley of Kinnaur. You must have previous climbing/mountaineering experience to reach the apex of Kinner Kailash peak. However, the trek to Shivling pillar, located below the 6050m high Kinnaur Kailash peak, is doable (not recommended) even if you have no prior trekking experience. 

The yatra dates of Kinnaur Kailash are officially announced (for a period of 4-5 weeks) by Kinner Kailash Yatra committee after consultation with the local administration. One can’t go for yatra before or after the time window approved by the administration.   

However, the Kinnaur Kaliash Parikrama (circuit) trek is doable from May-September month period. 

Kinner Kailash peak is named after the Kinner tribe — the people of Kinnaur. There are many mythological connotations attached to the word ‘Kinner’. You would find a mention of ‘Kinners’ in almost all major Hindu religious texts and epics. In these texts, the Kinners are described as a tribe of great singers and dancers living in the Himalayas. 

Artists of India and central Asia made sculptures of the Kinner tribe during the ancient and early medieval period. Cave 1 of Ajanta caves is dedicated to the Kinners. During this period the Kinner tribe was spread from Bhagirathi valley of Uttarakhand in the east to the source of Chandrabhaga river in the west.    

Yes. Buran Ghati trek in October month is recommended for people are into astrophotography or dawn & dusk photography. The sky during this time stays clear and the air is ideally crisp for shooting night sky or Milky Way. 

Raacho Trekkers have a team of local guides who have trekked this region for over 10 years now. Apart from trek/terrain expertise, they offer valuable insights on the everyday life of local people, their cultures and sociocultural traits. 

Buran Ghati is a moderately difficult trek. If the weather conditions are perfect, the pass can be climbed by a person (who is in good shape), who never been to the Himalayas.  

Both Buran Ghati and Rupin pass are located on similar altitudes — Rupin pass is slightly higher. The terrain and landscape is also similar. In fact, the Rupin pass is placed on the same range and aerial distance between the two pass shouldn’t be more than a few kilometers. Choosing one trek over the other is a personal choice. We don’t prefer Buran over Rupin or vice-versa. You shouldn’t either.  

Yes! We recommend May month to be the best time for the Buran Ghati trek.  In May, you’lll witness the panoramic vistas of Himalayan ranges and lush greenery of the Pabbar valley — sans repulsive rains. 

May or September is the best month to go for Buran Ghati trek. The heavy downpour during the Monsoon months (July-August) makes it difficult to trek and set up the camps. It rains heavily — particularly in the Pabbar valley region — during Monsoon.

May month is recommended as a wider snow cover in the higher altitudes makes it easier to negotiate the difficult terrain. In May, the snow-white vista (offered by Buran pass summit) of lesser and Greater Himalayan ranges is a sight to behold.     

Buran Ghati pass remains accessible from May to October (or early November) period. The pass is reachable either via Janglikh-Litham Thach route or via Brua-Brua Kanda route.

Buran Ghati is a mountain pass located in the lesser (or middle) Himalayan range. The pass is a crossover between Janglikh village of Pabbar valley and Brua village of the Baspa valley of Kinnaur

BSNL works in all regions of Spiti valley and Kinnaur. Reliance Jio has started expanding its network in Spiti valley. It is expected to get functional by the summer of 2021.

In summers, the maximum temperature crosses the 20 degrees Celcius mark in Spiti valley. During sunny daytime, you’ll feel comfortable just by wearing a t-shirt and trousers. It is always good to get wrapped in layers of clothes as the weather can change anytime in the Himalayas. Even if the sun starts shining again, you can always get rid of the outer layers of clothing. 

Here is the packing list (summers) for Spiti valley: 

  • T-shirts. 
  • A windcheater/ rain jacket.
  • Jeans/trousers. 
  • Light woolen. 
  • A cap/hat. 
  • Sunglasses. 
  • A pair of hiking shoes. 
  • 3/4 pairs of regular socks. 
  • A water purifier and filtration bottle (avoid plastic bottle). 
  • Personal hygiene essentials. 
  • Sunscreen sunblock cream.

