Trek CHITRAL TO SWAT VALLEY
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Trek CHITRAL TO SWAT VALLEY 15 DAYS ROUND TRIP, 6 DAYS TREK FROM CHITRAL VALLEY IN HINDOKUSH TO SWAT VALLEY IN HIMALAYAS, 8 NIGHTS CAMPING, 5 NIGHTS HOTELS Peshawar, the capital of northwest Frontier Province, is our kick-off point for the trip. From here we travel overland, over 3,200 meters Lowari Pass. We visit the Kafir Kalash, a tribe living in isolated Hindokush who trace their origin to the lost warriors of Alexander The Great. Experience the Game of Kings being played at the highest polo ground in the world, a festival that is best attended in the whole of North Pakistan. From here we start our 5 days trek through the rocky Hindokush landscape, over the 4,750m Kachikani Pass to descend in lake-filled alpine green wonders of Upper Swat.
DAY-00 Departure for Pakistan DAY-01 _ Arrive Peshawar/Islamabad Arrive at Islamabad airport in the morning, transfer by an air-conditioned coach to Peshawar. At Peshawar we will check in at the hotel. Afternoon city tour: stroll down the bazaar of story tellers (Kissa-Khawani Bazaar), visit the historic Mahabat Khan Mosque and the traditional Caravan Serai next to it. Time permitting, visit the splendid collection of Gandhara Buddhist sculpture at Peshawar Museum. Overnight stay at hotel.
DAY-02 _ Enter Chitral Breakfast at hotel, proceed for the fabled valley of Chitral by road. Passing through the lush green plains of Peshawar, we ascend the Malakand Pass that brings us to the Swat valley. We drive shortly through the Swat valley to arrive at the village of Dir for lunch. From Dir, we leave the asphalt road and drive on jeep track to ascend Lowari Pass (3,200 Meters), the gateway of Chitral Valley. From the top of the pass, we have a fascinating view of the Hindukush mountains stretched towards the North in front of us, and the Karakoram mountains in the south. The descend of the pass is more interesting than the ascent, as we take 96 hairpin turns to get to the valley floor. Passing through the dry and rocky landscape we arrive at Chitral town. Overnight stay at a motel.
DAY-03 _ Visit Kalash Morning tour of Chitral town. Stroll down the narrow single-lane bazaar in the backdrop of Tirich Mir (7,708 M), the highest summit of the Hindukush range. Later drive by soft-top 4x4 jeeps from Chitral town to Bomburet village in Kafir Kalash Valleys. The journey takes about an hour and a half. Arrive Kafir Kalash valley the home of “Infidels Wearing of Black Robe” a tribe of some 3,000 people practicing their old religion that is a mix of animism and fire worship.
DAY-04 _ Kalash to Sorlaspur Morning drive by soft-top 4x4 jeeps for an exciting drive through the main Chitral valley, following the Mastuj river upstream. As we drive through the dry landscape of the Hindu Kush range, we also pass many small villages perched on rock faces. Jeep tracks lead from here to the side valleys and villages. Enjoy fascinating views of Tirich Mir (7,708 M), Buni Zom (6,551 M), and Drassan Peak (6,553 M) as you drive northeast. At Mastuj village we turn south on the jeep track to arrive at the small charming village of Sorlaspur, meals and overnight at Camp at 3,003 meters.
DAY-05 _ Shandur Pass, at 3,734 m above sea level is the highest Polo arena in the world. This wide, flat pass is covered with snow from November to May. In summer it turns into a lovely summer pasture and with two small lakes. People of the area claim that Polo had originated here, “The Game of the Kings is the King of the Games” Every year Polo lovers from Northern Pakistan gather here to choose the Polo Champion of the year. This year the Polo tournament will take place from 7 - 9th of July. At the time of the matches on these three announced dates, there are thousands of Northern Pakistanis who camp here to witness the matches. Camp overnight at Sorlaspur.
DAY-06 _ Start the Trek from Sorlaspur we start our trek with Chitrali porters carrying the loads. We walk through the mountains along the Laspur river. After three to four hours walk we arrive at the village Nagar which is the last permanent settlement on this trek. The tiny village is surrounded by Birch & willow trees and fields of wheat and barley. As the Hindu Kush mountain range receives very little rain fall and monsoon does not reach this valley so the summer skies are normally clear. This can be a hot day as heat is reflected by the rock faces. After rest at the village we continue in South-west for another three hours walk to the meeting point of Bashkar river with Kachikani river. Overnight Camp at 3,415m.
