Rupin Pass Trek
There are several passes which connect the Baspa valley of Kinnaur to the Garhwal in south. Once these passes were used by shepherds and traders rather than using the circuitous Hindustan-Tibet road in present days. The route offers wide range of landscape, altitude and gradient. Initially the trail is inside the Govind National Park (Govind Vanya Pashu Vihar) and passes through Oak and Fir forests , interior villages in the river valleys at lower elevation while beautiful meadows (referred as Thach in local language), alpine wild flowers, waterfalls, steep ice fields on higher altitude. The route is typically rich in wild flowers, specially just after monsoon. Famous Brahma Kamal flourish in abundance in the surrounding areas of the pass. During summer, the trail above the meadows remain covered in heavy snow. In monsoon the snow melts and the shepherds cross for grazing opportunities. From the pass there are spectacular views of Kinnaur Kailash range and other peaks of Charang Ghati ridge. The other side of the pass i.e. Kinnaur is famed for its “Golden Delicious” apple orchards.
Duration: 7 days of trek
Total trek distance: 60 km
Maximum altitude: 4685 m/15370 ft
Grade: Moderate (heavy snow in summers)
Best season: Mid May to June, September to October end.
Day 1: Drive from Dehradun to Dhaula - 200 km - 10 hrs
Pickup in the morning from Dehradun (latest by 11 am) and reach Dhaula (~ 1550m, 5100 ft) . Distance around 200 Km and can take up to 12 hours with lunch break in between. The road is one of the most scenic in Garhwal region while we go up to the classy hill station of Mussorie at the beginning, turquoise Yamuna river in the middle and conifer forests and meandering Tons river at the later half of the journey. The major points are Mussorie, Yamuna Pool, Damta, Nawgaon, Purola, Mori and Netwar. Mori is the last place where you get a guaranteed mobile network! From Netwar onward we are inside Govind National Park area and at the Forest Check Post entries are made. We cross the Tons River and enter into Rupin valley. Dhaula is a small village with handful of homes and few home-stays for shelter. We camp for the night beside Rupin.
Day 2: Trek to Aligad via Sewa village - 13 km - 7 hrs - Camp on Rupin bed
Our trek starts today. From campsite we take wide trail and cross the Rupin for the first time. (Hence onward we will cross Rupin on few occasions till the base of the Waterfall) . After crossing the bridge Rupin stays for the day on our right side. The walk is gentle along the river valley with very low gradient. Rupin runs in the gorge some 500 ft below. One moderate climb of 30 mins takes us to the village of Datadhar. Then we traverse and encircle the mountains for couple of hours gently along Rupin to reach the village of Sewa (~ 2000m, 6550ft). The village is a small one with a tea shop and a small lodge. Wooden crafted temple in the village depicts the influence of Kinnaur culture. The Distance is 10 Km and may take up to 6 hours. There is a nice camping ground just another kilometer after the village on the bank of Rupin. After crossing a short jungle stretch we descent to the river bed and cross a side stream called Aligad. The bridge marks the boundary of Uttarakhand and Himachal. The campsite of Aligad (~ 1900m/6230 ft) is on the true right of Rupin in the state of Himachal Pradesh.
Day 3: Sewa to lower Jhaka village via Jiskun - 12 km - 6/7 hrs
From campsite we take the trail along the river and then a steady comfortable climb to hit a motor road underconstruction inside Himachal Pradesh. This area is under Shimla district and the motor able road on the left goes to Rohru over Changshil top. We take the wide and leveled road on our right along the Rupin to walk around an hour to get a diversion on the road. Our road is on the left towards Gosangu. Another 3 or so kilometers walking on almost flat surface and then a climb of around 500 ft takes us to the first house of the village Jiskun. A tea and noodles shop welcomes the trekkers. Skirting the entire village we cross the last stretch (marked by a cozy lodge apple orchards) and descent inside the jungle to cross a over bridge. This is a good spot to have our packed lunch. From now onward a steady climb takes us suddenly to a turn from where Rupin appears deep beneath gorge. The view of the valley is surprisingly beautiful from here and remains green throughout the year. From here we climb for an hour inside the blue pine forest to see the first glimpse of the village Jhaka. The portion of the village seen from here on a steep slope and looks like hanging on the cliff. There are couple of Home-Stays offering bedrolls and food. It may take 6/7 hours. We can either pitch our tents or stay in the Home-stay. It may take 6 to 7 hours to reach lower Jhaka (~ 2650 m/8700 ft).