Spiti valley packing list (for winters): 

  • A pair of good quality waterproof trekking boots.
  • Three pairs of cotton socks.
  • Two pairs of waterproof hiking pants.
  • One pair of shorts
  • Two pairs of fleece jumpers. 
  • Two pairs of thermal tops and bottoms
  • One down jacket.
  • Headgear (1 beanie/skull cap, 1 buff, and 1 trekking cap). 
  • A pair of thick gloves
  • Personal hygiene essentials(alcohol-based gel hand sanitizer, soap, towels, toilet papers, baby wipes, etc.). 
  • UV-block sunglasses.
  • First aid kit.
  • A water purifier and filtration bottle.

Spiti valley is acclaimed for its distinctive Moon-esque landscapes and interesting landforms. 5 entities that define the Spiti valley are: 

  • Chandratal .the lake of moon.  
  • Buddhist monasteries of Ki, Kaza, Kungri, and Tabo. 
  • Snow leopards of Kibber   the grey ghost of the Himalayas.
  • Fascinating Tibetan culture and customs. 
  • Fossils dating back to the Triassic period (252-201 million years ago) of  Langza village.    

Shimla to Narkanda-Rampur Bushahr-Powari-Pooh-Dubling village drive is on National Highway 5 (NH5). The Dubling village to Nako-Tabo-Kaza drive is on NH505. Kaza is the headquarters of Spiti valley. During winters, Shimla-Narkanda-Rampur road gets closed for a day or two whenever there is a long spell of snowfall. During such events, take the Shimla-Suni-Rampur Bushahr route along the Satluj river. This route stays open for all 365 days of the year.

It takes longer — when compared from Manali to Spiti valley (Via Atal tunnel) route — to reach Kaza from Shimla.

Shimla is one of the two places (second is Manali town) to start the Spiti valley circuit tour.

The road from Manali follows the Solang Valley-Atal tunnel-Gramphu-Batal-Kunzum Pass-Losar-Kaza route. The distance from Manali to Kaza is 183 km, and it takes about 6-7 hours (at one go) to reach Kaza. Manali-Kaza is a shorter route than the Shimla-Kaza route. 

Though the Atal Tunnel has hardly reduced the road distance between Manali and Spiti valley by nearly 20 km, the drive time between the two places has now been reduced by over 2 hours.

Manali town is one of the two — the second is Shimla — places to start the Spiti valley circuit tour.

 


 

Is it possible to drive to Spiti valley from Manali in winter (via Atal tunnel)?

No. Not until BRO (Border Road Organisation) punches another hole under Kunzum-La — a pass that keeps Spiti valley closed to vehicular traffic from November to May from Manali’s side.


What precautions do you need to take while driving through the Atal (Rohtang) tunnel?

If you are coming from any city located on the plains (like from Delhi/Chandigarh), do take a break in Manali — or a place located at a similar altitude.

Driving straight from a place located at 200m altitude to a place at 3000m can take a toll on your body. Moreover, the temperature difference between the two places is enormous — from temperatures above 40 degrees celsius to subzero temperatures at the north portal of the Atal tunnel (during winters).

The second thing you need to consider is the speed limit. As the Atal tunnel is built under the Seri Nallah stream. Water ingressing into the tunnel walls from Seri Nallah could cause the formation of black ice on tunnel tarmac during the winters as the tunnel will act as a venturi for icy winds blowing in through the North portal.

If you drive above the speed limits on a slippery surface, your car can easily go into a slide causing a major accident!


Manali to Chandratal lake via Atal tunnel drive

Chandratal lake from Manali is 110 km away (via Atal tunnel). You need to follow the Manali-Kaza road route till Batal. From Batal, a 15 km long unpaved road (which was widened lately) connects Batal to Chandratal.

Rain clouds hanging over Chandratal lake
Rain clouds hanging over Chandratal lake

It takes about 5 hours to reach Chandratal from Manali (by your own car or taxi). Though, the HRTC bus (the only public transport service for Chandratal) takes about 6 hours to cover the 110 long route. If you are low on budget, this bus can take you to Chandratal in just Rs 250 from Manali. The bus returns to Manali town on the same day.