DAY-07 _ Trek to Khunzazoe As we start the trek in the morning we take a 90-degree turn to the southeast and follow the Kachikani river, then cross the river on a footbridge to walk on the right side of the river. At lunchtime, we arrive at a small pasture with some bushes and greenery. As we continue walking, the landscape is typical Hindukush: dry and barren. Walking through the boulders we arrive at our campsite Khunzazoe, meaning “the place of the queen”. In this landscape it is a royal place with greenery and a freshwater stream, surrounded by snowy peaks in all directions, rising from 4,871 to 5,500m. Overnight Camp at 3,750m.
DAY-08 _ Trek over Kachikani Pass Today we start the trek early to cross the Kachikani Pass before the snow becomes soft and difficult to walk over. At dawn, we start the trek with the Kachikani glacier visible in the west at a four-hour walk over the lateral moraine. As we approach the glacier the first part is covered with small stones, then we move on to snow and the ascend is gradually steep for about an hour. As we approach the wide pass the ascend becomes easier. From the top of the pass at 4,766 meters, we have magnificent views of the snow-covered peaks of Hindukush and the forested green slopes of the Swat Himalayas. The immediate descend of the pass is steep, narrow, and covered with soft snow - requiring careful stepping. After an hour of steep descend the slope becomes easier and relaxing to walk on, with many glaciers flowing in different directions. Camp overnight at Bokhtshal at 3,875 meters, a pleasant summer pasture with birch trees and Himalayan flowers in June and July.
DAY-09 _ Trek to Shonz A rewarding and romantic walk through the gradually descending valley filled with turquoise blue lakes, occasional waterfalls, and grooves of birch and willow shrubs. We follow the Bokhtshal stream flowing through the valley to the point where it is joined by another stream flowing from the Bashkaro Pass in the north. The meeting place of the two streams called Shonz is also a popular summer settlement for the Gujjar nomads. This tribe visits the summer pastures every summer, with flocks of goats, sheep, donkeys, and horses to feed them on the abundant grass of the pasture lands. They stay here in June to move on to higher grazing grounds and in September & October they move from the mountains to get down to the plains of Indus valley to spend their winters. Meals and overnight at Shonz camp at 3,200 meters.
DAY-10 _ Trek to Mahodand lake An easy downhill trek through the green wooded valley. About an hour after we leave the camp, we cross the stream and approach the left bank on a wide track. Around lunchtime, we arrive at the summer settlement of Diwanger, with a few houses built with stones and wood to provide shelter for the goats during bad weather. Walking on a gradually descending well-marked trek we arrive at Mahodand lake, a charming freshwater lake situated in a wide meadow. Around the lake, we have Deodar and pine trees, that add to the beauty of the secede. The lake also attracts fishing enthusiasts who come here to try their luck for the famous Trout fish of Swat. Enjoy fascinating views of Falaksair (5,918 m) the highest summit of Swat valley. Mahogany camp at 2,890 meters.
DAY-11 _ Mahodand Lake - Kalam Board the soft top 4x4 jeeps for a short drive through the pine forests of Swat to the popular summer resort station of Kalam. At Kalam, the valley opens up as a fertile little plain that was once the basin of an ancient lake. The town is inhabited by Kohistanis from the upper Indus river valley and the dominant Pathan population. Pathans speak Pushto this is also spoken in southern Afghanistan. Arrive and transfer to the hotel to enjoy a hot shower after many camping nights. Lunch at hotel afternoon free for exploring the single-lane bazaar and the town. Dinner and night stay at hotel.
DAY-12 _ Kalam - Mingora An interesting 100 kilometers drive along the Swat river to the twin cities of Mingora and Saidu Sharif that form the traditional capital of the former Kingdom of Swat. We pass interesting small towns on our way, including Madyan and Bahrain that are known all over Pakistan for their needlework handicrafts. The woodwork of Swat is also impressive as today we see many displays of this intricate woodwork in small towns. At Mingora, we visit the Gandhara Buddhist archaeological museum that displays exquisite works on Stone and Stucco sculpture from 1st to 3rd century AD. Later visit the Buddhist Stupa from the 2nd century AD at Butkara. Evening free for walking through the narrow old bazaar of Mingora. Meals and overnight stay at hotel.
