Shimshal Kuch Festival is one of the most important and well-celebrated festivals in Shimshal, a remote village in upper Hunza. when the people of Shimshal bring their livestock to high Pamir pastures where they live for five months grazing them.
During this time they collect yeast, cheese, and butter for their families to be used in the harsh winter season. The joy and happiness of being reunited with rest of family members are celebrated when shepherds return with their flock from high Pamir pastures.
With thousands of sheep, yaks, and goats, the welcome back is a spectacular experience. Following their hundreds of years old tradition of goat sacrifice at the Shimshal Bridge is a way to express their gratitude to God for a safe return of their family and herds from the high pastures.
The people of Shimshal are Wakhi and speak Wakhi language, their culture and tradition is unique. Due to being remotest and difficult accessibility, much of their tradition and culture have been remained intact. In ancient time these people were passing very simple life dictated by the seasons and nature around them. Their life was circles around the festivals which gave them some entertainment and passing harsh time, waiting for these traditional festivals to celebrate that gives them some joy.
The event takes places between 15th and 18th October every year in Shimshal Valley.
KUCH FESTIVAL SHIMSHAL VALLEY
EXPECTED DATE: from 12th to 18th Oct every Year
Day-01 Departure for Pakistan
Day-02 Arrive ISB, welcome reception at the airport. Transfer to hotel for fresh up. After a lunch city tour of the twin cities Rawalpindi & Islamabad, the federal capital of Pakistan. Overnight hotel.
Day-03 Drive Islamabad to Besham
Today our journey starts from driving on the historic Grand Trunk Road. On our, Taxila has situated 34 km from Islamabad, which is the former capital of Gandhara Buddhist civilization. We visit the splendid site Museum and the archaeological site. After Taxila, we will leave the GT road and turn north on the Karakoram highway. Pass through the lush green alpine landscape of Hazara and arrive at Sharkool and cool place situated on top of a hill. As we descend from Sharkool, we emerge on the bank of Indus river at Thakot. From here we enter the narrow rocky gorge of Indus. Overnight hotel. (300 km, 7/8 hours)
Day-04 Drive Besham – Gilgit.
Continue driving on Karakoram Highway to Gilgit. Building the KKH, was a joint venture between Pakistan army and Chinese engineers and it took 20 years & sacrifice of 850 lives to complete this 8th wonder of the world. In the afternoon we would have a fascinating view of Nanga Parbat (8,125 M) as we get closer to Gilgit. Overnight at the hotel. (330 km, 10/11 hours)
Day-05 Drive Gilgit - Passu on KKH
Morning visit to the town. Gilgit at 1,600 M is the administrative capital of northern areas of Pakistan and a traditional staging post on historical Silk Route from Kashgar. From the bazaar, we could walk to the suspension bridges over Gilgit & Ghizer rivers. Continue driving on the Karakoram Highway to the charming village of Passu in the heart of Karakoram Mountains. We have fascinating views of soaring peaks all around us, including Rakaposhi (7,788 M). Overnight in Passu Tourist Lodge, 2500 meters. 2 hours drive in the narrow valley of Shimshal up to Waeenben. At Waeenben our bags will be shifted from jeeps on to the Yaks, our companions for the next two weeks. After crossing two suspension bridges we will reach in Ziarat. This is the place where the famous Sufi Saint Shams-e-Tabriz had stayed for a long time for meditation and fasting. The symbols are still kept on the rock. Shams-e-Tabriz had come from Tabriz, to preach Islam in the region. The followers of the Sufi saint visit this sacred place to cadge prayers. They put colorful flags on the rocks around. Three houses have been constructed by the people of Shimshal here in Ziarat, as Ziarat is in their daily route up or down from the civilization. We will take lunch in Ziarat. Continue journey towards Kuk. It takes 3 hours to get in Kuk. Kuk is well known for its hot spring water. The visitors take bath and enjoy the view of Malangoti Glacier. When the weather is clear, the great Dastagir (7885m) can be seen on the head of the Malangoti glacier. Other peaks like Madhelsar, Shimshal white horn, Malangoti Sar etc. can also be seen from this point. Overnight stay in Kuk. (2 hrs drive 5/6 hrs to walk 2800)
Day 06 Passu / Hunza - Shimshal
Four hours walk up to Shimshal. After crossing a suspension bridge we get in Kutdoor and we climb a small steep rocky patch. From the top, two small villages of Shimshal Tangashsar and Farmanabad can be seen. We will reach in Farmanabad, where lives the famous climber of Pakistan Mr. Rajab Shah. Rajab Shah is the only Pakistani climber who has climbed all eight-thousander meter peaks of Pakistan. A short tea break can be taken at Rajab’s house. An hours easy walk up to the center of the village. Arrive main Shimshal valley for overnight camping. ( 4/5 hrs Walk 3000 M)