Tips for driving on Manali-Spiti valley road

  • The common rule you need to follow while driving through Manali-Spiti road (also valid for driving through any Himalayan terrain) is to give way to vehicles going uphill. The only exception is when you have space and driving uphill is doable.
  • When driving on narrow roads, if possible, make a mental note of all the places that come along the way where two vehicles can pass through. If you don’t know such places, tailgate (while maintaining enough space) a local car.
  • Always keep your eyes far ahead as well and glance over the mountain road and be on the lookout for any vehicle that may be coming towards you. Tell your co-passenger also to be on the lookout.
  • Never go to such places alone if you are not familiar with the roads. A trustworthy navigator is essential. Plus, you can reverse the roles whenever one feels tired.
  • If the other vehicle stops to give you a pass, always smile, wave and say thank you. The smile you will get in return will be worth it.
  • Always take the initiative and reverse. Don’t wait for a stalemate and ego to kick in. Just put your vehicle in reverse, of course, after checking that there are no vehicles behind.
  • Learn to reverse by looking in the rearview mirrors.
  • Be extra considerate and show compassion to others. Rest, the mountains will take care of you.

You need to follow Ambala-Zirakpur Expressway on National Highway(NH) 44 and Zirakpur to Shimla (111 km) on NH5 in Himachal Pradesh.  Shimla to Narkanda-Rampur Bushahr-Powari-Pooh-Dubling village drive is on NH5. Dubling village to Nako-Tabo-Kaza drive is on NH505. Kaza is the headquarter of Spiti valley.

Yes. The circuit is doable in October, though, the weather gets highly erratic — after September — in high altitude regions of Kinnaur, Spiti valley and Lahaul valley.   

No. The Manali-Spiti route gets closed when thick layers of snow blankets the Kunzum pass in November/December. The traffic movement resumes only after March month. 

Though the Manali to Spiti valley route gets closed — most often after November/early December till March — during winters, the Shimla-Narkanda-Rampur-Nako-Kaza road stays open even during wintertime. During long spells of snowfall, Shimla-Kaza road may get closed for a day or two. BRO team from Project Deepak and local administration employs dozers, snow cutters, and excavators to clear the snow and reopen the route after a spell of snow the route. Ping us to get the latest road and connectivity updates.

Our guides are certified and have been trekking the Himalayas for decades(all are local guides). They are well equipped and well versed with the terrain, the route, the people, the Himalayan wildlife and its culture. We were featured in the National Geographic Traveler magazine for the 3 passes expedition(i.e. Patangini – Auden’s Col – Mayali pass) of June 2017.

The guides and porters are adequately trained and skilled in handling emergencies. You will get immediate first aid and all necessary help if required. In case of a medical emergency, the porters & guides will carry you to a lower altitude and will contact the rescue authority by satellite phone.

The packing list for Auden’s Col trek are as follows:

Clothing

  1. Trekking pants and jackets.
  2. Rainproof pants and jackets.
  3. Thermals underwear.
  4. A pair of gloves.
  5. Short-sleeved trekking shirts.
  6. Long-sleeved trekking shirts.
  7. Woolen cap/ beanies.
  8. Insulating jackets.
  9. fleece-lined jacket.
  10. Lightweight Sweaters. 
  11. Trekking boots.
  12. First Aid.
  13. Sanitary pads/ Tampons.
  14. Toiletries.
  15. Sunscreen.
  16. Hand sanitizer.
  17. Water Bottle.
  18. Sunglasses.
  19. Chargers.
  20. Headlamp

Important Documents

  • Photo-ID( Passport/Driving License/Voter ID/Aadhar).
  • Fitness certificate.
  • Trekking Permit

Many people assume that they need to have athletic strength to complete a trek like Auden’s Col, which is not completely true. The athletic strength is needed but mental strength matters equally. Anyone with average physical strength and strong mental strength can negotiate the long stretches of Auden’s Col/Khatling glacier and complete the Auden’s Col trek. 

To boost the physical strength, cardio (aerobic) exercises, including hiking, cycling, swimming, can help you gain fitness before the start of your trek. One important thing to consider is that the treks are not a race, so you need to maintain a gentle pace with sufficient breaks and acclimatization.

The best time for trekking Auden’s Col trek is from May(from 4th week) to September(barring monsoon period). During the spring season(in May & June month), wildflowers, including pink rhododendrons, Bhrama Kamal bloom in Gangotri valley in Uttarakhand. The clear skies and stable weather is the major attraction of the trek.

The autumn month of September is famous for its soothing climate and favorable temperatures. The Autumn month is good for the night or dawn/dusk photography. The monsoon and the winters are generally avoided because of the risks and the challenges posed by the Gangotri group of mountains.

