After reaching Manali, we came to know that Kunzum Pass was not open that time and we had to start from Barseni side. We immediately changed the plan accordingly.
We started in the early morning with all rations and supporting staffs by car from Manali. It was pleasant weather on Manali side. We came to Barseni after a drive of three hours through Manikaran. Finally at 10:30 in the morning, we pulled up our sack and started following the river Parvati. Initially we got a wide trail touching some green valleys. The trail was accomplished mostly with pine forest, small villages, harvestable land etc. There we had come across some trekkers intended to go towards Kheerganga or coming down from the Kheerganga having a holy bath in the hot springs of Kheerganga . None was from the other regions. We took three hours to get Rudranag where the revere Rudranag meets the river Kheerganga. The trail became little steeper after this point and an easy walking for another two hours reached us Kheerganga campsite. There we found some restaurants and hotels, catering all the facilities and foods, were mostly occupied by lots of foreigners. We pitched our tents at the campsite which is located beside the village.
This was also an easy day for trekking. The flat moderate trail through some deep forests goes to the Tunda Bhuj. The other side of the Parvati river was looking like a ridge and some beautiful green valleys were nearer to us. During the trek, we got three beautiful green meadows covering plenty of flowers with blue, red and yellow colors at the grass level. Some attractive streams were coming down from both sides of the river; some of them were too wide to cross. Some streams were frozen at that time, which was beyond our expectation. After five hours of moderate walking, we were at the campsite of Tunda Bhuj which was located at the foothill of two snow covered mountains. The extended green meadow at the campsite and long cascades which were straight down to the river on the other side really amazed us. It was the most pleasant stay during our journey.
This day was the most exciting day for us. After one hour gentle walking through Rhododendron forest we reached a point where a bridge was available to cross the Parvati River which was looking terrific. The log bridge tilted as if it would break down right then. It was the first scary event of the day to cross the river with almost a broken bridge. With all care, we one by one crossed it without any acccident. Treeline vanished from here and only to traverse the grassland on the other side of the river Parvati. The snow covered peaks were quite nearer to us. Throughout the day we had to cross plenty of frozen streams and some of them required skills. Anyway after walking one hour we came down the ridge and the next event was to cross the river again with a pulley bridge. Maximum two people can cross at a time with that pulley. It was a bit fun event and we enjoyed it. The trail after the pulley bridge was again a horizontal type and went through the foothills of the mountain peaks. After one hour we reached Thakur Kuan Campsite, we took rest for sometimes there but we didn't stay there. The next big event was to cross Pandu pool. The trail before the Pandu Bridge was vanished by a giant landslide. We took utmost care to cross the massive landslide area and then landed up the bridge area. The Pandu bridge is a natural bridge where two large rocks were positioned on the river in such a way that they bridged two rivers; one of them was river Parvati. The first one was scary as the surface of the rock was smooth and steep. Again, without any accident we traversed both the pools. Then a steep uphill took us in the Parvati valley. The endless meadow was on either side of the river was protected by the peaks. The trail panorama was exotic as we were walking just below the mountain peaks and continually passing one by one of them. This was the longest day of our journey; it took almost ten hours of strenuous walk to get Odi Thach. One would love to stay at Thakur Kuan instead.
The campsite of Odi thach was amazing. The flat meadow with the Parvati river and the confluence of some beautiful streams. It was the base of two alpine peaks. We started in the morning and soon we faced some bolder areas; after crossing it we got stunning Parvati Valley where the river Parvati was flowing through a large number of branches. Besides this valley, it was completely covered with snows which frightened us about the future of this trip. Guide concluded here with the hard possibility of crossing the pass. Before Mantalai Lake we had to cross two massive steep glaciers coming down from the peak area straight to the river bed. This was the most dangerous event in our trip so far. It took two hours to cross the glaciers and we all were completely exhausted. When we were getting down to the Mantalai Lake, A huge ice field welcomed us. We sleeped off the trail several times. There was no trail as such; all was vanished by the thick snow layer. By the evening we could fortunately manage ourselves to get a small snow free land beside the lake area. With one porter, guide went to inquire about the base camp area. He came with a bad news; a steep snow wall across the trail stopped dreaming us to the Parvati base camp. We had no ice axes and fixing up the rope was a quite difficult job for us. The level of snow was quite beyond our expectation. Two to three ice axes could make it success at that time.
Glossy morning with the reflection of all the surrounding peaks in the Lake came to us. The morning at Mantle Lake was marvelous but for us it was the most frustrating morning ever before. We were to come back following the same route. Crossing Pin - Parvati pass in early June, one would have to rely on luck; one snowfall could come anytime and ruin the trek. The snow wall which stopped us was created by continuous snowfall this winter. One report said that time there was ten times more snow in that area than any other winter. We slowly started to come back to Odi Thach. The situation got worse when we had to encounter some streams which were overflowing in the afternoon session. Eventually we came back to Odi Thach camp before evening.
The return journey was the same as the ascending journey.
We express deep gratitude for their kind help and support for this trek.