THE HUNZA VALLEY
Trekking amongst 7.000m peaks in the land of the Shina, Burushashki and Wakhi people
> Hiking in the Hunza Valley in Pakistan during July <
The Karakoram and Hindu Kush ranges of Pakistan mark the western end of the great mountain system of south and central Asia. The main Hindukush and its off-shoot, the Hindu Raj, extend from Afghanistan to the Ishkoman River valley, and from here the Karakoram range runs east into Kashmir and India. The Karakoram Range is the most compact mountain area on the planet with several 7- and 8-thousand meter peaks, and in the valleys beneath the summits lies the greatest expanse of glaciers outside the polar zones. The whole Karakoram region is a geographical vortex between the Central Asian desert and the plains of Pakistan. It lies right in the middle of the collision zone of the Pamir, Kunlun, Hindukush, and Great Himalaya mountain systems, while China, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan all come within 250km of each other.
The trek we took was in the Hunza River valley - the land the Shina people, Burushashki people, and Wakhi tribe. Above the fields of Hunza soars 7.788m-heigh Rakaposhi, one of the most dramatic and beautiful peaks of the Karakoram. This trek took us to the base camp of Rakaposhi during a week of hiking along rivers, across glaciers and on steep mountain ridges.
We would not hesitate to return to Northern Pakistan. Sure, Pakistan is an Islamic nation, but locals in the mountain areas are extremely friendly, curious, and welcoming. Moreover, prices are extremely low for hiring guide, porters, tent, cooking equipment, buying food etc. For the price of one week in Nepal, you can do 3 weeks in Pakistan. The easiest way to reach the Hunza Valley is to fly from Lahore to Gilgit (if the flight is not cancelled as it often is) or to travel along the Karakoram Highway during 2-3 days.