During the trek, numerous mountain streams originating from Gangotri glaciers(like Kedar Ganga, Bhilangana, and Vasuki Ganga etc.)  are the main source of drinking water and water for cooking. Mountain stream water & snowmelt water is perfectly safe to drink though the problem of silt mixed water may arise during the rainy days. We filter water through a sedimentation process. We also recommend trekkers to carry a water bottle fitted with a filter. You can get filter-fitted bottles easily in the market.

While trekking it is extremely important to stay hydrated. During the trekking on sunny days, you will be thirsty more often. You can add hydration salts or glucose to the drinking water that keeps you healthy while improving the taste of the water. 

The trekking hours are not fixed. The prevailing weather conditions, terrain and walking pace will determine the daily trekking hours. In general, we plan the trek for five to six hours of daily walking on average. In a group trekking expedition, it is essential for us to gauge every individual’s stamina level and plan our journey ahead accordingly.  Starting the trek early is key to avoiding the midday heat and arriving at your destination early. This leaves with enough time to rest, acclimatize, and explore the Gangotri Nationa Park region.

There will be toilet tents. Our crew will dig a hole in the ground then erect a toilet tent around it for privacy. We brief our guides to locate the toilet tent away from water sources and on departure the next morning the hole will be filled and covered with earth. We recommend you always keep a roll of toilet paper & a hand sanitizer in your day pack.

The rule of thumb is to use several thin layers rather than just one or two thick layers. This allows you to peel layers off or put them on depending on the weather and the time of day. For your base-layer choose a fabric that soaks moisture away from your skin and dries quickly. Your outer layer should be fully wind and rainproof. We recommend you carry good quality thermals, woolen socks & a waterproof jacket. A windproof outer layer is essential to combat wind-chill(essential for altitudes like Auden’s and Mayali). Choose a thermal base-layer and fabrics that wick sweat away from your skin to avoid getting wet and cold. You need to protect your hands and feet with high-quality thermal gloves and socks, also a hat to protect your head and a balaclava to protect your face. 

If you have no prior experience of walking long stretches on glaciers, you should bring crampons. Crampons fitted trekking boots help you get past the snow with ease. Many people prefer walking on the glaciers without crampons. Auden’s Col trek route has a long glacier stretch that is riddled with crevasses and moraines. We recommend crampons for such terrain.

You need good quality Gore-Tex boots with decent grip and secure ankle support. Your boots must be fully waterproof and at higher altitudes(like Auden’s Col basecamp & Khatling glacier snowfields) we recommend boots with trekking gaiters for crossing Auden’s Col snowfields.

This is very much personal preference. Some people swear by them, especially on treks with long and steep ascents and descents(like the ascent to Patangini Dhar, descent from Auden’s Col and Mayali pass), others find they get in the way and prefer to manage without. If you have weak hips, knees or ankles they are an effective way to reduce the strain.

There’s no other way to prepare for altitude than to acclimatize slowly. Our trek itineraries have been carefully planned to allow for gradual acclimatization (at Bhoj Kharak and Kedar Kharak). Altitude sickness can affect the fittest trekkers just as easily as the less fit. Once on the trek, the main recommendation is to keep your fluid intake up and stay hydrated. We don’t recommend Diamox(acetazolamide). Diamox actually tricks your body into breathing faster (by changing the Ph of your blood slightly) so it actually prevents the symptoms. The best cure for high altitude sickness is acclimatization.

During the trek, your luggage is carried & transported by porter & mules so all you need to carry is what you need during the day, for example water bottle, camera, extra clothing, sun-cream, and a small personal first aid kit. We recommend a 15 to 25-liter day pack for Auden’s Col trek

The best way to train for the Auden’s Col trek is to spend plenty of time beforehand simply walking & jogging. Aerobic training at the gym helps too, but there’s no substitute for simply walking & trotting for several hours at a stretch. It’s also a good opportunity to check out all your trekking equipment, clothing, and footwear – to make sure it’s all comfortable and works OK.

It really isn’t a problem. You can walk at your own pace nearly all the time, as we have enough guides to escort walkers of all speeds. Occasionally for safety reasons the trek leader might pull the group together (eg. in bad weather or on a tricky section of the trek route like ascending and descending Auden’s Col, Crossing crevasses over Khatling glacier, Crossing the makeshift bridge over Bhilangana river,  and climbing up to the Mayali pas. In general, the group can string out and everyone finds their own comfortable walking pace.

