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Untitled Document Welcome to Karakorum Adventures

Day 01 Arrive Islamabad

Welcome to Pakistan, one of representative from Karakorum Explorers will receive you outside the arrival lounge at Islamabad International Airport and transfer to hotel.

In the afternoon, we will make a city sightseeing tour of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, which offers a great contrast of culture, archaeology and planning. Rawalpindi is an old city with narrow lanes and bustling bazaars while Islamabad is a modern and the only planned city of Pakistan  serving as the capital of the state. Raja Bazaar, Murree Road, Pakistan Monument   and Shah Faisal Mosque are the places of tourist interest included in the tour.

Overnight in Hotel.

Day 02 Drive to Chilas

A thin ribbon of asphalt strikes north from near Islamabad and leaves the modern capital and the dusty Punjab plains far behind. As it weaves through sparse green hills, the first wrinkles of mountain-building in this geological 'collision zone', this unassuming road gives little hint as to what lies ahead. This is the high road to China, the Karakoram Highway (KKH), which was blasted and bulldozed through an intractable landscape of raging rivers,  deep ravines and precipitous peaks in the 1960s and '70s. It is a 1200km marvel of engineering and a symbolic collaboration between Pakistan and China. It is also a magnet for adventure-seekers.

Along the KKH you will encounter ancient towns of Taxila, Hassanabdal, Abbottabad, Besham, Dassu. It’s a long drive(13 hours) so the journey will start early from Islamabad.

Overnight at hotel in Chilas.

Day 03 Drive to Tarashing

Still on the Indus we will continue on our path north. On our way we will have view of the Nanga Parbat,  famously known as Killer Mountain. Shortly thereafter we will leave the Indus at a place called Talechi.

The road from Talechi near the mouth of the valley starts off impressively but is soon squeezed onto the crumbling sides of the barren, slide-prone gorge. It’s an oven in summer, but grows lovelier as you climb. There’s a foreigner registration point 13km in at Doian, not long after which the road traverses a dangerous slipping area.

At 2450m Astor village is perched like an eagle’s nest on both sides of Rama Gah (ravine). The bazaar is up a steep track on the north side of the ravine, and the valley road continues on the south side.

 Tarashing is about 40km from Astor and 291lm high, beneath Nanga Parbat’s naked Rupal face (though it’s not in full view). The village sits in a spectacular piece of real estate amid massive glaciers flowing from the mountain massif. From here you can day-hike up the moraine (glacial rubble) for a good look at the Rupal face, the Tarashing Glacier, across the glacier and on up Rupal Gah, or across Rupal Gah to Zaipur village, at the top of which are water channels on huge wooden towers said to be 400 to 500 years old.

Overnight in Camps.

Day 04 Trek to Herrligkoffer Base camp

 Tarashing to Bazhin, four hours. The trail climbs steeply from Tarashing (2,911 metres) up the lateral moraine of the Tarashing Glacier, then crosses the glacier in 30 minutes along a clear path. Rupal, on the other side, is a large settlement with a lower and an upper village, each surrounded by fields of wheat, barley, beans, peas and potatoes. The people of Lower Rupal originated from Baltistan and still speak a form of Balti mixed with Shina. The women wear Balti headdresses—decorated with silver beads and buttons and a brown felt tail hanging down the back—reminiscent of headdresses in Ladakh.

Upper Rupal has two compact villages, the houses so close together that a laden donkey cannot pass between them. Here the people are Gujars, and the women wear round pill-box hats covered with veils. The two settlements of Upper Rupal are completely closed up in summer, when the inhabitants all move further up the valley with the .herds to summer pastures. The houses are half underground, with round, excavated food stores nearby. In winter the snow is more than a metre deep, so everyone stays indoors for three months.

The first good campsite, until after the harvest, is beyond Upper Rupal, two hours from Tarashing. If necessary, you could camp in the school yard in Lower Rupal.

