Trans Himalaya 2019 – Sari pass, June 15-16

At Kullu I bid goodbye to Pratap my co-trekker from Bangalore who joined me during the last 4 weeks and welcomed Mani and Anbu who just reached from Chennai to give me company for the next 2 weeks. We jumped into the 1pm bus to Kalang 1900m into the beautiful, lesser known Lug valley.Upon our arrival the rain gods opened the flood gates. We took shelter in a tea shop and gobbled up some cream rolls with chai. After the rains settled we hiked upstream into the Lug valley passing the scenic small hamlets of Chalah 2050m and Samana 2050m, Kadingcha 2150m. Small settlements of wooden homes encircled by terrace farms.A few hundred meters after Kadingcha there is a small shop cum dhaba where we had an early dinner: Maggie with “anda” prepared very tasty. A little further we crossed the stream over a small bridge and started climbing up a concrete staircase on the left side of the valley.After a good 400m climb we reached the last hamlet of Tyun 2550m. The locals here generally do not prefer outsiders to enter the village so we climbed around using a small trail up to the ridge above. From here a clear path proceeds along the ridge to the meadows above the village.We continued our climb in search for a flat space to camp and a water source. After half an hour we found a nice spot with a bird’s eye view on the entire Lug valley. Our efforts to lighten up a campfire where in vain. The evening rains had soaked the available wood. We settled down in our sleeping bags and slept in the open at 2900m. The lights in the many hamlets of the Lug valley were twinkling in the darkness.We raised early morning at 5am with beautiful views on the entire length of the Lug valley. We resumed our ascent along a clear trail hair pinning up the ridge above Tyun. We hiked through open meadows and a few forest sections in between. As we went higher we got more clear views on the surrounding snow peaks.The trail climbs steadily till a small temple at 3630m after which it contours right around the ridge in Northwestern direction towards the Sari pass at 3750m through rododendrom bushes. Along the way we had to cross numerous snow covered gullies. Slopes facing the Northern direction at 3300+ m are still covered with snow mid June.Difficulty of crossing an inclined snow section largely depends on gradient and hardness of the snow. You identify the least steep traject across the snow covered gully and dig your feet into the snow (more difficult if hard / frozen) and balance yourself using hiking poles. Mani slipped a few times sliding down the gully but can break his fall in bushes below.After lots of footsteps cutting, a couple of falls and two bent carbon poles (by my two co trekkers who did not bring poles of their own!) we finally reached the Sari pass. The pass and the North facing slope are still fully covered by snow. The opposite site is mostly clear.Having burned quite a few calories since 5:30am we grab a few snacks at 12pm and start our descend through meadows in between a few snow sections. Very soon we are descending along a clear trail down a small ridge between two snow covered side valleys. The trail runs till the end of the ridge and continues into the valley next to the stream.We cross a few smaller bridges and join a larger open side-valley on the left where we encounter a few shelters used by local cow and sheep herders. We continue descending left of the stream until we finally reach a dead end: a makeshift bridge (read: a few logs) has been washed away. The stream currents are too ferocious to wade through.I spot a snow bridge over the main stream a few hundreds meters ahead where we can get across but unfortunately we get stuck a few meters before at a vertical rock face. No other go but to take a U turn and hike back upstream quite a bit till the valley split where we safely cross two small bridges. We now proceed on the right side of the stream along a nice trail through beautiful pine forests.Along the way we encounter a few beautiful wild horses grazing in the valley. Further down there are a few more crossings but this time there are properly built bridges present. As we approach the Barot valley the trail becomes wider and more frequently used. Further down we meet a group of young weed heads hiking up to the base of the pass to smoke and get high. A Russian, a Malu and two Northies.At 2200m we cross Andarli a picturesque hamlet of wooden houses built on the right valley slope. As per the locals we are the first to make the pass crossing this year. rossingakeA bit further we enter the Barot valley at Lohardi 2000m through which the Lumba Dugh Khad river flows. Lohardi has many shops and dhabas. We have our dinner and settle down on a rooftop for the night. First bus leaves 6am in the morning.

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Difficulty of crossing an inclined snow section largely depends on gradient and hardness of the snow. You identify the least steep traject across the snow covered gully and dig your feet into the snow (more difficult if hard / frozen) and balance yourself using hiking poles. Mani slipped a few times sliding down the gully but can break his fall in bushes below. I spot a snow bridge over the main stream a few hundreds meters ahead where we can get across but unfortunately we get stuck a few meters before at a vertical rock face. No other go but to take a U turn and hike back upstream quite a bit till the valley split where we safely cross two small bridges. http://ultrajourneys.org/trans-himalaya-2019-kalang-to-lohardi-june-15-16/ #Explore #AlpineStyle #Minimalist #UltraRunning

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After lots of footsteps cutting, a couple of falls and two bent carbon poles (by my two co trekkers who did not bring poles of their own!) we finally reached the Sari pass. The pass and the North facing slope are still fully covered by snow. The opposite site is mostly clear. We cross a few smaller bridges and join a larger open side-valley on the left where we encounter a few shelters used by local cow and sheep herders. We continue descending left of the stream until we finally reach a dead end: a makeshift bridge (read: a few logs) has been washed away. The stream currents are too ferocious to wade through. http://ultrajourneys.org/trans-himalaya-2019-kalang-to-lohardi-june-15-16/ #Explore #Himalayas #AlpineStyle #Minimalist #UltraRunning

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1 thought on “Trans Himalaya 2019 – Sari pass, June 15-16”

  1. Hey friend.. I m native of the Lugvalley particularly of Kalang village..I oppologise if u come again and give u good company along with good skill of mountain hiking..

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