SAP PASS

SAP PASS

About the Destinations:

Sar Pass is a perfect trek for beginners. It's apt for those who want to experience all kinds of terrain. Forests, meadows, quaint villages, or snow-covered mountains, this trail offers a gamut of experiences to trekkers. Sar pass is well-explored trek, which lies in the Parvati valley of Himachal Pradesh.

The trek starts from Kasol, which is a haven for backpackers from around the globe, and attracts large weekend crowds; many of which are the city youth, eager for a slice of the bohemian lifestyle. To cater to the tourists, the shops are well-stocked with both, necessities and luxuries. There are plenty of stay options - both, pocket-friendly and high-end, and one can choose from Israeli, Continental, Indian, and Chinese cuisines

Duration of the Tour:

9 Night /10 Days

Meal Types:
Vegetarian
Activities:
Trekking, Camping & City Sight Seen
Total Trekking Duration:
18-20 Hours
Maximum Altitude:
4200m
Best time to Visit:
May to June
Difficulty Level:
Easy

Day 1 : Transfer from Delhi to Manali Campsite by Volvo (550 kms / 10 Hrs).

Day 2 : Acclimatization and Rock climbing

Day Highlights: Acclimatization & Rock Climbing

Day Details: For any successful trek a good preparation is mandatory and Himalaya Destination team know this thing very well. Day 3 is reserved for Acclimatization and rock climbing so that every trekker came to know about nature of mountains. Night Stay in Camp.

Day 3 : Kasol to Grahan village

Day Highlights: 4-5 hrs. Trek, 10 kms., 1750m to 2350m

Day Details: The trail from Kasol to Grahan is a marked one through forests, following the Grahan nalah. It starts from the centre of Kasol and keeps to the true left of the nalah. The trail is easy to navigate and is frequently used by villagers. The gradient being gentle, one can effortlessly cover much distance in a matter of hours.

The trail crosses the nalah and continues, before abruptly becoming rocky and climbing uphill, away from the right bank of the river. One may be led to believe that this is not the right path, but one must not go astray.

Soon, the trees give way to grass and shrubs. One can see some fields as well and can spot bright coloured tarpaulins. These are makeshift stalls with the vendors selling refreshments like tea, omelettes and rhododendron syrup! Rhododendrons (locally known asburas) grow in forests that receive snowfall. Their bright red flowers bloom in spring and are collected to make syrup. Rhododendron petals can be eaten whole and the syrup can be mixed with water to make a refreshing drink (I discovered the benefits of rhododendron on my Har-ki-dun trip, where I happily chewed on a liberal amount of the tangy petals and felt energized immediately).

After a steep climb of about an hour, look out for the village of Grahan, situated on the top of a hill. Camp there for the night. Accommodation is available in guest houses and there is a camping ground after crossing the village. There is a satellite phone in the village, and one may also get network coverage on cell phones.

Day 4 : Grahan to Min Thach

Day Highlights: 4-5 hrs. Trek, 7 kms., 2350m to 3400m

Day Details: From the camping ground at Grahan, a trail goes north, climbing up gently. Villagers use this path often in the morning. This is the way to Min Thach.

After walking for a while, the view opens up and a guide can point to you Min Thach, Nagaru, and Sar Top on the mountain to the right. The trail also becomes steeper and leads into the woods.

After some time, you enter a dense forest; the thick canopy lets in very little sunlight. The slope becomes steeper still and the path is confusing in places.

After toiling for a few hours, the forest opens up to a grassy patch on a ridge. This is Min Thach ("Thach" means meadow in the local language; much like 'Kanda' or 'Bughyal;' it is where the villagers bring their cattle to graze).

To the north-west, across the horizon, stretch Chanderkhani and other ranges. The ridge-line continues to the east and rises up to a cliff covered in snow, on which sits the camp site of Nagaru (a guide can point it out).

To the south-east of the ridge, lie forests. There is some cleared space to pitch a tent. A seasonal vendor's hut may be found here; it sells tea, coffee and omelettes. Nearby is also a tap that supplies potable water. One can camp here for the night; the ridge will protect you from strong winds. A trench should be dug around the tents so as to allow the natural drainage of water in the event of rain, hail, or snow.

Keeping one day to cover the distance from Grahan to Min Thach. It allows time for the body to acclimatise and warm-up for the trek ahead. However, seasoned trekkers can also start early from Kasol, break for an early lunch at Grahan, and reach Min Thach post-noon.

Day 5 : Min Thach to Nagaru Camp

Day Highlights: 6 hrs. Trek, 8 kms., 3400m to 3800m

Day Details: From Min Thach, as the crow flies, Nagaru seems not far, but the route doesn't go straight up the ridge-line; instead, it veers up to the south (looking up at the cliffs, towards the right) and goes into the woods. Depending on the weather, one may find snow here. It is always advisable to start early, for the weather is generally favourable before noon and the snow becomes more slippery later into the day.