DAY-13 _ Arrive Islamabad Board Air Conditioned transport for a drive through the lower Swat valley to Islamabad. As we start the drive from Mingora, we make a short stop in Swat valley to visit the Gandhara Buddhist Stupa at Shigardara. Driving through the lush green Swat valley and its orchards, we arrive at the broad Malakand pass that is the normal entry or exit point into Swat valley. Enroute visit the best preserved Buddhist monastery at Takht-I-Bhai, dating bask to 1st century AD. Built on top of a rocky hill surrounded by the fertile green fields of valley of Peshawar, the monastery stand by itself in a peaceful setting. Arrive Islamabad and transfer to hotel night stay and dinner.
DAY-14 _ Fly home to transfer to airport for international departure flight.
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SERVICES INCLUDED & EXCLUDED Liaison with ministry of tourism in Islamabad for permit process and measurement of Liaison officer. Process of import/export permit from ministry of tourism. Clearance of cargo before arrival of the team and its storage. Assistance upon arrival/departure. Welcome reception (briefing)/farewell meeting (debriefing) at Alpine Club of Pakistan. Hotel accommodation at tourist class hotels at Rawalpindi/Islamabad, Chilas and Skardu with all meals. All meals during trek and 45 days at B.C Porterage of 75 kg per person of expedition equipment and high altitude food etc. to the B.C and 50 kg per person on return from BC. Road transfers between airport/hotel and within city as per itinerary. Sleeping tents, mattresses, mess, kitchen and toilet tent with tables/field stools and camping ground fees. Kitchen equipment, crockery, cutlery, fuel and related community gear. Wages and basic kit of guide, Srdar, cook and assistant(s). Insurance of our field staff and low altitude porters (except helicopter rescue). Porterage at airports, hotels, toll taxes and parking fee etc. Letter of guarantee on behalf of team/client for environmental bond for USD 1200. Mail handling/forwarding to BC/overseas except postage charges. Reconfirmation of air tickets. Above quotation is based on present porter rates and valid for 2019. All expenses of Gov. Liaison officer Invitation letter for apply Visa Cost Excludes International airfare, airport tax, excess baggage charges. Surface transfers in case of flight cancellations to the kick off point. High altitude porters/any crew above BC. Tents, sleeping bags, personal and climbing equipment of any kind beyond base camp including high altitude food and oxygen. Hiring of HAPs, mail runner(s) and any other crew as per requirement. (Wages and kit to be arranged by the team). Medications ground evacuations and helicopter rescue charges of any kind. Room services, laundry, beverages, phone/communication bills and items of personal nature. Traveling Insurance liability of member(s) and other under force majeure conditions. Clearing agent charges. Any other service not mentioned in this condition sheet. Porters and staff tips Re- Fund If the cancellation is made 30Days + prior to departure full payment will be refunded and a nominal communication service charge will be deducted. RVT reserves the right to deduct: 25% cancellation charge from paid package price if the cancellation is made in less than 22 day of arrival date. 40% in case of cancellation in less than 14 days. In case of cancellation prior to arrival, all charges in respect of confirmed bookings that entail no-show charges by hotels/transport/airline will have to be paid by the clients. Anyone deciding to abandon the trip after arrival or leave during the trip for whatever reason(s) whether the clients own or external (of the nature of force majeure) will not be eligible for a refund. This also applies in case the entire group completes/abandons the trip and decides to return earlier than the agreed time schedule. Nominal communication service charge will also be deducted from the refund. OFFICIAL FORMALITIES: Submission of application for climbing permit and coordination with the ministry of Tourism in order to update climbers with the progress. Arrangements of the first meeting with Guide and Ministry Briefing/de-briefing in the Ministry of tourism. Processing application for satellite permit (if required) Documentation for import and export of mountaineering cargo Luggage and Cargo: Before your arrival and departure, RVT takes care of your luggage. Clearance of Cargo before arrival, Clearance of your Cargo after your departure to your home. Storage of your unwanted belongings in Islamabad or Skardu, which you do not need during your adventure, Miscellaneous: Satellite Thuraya phone, Walkie talkie