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Pin Bhaba Pass – A challenging high-altitude crossover trek


Pin Bhaba Pass is one of the best crossover treks in the the Himachal Pradesh region. This fascinating trek features some of the most dramatic shifts in landscapes and cultures. The trail starts from the lush grasslands of Kinnaur and leads up to the desolate mountain ranges of Spiti valley. This ancient route has been frequented by the Gaddi shepherds for decades. During summer, they tend to their herds by letting them graze the meadows in the Pin and upper Bhaba valleys. Ever since word around, this trail has been well-trodden by travelers and trekkers. The base camp of this trek is Kafnu, a quaint village in Bhaba valley, Kinnaur. It’s interesting to note it is home to India’s first underground dam.

The high-altitude mountain pass-crossings over the Bhaba and Pin valleys at 16,105 feet is an experience of a life time. From the saddle point (highest point) of the pass, you get to enjoy a panoramic 180° view of the Bhaba and Pin valleys. When you arrive at this point, the geographical contradictions of the two valleys are well pronounced. The prayer flags are symbolic of the changes you are about to witness. Once you crossover, you will recognize the influence of Buddhism on the people and the scenery.

The desolate mountain ranges of Pin Valley

Photo of Pin Valley National Park, Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India by Indiahikes

The lush grasslands of Bhaba Valley

Photo of Bhabha Pass, Dhar Tegvaldar, Himachal Pradesh, India by Indiahikes

Whom is this trek meant for?

Pin Bhaba Pass is not a beginner’s trek. At the high passes, snow is highly likely in the months between May and October and you will require guidance from a technical guide. You will be negotiating a lot of moraine, boulders and scree in the slopes. Hence, this trek demands high-levels of fitness and it is suitable for trekkers who have done a couple of high-altitude treks like Buran Ghati, Rupin Pass, for example. Anyone above 14 years can go on this trek.

How difficult is the trek?

Pin Bhaba Pass is classified as a moderate-difficult trek. Day 5 is a gruelling experience because of the challenges posed during the pass-crossing. It is a strenuous hike up and down two starkly different mountain valleys. It requires high-levels of fitness, endurance and skill to accomplish this task.

Boulders en route to Pass-Crossing

Photo of Bhabha Pass, Dhar Tegvaldar, Himachal Pradesh, India by Indiahikes

How to prepare for this trek?

To begin with your preparation, jog for a distance of 5 km. Gradually increase your pace till you can cover 5 km in 25-30 minutes. Regularly practicing flexibility exercises is mandatory. Your backpack, however light can become a strain after a while. Make sure that you carry a poncho, backpack cover and wear proper trekking shoes with a good grip.

What are the risks involved?

Since the Pin Bhaba Pass is a pass crossing trek, in case of emergencies there are no easy exits. In winter, the trail will have snow at higher sections. Micro spikes will be provided to walk over slippery snow patches. During your trek from Kafnu to Mulling, you gain an altitude of 2,759 feet on a single day and you’ll be covering a trekking distance of 11.3 kms. With significant altitude gain there are chances of being hit by Acute Mountain Sickness. To prevent this we recommend that you stay well hydrated and go on a course of Diamox starting three days prior to your arrival at Shimla.

Photo of Pin Bhaba Pass – A challenging high-altitude crossover trek by Indiahikes
Photo of Pin Bhaba Pass – A challenging high-altitude crossover trek by Indiahikes

Visit www.IndiaHikes.com for more information.