TREKKING SONIA PEAK SHIMSHAL
Situated in the heart of Karakoram range is Shimshal, the remotest valley in the whole range. The mountains are some of the toughest, with some of the high virgin peaks lying here. You start the trip in Islamabad and drive on legendary Karakoram Highway to Passu in upper Hunza, from where we take soft top 4×4 jeeps to enter the valley. It takes two days walk to reach the main village – Shimshal in the valley. From the village it is 4 days trek to the summer settlement, towering above two lakes and flower filled meadows roamed by Yaks. After rest at meadows, we take a six days trek over three passes to arrive at Karakoram Highway, just south of Khunjerab Pass at Pak China border
Islamabad - Besham/ Narran
Arrive Islamabad, after a short stay for fresh up and breakfast drive on the Karakoram Highway to Besham in air-conditioned transport. Overnight stay in the hotel. (260 km, 6/7 hours)
Drive to Passu
Exciting drive through the gorge of Indus & Hunza rivers. En route visit the meeting point of the worlds three highest mountain ranges; the Himalayas, Hindukush, and the Karakoram. Enjoy views of Nanga Parbat (8,125 m) & Rakaposhi (7,788 m). Overnight in hotel. ( 515 km, 8/9 hours)
Start the trek
We start the day with a short ride on soft top 4x4 jeeps from Passu village towards Shimshal valley. The jeep track passes through the gorge of Shimshal river and ends at Dai Kut, an hour from KKH. We start the trek with ascent and traverse in the gorge along the right bank of the river. The landscape is dry, with many loose scree slopes flowing from the high mountains. After 2 hours relatively easy walk by the river, we arrive at the ‘travelers hut’ of Ziarat for overnight camp. Some 600 years ago a Sufi Saint (Shah Shams) from central Asia arrived here and stayed here for several nights. He also preached Islam in this region. From Ziarat we can see Karoon 1 (7164m) Peak. In Ziarat we will find fresh spring water for drinking and washing. (jeep 1 hour & 3/4 hours trek)
Ziarat - Shimshal
The trek is long this day so we’ll take an early morning start. As we start our trek we walk on the main valley ground, along the river. We cross two suspension bridges and few small streams joining the river from side valleys. After four hours trek, we will be in Kuk, opposite to Mulungudi glacier, with hot springs. We have a beautiful view of Dastagil Sar (7885m). As we walk from Kuk, we cross the river on another footbridge and then climb a gradually ascending hill and finally emerge on the starting point of the valley. From here it is easy to descend to the main valley and an hour & half to the main village. Shimshal is one of the remotest areas of Karakoram. 900 years ago Shimshal Valley was discovered by a Sufi Saint he settled here and all Shimshali people are from his family. Camp overnight. (7/8 hours, 3300m)
Rest & acclimatization day
Shimshal – Zardgurdbin
5/6 hours steep walk to reach the plateau of Zardgurdbin.
Zardgurdbin - Shapodin
Today we take late start as the trek today is easy is short and basically today we will cross a big plateau between Zardgurbing and Shapodin. Arrive at the camping place of Shapodin which is also a summer settlement. Camp overnight. (2/3 hours)
Shapodin - Mandik Shlaq
We will cross Boisam Pir Pass (5090m) this day. Its an easy trek up to the Pass. Kanjut Sar (7760m) Peak is visible from the Pass. After the pass, there is a beautiful lake of blue water. Enroute short stay for rest and lunch at Pachodewashk. Proceed towards Mandikshlakh. There are seven houses in Mandikshlakh and water is easily available for washing. Camp overnight. (5/6 hours)
Mandik Shlaq - Werbin
Quite easy trek. We will start after break fast. Enroute stay at Havdiji . Havdiji is also a settlement and there are seven houses. The local people will stop us here for lunch and without serving us they will not let us go forward so we take a break here. Proceed towards Werbin. Camp overnight. (4/5 hours)
Werbin - Chafchingol Pass Base Camp
We will cross three small rivers in this days trek which will be a great fun and adventure is the water level goes up in the rivers. The place is also famous for Ibexes. Camp overnight. (5/6 hours)
This base camp will be our base camp for the Sonia Peaks. There are three peaks in Sonia group the highest one is 6400 meters and lowest is round 6000 meters. To climb the 6000 meters one comfortably we need two days and to climb hthe ighest one we need 4/5 days. So I think its better to have 4/5 days here at this base camp and divide the group into two. So that both groups can attempt both peaks.
Trek Over Chafchingol Pass To KKH
It will be an early start with pack lunch because the trek is strenuous and long this day. From the base camp its a steep slope of 300 meters up to Chafchingol Pass (5151m). We can see Dastagil Sar (7885m) Peak from the Pass. After the Pass water is available and the walk is also quiet normal. We will reach on KKH at Kuksil (4150m) just 15 kilometers from Khunjerab Pass. The area is in Khunjerab National Park. Our vehicle will be ready in Kuksil to take us to Hunza. Proceed to Hunza. Overnight at hthe otel. (7/8 hours trek +2/ 3 hours drive)
Day free at Karimabad to explore the valley and possible excursion to Passu & Batura glaciers & visit the forts. Altit & Baltit forts are the landmarks of the times when Hunza was a well sought after staging post on the Karakoram Branch of the Silk Route. The frost were erected by the locals of safeguard themselves against the invaders coming mostly from Central Asia, over the high passes. Overnight at the hotel. Meals and overnight at hotel. Hunza cultural dance in the evening.
Drive Karimabad - Besham
Early morning drive Air Conditioned transport on the Karakoram High way towards Besham. Lunch in Dassu. Proceed towards Besham. Overnight at Motel. (11/12 hours )
Drive Besham - Islamabad
After break fast we will drive on Karakoram Highway to Islamabad. We could stop at Taxila to visit the archaeological site of Gandhara Buddhist civilization, dating from 500 BC to 500 AD. Half day SS in Islamabad after lunch. Evening free. Overnight at Hotel. (5/6 hours)
Fly back to the home destination
Morning transfer to Islamabad airport for international departure flight.