Radios, Reconfirmation of international flight tickets The arrangement of high-altitude porters (if required). Rock Valley Tours has the best high-altitude porters in Pakistan. The arrangement of high-altitude tents (VE 25 North Face Tents) on payment. A farewell dinner will be hosted from RVT in one of the best restaurants or hotels in Rawalpindi/Islamabad with your staff who will be coming back with you from the base camp or your adventure. Taxes Fees & Tipping: The following fees and taxes are included in our quotation, for members, RVT crew and Camping fees, Bridge crossing Fees (Porter, porter Sardar, and RVT staff Tip is not included in the cost) Note: If any member splits from the expedition for his/her own reason, that member will bear all transportation costs on the way back to Rawalpindi. In case of damage to the base camp tent or any Equipment, the trek member will be charged the original value of the Equipment. Payment Procedure: * 50 % Advance on date block & confirmation of services, minimum 02 months before the commencement of trek nonrefundable. * 50 % balance payable before one month of trek Start (IMPORTANT) Foreigner clients must share their passport copy, 02 passport size Photograph full detail for trek permission requirement. If any member leaves the trek at any stage, the organization will not be liable to refund the payment. Using drugs or intoxication of any kind is strictly prohibited. If anyone is caught using any kind of substance on buses or during the trip will be expelled from the trip on the spot. That person will not be eligible for any kind of refund. We reserve the right to cancel the trip without prior notice for any reasons deemed appropriate by them. In such a case the registered participants will receive a full refund. On an adventure trip of this type, weather, local politics, transport or a multitude of other factors beyond the control of organizers can result in a change of itinerary. It is, however, very unlikely that the itinerary would be substantially altered; if alterations are necessary the Leader of the group and Guide will decide what the best alternative is, taking into consideration the best interests of the whole group Smoking in transport is strictly prohibited. Participants must hold a valid Computerized CNIC/Passport Card. Time management/punctuality is strictly recommended. Participants are advised to use Non-Slippery Shoes/Boot/Joggers/DMS. Participants must NOT wear Heel/Dress Shoes. On steep ascends in mountainous areas, air-conditioned buses will be operational on an on-off basis to keep the vehicles from overheating. The RVT will not be responsible for any injury/damage/loss. GEAR AND CLOTHING LIST for Trekking Personal gear & Clothing. While on an organized trek, it is best to pack all items for your trip in one large piece and one carry-on. The large piece must be a duffel bag (weighing not more than 12.5 Kg.) because duffels are easier for porters to carry. A small day pack is suggested as a carry-on to keep items that you will use while on the trek, bus, or jeep. Luggage Large duffel bag with a lock. It is not recommended to put your stuff in a backpack as the straps might get damaged while being transferred from bus to jeeps, jeeps to campsites, and during loading and unloading by porters each day. A small padlock that fits through the zipper of your duffel bag is recommended. Day Pack: Large enough for camera gear, cap, sunglasses, water bottle, jacket, and other items you may like to use while on the trek. Extra carry-on: For storing city clothes in Skardu, Hunza, Chitral, Money Belt: A small fanny pack, money belt, or around-the-neck passport bag is suggested for keeping safe your passport, travel documents, and money. Packing list for your Duffel: Sleeping Bag: As we shall be sleeping for four nights at Concordia at 4,700meters or at Snow Lake and Hispar Pass, Shimshal Pass, at 5151meters above sea level, so the bag should be rated for 0 degrees F or -18 degrees C. Ratings are all relative since the amount of insulation needed for a particular person to stay comfortable depends on their rate metabolism. A down bag will be warmer for its weight and pack smaller but does not retain its insulative properties when wet. A waterproof breathable shell or a bivy bag will keep the bag dry. A synthetic bag keeps you warm even when wet and is a less expensive alternative, but will weigh more for a given amount of warmth. Trekking Boots: The single most important item on this list. Never take brand new boots on a trek, make sure they are well broken-in before departure. Good trekking boots are hard to get in Pakistan. If you are buying a new pair from abroad, look