Assessing your personal fitness is quite subjective. Your fitness level is often pitted against the level of difficulty of a trek route that includes various factors like the number of hours of walking each day, the total number of days, how long and how difficult is the ascent of descent stretch, terrain, altitude, and likely weather conditions. Auden’s Col conflated with Mayali pass is a 12/13-day trek riddled with long glacier stretches, crevasses, rock falling zones, and moraines.  To match the difficulty level of Auden’s Col trek you need to have previous high altitude trekking experience. One cannot climb a pass or peak without being physically and mentally fit.

The route traverses through the valley of Rudugaira to Auden’s Col and ends at the village of Ghuttu, and for the 3-pass expedition, It’ll be conflated with the Mayali Pass to go all the way to Kedarnath. It is also possible to cross only Auden’s Col by starting the trek at Gangotri and exiting at Guttu(i.e. Mayali pass would be skipped). Another trail in the valley between the valleys of Gangotri and Rudugaira will lead us to Kedar Tal. Kedar Tal offers magnificent views of the Thalay Sagar and Bhrigupanth peaks. In the first part, the route would take us to Kedar Tal, and then we cross over from Kedar Ganga (Kedar Ganga is a tributary of the Bhagirathi River) to Rudugaira Valley through a pass called Patangini Dhar. In the second part, we will cross Auden’s Col and trek over Khatling glacier to the origin of the Bhilangna river. In the last part, we will switch over to the Mayali Pass trail to reach Kedarnath.

Bhoj Kharak, Kedar Kharak, and trail to Kedar Tal. The trail is steep uphill including numerous switchbacks through the birch forest. The birch trees are referred to as Bhoj trees in the local dialect and so the first campsite inside the Bhoj forest is named Bhoj Kharak.

Gangotri has many small hotels and lodges. You can stay at Harsil also. Harsil is an hour’s drive from Gangotri.

Any trek is doable without a guide:

  • If you know the route(or you know how to read maps and use GPS) 
  • You have complete climbing and camping gear.
  • You have extensive experience of trekking in the Himalayas. 

Even if you meet the above conditions there are still certain caveats that make a trek like Auden’s Col treacherously dicey.

Our guides are certified and have been trekking the Himalayas since childhood(all are local guides). They are well equipped and well versed with the terrain, route, the people and local culture.

We don’t provide trekking or camping gear or rent.

The guides and porters are adequately trained and skilled in handling emergencies. You will get immediate first aid and all necessary help if required. In case of a medical emergency the porters & guides will carry you to a lower altitude and will contact the rescue authority.

When it comes to packing for a trek in an efficient way so that you have maximum flexibility with minimum weight, we advise trekkers to pack only what it essentially needed. Packing things that are not required will overburden porters & mules and hamper the probability of competing a high altitude trek like Lamkhaga.

Clothing & Gear

  1. Trekking pants and jackets.
  2. Rainproof pants and jackets.
  3. Thermals underwear.
  4. A pair of gloves.
  5. Short-sleeved trekking shirts.
  6. Long-sleeved trekking shirts.
  7. Woolen cap/ beanies.
  8. Insulating jackets.
  9. Fleece-lined jacket.
  10. Lightweight Sweaters. 
  11. Trekking boots.
  12. Flip-flops or river shoes
  13. First Aid.
  14. Sanitary pads/ Tampons.
  15. Toiletries.
  16. Sunscreen.
  17. Hand sanitizer.
  18. Quick-drying towel.
  19. Water Bottle.
  20. Sunglasses.
  21. Chargers.
  22. Headlamp

Important Documents

  • Photo-ID( Passport/Driving License/Voter ID/Aadhar).
  • Fitness certificate.

Many people believe that they need immense physical strength to complete a trek like Lamkhaga, which is not necessarily true. Athletic strength is essential, but mental strength is equally important. Anyone with average physical strength and high mental strength can complete a trek like Lamkhaga pass.

Cardio (aerobic) exercises, like hiking, cycling, swimming, will help you achieve strength before the start of your journey. One crucial thing to remember is that trekking is not a race, so you need to keep up with ample breaks and acclimatization.

