22 days, 13 days trek, 7 days at Wartum enclave for climbing 5,850 meters trekking peak with qualified instructor 14 nights camping, 7 nights hotels
Karakorams have plenty of trekking peaks. We have carefully chosen one for you. Located just off the interesting trek of Batura glacier in upper Hunza, the Wartum enclave has 8 peaks above 5,000 meters approachable from our base camp. We are at liberty to attempt them as we stay for 7 days at Furzin – our base camp. The trek has been planned to allow time for acclimatization. The peak is very safe as we have had youngsters climbing it, with no past experience of mountain climbing. Come and share your first Karakoram Summit with us!
Arrive Islamabad, the federal capital of Pakistan. At the airport, you will be met and assisted by the staff of Rock Valley Tours. Transfer to hotel. Afternoon city tour of the twin cities of Rawalpindi & Islamabad. Overnight hotel.
We start our journey from Islamabad along the Karakoram Highway, through the lush green alpine landscape of Hazara we emerge on the bank of the Indus River at Thakot. From here we enter the narrow rocky gorge of the Indus. The Highway was a joint venture between Pakistan and Chinese engineers and it took 20 years & 850 lives to complete this 8th wonder of the world. Overnight hotel. (500 km, 10/11 hours)
Drive to Passu Drive on 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 Nanga Parbat (8,125 M), Rakaposhi (7,788 M). Overnight Passu 2,500 meters at Lodge. (150, 4/5 hours)
We start our trek from the Passu village, after a short walk along the road we fork west towards the Batura glacier. Near the snout of the glacier, about an hour’s walk, we would be greeted by our companions for the trek YAKS. These champions of the glacier would be carrying our loads during the trek. (2/3 hours). During the next hour, we would be gradually gaining height, walking through the barren rocky landscape. Arrive Yunzibin, our campsite at 2,800 m (3/4 hours). From the camp, we have fascinating views of Passu Peak, Batura 1, Batura 2 Peaks.
It is possible to cross the Batura glacier from our campsite, we continue straight keeping the glacier on our right side, and walk along the lateral moraine to Kirgas Washik campsite. This route is followed mostly By the villagers on way to upper pastures, so it is well-marked and easier to walk on. As we walk on the crest of the lateral moraine of the glacier, we have excellent views of Batura massif straight ahead and the peaks of Shimshal valley to our east. We pass a small lake and a couple of shepherd’s huts before we arrive at Eagle’s nest (meaning of Kirgas Washik) campsite for overnight. (5/6 hours trek)
Yashpirt As the glacier changes re-adjusts its crevasses each season, so the safe place to cross to the other side also changes. We take the option of crossing just beyond Kirgas Washik, which involves about an hour. The crossing is made safe by the fact that the same route is used by the shepherds and goats throughout the year, so the route is clearly marked. Yashpirt at 3,300 meters, is an ideal summer settlement set between rocky & grassy ridges on one side and the low moraine of Batura glacier on the other side. From here we have a commanding view of the massive Batura icefall just ahead of us. Every household in Passu village keeps one house in this settlement, and just 30 years ago they use to farm Barley and wheat here during the summer months. Now it is the best-housed summer settlement. Camp. (6/7 hours)
We start our trek for Shilmin in the soft morning light, walking all the way on the north side of Batura glacier. For the first part of the trek, the view is dominated by the shimmering white ice of Batura Ice Fall just across the glacier. We would now mostly walk in the ablation valley of the glacier, and twice would have to cross the streams of cold water. Lunch at Kukhil summer pasture approached after crossing a wooden log bridge over the rushing stream. Later we would walk past juniper, willow, and ash, and alpine flowers by the stream. Shilmin at 3,460m lies at the opening of Wartum valley with a small crystal clear lake just next to our Camp. (6/7 hours)
Trek to Base Camp We leave the Batura Valley & enter Wartum valley heading north, and soon traverse loose scree area to emerge at a small platform with many birch trees. From here we have a commanding view down to Batura in South & Shireen Maidan (Sweet pasture) in East. We head North along Wartum Nallah (stream), gradually gaining height. Just short of base camp we cross the Wartum stream and steeply climb to emerge at the wide-open plateau: our base camp called Furzin at 4360 M. (6/7 hours)
We spend a free day for your acclimatization at the base camp. In the afternoon we could walk on a round hill in the south to have a better view of our route to the summit.
