Snow Lake is a high altitude glacial basin over 16km wide located at the head of the Biafo and Hispar glaciers. The Ancient highway of ice, which connects the two Great mountain kingdoms; Hunza in the west with Baltistan in the east. Combine the Biafo Hispar, and Biafo Glacier is 120 km, which makes it the second-longest glacier in the world outside the Polar Regions.
Snow Lake – Hispar La Trek Pakistan visits a remote and unspoiled region of the Karakoram where very few other trekking groups visit so that the trail will be quiet. It is unlikely you will see other trekkers along the way. Being the most remote area, it serves as the last stronghold for many animals, including the Himalayan bear, ibex, Markhor, and the snow leopard. snow lake is arguably the most challenging and rewarding area in the Karakoram for trekkers and mountaineers. There will be places where booths the group and porters will have to rope up. The trail is challenging in places as we have to climb over moraine ridges covered by loose rocks; traverse several tributary glaciers, and cross glacial streams. VISIT IN PAKISTAN TREKS TOURS AND EXPEDITIONS offers the most stunning mountain scenery and idyllic campsites.
Martin Conway, the first foreign visitor, gave Snow Lake the name in 1892. Conway described Snow Lake as “beyond all comparison the finest view of mountains it has not ever been my lot to behold, nor do I believe the world can hold a finer.” (1)However, Snow Lake is complicated to reach, and only about 200 people manage to get it per year. (2) In 1899, the husband-wife team of William Hunter Workman and Fanny Bullock Workman came and speculated that Snow Lake might be an ice-cap like those in the Polar Regions, from which glaciers flowed out in all directions, and estimated its total size at 300 square miles (116 square kilometers).
Martin Conway, the first foreign visitor, gave Snow Lake this name in 1892 and described the area as “beyond all comparison the finest view of mountains it has ever been my lot to behold, nor do I believe the world can hold a finer.”
Biafo and Hispar glaciers meet at Hispar La, making this system the greatest concentration of glacial Ice outside Antarctica. This vast river of ice connects two ancient mountain kingdoms; Hunza in the west with Baltistan in the east. The famous mountaineer explorer Eric Shipton described the Snow Lake area as’ the last blank on the map.’ As this region is so remote, it serves as the last stronghold for many animals, including the Himalayan bear, ibex, Markhor, and the snow leopard.
Towering high above Biafo and Hispar glaciers are jagged peaks; these include Kanjut Sar (7,760m), Distaghil Sar (7885 m.) Making Chhish (6,607m), 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 famously first climbed in 1977 by Britons Doug Scott and Chris Bonington when 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 turns west onto the Biafo Glacier. The track follows loose rocky moraine ridges on the glacier in the next few days, although the campsites at Namla, Mango, and Baintha are located in grassy areas behind lateral moraines. From Baintha camp, we go back onto the glacier and follow the broad ice highway making the walking relatively easy compared to loose rock earlier on the trek.
Having reached the highest point of our journey on Hispar La at 5151m, we begin the descent into Hunza; this region is very different from Baltistan.
Snow Lake And Hispar La Trek start from Islamabad. Your Guide will meet and Greet you at the Islamabad International Airport, then transfer you to the hotel and have a group briefing in the afternoon about the snow lake trek. The next day you will catch the spectacular mountains view flights to Skardu. You will have the first glimpse of the great Nangaperbat,k2, and the other stunning Himalayan & Karakoram Mountain Peaks on the route. After checking in to the hotel, the rest of the day is for sightseeing and preparation for the snow lake Trek. Skardu is Baltistan’s capital, and it is the getaway to Snow Lake K2, Deosai Plato, Masherbrum Peaks, and many other famous Karakoram Peaks. In Skardu, Trekkers and climber usually do their Finale purchasing and top-ups for their journey. Following day we will drive along the Mighty Indus, Shigar, and Braldu River to the lush green Shigar Valley towards Askoli. Askoli is the last village before entering into the wilderness of Karakoram mountains.
