Pakistan's magnificient
HUNZA VALLEY

Trekking amongst 7.000m peaks in the land of the Shina, Burushashki and Wakhi people

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 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.

 

Therefore, is is also 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.

Obviously, we had to check out the trekking here!

 

Location: Hunza Valley in Pakistan, during July

 

 

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.

Check our site on the 'Hippy Trail' to read about our travels in Pakistan, or our extremely wild travel along the Karakorum Highway in Pakistan. 

 

 

Selected pics from the treks:

Location of Hunza Valley
Location of Hunza Valley
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On our way into Karakoram Mountains
On our way into Karakoram Mountains

Cristoffer relaxing on the roof near Chilas on Karakoram Hwy. We came from Islamabad and are going to Gilgit, and then further on to Karimabad, Sost, Passu, and the Khunjerab Pass.

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Arrival in Karimabad after 36h tour
Arrival in Karimabad after 36h tour

Finally here after a mad bus trip! View over the Hunza Valley and Rakaposhi (our trekking target) from the terrace of our hostel in Karimabad

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Rakaposhi - our target base camp
Rakaposhi - our target base camp

Beautiful Rakaposhi (7.788m) in the Upper Nagyr Valley where we are heading in a few days after putting up the logistics, buying food etc.

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Jeep drop-off
Jeep drop-off

We travel by jeep deeper into the mountains untill our drop-off in Hapakun Village

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Hapakun
Hapakun

Our first night in the wilderness

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River passage
River passage

River passage along the trek

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On our way
On our way

Our local Hunza guide leads the way

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Shina villagers
Shina villagers

Along the way are seveal Shina-speaking villagers living in remote huts in the wilderness. Many times, we bought freshly made buttermilk from the locals.

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Gaining height
Gaining height

Anders along the trek

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View of Rakaposhi
View of Rakaposhi

Our target base camp in the distance

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Primitive shelter
Primitive shelter

Some locals live in really primitive shelters

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Diran Base Camp
Diran Base Camp

Time to camp! Arrival at a green meadow serveing as the base camp for Diran Peak (7.257m).

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Descendens to the Minapin glacier
Descendens to the Minapin glacier

Next day, we descend to the Minapin glacier

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On the Minapin glacier
On the Minapin glacier

The broad Minapin glacier that we will have to cross to reach Rakaposhi case camp

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On the Minapin
On the Minapin

Cristoffer and our two guides discuss which route to take to avoid the largest crevasses

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Anders on Minapin
Anders on Minapin

During the day - here 12 noon - it is not that cold, with temperature hovering at 12-13 degree celcius

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Break
Break

Cristoffer taking a rest after traversing the Minapin glacier

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Rakaposhi Base Camp
Rakaposhi Base Camp

Finally at the Rakaposhi Base Camp. We have just put up our tent

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Rakaposhi view
Rakaposhi view

Mighty Rakaposhi in the backdrop

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Pisan glacier
Pisan glacier

Towards the Pisan Glacier

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Middle route on Pisan Glacier
Middle route on Pisan Glacier

We took the middle route hoping for a less number of crevasses as compared to side tracks

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Dare devil
Dare devil

Crossing a crevasse

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Towards Chalt
Towards Chalt

The trek continues towards Chalt

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Minapin river
Minapin river

Minapin river cutting through the lanscape near the end of the trek

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Back in Gilgit
Back in Gilgit

View over Gilgit town and the Bargot vally from the roof of our hostel

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