From Rupal, the path climbs steadily up a narrow green valley, through groves of willow, poplar and juniper. The mountainside is covered in forget-me-nots, lavender and edelweiss. After about two hours you pass a small lake and round a comer to Bazhin Camp (about 3,650), a flat, green meadow between the lateral moraine of the Bazhin Glacier and the mountain. Ahead towers the solid ice wall of the east face of Nanga Parbat. This is a perfect campsite—sheltered and with clear spring water, a wood full of birds and a moraine covered in primulas, thyme and other flowers.

Overnight in Camps.

Day 05 Trek to Shaigiri Base camp

Trek to Shaigiri five hours. Crossing the Bazhin Glacier takes about 90 minutes along a fairly obvious donkey path. The local shepherds come and go frequently, so you can follow one of them across. From the top of the lateral moraine on the western side, you look down on a huge grassy field known as Tup (about 3,550 metres), which must once have been the bed of a lake. Herds of horses, dzos, sheep and goats graze in the centre, and five or six summer villages are spaced round the edge. The Rupal River flows down the far side through willow and juniper woods, and a gentle stream meanders along the near side.

The summer villagers are friendly to female trekkers. Most of them are Sunni Muslims from Chorit and are not at all camera shy. They wear round pill-box hats, chum their butter in goatskins and spin sheep wool while they sit and chat, offering bread and buttermilk (lassi) to visitors.

The clear trail continues up the Rupal River, offering a flat walk through sparse woods. It takes about an hour to skirt round the end of a terminal moraine to a smaller flat field called First Base Camp. The spot is also called Herligkoffer Base Camp, after the German mountaineering organiser who has led eight expeditions to Nanga Parbat, including the first ascent by Herman Buhl in 1953. A further hour takes you round the end of a second moraine, with a lake on top, to another broad field, Latboi (meaning ‘stony place’), also called Second Base Camp, with a summer settlement on one side. From here the path climbs gently over some moraine, then follows the north bank of the river through the woods to Shaigiri (meaning ‘white stone’) 30 minutes away. This is a good campsite at about 3,660 metres, with fresh water, firewood and superb views of the south face of Nanga Parbat, an awesome jagged precipice 4,500 metres high. The summer settlement at Shaigiri belongs to Tarashing people of Balti descent, strict Shia Muslims who are reasonably friendly to female trekkers but very wary of cameras. Organised treks are usually expected to buy a goat at Shaigiri and have a feast and singsong with their porters.

Overnight in Camps.

 

Day 06 Shaigiri Base camp(Rest day)

Rest day to explore or climb. Rupal Peak (5,584 metres), to the south of Shaigiri, is a difficult climb for trekkers but comparatively easy for mountaineers. It offers magnificent views north across the valley to Nanga Parbat. Doug Scott climbed it from the west and describes three bivouacs and some grade-3 ice climbing.

Overnight in Camps.

Day 07 Trek back to Tarshing

Trek to Tarshing five hours. Since we are descending the valley the hike will be easy and we will be able to complete our trek in aprrox five hours.

Overnight in camps.

 

 

Day 08 Drive to Chilas

Today we will pack our camp and say goodbye to our field staff and set our sight on next destination Chilas.

Overnight in Hotel

Day 09 Drive to Raikot bridge and hike to Fairy meadows

The road to Fairy meadows is divided into two legs. One drive to Jhel/Fairy point and second hike from Fairy point to Fairy meadows.

55 kms or 1 hour east of chilas is Raikot bridge, where locals have  constructed a road linking Fairy meadows valley with Karakorum Highway. Since the road is privately owned they would not allow car from outside the area to travel on it so from here we will take a local jeep till fairy point. The journey from Raikot bridge to fairy point is hardly two and half hours ride but the impact last forever in the minds of the traveler. In just few hours you will climb 1386m till fairy point.

Once we are at the drop point(fairy point), we will start the hike to the land of the fairies. It’s a steady ascent(two and half hours, 5.5kms) from fairy point(2666m) to fairy meadows(3306m).Wild roses, chilghoza, chir pine and juniper flourish in this narrow valley, providing welcome shade to the  visitors. Along the way you will find small picnic spots where you can have a cold drink or relax before you continue toward the main attraction which is Fairy meadows.