After spending your first night in the camp under the starry canvas, the Snow Lake trek starts by following the k2 base trek trail and then turns west onto the Biafo Hispar Glacier. The track follows loose rocky moraine ridges on the glacier in the next few days, although the campsites at Namla, Mango, and Baintha are located in grassy areas behind lateral moraines. From Baintha camp, we go back onto the glacier and follow the broad ice highway making the walking relatively easy compared to lose rock earlier on the trek. There will be sufficient time to take two rest days during the snow la trek; this provides vital acclimatization and enables us to take a splendor of some of the most scenic mountains which you will never find anywhere else in the world. We will camp at the height of 5,151m, which will allow us to experience the magnificent view of the whole area, including an unforgettable sunset across the Hunza.
Having reached the highest point of our journey on Hispar La, we begin the descent into Hunza to complete the traverse; we walk through green meadows with streams and wildflowers to reach Bitenmal. Here You will find the huts of local friendly Shepards; they may offer you some fresh milk and dairy product. We will continue our snow lake – Hispar La treks towards Hunza by camping at the Hisper Village. We will establish our last camp of the Trek at Huru, where you will start feeling the hot climate. Jeep drive will take you to Karimabad, the ancient capital of Hunza. We were sightseeing Karimabad by visiting the local Bazar, historical Baltit, and Altit Fort. Baltit Fort was built 700 years ago by Baltistan people who travel to Hunza via snow lake. Baltistan had a substantial cultural and ethnic relation with the Laddakh territory to the east. Not surprisingly, the structure of Baltit Fort was influenced by Ladakhi/Tibetan architecture, with some resemblance to the patala palace in Lhasa. You will notice that the Hunza region has a language and culture very different from Baltistan. Drive along the Hunza river on the KKH towards Gilgit will go through the famous Rakaposhi (7,788).
We strongly believe that VISIT IN PAKISTAN TREKS TOURS AND EXPEDITIONS will create a fantastic life long memory that will stay with you for a long time. Your Guide will remain with you throughout the trip and see you off at the Islamabad International Airport.
We are organizing Three fixed departure to Snow Lake – Hispar La trek in Pakistan, starting in August 2020. “Snow Lake – Hispar La trek” is a high altitude walk that requires some mountaineering skills to cross the Hispar Pass.
- Explore the Karakoram mountains on our Snow Lake – Hispar La Trek Pakistan
- Hispar La Pass (5,149m).
- Snow Lake – high altitude glacial basin – 16kms wide
- Views of peaks between 5,000m to 8,000m, including Latok group, The Ogre, Kanjut Sar, etc.
- See Medieval Forts Hidden Among Pakistan’s Towering Mountains.
- Trekking on the Ancient Ice Highway, Biafo and Hisper Glacier
- Travel on the Ancient Silk Route (kkh)
- Experience the Picturesque Shigar & Hunza Valley in Pakistan
- Cultural tour of Hunza Valley
- Sightseeing in Skardu and Islamabad
- Views of Glaciers (e.g., Kani Basi, Kunyang, and more), glacial lakes, waterfalls, and streams
- Meadows of Falling Chhish,
- Spectacular panoramic view from the top of Hispar la.
Duration 22 days
Region Biafo/Hisper Glacier
Rawalpindi/Islamabad: Hotel, trek briefing. We will have ample time for sightseeing and shopping in colorful old bazaars of Rawalpindi and new Islamabad markets. We may also drive to the enormous modern Faisal Mosque in Islamabad.
Skardu (2,500 m 8,200 ft): Hotel, flight. We will be on the most fantastic commercial flight globally, taking us from Islamabad to Skardu. If the weather is bad, we will drive in two days on the famous KKH to Skardu.
Askolie (3,300 m 10,800 ft): Camp, jeep drive. It takes about six hours to drive from Skardu to Askolie or near Askolie. The drive through the Braldu Gorge is guaranteed to knock your socks off!
