Hampta Pass Weather In May

Hampta Pass in July

If you were thinking of doing the Hampta Pass trek in the month of May, you should give it a little more thought. The Hampta Pass trek safely opens in the first or second week of June. There are a couple of factors which are in play here. 

Snow on Hampta Pass in May

The Hampta Pass trek safely opens in the second week of June usually, it could be a little earlier or even later. Trying to attempt this trek earlier would mean a couple of things. You should know the trail and the direction to take very well. The Hampta pass is not very difficult from a direction perspective, but what could get tricky is navigating snow and being able to evaluate the risk. Even for a person who knows the trail very well, you should have sufficient experience in the mountains to be able to decide on how to proceed in case of doubts, high snow, ice or any change in landscape because of falling or loose rocks. All of these situations could pose sufficient danger if things don't go right. A person who is attempting the Hampta Pass trek in May is most probably the first trekker of the season and is actually opening the trek route. Opening a trekking route is a task which is best left to the experts.

Hampta Pass towards July End
Hampta Pass towards July End

Rohtang Pass Open Status

The Hampta pass trek starts from Manali to Chhatru in Spiti Valley.

The Hampta pass trek cannot be done, until there is a way to return back from Chhatru to Manali via Road. If the road is not yet open, then a better option would be to do the Hampta Circle trek, which is similar to the Hampta Pass trek but doesn't cross the pass.  

Chhatru is connected by road to Manali via the Rohtang Pass. The Rohtang pass is closed during winters and opens when the border road organisation is able to clear the snow of the previous season and make the road, somewhat worthy of driving. This usually happens in May. There are years when the pass opened towards the end of May and some years when the pass opened towards the end of April itself. There is no fixed date or month when the pass should open, it depends on how severe the winter was and how equipped the border roads organisation (BRO) is to clear the snow.

One good news for the year 2018 would be the new tunnel which connects Manali to Spiti Valley bypassing the Rohtang pass. The tunnel is ready but is not yet opened for the general public. Once this is opened, then the road to Chhatru from Manali would most probably be accessible all through the year!

Kunzum Pass Open Status

The Kunzum pass is on the way from Chhatru to Kaza. While going from Chhatru to Kaza, there is a diversion on the road which leads to Chandrataal. This diversion comes before Kunzum Pass. 

Why does this matter?

It matters because, many of the camps which are set up in Chandrataal are set up by local folks from Spiti/Kaza. They usually setup the camps only after the Kunzum pass is opened, till then they cannot reach Chandrataal.

Why are we talking about Chandrataal, in the Hampta Pass trek?

We are talking about Chandrataal in this trek, because it has become a norm to include Chandrataal as an additional attraction for trekkers to visit while doing the Hampta Pass trek.  As chandrataal can be reached on a vehicle, tying it to a trek is not necessary.

I think Chandrataal is best planned along with a Kanamo trek rather than the Hampta pass trek as it helps you acclimatise for the Kanamo trek which nearly touches an altitude of 6000 meters.

Or a Chandrataal trip can be planned along with a spiti valley road trip in which you cover Kaza, Dhankar, Mudh, Tabo! There will be many opinions about this, this is just my two cents.