The best time to trek Lamkhaga is from May to September (barring the monsoon period). During the spring season (May month), wildflowers, including pink rhododendrons, bloom in the Kyarkoti Valley in Uttarakhand. Clear skies and stable conditions underscore the Lamkhaga pass trek during spring months.

The autumn month of September is renowned for its calming climate and favorable temperatures. Autumn month is a perfect time for night or dawn/dusk photography. Monsoon and winters are usually avoided because of the risks and difficulties presented by Garhwal and Kinnaur Himalayas.

You need to carry the backpack/daypack. The daypack consists of essentials like water, a camera, snacks, and rain gear. The heavy luggage will get carried by a porter.

The key to preventing altitude sickness is to acclimatize properly. In high altitude areas, you should not gain more than 600-800 m of altitude. We advise you to take things easy and not to trek in a hurry.

Regular hydration of at least 5 liters of water a day is a must. Diamox (acetazolamide) is not recommended. Diamox simply tricks the body into breathing faster (by increasing the blood Ph slightly) and in fact avoids symptoms. Acclimatization is the only treatment for high altitude sickness. Take medication only if it is recommended by your doctor.

Throughout the trek, numerous mountain streams of the Baspa Valley & Kyarkoti and the glaciers of Baspa & Jalandhari Gad are the main source of drinking water and cooking water. Mountain stream water & snowmelt water is perfectly safe to drink, although there may be issues with silt mixed water on rainy days. We filter water through the natural sedimentation process. We also recommend that hikers bring a filter fitted water bottle.

The trekking hours are not fixed. The prevailing weather conditions, terrain and walking pace of the group will determine the daily trekking hours. In general, we plan the trek for five to six hours of daily walking on average. In a group trekking expedition, it is essential for us to gauge every individual’s stamina level and plan our journey ahead accordingly.  Starting the trek early is key to avoiding the midday heat and arriving at your destination early. This leaves with enough time to rest, acclimatize, and explore the beautiful Baspa and Kyarkoti regions.

There will be toilet tents. Our team digs a hole in the ground and then erects a toilet tent around it for privacy. We brief our guides to erect the toilet tent away from water sources and mountain streams, and on departure the next morning the hole will be filled and covered with dirt. We recommend that you always keep a roll of toilet paper and a hand sanitizer in your daypack.

We have a camp crew who set up the tents and also take care of the cooking and clearing up the trash.

Our trek leader is going to carry a first aid kit. We recommend that you bring a small personal kit of your own to deal with any bruises, scrapes or blisters that you may pick up along the way. The more difficult a trek is, the more exhaustive your personal first aid kit should be.

Generally, it is not required. The water from mountain streams is already purified and much better than the tap water you get in cities. You can carry a filter-fitted water bottle like Lifestraw Go Reusable Personal Filter Water Bottle.

The rule of thumb is to use several thin layers rather than just one or two thick layers. It helps you to peel or strip layers depending on the current weather conditions and the time of day. Use a fabric that soaks moisture away from your skin and dries quickly. Your outer layer should be fully wind and waterproof. We recommend that you wear good quality thermals, woolen socks, and a waterproof jacket. A windproof outer layer is essential to fight wind chills. Choose a thermal base-layer with fabric that sucks sweat away from your skin. You need to cover your hands and feet with high-quality gloves and socks, also a hat to cover your head and a balaclava to shield your face from snowy winds of Lamkhaga snowfields.

If you have no prior experience of walking long stretches on glaciers, you should bring crampons. Crampons fitted trekking boots help you get past the snow with ease(Lamkhaga trek route has a long snowfield stretch). Many people prefer walking on the glaciers without crampons.

You need good quality Gore-Tex boots with a strong grip and sturdy ankle support. Your boots must be fully waterproof and at higher altitudes (like the Lamkhaga base camp) we recommend boots with trekking gaiters to cross the Lamkhaga snowfields.

This is a rather personal preference. Many people swear by them, particularly on treks with long ascents(like Baspa river glacier snout to Lamkhaga pass summit) and descents, others consider that they get in the way and prefer to manage without them. If you have weak hips, knees or ankles, trekking poles can be effective in reducing the strain.

No. We carry good quality 4 season sleeping bags(up to -10℃ comfort range), mattresses and pillows.

