The Tons Valley in Uttarakhand is connected with the Baspa Valley in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh by the 5200 mts Borasu Pass. It was last week of June, when me and my friend Kamal; decided to cross this pass. We travelled from Dehradun to Sankri on 30th June 2016 and after a few hours of walk from Sankri to Taluka we reached GMVN Guest House in Taluka by 8:00 PM.
On 1st July 2016, we continued on Seema carrying lunch with us to Ghangar. From Seema we marched for one more hour before camping in the middle of the pastures. It rained heavily that night.
2nd July 2016 was a cloudy day with a close whiteout. We hiked to Har Ki Dun and then sideways of the Maninda Gad to a paddock around 2 kms before Maninda Taal. The Maninda Taal is molded at an area where the Maninda Gad extents out on a plane land. Because of the continuous raining and a close whiteout, we decided to halt earlier than the decided time and hanged on that day. We camped under a vast rock which was a natural campground.
Day 3 - Sornavir
It was 3rd July 2016; the climate was fine. Clouds had vacant up and hence we decided to move out early. GPS, Maps and the lay of the land guided us to the camp in the icy debris along side a small freezing pond around 500 mts before Sauni Bhera. This place is marked in map as SornaVir. We had to camp here as it started to rain lightly.
On 4th July 2016; the weather was marginally alright, we decided to walk for 30-45 minutes as per map and reached Sauni Bhera. But before that because of a small directional mistake, we were busy in climbing up and down for around one hour to a side ridge before coming back to Sauna Bhera base camp. We could hardly see anything around as it was all foggy. We mutually decided to walk again on a route that we thought to be the right one. After approx. 30-45 minutes of climbing, along side a nala, as directed by “Mr. GPS”; we felt to be about 100 mts left of where the real track is thought to be. So, we explored once more and quickly found the right track. We mounted the track, till what seemed to be the high campsite at 4750 mts, among the rock zone. There was a perfect sight of the ice-wall underneath the pass from this campsite.
We were lucky on the morning of 5th July, 2016 as it was a bright sunny day. The route to the pass was clearly visible. We dismantled the tent quickly and trudged up to the 5200 mts Borasu pass in just 3 hrs. The last 50-100 mts climb was a challenge on rocks.The sights from the pass, viewing back into the gorge alongside the way we came was outstanding. Equally beautiful was the sights of the glacier on the other side of the gorge. According to the map,however the definite pass was further to the N-W, beside the same edge, by almost 500-600 mts, at nearly the same height. It was a shrill, sheer descent on rocks for about 150 mts or so. Then, we had to cross a cracked snowfield. The cracks were mostly open and we could evade utmost. Though, both of us fell into a crack each about belly deep separately. We both landed hand to each other then. We doubted the route to be on our left but the icefield appeared unfaithful, thus we sat down a rock zone to our right (as we sloped) into the glacier. This absolutely was not a track to be taken. It was a tiresome walk for the following 2 hours on the glacier. We came to the left side of the glacier and I soon comprehended that we should be on the other side of it.
Though, the glacier was also widespread, so we decided to move more down till we reached slightly towards the muzzle, where the glacier tapered.Fortunately, near a freezing lake, closer to the muzzle, we explored the way to cross the glacier. We found an ice cave near the glacial lake too. From there, we hiked till we touched an area of green grass, announcing the start of the Jorya Garang (the watercourse which initiated from this glacier).
Fortunately, we had come across a stream was in such full flow that it would have never been possible to cross it downstream. There was a side stream which was flowing in high speed. It was around 6:00 PM and we decided not to cross it now.On the whole, it was a hard, difficult and adventurous long day's trek. Though, it could have been an easy one provided we had a guide with us. The loads of 20+ kgs backpack and boots were also difficult to manage. The climate on this side of the pass was better. We camp there for the night and crossed the side stream in morning, when the flow was all under control.
On 6th July, 2016 we marched along the JoryaGarang to reach the Indo-Tibetan Border Police check post at Ranikanda. We had tea and a little rest here.
Later, we walked along the road, beyond the ITBP check post at Nagasti to reach Chitkul for a late afternoon lunch.
Though satiating, this was a dangerous trek, particularly if it is done mountainous style.