Pakistan’s Snow Lake Trek – Photo Journal

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.

Leaving Askole

Leaving Askole

Climbing up the Biafo Moraine

Climbing up the Biafo Moraine

The High cliffs in Pakistan

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.

Snow Lake Trek

Our group pushes along the Snow Lake trek

Small lake on the Biafo Glacier

The distinctive aqua-colored water of a small lake on the Biafo Glacier. 

Amin cooking up a storm

Amin cooking up a storm in camp

Crossing one of the many crevasses

Crossing one of the many crevasses. Don’t.Look. Down!

Crossing Snow Lake

Tiny human figures pale in comparison to the vast enormity of Snow Lake

Stunning mountains

It’s scenes like this that make you forget how cold and tired you are

Amin and Habib

The smiling faces of Amin and Habib

Roped together on the Biafo glacier Baqir leads the way

Roped together on the Biafo Glacier, Baquir leads the way

Approach to the Hispar La

Our approach to the Hispar La (Pass)

Crossing the Hispar La

Watching out for deep holes as we cross the Hispar La

Descending the Hispar La

Descending the Hispar La through ankle-deep powder

Camping on the Hispar

Camping on the Hispar La

Night life in the mess tent

Night life in the mess tent

Starry Sky

The night sky truly lights up

Rough terrain

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.

Dangerous section in the Hispar Glacier

Trying to naviagte through a dangerous section of the Hispar Glacier

Crossing the river in a basket

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

Local man in Shigar Valley

Local life

Some extremely impressive architecture going on here. Can you even imagine trying to hoist these massive boulders into place.

Wild Flowers in Hispar

A stark contrast between these wild flowers and the rugged mountains

The beauty of the valley

The ten day Snow Lake trek is an excellent adventure, filled with challenges and spectacular scenery.

Each week we feature a new destination here on Backpacker Travel, in the form of a photo journal. If you are an aspiring photographer who is interested in contributing or have a suggestion for a particular place, please get in touch here.

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