Snow Lake Trek

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Overview

Itinerary

Snow Lake is a high altitude glacial basin over 16km wide located at the head of the Biafo and Hispar glaciers. These glaciers meet at the Hispar La. This makes this system the greatest concentration of glacial ice outside Antarctica. These rivers of ice connect two ancient mountain kingdoms. This is Hunza in the West and Baltistan in the East. As this region is so remote it serves as the last stronghold for many animals. There are Himalayan bear, ibex, markhor and the snow leopard.
This region has long fascinated explorers of the Himalaya. The first foreign visitor, Martin Conway, gave Snow Lake this name in 1892. He described this area as "beyond all comparison the finest view of mountains it has ever been my lot to behold."  The mountaineer, Eric Shipton, described this region as ‘the last blank on the map'. 
Towering high above these glaciers are high peaks of the Karakoram. These include Kanjut Sar (7,760m), Distaghil Sar (7,885 m) and Makrong Chhish (6,607m). There is the Latok group (Latok I: 7,145m, Latok II: 7,108 m, Latok III: 6,949m, Latok IV: 6,456m) and Baintha Brakk/The Ogre (7,285m). The Ogre was first climbed in 1977 by Britons Doug Scott and Chris Bonington. They had an epic descent with Scott breaking both of his legs and took a week to reach Base Camp. 
The trek starts by following the K2 Base Camp trail and then on the first day turns West onto the Biafo Glacier. The trail for the next few days follows loose rocky moraine ridges on the glacier. The campsites at Namla, Mango and Baintha are in grassy areas behind lateral moraines. From Baintha camp we walk on the glacier and follow the wide ice highway. This makes the walking easier than the loose rock earlier in the trek.
Having reached the highest point of our journey on Hispar La at 5,151m we descend into Hunza. When we arrive at Hunza village we complete the traverse. The Hunza region has a language and culture very different to Baltistan.

Day-1

Airport transfer to Hotel. Visit the Twin Cities. Overnight Islamabad or Rawalpindi hotel. Welcome dinner.

Altitude: 540 m

Day-3

Jeep safari to Askoli through the Shigar valley. Overnight at Askoli. Tent camping.

Altitude: 3,015 m

6 hour drive.

Day-2

Fly To Skardu. Introduction of staff and trekking preparation. Overnight Skardu.

Altitude: 2,498 m

Day-4

Trek from Askoli to Namla, enter into an incredible wilderness of ice, rock and sky. We turn west onto the Biafo-Glacier, a huge Glacier of Ice and snow. Overnight Namla Camp.

Altitude: 3,571m
Time: 7-8 hours

Day-5

Namla To Mango. A short and moderate trek on the glaccier to Mango. Overnight Mango Camp.

Altitude: 3,715m
Time: 5-6 hours

Day-7

Baintha to Simgang. A hard and long Day rewarded with breathtaking view of dozens of nameless peaks. Overnight Simgang Camp.

Altitude: 4,472m
Time: 7-8 hours

Day-6

Mango To Baintha. A long walk on a difficult trail. Overnight Baintha Camp at the  Junction of Biafo- Bethna Glacciers.

Altitude: 4,041m
Time: 5-6 hours

Day-8

Simgang to Snow lake-strenuously walking day, the most rewarding and perhaps one of the most memorable days of your life. Enjoy The breathtaking view of awe inspiring mountains surrounding Snow Lake. Overnight Snow Lake.

Altitude: 4950 m
Time: 5-6 hours

Day-9

Rest at Snow Lake. Enjoy the view of all the named and unnamed mountains.

Altitude: 4,585m

Day-11

Today we make the ascent to Hispar La. The climb to Hispar La is not too steep although it always feels quite strenuous at this altitude. Overnight Hispar Camp.

Altitude: 5,149m
Time: 7-8 hours

Day-10

Snow Lake To Hispar Pass. Today we begin our outbound Trek. A moderate descent to the Hispar Basecamp. Overnight Hispar Base Camp.

Altitude: 4875m
Time: 5-6 hours

Day-12

Hispar Base to Khani Basha. We decend the crevassed Hispar Glacier to Khani Basha Glacier. Overnight Khani Basha Camp.

Altitude: 4655m

Time: 4-5 hours

Day-13

Khani Basha to Hargtum. We trek to the base of Hargutum Peak. Camp near Shirin Chush opposite to the Pumari Chush Glacier. 

Altitude: 4575m

Time: 5-6 hours

Day-15

Turman to Hispar Village. Trek the newly made jeep Trail of the Hispar Village. The spectacular village inhabited by a colorful and peaceful people. This valley is full of blossoming fruit orchards and multi terraced fields. Overnight Hispar Village.

Altitude: 2300m

Time: 5-6 hours

Day-14

Horgtum to Turman. Traversing the Pumari Chush Glaccier. Overnight Turman Camp.

Altitude: 3860m

Time: 5-6 hours

Day-16

Drive To karimabad. Overnight at Karimabad

Altitude: 4875m

Drive Time: 2-3 hours

Day-17

Rest and Cleaning day. Enjoy Hunza valley, Visit Baltit Fort. Ghani's village. Overnight Hunza.

Day-19

Fly to Islamabad

Day-18

Drive to Gilgit, Overnight Gilgit.

Day-20&21

2 Extra Days of meals and accommodation built into the trip for rest days to be taken at the discretion of the group.

What's Included

For both local and international travelers

  • Implementation of Covid SOPs/Guidelines 

  • All domestic flights and road transfers including airport transfers

  • All hotel accommodation in Pakistan (twin sharing room)

  • All trekking accommodation in Pakistan (twin sharing dome tent)

  • All camping site fees and bridge fees

  • All trekking logistics (all tents, non-personal equipment and tools etc)

  • Personal mountain equipment (crampon, ice axe, harness, two carabiners, helmet etc)

  • All meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner) and beverages/water during meals

  • Snacks including dry fruits and tea/coffee during the trek

  • Free refills of boiled drinking water on the trek

  • Licensed professional guide (government requirement)

  • Government trekking permit fees and paperwork

  • Waste management fees (government requirement)

  • Support staff (cook, assistant(s) etc)

  • Porter for personal luggage (14kgs) and mountaineering equipment (8kgs)

  • First aid medicine kit (basic)

  • Satellite phone for emergencies

What's not Included

For both local and international travelers

  • Personal travel insurance (suggestions only)

  • Visa to Pakistan (five supporting documents will be offered)

  • International airfare

  • Personal equipment (e.g. trekking shoes, down jacket, walking sticks etc)

  • Extra nights in Islamabad (before and after trek) - additional fees will inccur. 

  • Tips/gratuities for guides, porters, staff etc

  • Miscellaneous (minibar, bottled water, phone calls, laundry, souvenir etc)

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