Trans Himalaya 2019 – Rampur to Shungcha, June 8-9

After staying over at Pranav Rawat’s home near Hatkoti we took the 11am bus to Rampur from Rorhu across the Sungri pass. Pranav had given us some of his home grown fruits and home made products for the journey ahead. You can reach him at [email protected]. His organic range of foods go under the name of “Mountain Provender, Pure Himalayan Foods”.The bus took a good 5 hours to cover the 80km ghat section from Rorhu to Rampur with one pit stop near Sungri for lunch. The route went through apple orchards and forests. We reached Rampur by 4:30pm just in time for the 5pm bus to Jaon on our route towards Sarahan 2500m, at the base of our next pass: Bashleo at 3300m.We got of the bus at a small hamlet 1600m near the river crossing where we had chicken and rotti, the first non veg meal in one month of intense hiking. Lucky again we were able to hop onto a passing by taxi jeep to Sarahan after dinner which covered 10km of road section and 900m elevation gain. We finally settled down inside an old wooden temple in the open meadow behind Sarahan.All set for the 800m ascent into the Great Himalayan National Park through the Bashleo pass the next day. We woke up early and started by 6am. A young man offered us tea in the last house before the path to the pass. From the base one can see a waterfall dropping down from above. As we climb up a clear path we get a bird’s eye view on Sarahan in the valley below.The path gradually hair pins through beautiful pine forest with early morning sun rays penetrating. Higher up the path continues its way through open meadows till a final short forest stretch to the Bashleo pass 3300m. Open views on the other side into the GHNP.The path now steadily descends through forest towards Bathad in the Palchan Gad valley. We first touch the hamlet of Surout 2300m where we pass through apple orchards before we finally touch down at Bathad 2000m. Long steel cables and carts are used to transport goods across the valley.At Bathad there are several shops and dhabas. Starved after 4 hours walking without breakfast we settle down for rottis and dhal. Next we decide to head for Gushaini and explore the Tirthan valley. It’s an 8km walk along the road through Tung 1900m, Fariady 1700m till Gushaini 1600m. With the sun shining strong above we grab a couple of cool drinks.Next we proceed along a nice trail which gradually ascends left side of the Tirthan stream. On the opposite valley side we can see beautiful hamlets high above in the forest. After a while we hit the picturesque hamlet of Shalinga 1950m where we grab some Maggie lunch at a friendly shop owner.From here the trail climbs up fairly steep towards the more remote village of Daran 2400m built along a steep ridge. From here it s a short walk to Shungcha 2400m hidden inside the next side valley. With no one willing to host us we move on a little while further and settle down on a flat grass patch near the side stream.