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Biafo Hispar and Snow Lake Trek

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23 Days
Availability : April -August
islamabad
Biafo Hispar and Snow Lake Trek
Tour Details

Biafo Glacier and Hispar glacier with a total length of 114 km and longest outside the polar region meet at the 5151meters Hispar pass. This immense high way of ice and stones connects- the antique kingdoms of Nagar and Hunza in west and Baltistan (little Tibet) in the east. This route was extensively used to connect silk route with the Indian subcontinent, China and Tibet. Mr.H.W Tilman an English trekker claimed in 1937 that he had seen the footprints of yeti on the glacier. Glaciologists after conducting tests on the snow lake confirmed that thickness of snow is one mile. Here one can observe the rare species of animals in abundances like snow leopards, Himalayan bears, ibex, markhor and some time Marcopolo Sheep’s

Departure & Return Location

Islamabad International Airport (Google Map)https://goo.gl/maps/wGTa85SbADUg7FGM8

Departure Time

3 Hours Before Flight Time

Price Includes

  • Hotel accommodation at tourist class hotels with B/B. All meals during trek. Sleeping tents,, kitchen, toilet and mess tents with tables/stools. Kitchen equipment, crockery, fuel and related camping gear. Services of English speaking mountain guide, assistant guides, cooks, Sirdar and low altitude porters.12.5 kg of personal baggage during the trek. Arranging Trekking Permit from Ministry of Tourism, Insurance of our field staff, porters/guides. Safety rope and basic necessary gear.

Price Excludes

  • International /domestic airfare and airport tax. Excess weight. Sleeping bags and personal nature clothing/equipment. Main meals and extras at hotels like drinks, laundry, phone calls. Insurance liability and other under force majeure conditions, medical aid, and helicopter rescue coverage etc. Any other services not mentioned above.

Complementaries

  • Umbrella
  • Sunscreen
  • T-Shirt
  • Entrance Fees
What to Expect
    Itinerary

    Day 1Arrive Islamabad

    Meeting upon arrival at Islamabad airport and transfer to hotel. After lunch, sightseeing tour of twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, which includes a visit to the Folk Heritage Museum, World biggest mosque The Shah Faisal Mosque, Shakir Parian, Daman e Koh for taking a birds-eye view of Islamabad. Evening return to the hotel for overnight. Overnight at Hotel Regency/Envoy Continental Islamabad Hotel. Breakfast included.

    Day 2Fly to Skardu or Travel to Chilas

    We go to the domestic terminal at the airport and take the spectacular flight across the mountains to Skardu. The rest of the day is free. Should the flight not operate because of the bad weather or some other reason then we shall drive, a long journey up the Karakorum Highway to Chilas, but compensated by the impressive scenery. On arrival to Chilas transfer to Shangrila Midway House. Overnight at Shangrila Midway House. 460 Km, 10/12 Hours Breakfast is included

    Day 3Free day in Skardu or Drive Chilas to Skardu

    A free day in Skardu during which several excursions can be made, about 4 miles away is the Satpara Lake or the climb to the top of the Skardu rock will reveal the remains of a fortress built some 150 years ago, which has superb views of the Shigar and Indus valleys. If yesterday’s flight was cancelled then this day is spent on the road driving from Chilas to Skardu, on arrival transfer to Hotel. Overnight at Concordia Motel/Mashabrum Hotel, in Skardu. Approx. 8/10 hrs Full Board, all meals included

    Day 4Drive to Askole (3000m)

    We set off northwards of the Shigar valley to Askole, which used to be the end of the road, where we leave our jeeps and we start walking. The last part of this jeep road may be in a bad state of repairs and it may be necessary to start walking a little before Askole. camping
    Overnight in tents. Approx. 7/8 hrs. Full Board, all meals included

    Day 5Trek to Namla

    As loads are distributed among the porters in the early morning light, we start our trek entering an incredible wilderness of rock, ice and sky. Walking along the Braldu river, we pass through the village of Askole after about an hour. This is the last permanent settlement along the trek. Another three hours walk brings us to Biafo glacier, two kilometres wide at this point, and our companion for the half part of the trek. We set foot on the glacier and scrambling across the boulders of lateral moraine for about three hours, we arrive at Namla campsite at 3400 m. Approx. 6/7 hrs. Full Board, all meals included