After walking for a while, one comes to another ridge-line - a rocky one overlooking a grassy meadow down in the distance. The ridge goes steeply up to the left (eastward), to the cliffs, atop which Nagaru sits. The path to Nagaru goes up this ridge and is well-marked for some hundred metres, after which the tree-line ends and gives way to patches of grass and shrubs.

If there is snow, then great caution has to be exercised, for this is the trickiest and riskiest part of the trek - the slope falls steeply to the valley below and may be slippery! The trail, even if marked, may not be visible in snow. Here, having a guide and a trekking pole is of paramount importance; waterproof gloves will also come in handy. An ice-axe may be used by the guide to chisel away snow for getting a foothold. The trekker would also need to employ proper technique - digging into the snow with his toes, and only once firm foothold is established, putting the other foot ahead in the same fashion.

After a couple of hours, you finally reach a welcoming patch of flatland on top of the hill - this is Nagaru camp site. It feels like a different world! Facing north, one can see magnificent mountains rising steeply across the Parvati valley - with the town of Manikaran also visible. In the distance, to the north-west lie Chanderkhani and the ranges of the Beas valley. Down below, to the left, one can spot the campsite of Min Thach and the village of Grahan. To the south is a vast expanse of snow rolling up the hill. It is in this direction that one has to continue to reach Sar Pass. However, neither the pass nor the top of the mountain is visible yet.

Though erratic, network coverage is available in some spots. A water tap can be seen near the western edge of the cliff and it may or may not be running, which is why water has to be carried from Min Thach. Camp must be established soon as the winds are very strong and the temperature dips very quickly after sunset.

It gets very cold at night due to the wind chill factor and sometimes the winds are so strong that tents get blown away! It is advisable to retire early, to protect yourself from the cold. Besides, the next day involves an early start.

Day 6 : Nagaru - Sar Pass - Biskeri Thach

Day Highlights: 6-8 hrs. Trek, 14 kms., 3800m - 4200m - 3350m

Day Details: Wake up before dawn. The previous day's trek would have acclimatised you for today's long trek - the same techniques need to be employed. The climb to Sar Pass follows the ridge-line in a southward direction and is steep in some stretches. Feel free to keep up a slow but steady pace as you climb through snow at high altitude.

The snow is easier to walk on and the heavenly surroundings keep one’s spirits high. After climbing up the hill seen from Nagaru, a higher hill that has to be climbed comes into view. A third of the distance to Sar Pass has been covered. To one's right falls the cliff steeply to the valley below, the ridge is sharper and the climb steeper; so one must be careful. If there has been good snow recently, the climb is similar to what mountaineers are shown doing using ice-axes and crampons!

After climbing for what seems like a long time, one reaches the top of the hill and a sigh of relief and joy escapes as one beholds the view ahead. From the image searches on the web, one would know that this is Sar Pass! Sar Pass derives its name from 'Sar,' which means 'pond,' but the 'Sar' is mostly frozen till late in summer. The pass is not the kind one would have in mind - there is no saddle in the mountain range to cross.

The view opens up eastward - the lofty peaks of the Tosh valley are now visible as well. To the south extends the white blanket of snow, flanked by snow-capped mountains - the highest of which seems to be within reach. However, it would take a couple of hours to summit and much distance has to be covered before the next camp.

The onward route moves away from high ground, to the south-east, following the contours of the hill. With deep valleys on the left, one has to walk carefully. After some time, the path climbs up to a ridge running across, and one can see a flag tied to a 'Trishul' at the top. The slope is very steep in the last stretch and buried in the snow, one may find a rope, which can be held on to while climbing. This is a pass in the truer sense.

As one reaches the top, the view is exhilarating. After a sharp drop of some hundred feet, unfolds a beautiful valley ahead (This was the highlight of my trek - I had braved snowfall and poor visibility, and my excitement reached a zenith when I reached the top and saw the surreal sight before me!). As one is soaking in the heavenly beauty of the place, a realisation suddenly hits - there is no way to get down the hundred feet drop but by sliding!

The slide is the most fun and completely harmless as long as some precautions are taken - loose belongings (phones, goggles) should be kept inside the bag and the legs should be kept tight together and not be dug in the snow if one wishes to slow down speed; for this, elbows kept firmly by the side of the trunk can be pushed back into the snow.

The slide takes one as far as a kilometre (depending on the snow conditions) to a gentler slope of the valley. After walking for some time, you come across another slope in the valley (not as steep as the first one) and depending upon the snow conditions, you can choose to slide again, for longer than a kilometre, till you reach a level ground. The third change in slope (steeper than the second) comes not long after, and can be covered by sliding again (if there is snow).

The slide will take you past snow covered trees, through a valley that has now narrowed, and bring into view to the left, a lovely meadow. This is the camp site of Biskeri Thach, which is reached after crossing a few streams.

