20 Days Adventure, 12 days strenuous trek, 12nights camping and 7 nights in hotels. Maximum Elevation 5,151 meters
Situated in the heart of Karakorum range is Shimshal, the remotest valley in the whole range. The mountains are some of the toughest, with some high virgin peaks lying here. You start the trip in Islamabad and drive on legendary Karakorum Highway to Passu in upper Hunza, from where we take soft-top 4×4 jeeps to enter the valley. It takes two days to 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 resting at meadows, we take a six days trek over three passes to arrive at Karakorum Highway, just south of Khunjerab Pass at Pak China border.
Arrive in Islamabad, after a short stay for a fresh up and breakfast drive on the Karakorum Highway to Besham in air-conditioned transport. Overnight stay in the hotel. (260 km, 6/7 hours)
Exciting drive through the gorge of the Indus & Hunza rivers. En route visit the meeting point of the world’s three highest mountain ranges; the Himalayas, Hindukush, and Karakorum. Enjoy views of Nanga Parbat (8,125 m) & Rakaposhi (7,788 m). Overnight in hotel. ( 515 km, 8/9 hours)
After two hours of Jeep drive, we will be in Kuk, opposite Mulungudi glacier, with hot springs. We have a beautiful view of Dastagil Sar (7885m). As we walk from Kuk,. From here it is easy to descend to the main valley and an hour & a half to the main village. Shimshal is one of the remotest areas of Karakorum. 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, 3300 m)
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 the left to enter the gorge. Mostly the trek is safe, although at a few places, you would need good balance on the narrow foot track. En-route enjoy views of Kunianchish and Yazgildoom. Furze, a narrow camp along the side stream is known for its Birch trees. Overnight in Furze. (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 hours ascend on a well maintained yet steep foot trek (pariyan) 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 fresh water. (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 of Shunjerab is Gulchi Washk (carpet of flowers), a 200 meters gradual ascent to bring us just under Manglik Sar. We walk in a 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. 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, 4735 m)
We will visit some local houses on this day. Shuwart Glacier is one of the places here to visit. 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 descend of the trek. Camp overnight. (5/6 hours)
It is an easy 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)
Today we take early morning start to cross Shapodin Pass (5150 m). The climb up to pass is not technical and one can climb it with the help of walking poles only. Passu Peak (7478 m) and Shispar Peak (7611 m) are visible from the Pass. Water is easily available in 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)
We will cross Boisam Pir Pass (5090 m) this day. It’s 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. En route 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)
Quite an easy trek. We will start after breakfast. En route stay at Havdiji. Hadji 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)
We will cross three small rivers in this day’s trek which will be great fun and adventure if the water level goes up in the rivers. The place is also famous for Ibexes. Camp overnight. (5/6 hours)
It will be an early start with pack lunch because the trek is strenuous and long this day. From the base camp, it’s a steep slope of 300 meters up to Chafchingol Pass (5151 m). We can see Dastagil Sar (7885 m) Peak from the Pass. After the Pass water is available and the walk is also quite normal. We will reach 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 the hotel. (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 Karakorum Branch of the Silk Route. The frost was erected by the locals of safeguarding themselves against the invaders coming mostly from Central Asia, over the high passes. Overnight at the hotel. Meals and overnight at the hotel. Hunza cultural dance in the evening.
Early morning drives Air Conditioned transport on the Karakorum Highway towards Besham. Lunch in Dassu. Proceed towards Besham. Overnight at Motel. (11/12 hours)
After breakfast, we will drive on Karakorum Highway to Islamabad. We could stop at Taxila to visit the archaeological site of the 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)
Morning transfer to Islamabad airport for international departure flight.