Lamkhaga Pass Trek June 2014

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#1 Jul 23rd, 2014, 20:14
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#1
Hey guys,
This is a report of the Lamkhaga Pass Trek, done June 21st to 28th 2014
from Chitkul (HP) to Harsil (UTTK)
getting there: arrived Delhi from Pune, and got the pre-booked Volvo HRTC from ISBT at 2100 hrs. Reached Shimla at 0450 old terminal, and immediately took the local shuttle bus to the New ISBT Shimla 15 minutes away.
Got the Delhi-RecongPeo bus at 0600 and left at 0630 from Shimla. Got a little delayed due to the landslide near Karcham, and changed buses at Karcham at 1700, getting the RecongPeo Sangla bus, reaching Sangla at 1800 hrs. This should normally take 10 hrs. Took the bus at 1200 next day to base camp Chitkul.3455mt. met up with the team there. the next 4 days were done walking the Baspa Valley, with slight height gains daily.

Day 1: dep 0900 .... an easy flat walk to Nagasthi, for the initial registering at the ITBP post. Permits and paperwork had been done prior dep. got to camp near Rani Kanda at 1330. tents were pitched in a meadow with flowers, and a waterpoint nearby. 3700mtr. 10km.
Day 2: dep 0800... another lovely day , great weather, slight climbs, reaching Dumti at 1300 hrs, and camped next to the ITBP post in a large camp ground. Nights began to get Cold. 4050mtr 9km.
Day 3: Dumti to Gundar 4700mtr 15km traversed over rock slides, while having the Baspa river all the way with us. Stopped near Nihal Thach awhile,
then crossed the bridge and later arrived at Gundar camp at about 1400.
Day 4: Gundar to Lamkhaga base camp. we hope there would be a snowbridge at the valley end, from the right bank we were on, to the left bank to ascend to the base camp....No Luck !! we finally had to cross right over the Baspa Glacier.......a tough climb over rocky up/downs, strictly keeping to the track shown by Dara Singh Negi, our guide from Chitkul.
Descended and waited up for the whole gang to regroup. the ponies carrying mainly provisions, were sent back and the remaining load shared out among th 9 porters. then began the climbs thru steep rock patches and over snow, to the base camp.........just a few flattened out spaces amid rocks with the snow and streams right alongside. Nights were now 0 degrees !! 16200ft
Day 5: the BIG day......began with a steep climb thru scree/rubble to the bench to for a L O N G walk thru vast snowfields. check my photos.
Finally got to the Pass at 1230. the staff went ahead and cut steps in the ice/snow, up the steep 30 inch path to the top. BUT......the gang were mostly too tired to even attempt this scary climb..and opted to take the designated Rest Day right there on the snowfield........tents were pitched there and clean snow got to the kitchen for hot soup and the evening meal !!
had a moderate snow storm that evening...but the tents held...and that night camping on the snow temps close to minus 8 were recorded ...brr brr 16600ft
Day 6: waited till 0930 for the snow to soften, and crossed the last snowfield to do the great ascent to the top of Lamkhaga Pass. 17300ft Surprisingly the Pass is only about 20 ft broad at the top. celebrations and congratulations all around, and looking down the Harsil side, all we saw was a SEA of snow fields sloping down, so...so we sat on our backsides and slid down quite a bit. then a whiteout and Dara Singh showed why he was such a good guide. he manouevered thru the whiteout, without any hesitation. at one stage coming upon some rocks I asked if he recognised them, what rocks ?? he replied.. there usually are no rocks to be seen when I cross, he said !!!!!! but unfailingly we reached the first plain patch ,right where the down trail began...some miracle !!! a long walk along the sheer spine, till at 1530 found a waterpoint and clear place and the tents went up.
Day 7: All the way down..down..down.. thru snow and rubble till we saw the path to Chotkhaga on our left. and final the green meadows of Kiyarkoti and a beautiful camp along the Bhojpatra forest.
Day 8: Blinding blue skies for the final day, a long lovely trek down, crossing the Jalandri gad, and thru the greenfields of Gagnani to the Lal Devta and the final steep descent thru the pine forests above Harsil, reaching there at 1330 hrs.........tired but on a Terrific High.... I had waited many years to do this trek, and it was everything I hoped it would be.
Rested at Harsil, then a day in Uttarkashi, then a bus to Hardwar, and trains to Delhi and Pune.
The trek was arranged by Sonu Negi of Raacho Trekkers 09816035106
All arrangements were good and Prakashji camp cook was very good.
Dara Singh Negi our guide 09459039736 was the best you can get.
enjoy the pics.
Attached Images
lamkhaga 037.jpg lamkhaga 044.jpg lamkhaga 047.jpg lamkhaga 054.jpg lamkhaga 065.jpg 
Last edited by austinivor; Jul 23rd, 2014 at 20:18.. Reason: added info
#2 Jul 23rd, 2014, 22:02
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#2
Great snaps....add some more...
Rules r meant to be broken
But!!!!!!
Don't break rules in Himalaya
Please Keep Himalaya clean & plastic free
#3 Jul 24th, 2014, 00:14
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#3

lamkhaga Pass trek

here are a few more pics
Attached Images
lamkhaga 048.jpg lamkhaga 008.jpg lamkhaga 011.jpg lamkhaga 053.jpg 
#4 Jul 24th, 2014, 22:11
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#4
Mesmerizing....looks like a mini expedition...
#5 Jul 24th, 2014, 22:33
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#5
Excellent pictures.
Never knew of this trekking route...seems like a very offbeat trail..
Thanks for sharing.
Sair kar duniya ki galib,yeh zindagani phir kahan..