Day 07 - Shimshal – Zartgarban/ Pasth Furzain
As today's track is steep and hard so we will take an early start. After crossing the Shimshal river, we will reach in Band-e-Sar and we’ll enter the narrow gorge of Tang, which goes up to Zartgarben. When we climb the steep up, we cross through a memorious gate and reach in Zartgarban. The plain land is charming and encircled with high mountains. Zartgarban is basically a summer pasture where villagers keep their animals for 5/6 months in summer. (6/7 hrs 3700 M)
Day - 08 Zartgarban/ Pasth Furzain – Arbab Parian
This might be the hard part of the trek. We start from the camp with a steep ascent of 200 meters on the cliff. This day we have to cross two passes. The first pass is Wayeen Sar (4800m), which takes two hours from Zartgarben to reach the top and one hour to descend in Yarzeen, the lunch place. After having lunch we will continue ascending to Shach Merk Pass (4500m), which takes three hours to reach the top. We make a small pause on the pass to take photos of the peaks in the surrounding. Many peaks of the area can be seen from both high passes. We descend to the Targaryen valley, which is the camping place tonight. We will pitch the tents up on the left bank of a small stream. It takes more than three hours to reach in Puryear, place for our lunch today. We will follow the Maidoor river today and reach Puryen. After having lunch here we will cross a small bridge and we climb the high steep of Puryear Sar. We will cross through two wooden gates. These gates were built by the people of Shimshal to defend the village from the troops from China. In ancient time when there was no friendship between China and Pakistan and the area was disputed. In 1974 it was officially announced by the govt. of China that this area is in Shimshal. After that, there is complete peace in the area. When we reach on the top of Puryen Sar, we can see the Manglik Sar (6050m) in front of us. This is a trekking peak in the heart of the Pasture. Arrive Arbab Parian for overnight camping. This is a beautiful and colorful place with spring water. Nice place to take bath in the crystal clear water. ( 4/5 hrs 4150M)
Day - 09 Arbab Parian - Shimshal Pass
We will continue walking east in the direction of Manglik Sar and reach Shujerab. The last summer pasture before Shimshal Pass. From Shujerab a 200 meters gradual ascent will bring us just under Manglik Sar. Now we will be walking in the wide area of Shimshal Pass running east to west, with two lakes located just before the Shimshal Pass. In summer Yaks, goats and sheep roam around the green wide pastures of Shimshal Pass. We’ll pitch our tents near the two lakes of Shimshal Pass. In the evening one can walk to Shuwart summer settlement at Shimshal Pass, consisting of 60 houses. We might get invited for dinner by the people settled there with their animals. That will be a great chance to visit local houses and also to taste the energetic nomad food made from Yak’s cheese, butter and wheat flour. Overnight camping at Shimshal Pass. (4/5 hours, 4735m)
Day 10 Shimshal Pass
A rest day after long trekking for personal activities.
Day - 11 Shuwart - Arbab Parian
We will follow the same track came through on our way to Shimshal Pass. But it will take us a very short time because of continues descend. Back to Arbad Parian. Overnight camping. (5/6 hours)
Day - 12 Arbab Parian - Maidur
It is an easy downhill walk. We follow a stream flowing from Shuwart to Maidur. There are many summer settlements in Maidur Valley. We will pitch our tents at a small settlement having only two or three houses. It is a beautiful Valley and water is easily accessible here. Camp overnight. (4/5 hours 4500M)
Day - 13 Maidur - Shapodin
Today we take early morning start to cross Shapodin Pass (5150m). The climb up to pass is not technical and one can climb it with the help of walking poles only. Passu Peak (7478m) and Shispar Peak (7611m) are visible from the Pass. Water is easily available on the way. After crossing the Pass we will arrive at the camping place of Shapodin which is also a summer settlement. Camp overnight. (7/8 hours 5150 M)
Day 14 Shapodin - Shimshal
This would be an easy walk on the plain pasture up to Zartgarban. From Zartgarban we will continue our trek and descend down to the Shimshal village. Camp (4 /5 hours )
Day 15 Shimshal - Passu
In one long day, we will reach Passu from Shimshal. 7/8 hours walk to reach the trek end and from there two hours in jeeps to Passu. Overnight stay in Passu tourist Lodge.
Day-16 Drive to Karimabad Hunza.