There is no other way to train for Himlayan altitude than to slowly acclimatize. Our Lamkhaga pass trek itinerary has been carefully planned to allow for gradual acclimatization (at Chitkul and Ranikanda). Altitude sickness can impact the fittest trekkers as easily as the less fit. If you’re on a trek, the main advice is to keep your fluid intake up to stay hydrated. Diamox (acetazolamide) is not recommended. Diamox simply tricks the body into breathing faster (by increasing the blood Ph slightly). It actually covers the symptoms. The best treatment for high altitude sickness is acclimatization or descent to a lower altitude.

During the trek, your luggage is carried by a porter or a mule, and all you need to carry is what you need during the day, such as a bottle of water, camera, extra clothes, sun-cream, and a small personal first aid kit. We recommend a daypack of 15 to 30 liters for Lamkhaga pass trek.

There no definitive training regime that suits everyone because people have different fitness levels. A workout plan may work great for some and may not work for others. The best way to train for the Lamkhaga trek is to spend plenty of time walking and jogging for at least a month. Aerobic exercise training always helps, but there’s no substitute for simply walking & trotting for several hours at a stretch. It’s also a good opportunity to test out all your trekking gear, clothes and shoes – to make sure everything is comfortable and works well.

It’s not really a problem. You can walk at your own pace almost all the time because we have enough guides to support trekkers of all speeds. Occasionally, for safety reasons, the leader of the trek may pull the group together (e.g. in bad weather or in a difficult section of the trek, including crossing the Nithal Thach stream crossing section and the Lamkhaga base camp to Jalandhari Gad stretch) but in general, the group can string out and everyone finds their own comfortable walking pace.

The evaluation of your personal health is very subjective. Your fitness level is also set against the difficulty level of the trekking route, which includes different factors such as the number of walking hours per day, the total number of days, the duration and complexity of the descent, the terrain, the altitude, and the weather conditions. You need to have previous high altitude trekking experience to match the difficulty level of Lamkhaga. Without being physically and mentally fit, one can not climb Lamkhaga pass or for that matter any pass or a peak.

December to March is the best time and season to witness snowfall and see the snow-covered mountains of the Baspa Valley. June to September is a perfect time to see the valley in full bloom and greenery. Normally, the Baspa Valley has more precipitation than the rest of Kinnaur. The more rainfall than the rest of Kinnaur has a bearing on the topography and the landscape. Baspa Valley is also known as the green oasis of Kinnaur, and its meadows and forests are revered by locals and travelers alike.

There are many trekking routes leading from Chitkul village. The following mountain passes on the Kinnaur-Garhwal Himalayan range are high altitude crossover to Uttarakhand state.

  • Lamkhaga Pass trek 
  • Borasu Pass trek 
  • Chitkul- Rackcham trail 
  • Chitkul – Nagasti trail: An easy an hour ramble to Nasgasti ITBP post by the fields of Chitkul villagers.  
  • Charang – La Pass trek (Due to religious aspect attached to trek route,  the parikrama or circumambulation of Kinnaur Kailash peak starts from Charang village but the trek is doable from Chitkul also). 
  • Chitkul – Ranikanda hike: Ranikanda is an extensive stretch of mountain meadows on the left bank of Baspa river. It was, and still, it is the camping/halting site for the shepherds of Harsil and Kinnaur. The ITBP(Indo-Tibet Border Police) has built a road connecting Ranikanda to Chitkul however the movement of the vehicles is restricted. Around 3 hours of leisurely walk will take you to the meadows of Ranikanda.  

The snowfall or winter season in Chitkul starts in early December(sometimes Chitkul gets snow even in November) and ends in early March. Occasionally the snowfall season gets stretched to the April month. Heavy snowfall often snaps road connectivity to Chitkul during the March month. The local administration and ITBP personal at Mastrang(near Rackcham) employ snow cutters & excavators to keep the traffic moving. Ping us to get the latest connectivity status.

Bewitching Baspa valley, Beautiful birch, and pristine pine forests, stark azure skies, leisure walk by the murmuring Baspa river, hiking trails around Chitkul, and gentle rolling meadows of Ranikanda makes Chitkul worth visiting.