Overnight in Camps.

Day 10 Trek to Nanga Parbat Base camp

Fairy meadows is so beautiful with its views of Nanga Parbat and the Raikot glacier that its easy to stay, but its worthwhile to move up-valley.

Today, we will stoll(1,1/2 hours, 5km) through lush chir pine and fir forest along steams to the meadow at Beyal (3500m). The walk offers equally superb views down-valley of the Indus Valley and the 7000m peaks of the Rakaposhi-Haramosh Range.An easy trail continues 30 minutes beyond Beyal through scattered juniper and birch to an abvious boulder at the lateral moraine’s edge, aptly caller view point(3667m) . the breathtaking close-up views to the   southeast include the four major icefalls coming from Chongra peaks(ranging from 6448m to 6830m), Raikot(7070m), and Nanga parbat’s north face that converge to form the incredibly serac-coverd Raikot Glacier. If you only go this far, you wont be disappointed. Fit day walkers can continue on to Nanga Parbat Base Camp(3967m) between Ganalo and Raikot Glaciers, a four-to five-hour side trip from Beyal.

Retrace your steps to fairy meadows for overnight Camp.

Day 11 Fairy Meadows (Rest day)

 The day is reserved to explore fairy meadows. Fairy meadows is a big clearing that used to be surrounded by thick forest. It was perhaps the most magical and scenic of all of Pakistan’s beauty spots.

Below the meadow and hidden in the woods is a lake good for swimming. From here, Nanga parbat looks even bigger than from Base Camp.

Overnight in Camps.   

 

Day 12 Hike to Fairy point and drive to Naran

Afer breakfast we will follow the trail

back to fairy point and take jeep back

to Raikot bridge from where we will hop on a waiting vehicle for us to Naran.

We will take the much cooler and greener route to Islamabad this time around passing through Babusar pass at 4100m in height you will again have magnificent sights of Nanga parbat from the top. And once you cross over to Naran side you will be welcomed by green pastures, streams which form small lakes on the way.

Overnight in Hotel

Day 13 Drive to Islamabad

We will continue our journey towards Islamabad crossing Naran valley and entering Kaghan crossing Balakot, the town which was totally destroyed by earth quake in 2006.

Overnight in Hotel.

Day 14 Departure

 After an unparalleled experience of Nanga parbat our representative will say his goodbye and you will be transferred to airport for onward destination.

***END OF SERVICES***

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Occupancy Level:

THE FOLLOWING IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE OF THE TRIP

  • Internal flights to/from Islamabad to skardu (if cancelled then we will drive on KKH).
  • All internal transport and transfers including airport collections.
  • Twin share room at Hotel in Islamabad and at K2 Motel/Concordia Hotel in Skardu.
  • Breakfast only in Islamabad, all meals included in Skardu and on trek.
  • Twin share domed tents while on trek.
  • All trekking arrangements including permits and fees, guides, cook and porters.
  • Pre departure support and advice from Karakorum Adventure by email, phone or Skype.

THE FOLLOWING SINGLE SUPPLEMENT IS AVAILABLE:

  • Single room supplement (Contact us for price)
  • Single tent supplement (Contact us for price)

Please note that if you are a single person booking on one of our trips you do not have to pay the single room supplement, this is only payable if you specifically request to have a room or tent to yourself. You will not have to pay this for this option if you happen to end up with a single room or tent due to odd numbers on the trip.

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THE FOLLOWING IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE OF THE TRIP

  • International flight to/from Islamabad
  • Travel & trekking insurance
  • Pakistan visa
  • Lunch and evening meals in Islamabad.
  • Personal clothing & equipment,

Tips to local trekking crew (these are discretionary however expected for good service in Pakistan, an appropriate amount to budget for would be approx. £115 or USD$185).

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