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<< Darcha Baralacha Pass Trek
Baralacha Pass Trek Lahaul
Maximum - 06 Days
About This Trek:
The Baralacha crosses the Great
Himalayan Range from the Lahaul Valley into Zanskar. The trail circles round a
great congregation of Lahaul peaks identified in groups by the letters KR (Koa
Rang), M (Mulkila) and CB (Chandra Bhaga). Spectacular views of these summits
and their glaciers are so afforrded. The trek is strenuous and the best period
is between July and end-September. Reach Darcha (3300m) by the regular bus
service from Manali (10-12h). The camp ground lies in the broad bed of the
Barai Nala. A portion of the journey, from Darcha to Baralacha Pass, lies along
the Manali-Leh highway. But there is hardly any traffic to disturb walkers; and
take shortcuts. Arrangements for hiring mules or porters should preferably be
made in Manali.
I t i n e r a r y
the treks of Kullu (Himachal Pradesh India) is connected by 'our
coach' with Delhi, Chandigarh, Jammu and Srinagar.
Darch-Patseo (3820m) 12km - The
first section along the main highway traverses a barren landscape. While there
is little traffic, several shortcuts can be made. Small military base at Patseo;
the camp site is a near it, accross the Bhaga river; water for cooking, etc.
from the river.
Patseo-Zingzingbar (4150m) 10km
Easy walking along the right side of the river. After Patseo the road turns E
to Zingzingbar camp ground. A dilapidated road makers' hut and a small temple
are seen nearby.
zingzingbar-Suraj Tal (4802m) 10
Km - Proceeding along the Bhaga river for 3km, the road crosses a bridge to the
N bank, then climb gradually. About 2.5km. from the bridge a steep foot trail
is seen leaving the road, going up to Suraj Tal, a lake with a circumference of
about 4km, at the head of the valley. This is the source of the Bhaga river.
An army check post about 2km away can be seen near Baralacha Pass. The pass is
quite a long, curved saddle/plateau, the northern side being 4891 m (towards
Leh), the southern side c. 5100, heading down towards Chandra Tal. Camp about
500m further along from the army post as the ground near the latter is geneally
sggy and freezing cold wind blows all night.
Suraj Tal-(Baralacha Pass)-Tokpo
Yongma (4640 m) 12km - The conventional route into the Chandra Valley
lies over the exposed pass, buffeted by the elements. Avoid walking
over the pass and traverse under it on the S side. From the main road
near the Suraj Tal, ford a stream after 1km and continue almost
horizantally in the gravel bed. It then leads over a plateau with a
good view of the Koa Rang Peaks to the SW. An easy walk onwards
through arid desolate countryside down to Tokpo Yongma.
Tokpo Gongma (4320m) 11km - Make a very early
morning start as the Sarchu Nala has to be forded. The current becomes swift as
the sun rises and snow above start melting. Normally a snowbridge because on
the other side the trail traverses a slippery rock face which animals cannot
negotiate. So they have to to ford the stream. After the snowbridge the trail
ascends steeply across the rock face for 30 min, then traverses round a
shoulder. The path cutting through rubble and boulders is not visible for a
distance; but as you proceed it becomes more distinct and traverses a rugged
mountain wall cut by small streams and snow gullies. It then works down to the
river and a few glaciers can be seen on the other side, coming down from the Koa
Rang peaks. About 2km from the last campsite, a wide stream has to be forded.
If this spot is reached late, you may have to camp beside the stream and cross
it early next morning. From this stream Tokpo Gongma is still 5-6h.
Tokpo Gongma-Chandra Tal (4270m) 12km - Either
ford the Tokpo Gongma or cross it by a snowbridge some 15 min upstream. This
bridge is usually strong enough to take the weight of mules. Or cross it in the
late evening and camp on the other side of the stream. The trail ahead rises
and falls several times, but mostly stays beside the river; a few shepherds'
rock shelters along the way. Fine view of Mulkila (6517m), Tragari (6279m),
Tapu Giri (5790m) and of othe Chandra-Bhaga peaks, ribboned with many glaciers.
Approaching Chandra Tal, the trail descends from the mountainside, crosses a
stream, climbs again for 15 min then descends to the lake, an emrald disc of
clear water about 3km long and 1km wide. Camp anywhere round the lake; the
usual site is at the S end beside a clear stream that flows out of the lake.
From a hill above splendid view of
Mulkila and the extensive Samunder Tapu
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