Day 4: Jhaka to Udaknal - 6 km - 4 hrs
Starting from the camp site at Jhaka, we gradually climb and cross the upper part of the village and enter in to the magnificent conifer forest. Gently we loss altitude while walking through the forest and after an hour we cross the snow bridge on the Rupin river to go to the trail on the other side. We continue our trek on the boulder covered stretch to reach Buras Kandi. This trail is often used by the shepherds for grazing in summer and monsoon. A steep ascent and followed by walking along the river bed takes us to our today’s camp named Suruwas Thach (~ 3400m, 11150ft). Distance is 7 Km and may take 5 hours. Camp for the night.
Day 5: Udaknal to Dhanderas Thatch/Lower waterfall camp via Suruwas Thatch - 6 km - 4 hrs
Today we walk on almost level ground and amidst the meadows while we can see numerous cascading waterfalls feeding Rupin. The trail goes through the lash green pastures to our campsite at Dhanderas Thach/Lower waterfall camp (~3550m, 11650ft). Distance is 6 Km and takes up to 4 hours. Camp over night.
Day 6: Lower waterfall to Rati Pheri base camp via upper waterfall – 5 km – 4 hrs
A small day’s trek will give us a much needed recuperation on high altitude before crossing the pass. Trail nature differs based upon the time you choose to trek. In the beginning of summer the trail is filled up with ice fields and semi hard frosty snow while in the later half after the monsoon there is hardly any snow. From the base of the water fall the ascend is steep till we reach the top. called Rati Pheri/Upper waterfall camp (~4000m, 13100ft). Distance is 3 Km and may take 2/3 hours. Camp for the night.
Day 7: Rati Pheri to Rupin pass and descent to Ronti Gad - 8 km - 7/8 hrs
We start early in the morning to cross the pass. From Rati Pheri the climb is steep and demanding. After an hour or so we reach the vast stretch of snow field and locate the pass above on the ridge line. We climb up slowly as the oxygen level depletes. The exhilarating climb ends at Rupin Pass (~4650m, 15200ft) and the view is mesmerising. This eternally snowbound pass puts up the snowy mountains of Kinnaur Kailash range on the northern side while the Rupin valley in the south. Spending around half an hour we startthe steep descend towards Sangla side. Again depending on the season the level of snow will be determined. After crossing the snowline the descent is sharper till we reach Ronti Gad at the starting of the green meadows (~4100m, 13450ft). Distance is 12 Km and may take 10/11 hours. We camp for the night.
Day 8: Ronti Gad to Sangla via Sangla Kanda - 12 km - 5/6 hrs
Today is our last day of trek and we start in the morning to descend to the Baspa river valley. The height loss is rapid till we reach Sangla Kanda. This is a meadow and has a small lake.There are small settlements of the villagers for summer and monsoon season. Number of trails cutting across the meadow but eventually leading to the main trail. We go down further to enter in to the tree line again and finally to the village of Sangla. There is a bridge to cross the Baspa river and climb up to the motor able road at Sangla (~2700m, 8850ft). Trek ends here. Distance is 12 Km and may take 6 hours.
Note : You can take the bus from Sangla to Shimla on the same evening at 5 pm or may get in to any of the numerous hotel/lodge in the town. There is also a bus in the morning to Shimla. It takes around 12 hours to reach Shimla from Sangla. Delhi is another 7/8 hours from Shimla.
Shared Cab Transportation:
We will arrange a pickup from Dehradun to Dhaula. This will be shared by the team members on actual basis Dehradun to Dhaula is Rs 6000 for a Tata Sumo/Mahindra Maxx whereas Rs 9000 for a Tempo Traveller - Participants can pay on the spot as per actuals.