We walk from Furzin and approach Wartum stream to walk along its bank for about three hours. The first part of the trek is not very steep. At the birth place of Wartum stream we traverse the Wartum glacier to approach the ridge leading to the main summit. The Ridge-climb is steep but we have time and we will proceed slowly. Establish camp on a small platform of the ridge. (4/5 hours)
Summit Attack Early start from our advance base camp for the summit attack. We walk carefully on the ridge, with Shireen Maidan on our left and the Wartum enclave on our right. Depending on the weather, we may have strong wind on way to the summit. It takes about 4 hours to reach the top of Wartum peak. From the summit we have commanding views of the whole ranges: Chapursan in North, Kuksar in east, Batura in South and Shimshal mountains in west. Return to ridge camp and descend down below the glacier for overnight camp. (5/6 hours)
Summit Attack We have two days for the summit attack, in case of bad weather on Day 12, we would wait for another day and stay at the Advance Base Camp. Otherwise, we return to base camp in about three hours and celebrate the summit at the campfire.
Base Camp Two additional days at the base camp, to allow all members to have a try at the main summit. Our base camp is ideally located in the center of Wartum enclave where 8 peaks rise above 5,000 meters. Each one of them is approachable from the camp. We would attempt at least one more peak from here. Two summits rising to 5,300 + M just north of the camp provide excellent opportunities for day climbs.
We unfold our camp at Furzin and return to main Batura valley walking along the steep gorge of Wartum, Camp. In the afternoon we may take a short walk up to Lupdor, the last pasture along Batura glacier, for a commanding view of upper Batura, and its peaks rising to 7,000 meters. (5/6 hours)
Trek to Yashpirt Walking along the stream through the grassy ablation valley north of the glacier, we arrive at the lovely campsite of Yashpirt. Camp. (5/6 hours)
Yunzbin We walk on the crest of lateral moraine all the way keeping the glacier to our south. Small lakes squeezed between the glacier and mountain offer exciting photo stops. Crossing the glacier near the Yunzbin, the crossing is fairly easy for the first 30 minutes but demands careful walking in the last half an hour as we encounter boulders. Arrive at Yunz for Camp overnight. (5/6 hours)
Back to Passu An easy two hours downhill walk from Yunz to Passu. Alternately one could take the more demanding and rewarding route of Yunz Pass to Passu glacier. Evening free at Passu. Overnight hotel.
Explore Karimabad Short drive to Karimabad, the capital of Hunza. Here we have time to visit the Altit & Baltit forts and walk through its bazaar. Overnight hotel.
Gilgit Drive to Gilgit, while stopping on the route for views of high summits. At Gilgit we may take excursion to the statue of Buddha just outside the town. Overnight hotel. (100 km, 3 hours)
We drive on KKH along the Indus river to Besham in Swat district. As we leave Gilgit in the morning we catch the exciting view of Nanga Parbat (8,12 5M) from the road. Arrive at Besham on the bank of Indus, Overnight motel. (370 km, 8/9 hours)
Drive on the greener part of KKH to Islamabad. We may stop at Taxila, the archaeological site of the Gandhara Buddhist civilization dating from 500 BC to the 500 Ad era. At Rawalpindi, transfer to hotel for overnight. (260km, 6/7 hours)
At Rawalpindi we have time to hunt the colorful bazaars. Farewell dinner at a traditional restaurant, overnight at hotel. (In case of bad weather or any unexpected delay during the expedition, this day could be used)