Saturday, 7 November 2015

Rupin Pass Trek - Oct 2015

We planned 2015 puja in the lap of Himalaya, Rupin Pass, one of the most scenic and beautiful trek route in India. Rupin Pass was earlier known for traditional Shepherd and sheep crossing path from Kinnaur district to Uttarakhand.
Unfortunately 28 days before our journey, I faced a foot tendon injury and doctor asked for 1 month rest. Inspite of the injury, my parents and family always encourage me for the trip and with their wish and support I was able to complete the trek successfully.

Day 1 [DEHRADOON to DHAULA (1580m) - 210km – 9-10 hrs]:

We onboard Train from Howrah on 16th Oct and reach Dehradun on 18th Oct morning. Our Guide cum Trek organizer Samsher was waiting outside of Dehradun station with a cab. From Dehradun, it took 10 long hours to reach Dhaula. On our way, we crossed known town like Mussorie and Mori. After Mori the road is really beautiful with Rupin River aside and through pine forest. Every trekker for Har-ki Doon and Rupin Pass needs to take permit from Netwar.

Day 2 [Dhaula (1560 M/5119 ft) to Ali khad via Sewa (2040 M/6693 ft) – 7 hours walk]:

This is a full day trek through some remote village and bare fields. In few places the trail is really risky with loose small boulders under your feet. There are few apple trees on the way to Sewa but unfortunately there were no apple left in those tree. In the way to Sewa, we got some beautiful red grass. Local people prepare chapatti with that. 

In Sewa, there is a beautiful temple of ‘Poku devata’. Local people gather for a small festival in late Aug/early Sept near this temple. 

Sewa Temple

We step forward towards Goasangu and pitch our tent in the river bed. The place called as ‘Ali Khad’ and it is around 30 minutes down hill from Sewa.

Our teant at Day 1 @ Ali Khad

Day 3 [Ali Khad to Jhaka (2650 m/8694 ft) – 8 hours walk]:

One of the longest and laborious day with long steep uphill walk in narrow trails. We crossed village like Goasangu, Bawta and Jiskun and reached Jhaka in late afternoon. Jhaka is the home village of our guide Samsher and he kept us in his own house. There are 2 big apple tree full of apples in his house. This is the 1st time I saw apple in tree. We spend a good late afternoon mostly on the apple tree J In the late evening we went to visit near by Dara temple which is one of the oldest temple in that region.

Samshe's house with apple tree in the backend

Day 4 [Jhaka to Burash kandi (3450 m) – 5 hours walk]:

The path to Saruwas thatch was a relatively easier one with gentle walks in between climbs/descends. After few km, we crossed the rupin river for the 1st time and follow the right side for next few days. 

Team crossing Rupin river to go to the right of riverbank

In May the Rupin River become frozen and trekkers walk along the river bed after certain km. But in this time of the season there is no snow and we had to walk over the mountain ridge.

 After couple of km suddenly the valley opens and we find snow peaks in front of us. We crossed Saruwas thatch and pitch our tent in Burash Kandi. This place is well known for Himalayan Bear and our crew members warned us not to go far in the evening or night.

Out Tenting place at Burash kandi 

Day 5 [Burash kandi to Dhantaras thatch (lower water fall - 3560 m/ 11680 ft) – 3 hours]:

Undoubtedly the Easiest path in the entire trip with some easy 3-4 hours walk without any climb. Certainly after 2-3 hours of walk a beautiful meadow opens up in front of us. The camp site is located at the end of this meadow and just below a waterfall from where Rupin River formed. We spend the entire 2nd half playing cricket. It was fun as well as good acclimatization technique.

