13th August 2013
Sopona Lake was not in our list of “things to do” in Spiti. In fact, I hadn’t even heard of its name till then!! I happen to see a water body of significant size in google maps and was surprised to that very less information was available. Our driver Sumit recognized it and mentioned that he could take us to the place!! Great guy!! The plans were changed to fit this Lake in our schedule.
On Kaza-Tabo road, a small road deviates and crosses Spiti River to climb up the valley. Look at the Spiti River and the valley as we climb up.
Here is a wider view of the valley. The highway connecting Spiti and Tabo can be seen below.
Three km from main road is the village of Mane. The trek starts from this village. Villagers told that there is a clear path till the lake and would take about 3 hours to reach. We were in a dilemma whether to hire a guide or not but finally decided to walk on our own.
We were lost in the beginning of the trek itself. The labyrinth of streets in the village confused us. A woman then helped us to reach the correct trail. After the village, the trail continuously climbed the hill. After about 45 minutes, we had reached the top of the hill. The village and valley appeared much below us. Thanks to acclimatization, I was feeling much better and had fewer struggles in climbing.
Here was a deviation which confused us for a while. But considering the direction is the lake shown by the villagers we took the path going straight. A right turn here would have taken us back to the village in a different route!!
The climb was continuous though the trail widened at many places. Again, it was Krishna who was always ahead of me.
After about two hours of walking, we reached the lake. We had done it in a very good time. We had known that it was a periodical lake formed by the melting snow. It will be at its full during the start of summer and then gradually shrinks.
Some cows were grazing on the other side of the lake.
Some snow mountains nearby.
We walked along the banks of the lake to reach a waterfall coming out of it. It seemed very far and we gave up the effort.
Return was hard on our knees but few stretches while climbing down the hill gave us challenges. Due to landslides, the path had becomes very narrow and steep at some places. We had not felt it while going up. But now climbing down gave some anxious moments. But nevertheless we crossed it without much issue.
It was a satisfying day for us as we went to a place where 99% of the Spiti travellers do not visit. The place had also turned out to be great!!