****************************** **
Some of my compilations in Flickr
#6 Jul 24th, 2014, 23:04
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#6
Can you share the cost details with us?
#7 Jul 24th, 2014, 23:27
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#7

lamkhaga pass

the cost per participant ( max 10) was Rs 20000,from Chitkul to arrival Harsil, with extra Rs 300 per day if you had your sack carried by a porter.
we had a total of 9 porters, for ALL gear, incl sacks, and for the first 4 days of valley trek, there were 3 small ponies helping with the provisions mainly. They returned to Chitkul, when we reached the Baspa Glacier crossing.
Considering the terrain and total remoteness of the area, the cost seemed quite reasonable , we felt.
#8 Jul 25th, 2014, 14:07
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#8
austinivor,

Me and my friends are planning to do Lamkhaga pass from 26th Sep-5th Oct. Do you think its a good time to do that trek? We are a group of 4 people max, so I assume rachhotrekkers would be an expensive affair for us. Its quite likely one or two might back out.

How good is Dara Singh Negi with organizing treks and permits, especially permits? Reading your travalouge its pretty clear he is an awesome guide. Can I directly approach him. What's your advise? Thanks.
#9 Jul 25th, 2014, 16:00
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#9
tanzeemp,
the time chosen is good. BUT......... the fewer the people, the higher the costs......on a remote trek as this, where EVERYTHING has to be carried from day one for an 8 day trek (incl 1 rest/acclm day). you said your group is 4 and prob may become 2 !!!!!!!!!! It will cost you quite a bit. Put out a flyer and see if any others are interested.......else talk to Sonu Negi and see what he advises, Dara is great , though he and Sonu work together.
cheers
A
#10 Jul 25th, 2014, 18:08
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#10
austinivor,

Thanks for your suggestions. Generally these four are my trusted ones and I am hoping they wont dropout. Still wondering, would Sonu/Dara still organize this trek if we are just two of us? I dont see the problem if we meet his cost demands.

But anyway, I will try call him up and speak to him directly. Thanks.

BTW, what do you suggest? Should we trek from Harsil side or Chitkul side?
#11 Jul 25th, 2014, 18:36
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#11
Who made all the arrangements like ration ,tent sleeping bag etc...Did you guys bring them on your own...do you guys organize this trek by yourself or it's a package tour... what is the Guide , porter mule per day cost if we bring our own tent sleeping bag etc...We are 7 in nos & will carry our own backpack...How many porter do we need ?
#12 Jul 26th, 2014, 00:01
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#12
Arrangements
as clearly mentioned in the last lines of my report,just before the photos, the trek was organised by Sonu Negi of Raacho trekking. they look after EVERYTHING, incl getting permits, porters, tents,rations etc etc etc.
Tanzeemp, you could always ask Sonu if he would arrange the trek with only 2 or 4 participants.......he should actually, if you meet the costs. doing the trek from Chitkul, gives you at least 4 days of getting used to everything with easy height gain everyday, nothing really strenous. But from Harsil, I've seen that it is continous climbing for 3 or 4 days till the pass. In Sept there will be very little snow so the climbs will be thru rocks/rubble prob.
Last edited by austinivor; Jul 26th, 2014 at 00:07.. Reason: added info
#13 Jul 26th, 2014, 17:22
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#13
Could you put some light on Guide / porter's recent rate... What type of permission do we need 7 from where to get it if we want to do it by our own....
#14 Jul 27th, 2014, 00:22
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legend
I have NO IDEA what the guide/porter charges are, as we paid lumpsum for the trek which included EVERYTHING. even if you are going to carry everything y'self, that is ALL tents ...mats..bags..stoves..fuel... etc etc AND rations,( for 8 days...which I think is really pushing it too far) you will STILL need a guide .
permits too were done by the organisers, I do not know where they are given.......they require copy of Photo ID with address proof of citizenship.
if you really want to enjoy this trek, get a good guide and porters, experienced organisers who KNOW what to do.
cheers
#15 Jul 27th, 2014, 13:23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by austinivor View Post legend
I have NO IDEA what the guide/porter charges are, as we paid lumpsum for the trek which included EVERYTHING. even if you are going to carry everything y'self, that is ALL tents ...mats..bags..stoves..fuel... etc etc AND rations,( for 8 days...which I think is really pushing it too far) you will STILL need a guide .
permits too were done by the organisers, I do not know where they are given.......they require copy of Photo ID with address proof of citizenship.
if you really want to enjoy this trek, get a good guide and porters, experienced organisers who KNOW what to do.
cheers
We will be taking one guide & some porters who will carry only ration, utensil & tent...we will carry our own backpack...We want to organize the trek our own & pay them on daily basis...will they accept that?
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