Kuch Festival Shimshal Valley Pakistan
One of the most important and well-celebrated festivals in Shimshal, a remote village in upper Hunza is Kuch Festival 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 the rest of the family members are celebrated when shepherds return with their flock from high Shimshal Pass (Pamir and Gujerav 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 the safe return of their family and herds from the high pastures. The event takes place between 15th and 18th October every year in Shimshal Valley.
Arrive in Islamabad, after a short stay for a fresh up and breakfast drive on the Karakoram Highway to Narran /Besham in air-conditioned transport Overnight in the hotel. (260/ 150 km, 6/7 hours)B/D
Exciting drive on KKH through the gorge of Indus & Hunza rivers to upper Hunza. En-route visit the meeting point of the world’s three greatest mountain ranges, Himalayas, Hindukush, and the Karakoram. Enjoy fascinating views of Nanga Parbat (8,125 m) & Rakaposhi (7,788 m). Overnight in a hotel. ( 500/530 km, 8/9 hours)
We start the day with a short ride on soft-top 4×4 jeeps from Passu village towards Shimshal valley. The jeep track passes through the narrow gorge of Shimshal river After 2 hours relatively jeep ride we arrive at the ‘travelers hut’ of Ziarat short stop 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 We have a beautiful view of Dastagil Sar (7885m) from here. 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. GH/ Camp overnight. (4/5 hours, 3300m)
For the next two days, our walk would mostly be traverse through the really narrow gorge of Shimshal river. But our walk from the village for the first two hours today is in the open valley along the river. Soon we leave the main valley and turn to left to enter the gorge. Mostly the trek is safe, although at few places you would need good balance on the narrow foot track. Enroute enjoy views of Kunianchish and Yazgildoom peaks both are above 7000m. Furzin, a narrow camp along the side stream is known for its Birch trees. Overnight in Furzin. (5/6 hours)
This might be the hard part of the trek. We start from the camp with a steep ascend of 200 meters on the cliff facing the camp, traverse gradually for half an hour and then descend steeply to Shimshal river. We cross the river on a footbridge and then walk for another hour to Pariyan camp for a cool breeze off the Maidur Nallah and fresh lunch. After lunch we take up the last part of the gorge walk, involving one and half hour’s ascend on a well maintained yet steep foot trek (Parisian) to the top, called Pariyan Sar, with fascinating views of our peak Manglik and many other summits. Here you enjoy the vista and take a relaxing hour’s walk to the camp. Our camp Arbabparian is a shepherd’s settlement for winter, with plenty of freshwaters. (4/5 hours)
Compared to the last two days, it is a relaxing walk along the river with views of peaks soaring above 6,000 meters. On our way we will pass Ganj Dour Valley, leading north to China border with many pastures for the yaks and goats. This valley is known for its substantial population of blue sheep, Marcopolo sheep, Ibex, and also a few snow leopards and bears. Shunjerab is the summer home of Shimshalis, with 60 houses and huge yards to house the animal & human population. People stay here in May & June and then proceed over Shimshal’s pass to Shuwart to spend the winter. Camp overnight (4/5 hours)
East from Shunjerab is Gulchi Washk (carpet of flowers), a 200 meters gradual ascent to bring us just under Manglik Sar. We walk in the wide-open valley running east to west, with two lakes located just before the Shimshal Pass. In summer we find Yaks, goats, and sheep who roam the green pastures. We shall build our camp after 2/3 hours walk, just under the main ridge of Manglik Sar. In the afternoon one could walk over to Shuwart summer settlement, consisting of 60 houses. Inevitable we might get invited for dinner, a great chance to visit local houses and also to taste the energetic nomad food made from Yak’s cheese, butter and wheat flour. Camp overnight. (4/5 hours, 4735m)
day for acclimatization and to explore the area. We will also visit some local houses this day. Shuwart glacier is one of the places here to visit. Camp overnight.
Full days to attempt the trekking Peak Manglik Sar (6050m), just north of our camp. As we start in the soft morning light, for the first few hours we will ascend gradually on the main ridge leading to the summit. At 5,800 meters we will leave the ridge and head toward the eternal snow of the Peak. The going could be slow here due to altitude and the increased ascent of the Peak. Yet near the top it is wide as a football field and also not so steep. Enjoy a fascinating view of the valley from the top, on a clear day one can see K-2 and Broad Peak distant east. Safety rope and other required climbing equipment will be carried by the mountain guide. Descend down to base camp. (9/10 hours
Another full day to attempt the peak. On this trek to Shimshal Pamir, there is an option to climb the Manglik SAR 6050m or other two peaks around or who do not want to make the summit can trek around or to Shuwerth. Here we take you for the ascent of a 6,050 m trekking Peak. It is an easy trekking peak that does not require technical things just to needs to travel the team in rope. It is one day climb normally with 1500M ascent and 1500 descent. It is safe and easy climbing, can
take a good and physically fit trekker to the top of this peak. This is a popular and easy-to-access 6000M peak. To climb this peak you need snowshoes, gaiters, harnesses, es, and rope.
There are two other peaks just near below 5500M, Kuz Sar and Lup Zhui Sar also in one day can climb using the same base camp of Mangalik Sar.
A special campfire will be arranged that night with local music and dances to celebrate the successful attempt at the peak. Camp overnight.
The same trek we have passed through on our way to Stewart. But it will take us a very short time because of the continued gradual descent of the trek. Camp overnight. (5/6 hours