When you think of “trekking” most people might not immediately contemplate Pakistan. But the Northern areas better known as Kashmir, have some of the most majestic treks on the planet. The two most popular are K2 base camp, where you can see the dramatic Karakoram Mountains while walking up the Baltoro glacier, and the spectacular Biafo Hispar glacier trek also know as Snow Lake.
Both of these treks travel deep into very remote territory, and being part of an expedition with tents, food and cooking equipment for a couple of weeks is mandatory. There are no tea houses to support you like in Nepal. Snow Lake requires a good level of physical fitness with some previous trekking experience plus and an adventurous attitude. The weather can be unpredictable at times ranging from very hot days at the beginning to freezing conditions as you get higher up the glacier and cross the Hispar La. Trekkers are however rewarded with some of the most striking scenery imaginable. Here are a few highlights from our trek for inspiration.
Climbing up the Biafo Moraine
By four in the afternoon the sun disappears behind the towering cliffs. On the far side of the glacier we are treated to an amazing light display on the stony towers. They bask in golden rays, the light showing off their rough texture.
Our group pushes along the Snow Lake trek
The distinctive aqua-colored water of a small lake on the Biafo Glacier.
Amin cooking up a storm in camp
Crossing one of the many crevasses. Don’t.Look. Down!
Tiny human figures pale in comparison to the vast enormity of Snow Lake
It’s scenes like this that make you forget how cold and tired you are
The smiling faces of Amin and Habib
Roped together on the Biafo Glacier, Baquir leads the way
Our approach to the Hispar La (Pass)
Watching out for deep holes as we cross the Hispar La
Descending the Hispar La through ankle-deep powder
Camping on the Hispar La
Night life in the mess tent
The night sky truly lights up
On the 8th day we come across the confluence of two glaciers. The morning has been difficult already crawling across a series of land slips. Now in front of us rocks and crevasses stretch for over 2km. It takes your breath away as well as some of your resolve.
Trying to naviagte through a dangerous section of the Hispar Glacier
The bridge had been washed out by summer floods so we had to cross the river in a makeshift basket suspended by a cable. Being pulled across by a rope made for a bump, yet exhilarating ride.
Local man in Shigar Valley
Some extremely impressive architecture going on here. Can you even imagine trying to hoist these massive boulders into place.
A stark contrast between these wild flowers and the rugged mountains
The ten day Snow Lake trek is an excellent adventure, filled with challenges and spectacular scenery.
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