    Day 6 Trek to Mango

    Trek to Mango along the Biafo glacier. Much of the walking will be done on the glacier or its fringe and all human habitation is quickly left behind in this desolated landscape. Trekking in the heart of Biafo Glacier we will reach Mungo, where yak herders from Askole live during the summer. It has beautiful green grassy grounds. Camp at Mango (3650 M). Approx. 3/4 hrs. Full Board, all meals included

    Day 7 Trek to Baintha

    Baintha is the local name for Ogre, this is an easy day walking on the glacier. Hispar Pass can be viewed while walking. Enjoy spectacular views of Latok 1 (7,145 m), Latok 2 (7,108 m) along the trek. The track follows the ablation valley past a small lake, then heads out across the lateral crevasses to the smooth white centre of Biafo glacier Biantha campsite is the grassy area with the clear stream flowing through dense willow shrubs surrounded by Himalayan flowers. Sir Martin Conway one of the early exploratory visitors camped here in 1892. Baintha camp is at 4000m above sea level. Approx. 4/6 hrs. Full Board, all meals included

    Day 8 Free day for acclimatization

    We have a free day for acclimatisation at Baintha. Camping

    Day 9 Trek to Karfogoro

    The first hour of the trek is lovely walk along the ablation valley, crossing many small lakes surrounded by willow bushes and wild flowers. This area is habitat of bears and Himalayan Ibex, as you can guess from their droppings along the trek. Once on the glacier the walk is gradual climb over smooth ice. In case of fresh snow on the glacier, we must rope up and walk with a flying belay. Enjoy challenging views of Sosbun Brakk (6.418 m). camp at 4400 meters. Approx. 7/8 hrs. Full Board, all meals included

    Day 10 Trek to Snow Lake

    This a steady walk on snow-covered ice. Today we shall rope up to avoid the danger of snow bridged crevasses. You are on the edge of Snow Lake. This lake has the depth of I mile as per the latest research. Pre-dawn departure from the camp will enable us to walk firmly over the soft snow on the medial moraine. After two hours steady plod we arrive at the intersection of Sim-gang glacier with Snow Lake. We camp at around 4,780 meters, at the western border of Snow Lake close to Hispar Pass. Approx. 2/3 hrs. Full Board, all meals included

    Day 11 Free day to explore Snow Lake

    Optional walk to explore the vast snow lake from where several treks lead to Shimshal. We may come across the rare species of snow leopard here. The name Snow lake was given by Martin Conway in 1892, who has given a dramatic account of this place in his book “Climbing expeditions in the Karakorum – Himalayan”. Eric Shipton in 1937 had estimated the present size of the Snow Lake 77sq. Km. Full Board, all meals included

    Day 12 Trek to base of Hispar Pass

    Setting out at first light we cross the vast expanse of Snow Lake before starting a gradual ascent to our camp on the Hispar La. Full Board, all meals included

    Day 13 Cross Hispar Pass 5151m to Khanibasa

    Early morning departure from the camp for climbing the pass. Gaiters are essential as snow can be deep even in the morning. We walk in a single file with rope between us. The route passes through the centre with giant crevasses and striped, greenish blue seracs on either side. The view of Snow Lake from the top of Hispar pass 5,151 m, inspires the feeling of the wide open snowy place. Numerous glaciers emerge from the Snow Lake and disappear between nameless Virgin Karakoram peaks. The Highest of these peaks is Baintha Brakk (7,285 m) also called Ogre, first for Chris Bonington and Doug Scott in 1977. On the other side of the pass, snow-covered Hispar glacier stretches as far as the eye can see, with the white pyramid of Workman Peak (19,300 ft.) in North. We descend down and camp on the northern moraine of the glacier, at 4580 m. Descending to Khanibasa again requires you to be roped. Approx. 7/8 hrs. Full Board, all meals included