Lower water fall camp

Day 6 [Lower Waterfall to Rata Pheri (4250 m/ 13944 ft) via Upper water fall (4000 m/13124 ft) – 8 hours]:

From lower water fall it is a steep 3-4 hours climb through rock cliff and snow patches until we reach the upper waterfall. This part is punctuated with some real scary and risky, edge of the cliff walks. From upper waterfall, we saw the valley deep down below, that's where we had started the day's trek.

crossing Snow bridge

Rupin Waterfall
View from Upper Waterfall

Instead of staying in Upper waterfall our guide decided to go further till Rata Pheri. Rata Pheri in local language means Land of Red Rock. During May-June Upper waterfall, Pata pheri and Pass is fully covered with snow and most of the trekkers opt ‘rata-pheri’ as their campsite to make pass climb easy. We also go with the same approach as our overall team health condition was superb.

Rata-pheri campsite

Day 7 [Rupin Pass day (4650 m/ 15256 ft) - Rata Pheri to Sangla Kand via Ronti Gad – 10 hours]:

We wake up early on the pass day and had some light breakfast. Yesterday evening our guide took us near the pass to show the path and difficulty. We are mentally prepared for the final accent. Soon we identified that it was much tougher than what we anticipated. We crossed some big bolder zone and then came just below the pass. I could see Rupin 100 mtr above but the path was 70+ degree steep loose boulder zone. Every step requires a full lung air and you feel as your lung may explode any time. In May-June this part is covered with snow and guides used to fix rope and the trekkers follow the footsteps and rope to climb to Rupin. We faced some more challenging task as the slope was 70-75 degrees and boulders were loose and continuously falling. After some 3 hours tough climb we reached Rupin pass. It was amazing as the other side opens up with Kinnaur-Kailash range. Surprisingly the other side of the pass was full of snow and we had some fantastic moments there.

Rupin pass final steep

Subhra is almost there at the top

After spending some 2 hours at the top we were told to decent as the weather condition was getting worse. We had some snow slides and snow walks before we reach Ronti Gad in the noon.

We had our lunch at the lap of snow peak. We were with high energy after lunch and we decided to decent further till Sangla kand. 

Lunch near Ronti Gad

We crossed some beautiful mountain curves keeping Kinnaur-Kailash top in front and reached Sangla Kand in the evening. According to the locals and guide, Sangla Kand is the upper ridge extension of Sangla town where villagers come with their shepherd and cows. This place is very beautiful and remind stone age with color.

Sangla Kand Campsite

Day 8 [Sangla Kand to Sangla - (2679 m / 8790 ft) – 3 hours]:

We had a campfire last night and all of us became bit sad in the morning as we need to go back to the so-called civilization. But soon, our sadness changed into charm as we start playing cricket with our team and porters. We had some 3-4 hours playing sessions and then start for Sangla around 11 AM. 

We along with our Guide and porters
This is the most scenic route of the entire trek with some colorful tree and apple gardens. In this season (Sept-Oct) entire Sangla range is full of apple and we found lot of apples in the fields. On the way we found ‘Akhrote’ and ‘peech’ tree too. After 3-4 hours walk we saw Baspa River and Sangla village.

colorful Sangla Kand
never say goodbye

Our guide arranged our final day accommodation at ‘Sangla Resort’ and next day they went back and went for Shimla after visiting Chitkul.


Important Information:
1.       Dehradoon to Dhoula cab charge ~ 7K
2.       Need Permit from Netwar
3.       No shop/ATM at Dhoula till Sangla
4.       No Network from Dhoula till Sangla (only BSNL network works in Jiskun and Jhaka)

Our Guide and crew members:
Organizer cum Guide: Samsher Negi - One of the most helpful person I ever meet (Mob: +91 9459587843)
Assistant Guide: Dinesh - Most close to all of us and helped us in all critical phase of the trek
Cook: Narandra - His cooking hands are awesome 
And 5 Porters - They played cricket well :)

For More Snaps, please check below flickr link:

Rupin Pass Album

For Videos, please check following youtube links:

Rupin Pass summit
Team at Rupin Top
Getting down from Rupin pass
Beautiful Sangla Kand