Chitkul is connected to the rest of the world by a connecting road(Karcham-Sangla-Chitkul road). The connecting road from Karcham(located on National Highway-05) has many spots where landslips and falling boulders often cause recurring disruption which could last for many days( sometimes even for weeks!). Early snowfall in December month often snaps road connectivity to Chitkul. The local administration and ITBP personal at Mastrang(near Rackcham) employ snow cutters & excavators to keep the traffic moving. Ping us to get the latest connectivity status.   

There are many hotels, homestays, and camps in Chitkul where you can get budget accommodation. Some of them are Zostel Chitkul & The Wanderer’s Nest. We can get you the best deals. Contact us!

Chitkul village is situated in the south-eastern part of Himachal Pradesh. The village is around 250 kilometers far from the state capital, Shimla.

The last frontier village on the Indo-Tibetan border, Chitkul is often regarded as ‘the jewel of the Baspa valley‘. The English traveler and explorer Captain Alexander Gerard once proclaimed the Baspa valley the most spectacular of the Himalayan valleys. Chitkul is separated from Uttarakhand by the Kinnaur-Garhwal Himalayan range. The two most iconic landmarks of Chitkul are the Thola peak (P6565) and the Baspa river. The peak of Thola is prominently visible above the landscape of the village. The river Baspa, which gives its name to the valley, in its upper course, rolls effortlessly on pebbles with a soft murmur. Chitkul & Sangla was once the focal point of the traders and shepherds of Garhwal & Tons Valley. The numerous shepherds’ trails leading from Chitkul make it a backpackers and trekkers’ paradise.

HRTC and some private operators run buses on the Kalpa-Reckong Peo to Chitkul route. The departure time for the HRTC bus from Reckong Peo is 9:15 a.m. It takes about 4 hours to cover a distance of about 60 km (from the Reckong Peo bus stop to Chitkul). Another bus departs from the Reckong bus stop at 12:05 p.m. You can also get a taxi from the Reckong Peo taxi stop at a fair price.

By Road: A few ordinary (non-AC) Himachal State Transport (HRTC)buses depart late at night from the ISBT Kashmiri Gate. You can take a straight bus from Delhi to Sangla that leaves at 10 p.m. from Kashmiri Gate and drops you off at Sangla the next day at around 3:30 p.m.

The last bus from Sangla to Chitkul village departs at 4:30 p.m. and takes almost an hour to cover a distance of 18 kilometers between Sangla and Chitkul. You can also hitchhike quite effortlessly on this route, or you can also get a taxi. You can also take a more comfortable route by taking a Volvo or AC bus to Shimla and taking a 7 or 8 AM ordinary bus from ISBT Tutikandi Shimla to Sangla.

Related : Kinnaur Bus Timetable (New Timings)

By Air: Nearest Airport is Jubbarhatti, Shimla.  Air India’s weekly flight departs from Delhi airport at 7:50 AM.

By Train: The nearest railway station is Shimla. The following is the departure schedule from Kalka. 

Train Name & NumberDeparture from KalkaDurationArrival at Shimla
Kalka Shimla Special/52445           07:005h 55m        12:55
Kalka Shimla Passenger/52457           03:305h 25m        08:55
Himalayan Queen/52455           12:105h 20m       17:30
Kalka Simla Express/52453           06:205h 15m       11:35
Shivalik DLX Express/52451           05:454h 50m       10:35
Him Darshan Express/52459           07:005h 55m       12:55

13 responses to “Reach Out To Us”

  1. Hi, we’re looking to do this trek (Lamkhaga pass). We’re 2 people currently and we can join on May 23rd batch for this trek.
    I need to know the pricing and the discount/offers available.

    Thanks

  2. Hi , we are 3 people looking to do lamkhaga pass from 21st June .
    Need to know about cost and detailed itinerary. Please provide your contact no as well.

  3. Hi I’m interested in doing Auden col & Kalindi Pass trek this season. Can u please suggest the dates & trek cost for one person?

  4. Planning for Spti winter drive in January 2020 (By rented cab).
    Kindly let me know the details and approx cost for 6-7 days for 2 ppl.

  5. please provide details itinerary of Kinnaur Parikarma and cost for 2 pax. Can we do it in the month of mid November

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  7. We are 3 people, 2 female, 1 semi senior citizen. We already have booked the train tickets. We would like to start the Spiti tour from 30-09-22 from CDG and to conclude on 10-10-22 at CDG.

    Kindly advise

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