Short drive to Karimabad, the capital of Hunza Valley. Here we have time to visit the Altit & Baltit forts and walk through the bazaar, shops are full of traditional woolen gowns, caps and ladies suits and lots of decoration pieces, which are prepared by the ladies of Hunza. View of the fascinating mountains around Hunza, like Rakaposhi, Ultar Peak, Golden Peak, and Ladyfinger increases the charm and attraction of the valley. People in both central and upper Hunza are very friendly and educated. ( 50 km 2250 M)
Day 17 Karimabad - Besham/Narran
It takes three hours to reach Gilgit from Karimabad. Before having lunch we can visit the Kargah Nala where we can see the image of Buddha from the 4th Century AD. After Lunch, we will continue driving down to Chilas. A photo stop at the famous spot, where worlds three highest mountain ranges Himalayas, Karakoram & Hindukush are meeting and it is also the meeting point of the Indus river with Gilgit river. From here we can also view of Nanga Parbat. Overnight stay at a hotel in Chilas. (230 km 6/7 hrs)
Day 18 Besham/ Narran - Islamabad .
This would be a long drive through the Indus gorge on the KKH. Lunch break in Besham. By evening we will reach Islamabad. Arrive and transfer to hotel.
(425 km 11/12 hrs)
Day 19 Departure
Transfer to airport for international departure flight.
Following is our quote for the above mentioned tour in US$
15 & Above Pax + 1 FOC : $ Half Twin. Per Person
08 - 14 Pax : $ Half Twin. Per Person
06 - 07 Pax : $ Half Twin. Per Person
04 - 05 Pax : $ Half Twin. Per Person
02 – 03 Pax : $ Half Twin. Per Person
Single room/tent Supplement : $ Per Single.
Accommodation: on twin sharing basis in the hotels in towns.
we Provides high quality equipment to clients making their adventure the most
Comfortable and enjoyable even on the harsh and hard part of the world Dome 3 tents during trekking and at the base camp, Mattresses Toilet Tent
Mess Tent with full Kitchen Equipment, Table & chairs, Kitchen utensil
Full board Darning camping and base camp, We provide the
Excellent quality food during your adventure when you start your Trek from Skardu to BC and back to Skardu, (fallboard). In Pakistan, RVT is the only expedition outfitter which provides fresh meat and vegetable at the base camps from time to time. Break Fast, Lunch, Dinner, Tea or coffee
We would not say our staff is the best one in Pakistan, you would say this after you Experience their punctuality,
Experience, good and humorous attitude with you. Any helicopter rescue is not included in the price for staff. Cook helper, porters & Sardar, Their daily allowance, Food, kit & equipment, insurance, accommodation, RVT Traveling Exp, like Islamabad to Skardu and Back to ISB,
Jeeps etc. with all expedition Luggage. Road head to Trek Head & back.
Porter from Road to Base Camp and back to trek head, including food. Kitchen. And 12. Kg of member luggage.
Are you a Frequent Visitor Pakistan?
If you are coming to Pakistan for Expeditions, Trekking and you wish to keep your equipment in Pakistan, You are more
Then welcome to keep your equipment In our store either in Islamabad or you can keep them in Skardu. Like many other climbers, expedition and trekking organizers you can keep them. This is a free service that only RVT offers to facilitate its clients.
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.
***COST DOES NOT INCLUDE:
Following Mentioned services are not included in our price, but some of them can be arranged on your request
Any Meals at the hotel or on the way is not including in the cost. Cost of any soft drinks,
Any domestic/international airfare, transportation in any airport for pick and drop.
Personal trekking equipment like sleeping bag sacks Shoes and all personal expenses such as mineral water, telephone, liquor etc
Hotel accommodation in Islamabad, and in towns
Porter from Concordia to BC and back , any additional expanse
Pack, for personal Extra luggage on the trek,
Trekking permit fee US$ 50 per person.
Horse for trek.
Medicines and any expenses of personal nature,
Rescue Helicopter charges 10,000 U$ in case of use for rescue
Transfers to the airports for participants, Optional excursions or deviations from the scheduled tour
Room service, gratuities for personal services, items of a purely personal nature
Any expense due to forced majeurs, cancellation of flights, landslides, evacuation or accident or delay beyond the control of land operator
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,
Mail delivery at the base camp
Reconfirmation of international flight tickets
The arrangement of high altitude porters (if required). Rock Valley Tours has the best high altitude porters in Pakistan.
Arrangement of high altitude tents (VE 25 North Face Tents) on payment.
A fare-well 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 include in the cost)
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 original value of Equipment.
* 80 % Advance on date block & confirmation of services, minimum 04 weeks before commencement of trek nonrefundable,
Foreigner client must share there 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.
TERMS & CONDITIONS.
Using drugs or intoxication of any kind is strictly prohibited. If anyone is caught using any kind of substance on buses or during 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 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 the 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 of the buses will be operational on on-off basis to keep the vehicles from overheating.
The RVT will not be responsible for any injury/damage/loss.