Public Transportion Option:
1) There are 2/3 privately operated buses from Dehradun (near DDN railway station on Gandhi road) To Sankri. Get down at Netwar ( may take up to 10 hrs) which is 190 km away. From here hire a private taxi to Dhaula.The buses start at 5:30/6/7 am.
2) While returning from Sangla either one can take the overnight bus to Shimla at 5 pm or board the bus next morning at 8 am. The 235 km journey will take 10 to 12 hrs. From Shimla there are frequent bus services for Chandigarh and Delhi.
- All meals during the trek (from Day 1 dinner to Day 8 breakfast). Regular Indian style nutritious vegetarian food during the trek (includes occasional eggs), breakfast, packed/hot lunch (depending upon the time you reach a campsite), snacks, dinner along with tea/coffee/soup.
- Excellent Mountain Guide, who will be a local to this particular area and has profound knowledge of the trekking trails around.
- Specialised Cook, Support staff, Porters for carrying the central logistics of the trek.
- All permit fee, camping charges, forest levy required for the trek.
- Stay in tent on sharing basis (triple)
- Sleeping Mattress and Sleeping bag
- Micro spikes/Crampons and Gaiters if needed.
- Basic First Aid and Medical Kit.
- Transportation from Dehradun to Dhaula and from Sangla to Shimla.
- Accommodation in Sangla.
- Porter service for entire trek at additional Rs. 3500 for upto 10 kg rucksack.
- Any tip/gratuity to the support staff.
- Any kind of insurance during the trek or transit.
- Any cost which is not mentioned in the “Inclusions” or personal in nature.
Rucksack/Back Pack: 1; (must have). Between 40 to 50 Litres. Don’t buy more than 60L unless you are in expeditions. These will be heavier and can cause discomfort if not fully loaded!)
Rucksack cover (Waterproof): 1; Advised. MUST for protection from rain/dust/stain etc. (Alternately you can keep your clothing and warm jacket inside polythene pack. Do get the pack(s) back to home and re use/recycle).
Daypack/Knapsack: 1; Optional (Can carry along with you with water bottle, food, camera and wind/water proof etc.) if you want to offload your Rucksack in permissible routes.
Trekking Shoe/Boot: Pair; (must have). A good quality trekking shoe/boot must have the following specs :
i) A sticky rubber sole with lug (indentations for better grip).
ii) Ankle support (Medium or high ankle).
iii) Waterproofing membrane. (A must for high altitude and winter treks).
Get a pair and “break-in” well in advance that you don’t face any sores/blisters once you are on mountains.
T-shirt (Base layer while you are hiking): 3/4; (must have). Take at least one Dry fit/Quick dry type which can ventilate sweat/moisture wicking. These are made of synthetic materials.Cotton T-shirts are NOT advised and avoid especially when you walk.
Warm Jacket (Mid layer clothing for warmth): 1; (must have)Warm Fleece Jacket/Synthetic fill (Some refer as Hollow Fill) Jacket/Down feather Jacket.
While hiking you will not require this unless you are hiking in cold conditions. Use this when you cool down at campsite).
Windproof Jacket/Wind Cheater (Outer layer clothing for protection from wind and rain/snow fall): 1 (must have); A hooded one made of water resistant/repellent material is highly advised.
Use this along with Base layer (t-shirt) while hiking unless it is warm and sunny weather. Wear this always as outer later to protect from wind chill be while hiking or at camp site.
Thermal wear (Base Layer once you reach campsite): 1 pair; Upper and lower (Woolly cot). Must for winter treks.
Trek pant: 2 pair (must have) Can be Track pants (avoid cotton), 3 quarter/Cargo or Convertible kind.
One Dry fit/Quick dry track pant is advised. Water repellent/proof quality is a plus.
For altitude above 5000m/16400ft you should use wind proof and water proof trek pants.
Raincoat/Poncho/Waterproof clothing: 1 (must have); Waterproofing during your trek in the Himalayas, be it in summer or winter.
This can be achieved by any of the following:
ii) Use your windproof jacket and hiking pant having water repellent/proofing quality.
ii) A Poncho/Raincoat.
Balaclava/Woolen skull cap/Monkey Cap: 1; (must have) for protection from cold. Made of woolen/synthetic warm material.