Name (3,650 m 11,800): Camp, trek begins. The walk from Askolie to Namla is on an easy gentle plain first and then becomes difficult as we get on to the snout of Biafo Glacier. This will take about 6 to 8 hours. The first sight of the pinnacles of the Paiyu Group is stunning.
Mongo (3,700 m 12,130 ft): Camp, trek. This can take 7 hours or more. We walk on the moraines of Biafo Glacier as well as in an ablation valley. This is not an easy walk as we trek on rocks most of the time.
Biantha (4,000 m 13,120 ft): Camp, trek. We get on to the white Biafo glacier from Mongo, where the walking is easier, and then we diagonally walk across the Biafo to reach its other side near Biantha. The difficult parts here are getting on to the glacier and then getting off it. This takes about 6 hours of walking and will give us our first sight of the Latok Group. The campsite is located in a green meadow.
Biantha (4,000 m 13,120): Camp, rest day. Wash up, relax, read, climb on a steep ridge for outstanding views behind the camp, sing and dance with the porters!
Marphogoro (4,400 m 14,430 ft): Camp, trek. Six to eight hours of walking. Getting on to the glacier is tricky. Once on it, the walk is pretty straight forward on the white glacier. However, we are careful to avoid crevasses here. The greenery of the Biantha campsite is only a memory now. We are in the dramatic and awesome expanse of the Biafo with its jagged pinnacles. The Ogre (7,813 m.) towers high above us on our right. There is only snow and rock now.
Snow Lake (4,800 m 15,750 ft): Camp, trek. The trek takes about 6 to 7 hours over ice and snow. Once again, we are careful to avoid crevasses along the way. Snow Lake is a magical place. Be sure to get out of the tent to experience the stars in the night. It is an unforgettable experience!
Snow Lake (4,800 m 15,750 ft): Camp, rest day. We stay at Snow Lake one more day to acclimatize and explore this unique area of the Earth. Be careful of crevasses.
Hispar La (5,151 m 16,895 ft): Camp, trek. A 6 to 7-hour walk on slopes of about 30 degrees takes us to the top of the pass. Once again, we are careful to avoid crevasses. Even though the climb is on gentle slopes, we find it difficult due to the rarefied air. When on top, we see a panorama described by an early explorer: “Beyond all comparison the finest view of mountains it has been my lot to behold.” On one side, the Biafo lies, and on the other side, we look towards the Hispar Glacier and the peaks above Hunza valley. The view of sunrise from the pass is another sight to behold.
Kani Basa (4,500 m 14,760 ft): Camp, trek. This is a long day’s walk and can take more than 8 hours. We want to make sure that we leave the past early before the snow becomes soft. On the way down, once again, we are careful to avoid crevasses. We will have to cross the Kani Basa Glacier before camp on a green campsite, which is a welcome sight and site after being on snow for the last few days. On the way, we can see the famous Kanjut Sar (7,760 m.) towering high above the Kani Basa Glacier.
Kani Basa (4,500 m 14,760 ft): Camp, rest. A well needed day to relax after a challenging walk through Hispar La and snow.
Jutmal (4,200 m 13,780 ft): Camp, trek. This will take about 7 hours, and on the way, we will cross the Jutmal Glacier. It is tricky here as the route through the glacier is like a maze with high ice walls. After crossing it, another hurdle that we face is the climb up on a loose cliff face. Once up the beginning, we now enter a beautiful campsite with lovely views across the Hispar Glacier. Some streams have to be crossed on the way.
Bitanmal (3,600 m 11,800 ft): Camp, trek. This section takes about 8 hours. On the way, Pumory Glacier is crossed and also a stream. The crossing of Pumory is not that difficult as the Jutmal. However, once again, we have to descend on to the ablation valley, and once again, we have to climb the cliffs on our right to get to the campsite. This is an exhaustive process.
Falling Chhish (3,600 m 11,800 ft): Camp, trek. One more glacier to cross! This is Kunyang Glacier. The walking does get a little easier. However, traveling the Kunyang is tedious, and the climb on rocks on the other side can be challenging. This is a short day consisting of about 4 hours. Our camp is in a shepherd’s meadow where villagers from Hispar bring their yaks for the summer. The view of Makrong Chhiish (6,607 m.), on the other side of Hispar Glacier, is outstanding.