    Day 14 Trek Khanibasa – Yutmaru

    Soon after walking from the camp we cross Khanobasa glacier that takes around one and a half hour. Enjoy spectacular views of Kanjut Sar (7,700 m), the 29th highest peak in the world. Now trek follows lateral moraine with exciting views across to the hanging glaciers and frequent avalanches on the southern ice walls. Yutmaru at 4330 meters is a flat sheltered field in ablation valley, surrounded by willow bushes and flowers. It also offers a fine view in the east of the Hispar Pass and Balchish range running from there to the west. Approx. 5/6 hrs. Full Board, all meals included

    Day 15 Trek Yutmaru - Bitanmal

    An hour’s easy walk through ablation valley brings us to Yutmaru glacier, that takes around two hours to traverse – with high ice walls and deep crevasses to negotiate. Once across the glacier, we climb up steeply over the cliff with panoramic views back to Hispar Pass. As we descend a long trek, we have views of Kunyan Chish Range(7,852 m), the 22nd highest peak in the world. The Pumari cherish glacier flowing south from this mighty mountain has been pushed forward towards Hispar glacier since 1988. Walking on a path 100 meters above Hispar glacier, we arrive at our campsite at 3902 m. Approx. 6/7 hrs. Full Board, all meals included

    Day 16 Rest day at Bitanmal

    Our campsite Bitanmal in ablation valley is a wide-open summer pasture surrounded by willows and flowers. In summer the shepherds from Hispar village come to live here with their herds of goats, sheep and Yaks. A perfect place to rest. Full Board, all meals included

    Day 17 Trek to Hispar

    A lovely and relaxing walk through green pastures in the ablation valley past willow and cedar shrubs and herds of goats, sheep, cattle and donkeys. Soon we come across the south bank of Hispar river, a wide alluvial fan rippling in terraces down to a cliff above Hispar river. We cross a wooden bridge over the river and climb steeply to enter Hispar village, a combination of mud houses, apricot, willow & poplar trees, and fields of wheat, peas, beans – and always present wild poppies and marijuana. After spending some time here, we walk for another hour to our camp close by the roaring river at 3,200 meters. Approx. 5/6 hrs. Full Board, all meals included

    Day 18 Drive to Karimabad

    In the morning there is a possibility we walk for two hours through the dry landscape to Huru settlement in case the road is blocked between Huru and Hispar villages. Board soft top 4×4 jeeps for short ride to Karimabad., the capital of Hunza valley, off the Karakoram Highway heading to China. You are never short of views here. Enjoy spectacular views of Rakaposhi (7,788 m ), Ultar 1 (7,388 m) Ultar 2, and Golden Peak. Afternoon free, meals and overnight at Hunza View Hotel. (2 hours trek & 3 hours by jeep). Full Board, all meals included

    Day 19 Free day in Karimabad and visit Forts

    Day free at Karimabad to explore the valley and visit the Baltit and Altit 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 was erected by the locals of safeguarding themselves against the invaders coming mostly from Central Asia, over the high passes. Optional Hunza cultural dance in the evening. Overnight Hotel. Full Board, all meals included

    Day 20 Drive to Gilgit

    A morning at leisure. Time may be spent looking around these friendly and Thriving villages or by going on a walk in the surrounding countryside with excellent views across the valley to the main peak of Rakaposhi. In the Afternoon we transfer to a garrison town of Gilgit, which is an administrative headquarters for Gilgit Baltistan. Overnight at Hotel Riveria Gilgit. Approx: ¾ hours drive. Full Board, all meals included

    Day 21 Fly or Drive to Besham

    Weather permitting we take the spectacular flight past Nanga Parbat to Islamabad. If it is cancelled then we take to a private bus or minibus and Drive down the Karakorum Highway to Besham for 10/12 hours. Overnight Besham Continental Hotel. Full Board, all meals included

    Day 22In Islamabad or Arrive Islamabad

    Today is a free day in Islamabad to either explore the bazaars or relax byThe hotel pool. If the flight was cancelled then we continue our journey Down the highway, arriving in the late afternoon . Hotel.

    Day 23 Transfer to the airport

    We transfer to the airport for the flight to onward destination.

    Map
    Photos