Biskeri presents a sublime view of the pine forests, the majestic mountains and lovely grasslands. The villages of Tosh, Pulga-Tulga, Barshaini, and Nakthan can be seen in the valley below. The grassland of Bun-Buni lies atop a ridge to the north-east. Nearby is a waterfall that comes down from the mountains that form a backdrop behind Biskeri. There is no dearth of water as a stream runs beside the camp site and there also is a water tap. Network coverage is also available.

Day 7 : Biskeri Thach to Barshaini

Day Highlights: 4-5 hrs., 10 km, 3350m to 2400m

Day Details: From Biskeri, a steep path goes down, keeping to the left of the stream. After some time, cross the stream and walk across a plot of land with fencing. The trail ends here, so one has to go through the plot (search for a breach in the fence) to find the trail again, which leads into the dense forest.

There are many trails here and only a guide can tell the right one, which keeps to the north-east. After descending in the dense forest for a good time, spot a crossing on a stream, with a camp site across. However, to get to the crossing is tricky! You have to rappel down twenty feet of rock with the help of a rope. After crossing the stream on wooden planks, climb up to the camp site that has a few vendor tents. The path to the village of Pulga goes to the left of the camp site.

Soon after, one comes to grassland fringed by trees, which is one of the most beautiful places in the entire trek. The path continues through a dry channel into the woods, the descent becoming steep again. In some time, one reaches a clearing in the forest where trees have been felled. The path continues to go down past a fenced property, and reaches a lumber yard belonging to the forest department. The track goes past, following a water pipeline that takes you to the village of Pulga.

The twin villages of Pulga and Tulga are separated by a stream. From Tulga, one crosses a bridge on the river Parvati, which has been dammed ahead for a hydroelectric power project, to reach the village of Barshaini. Barshaini is the last village in the Parvati valley connected by road (a bumpy one) and is used as the road head for treks to Kheerganga, Mantalai Lake, Pin Parvati Pass and for treks in the Tosh valley. You can get buses or taxis to Kasol, Bhuntar and other places from here.

Thus comes to end a trek, the memories of which would be cherished for long.

Day 8 : Kasol & Manikaran Sight Seen

Day Highlights: Kasol, Manikaran Gurudwara

Day Details: Today morning, we roam around Kasol and also visit Manikaran Gurudwara. Manikaran is popular for its hot sulpher springs. Night at Manali camp.

Day 9 : Manali City Tour

Day Highlights: Hadimba Temple & other attraction of manali

Day Details: Today morning, we roam around manali. We visit Hadimba temple and other attraction of manali. In evening, we board a bus for Delhi.

Day 10 : Tour Ends.

Day Details: After arrival in Delhi, our memorable tour ends today.

Sar Pass Trek Rout : Manali - Kasol - Grahan village - Min Thach - Nagaru - Sar pass - Biskeri Thach - Barshaini - Kasol - Manali.

Nearest Railway Station: Chandigarh

Nearest Airport: Bhuntar

Attractions Around: Snow Clad Peaks, Temples, High Altitude Passes

Best Season/Time: May to June

Accommodation Details: Guest House, Homestay or Camps

Meal Details: All meals during the trek (Veg)

Package Includes:
  • All accommodation during the trip.
  • Veg meals during the trip.
  • Traind and professional trek guides.
  • Trek equipments and charges.
  • Transportation to and fro Bhuj.
  • All permits during the trek.
  • Porter charges during the trek. (One Bag per person)
  • Package Excludes:
  • Personal expenses of any kind.
  • Personal transportation of any kind.
  • Anything not mentioned in the inclusion.
  • Things to Carry:
  • Warm clothes like windproof jackets, fleece/full sleeve sweater, thermals, woolen cap and socks, mittens and scarf.
  • Comfortable clothes like t-shirt, trousers or tracks.
  • Raincoat or poncho to avoid rains.
  • Walking stick or trekking pole.
  • Comfortable trekking or hiking shoes.
  • Water bottles.
  • Sunscreen lotion, lip balms, skin ointment and basic medications (or prescribed if any)
  • Torchlight or flashlights with extra number of cells and bulbs, Battery backpack for mobile and camera charging.
  • Personal toiletries and towels.
  • Advisory :
  • Pay heed to the trek guides and instructions in order to enjoy a safe and sound trek.
  • Avoid consumption of alcohol or any other intoxicants during the trip.
  • Do not disturb the local life while trekking.
  • Do not encourage trekking during the nights; this might lead to unforeseen mishaps.
  • Avoid using earphones during the trek; this might hinder your audibility.
  • Avoid using plastic bags and maintain the ecological balance of the destinations.
  • In case, the trek needs to be cancelled, the authorities should be informed beforehand.
  • Essential Info (Cancellation Policies) :
  • Cancelling the tour within 25 days results in 75% refund.
  • Cancelling the tour after 25 days and before 10 days results in 50% refund.
  • Cancelling the tour after 10 days results in 100% cancellation fees/zero refund.