Hispar Village (3,400 m 11,150 ft): Camp, trek. Another short day of about 4 hours. Some streams have to be crossed on the way, but the walking is relatively gentle. A bridge over the Hispar stream has to be crossed, and then a climb on a right path brings us into the village proper. It is strange to see habitation as the villagers gather around us!
Huru (3,000 m 9,840 ft.): Camp, trek. This takes about 5 hours of walking on a jeep road. The road is marked with a few broken bridges and landslides that have resulted in jeeps not coming to the Hispar Village. Our campsite is high above the noisy Hispar River in a tree-shaded spot. There is also a cold pool nearby. Here are epic trek ends.
Karimabad (2,440 m 8,000 ft): Hotel, jeep. Our jeeps will transport us back to Karimabad, Hunza. The first sight of this lush green valley surrounded by massive white peaks will remain an imprint on our minds for a long time.
Gilgit (1,500 m 4,900 ft): Hotel, drive. We drive to Gilgit in about three hours and have ample opportunity to visit the Central Asian bazaars and do some sightseeing.
Rawalpindi/Islamabad: Hotel, flight, and trek debriefing. Here we go again and find ourselves looking forward to being on this world-famous flight. One can never get enough of the sight of Nanga Parbat, which is so huge that the plane takes about ten minutes to cross its northern face!
Note: On day 21, if the flight does not operate due to the weather, we will return to Rawalpindi/Islamabad by road on the KKH. This will be a long day, and we will arrive back in Rawalpindi/Islamabad sometimes during the late evening or night of the same day. On the other hand, the flight takes under 2 hours. We have three rest days in the above itinerary. We believe that they are necessary, keeping in view the nature of the trek. These days will also help us get back on schedule in case of bad weather and other route and health problems not in our control.
This is a tentative itinerary. For the enjoyment of your trip, a ‘go with the flow’ attitude is necessary. Many factors will influence your trip, such as weather conditions, health, route conditions, etc. Please do not take this itinerary very seriously!
- SERVICES INCLUDED
- All Airport pick and drop
- One-way fare between––Skardu – Islamabad.
- Transportation briefing, debriefing, and sightseeing.
- Transportation between Islamabad – chilas – Skardu -Askoli–Hushe- Fairy meadow.
- Three nights’ Accommodation, the twin bedroom in Islamabad (bed & breakfast)
- One night in Chilas Hotel with full board.Two nights in Fairy meadow with the entire board.
- Two nights in fairy meadow hut with full board.
- Two nights in Tarnishing with full board.
- Three nights in Skardu with full board.
- Local staff Wages, insurance, food, and equipment.
- Low porters to carry trekking foods, member personal to all mentioned places.
- Way up 25kg each trekking members.
- Way down 25kg each trekking members.
- All trekking and base camp foods.
- Comfortable members tent, Mess tent, Kitchen tent, toilet tent, table, chairs & kitchen utensils.
- Assistance for Reconfirmation of international flight tickets.
- All Camping fees, road taxes & bridge crossing fees.
- Low Porters equipment.
- Documentation fee
- Trekking permit fee
- SERVICES NOT INCLUDED
- Member international flight tickets
- Helicopter emergency rescue fees (refundable after deduction of U$D 500/- if not use, it is now US$15000/-
- Members any climbing gears
- Member personal insurance
- Sleeping bag and all personal expenses such as telephone calls, fax, email charges, liquor or soft drinks,
- Room service, gratuities for personal services, items of a purely personal nature
- Custom clearing charges (import and export of equipment)
- Any unforeseen expenses (just like road block extra hotel stay or if members stay more days at Base Camp), then members will be payable according to the numbers of days basses.
- Trekking members will come together. If any/some member split during the period, then their extra expenses will be charged according to the average price