Sun cap/Wide-brimmed Hat/Bandana: 1; For protection from sun while you hike.
Under garments/Inner wear: As per need.
Hiking Socks: 3/4 pair; Use full length socks (Don’t use tennis socks). 100% Cotton socks are NOT recommended as these absorb sweat and dry slowly. A pair of woolen material is nice to have especially in winter treks.
Woolen gloves: 1 pair; (must have).
Waterproof gloves: 1 pair; Optional. Useful especially on high altitude treks where snow/ice is encountered.
Camp sandal: 1 pair; Can be a strap on sports sandal or a Hawaiian sleeper.
Walking Sticks/Trekking Poles/Ski Poles: 1 pair/Single; Nice to have, reduces the pressure on knees and gives balance specially while descending. Advised at least one pole for treks involving snow/ice.
Knee cap: 1 pair; Optional. Makes a difference especially if you have knee injuries/problems (Neoprene added variant is better).
Water bottle/Hydration pack: 1; (must have). Good quality plastic bottle.
Sunglasses: (must have) for all the high altitude treks and winter treks. Polarised/Anti-glare is always a better option in snow with UV400 (UV A & B) protection. Trekkers using spectacle can order custom make powered sunglasses.
Torch/Head Lamp with extra batteries: (must have). Head torch keeps your hands free.
Accessories/Toiletries: Optional and try to share when you travel in group.
Sunscreen lotion – Optional. At least 30/40 SPF.
Chap Stick/Cold & Moisturising cream – Optional. As per need. Use small tubes/bottles.
Tooth brush and tooth paste – Carry smallest available tube of tooth paste.
Soap/Soap strip – Carry small pocket size soap, or Soap strip.
Hand sanitiser – Optional. Small bottle.
Tissue roll ( Toilet paper) – This is a must item as water may not be available in the vicinity.
Towel – Medium size (light weight).
Anti-Fungal Powder – Optional. This helps to keep the socks and the trek shoe drier and odour free to an extent. Carry smallest container.
Camera with extra cells: Optional. Normally there is no charging point on the Himalayan trek routes, carry spare batteries/power bank.
Dry food items(Kit): 1; (must have). Carry some dry fruits, chocolate/energy/protein bars and Glucon D/Tang/Getorade.
Personal First-Aid Kit: Optional – Anti septic cream, Betadine/Dettol/Savlon, Band aid, cotton, crepe bandage, safety pin etc.
Medicines Kit: 1; This is a simple guide line and a doctor’s consultation is recommended.)
a) General medicines comprising of headache, fever, vomiting, stomach upset and pain killer (Volini gel/spray)
b) Anti Diarrhoearal
c) Antibiotics – ( choose broad spectrum antibiotics for treating a variety of infections – carry a course of each)
d) Mild analgesics – (Aspirin/Paracetamol etc but DO NOT take Codeine based painkillers).
e) Strong analgesics (Co-Proxamol/Ponstan/Temgesic, use with care).
f) Anti-inflammatory (Nurofen or diclofenac sodium)
g) Diamox – This helps in acclimatisation (a proper dosage is must if taken. Drink lot of water as this is a diuretic drug.
- If canceled before 15 days of departure date: 25% cancellation charge
- If canceled within 15 to 8 days of departure date: 50% cancellation charge
- If canceled on or after 7 days prior to departure date: No Refund
- 15 days or more prior to the departure date: Free Rescheduling (same season or next year)
- 14 to 8 days or more prior to the departure date: 25% of total amount will be charged as rescheduling fee
- 7 days or less: No Re-scheduling
No Show Case: In case you fail to report at the reporting point on the date and time of the activity, operator has right ot cancel your booking with no-refund.
- In case of any unforeseen incident including but not limited to natural calamities like flood, earthquake, landslide, forest fire or any political unrest, if we are compelled to cancel the trek/trip, you will be entitled to redeem the full amount for the same/similar kind of trek/trip within next one year.
- Minimum member requirement to operate the trek: 5 participant, In case minimum requirement is not met, batch may get cancelled and members will get full re-fund.