|ARRIVE ISLAMABAD- arrive and transfer to hotel.
|AT LEISURE- a day to relax. The twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad offer a number of possibilities for sightseeing.
|FLY TO SKARDU. today we take the hour long flight to Skardu, which is at 7,500 ft above the sea level, is the capital of Baltistan province. This is a very spectacular flight and passes close to the world’s ninth highest mountain, Nanga Parbat(26,661 ft/8126 meter). We may also see Broad Peak and K2. Overnight in hotel. the afternoon a look round Skardu bazaar and the Kharpocho(The Fort) is well worthwhile under your own steam.
|AT LEISURE IN SKARDU. a fascinating village with its long street shops, medieval fort and polo ground. You may wish to buy one of the local costumes a Shalwar Kamiz which are very cool for trekking. Today transport may be arranged to visit Satpara Lake or the Shangrila Tourist resort, both little bits of heaven amongst the mountains. Occasionally bad weather prevents the Skardu flight forcing us to drive to Skardu. Thistakes two days, traveling along the spectacular Karakoram highway.
We follow the Indus river past tiny settlements whose inhabitants scrape a living from the rugged landscape. It is a memorable journey. 735 km and a total of approximatly 18 hours driving.
|DRIVE TO THONGAL- 6 hours drive by jeeps to Thongal. Overnight camping.
|THONGAL TO NAMLA(11,070 ft). we begin the trek by following initially the same path as the K2 base camp trail. Leaving behind human habitation we turn west into the Biafo Glacier at a point about 10 km east of Askole. A short ascent is made over the left moraine to descend onto a camping site known as Namla. This is a short day of only approximate 6 hours.
|NAMLA TO MANGO- again a relatively short and moderate day on the glacier. Camp at 11,940 ft. approximate 4 hours trek.
|MANGO TO BAINTHA. A longer day’s walk on sometimes more difficult terrain and we camp overnight near the junction of the Biafo-Bintha glaciers. Today we will see the Latok group of mountains, ranging in height to 23,500 ft. 6-7 hours walking. Camp at an altitude of 14,500 ft.
|BAINTHA TO SIMGANG. We trek now to the Simgang Biafo junction. this is a hard long day rewarded with breath taking views of dozens of nameless peaks. Today is the first time we will get a sight of the Hispar La and first glimpses of Snow Lake. 7 hours. Camp at an altitude of 14,670.
|SIMGANG TO SNOW LAKE. This is a strenuous day’s trek , but is one of the main climaxes of journey through the Karakoram mountains. The reason being that you will today reach Snow Lake, also known as Lukpo Lawa. 5-6 hours walking.
|EXPLORATION- depending on the interest of the group we have allowed.
|SNOW LAKE-BELOW THE HISPAR LA one day for exploration and minor climbs around Snow Lake. Our porters may also start ferrying excess gear and food across towards the Hispar La. Today we will skirt Snow Lake itself and camp at an altitude of 16,000 ft below the pass. 5-6 hours trekking.
|CROSS THE HISPAR LA. We will make an early rise to cross the snow covered Hispar La, 16,900 ft. Crampons and ice axe will need to be used on parts of the climb up the summit of the pass. On the other side we will descend to the base of the pass. Altitude 16,000 ft. 9 hours. Naturally, as you gain height you will obtain an incredible panorama of the entire Snow Lake and its surrounding peaks, the Biafo Glacier, its tributaries and start to see the countless peaks of the Hispar side.
|TREK TO KHANI BASHA. Trekking under the shadow of the Tah Rutum and Baluchistan groups of mountains, we descend to the junction with Khani Basha Glacier and camp for the night at an altitude of 15,250 ft. A relatively short day 4-5 hours.
|KHANI BASHA TO HARGTUM. We will pass the base of Hargtum peak and camp near Shirin Chush with the junction of the Pumari Chush glacier. 4-5 hours. Camp at 15,000 ft.
|HARGTUM TO TURMAN. Traversing the Pumari Chush glacier we camp at Turman. 4-5 hours. Camp at 12,660 ft.
|TURMAN TO HISPAR VILLAGE. Before too long we will hit the newly made jeep trail that descends to Hispar village. The inhabitants are a colorful and friendly tribe who are followers of Prince Karim, the Agha Khan. We have now left the Hispar glacier behind the relief of seeing blossoming fruit orchard and multi terraced fields will be quite a shock to the system. Camp near the village. altitude 7,550 ft. 6-7 hours walking.
|HISPAR VILLAGE TO KARIMABAD. We will probably make frequent halts at the many small hamlets of the Nagar valley on our way to Karimabad. Hunza’s 35,000 inhabitants have been ruled by the same family since the 11th century. A legend exits, common to many parts of the Himalayas at the western end, that relates that the Hunzakuts(as the people of Hunza are known) are the descendants of the five lost soldiers of Alexander the Great’s army. The people of Hunza at one time were a very war like people. their neighbors. The kingdom remained isolated until the. British took over in 1891 and it then became part of Pakistan. The arrival of the Karakoram Highway linked them to the rest of the world. Almost the entire population belongs to the Ismaili Shias sect, headed by the Agha Khan. The women wear bright clothes, long skirts with baggy trousers and little embroidered pillbox hats over which they drape their shawls. This small kingdom remained isolated really because it is contained within unbelievably steep gorges. Overnight at local hotel. Driving distance 48 km, taking approximate 2 hours. Karimabad is at an altitude of 8,000 ft. Sights to see here are the 400 years old forts of Altit and Baltit. The latter fort is said to have been made by a princess who married the reigning Mir and brought with her from Baltistan masons, carpenters and craftsmen who built the fort as part of her dowry. It is a curious rambling old palace with 53 rooms on 3 stories. There is a museum here which is worth seeing. The Altit fort is even more impressive and is probably 100 years older. The bazaars are also worth a look round and don’t forget to try the local apricots.
|KARIMABAD TO GILGIT. Distance 120 km. Driving time three hours. altitude 5,000 ft. Gilgit is a thriving frontier town with a population of over 40,000.The small old town of Gilgit is quaint and has a cluster of interesting places to visit within a short radius. This includes a beautiful rock carving of Buddha, a 700 years old monument to Taj Mughal and the longest suspension bridge in Asia, 600 ft long. The favorite sport in Gilgit is polo which the locals claim originated here. Gilgit Bazaar is also famous for its handicrafts and you may consider this a good place to do some shopping. Overnight at hotel.
|FLY TO ISLAMABAD. 1 hour flight time and again magnificent views of the Karakoram. On arrival in Islamabad transfer to hotel. In case of flight cancellation drive to Chilas.