for medium-weight boots of fabric or a fabric/leather combination. They should provide adequate ankle support. A Vibrum or other deep-lug will protect you from rocks and add support. Always use thick socks when trying shoes so that you get the correct size. Short shoes can jam your toes painfully during steep descents. You could also try to get new “Grouted” shoes that provide protection against water and are good while walking in rain or through the snow. Make sure you can fit crampons on your shoes, as it is vital for crossing different passes. Camp Shoes: Jogging shoes or sneakers to slip in at the end of the day. Tiva sandals are ideal for this trek, as you can use them while crossing streams and also at the campsite for strolls. Crampons: You may need crampons on certain treks, sometimes only for one day. It helps in having a better grip on hard snow to have crampons fitted to your boots. Look for easy to fix ones. (Check with us for your specific trek if you need the crampons or not). From our regular trek list, you would need to bring crampons for Gondogoro La, Biafo Hispar, and Wartum Peak Thermal socks: The socks you wear are a critical element. A cotton/wool combination is useful while on the glacier, and for warmer conditions, cotton socks are best. For those who are sensitive to wool synthetic/cotton socks are recommended. Liner Socks: A thin, wickable material. Polypropylene, Capilene, Thermax, and Drylete all work very well. Silk does not work nearly as effectively as any one of the above. Polyester Fleece/Pile Jacket or Pullover. Stays warm even when wet. Polyester Fleece Pants. Good for afternoon strolls, same as above. Rain Gear: A rain suit available from the local market is best for rain, doubles as a windbreaker, and fits over pile jacket and pants. Wicking Long Underwear (tops & bottoms). Wick moisture to keep you warm and comfortable and dry quickly. Two suits are a good idea. Ski Hat: Covers your ears properly, use one with a cotton liner. The woolen cap is also good. Mittens or Gloves: Woolen gloves are useful when at higher elevations and during windy conditions when the temperature drops quickly. Brimmed Sun Hat: Very important for this trek, as when we start the trek and till we arrive at Concordia, we are generally walking towards east. This can be annoying in the morning as the sun is low and hits your eyes. Bathing Suit: Men can take baths by the rivers or occasional lakes in ablation valleys. Toiletries: Keep everything you normally use. Just remember to bring effective sunscreen, chapstick /lip balm, skin lotion, and laundry soap. CLOTHING With your knowledge of Pakistani culture, you are well aware of precautions to be taken while traveling through remote areas. Cloths for the trek should be durable, comfortable, and easy to wash and dry. In good weather, you will spend much of your time in a T-shirt or medium shirt and outdoor trousers. You will need warmer clothes for the evening in the camps. Temperature falls rapidly as soon as the sun goes down. Men could wear shorts once they are through populated areas, which means from the third day of the trek. Women are advised to use cotton shalwar kameez (loose long shirts and baggy trousers) the traditional Pakistani dress, as these are comfortable during warm conditions, and also appreciated & respected by the locals. Check List Headgear Parka Wool shirt & trousers Sweater Cotton shirt & pants Gloves & Mittens Rain/wind suit Cotton & Wool undergarments Socks (Cotton & Wool/synthetic) Boots (Trek & Camp) Belt! Down Jacket Shalwar Kameez (Cotton) Spare laces for boots Miscellaneous Items Sunglasses Towel Washcloth Bandanna/Scarf, for covering your mouth while riding in a jeep. Water bottle, with a durable screw top. Sunscreen Headlamp with flashlight + extra batteries and bulb Insect repellent Swiss Army knife, or a similar one Nylon cord for a clothesline Personal Medical Kit Pocket size sewing kit Lighter or matches for general use Wrist Watch Optional Items We provide closed-cell matrices but you may want to supplement for additional comfort. Stuff sacks of various sizes for storing your used clothes. Toilet paper or travel pack of tissues. An interesting Notebook and pen for a journal. Snacks: personal choice of dried fruit, candy, energy bars. Camera, film, extra batteries, cleaning supplies, and extra lenses. Sports gear (playing cards/Frisbee) Water purification tablets Buy Outdoor Gears Online: You can get all the gears from Shimshal Adventure Shop Shop 180-E Street # 11, Rifle Range Rd, New Iqbal Park, Lahore, Punjab 54750 0307 0043805 https://g.page/ShimshalAdventureShop?share
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