If you are interested in seeing the mighty Karakorams from the north, then you must visit Shimshal. This last remnant of authentic Hunza culture exists near Pakistan’s Pamir east of the town of Passu in upper Hunza valley. Our walk begins at Dut, and we reach the remote village of Shimshal in about three days of trekking. At each step, we are amazed how a path has been carved in this deep and narrow ravine the way to Shimshal. Shimshal was located in such an out-of-the-way place because this is where the Mir (ruler) of Hunza used to send his people who were found guilty of crimes and those he did not like! Shimshal is now are a proud and hardy folk. Their hospitality is legendary, and the natural beauty that they inhabit makes us feel that perhaps the Mir sentenced them to heaven, not hell! Our trek now veers northwards from Shimshal, and we enter the lovely and remote Ghujerab valley. Here we cross the Boesam Pass and the Chapchingiol Pass to reach the trailhead at Kuksel. This is where we meet the KKH and our jeeps, which will transport us back to Hunza.
Shimshal’s trek to Kuksel takes us into a very remote area and gives us a chance to see some of the endangered wildlife in the Khunjerab National Park. If we are lucky, we may observe Markhor, Ibex, Marcopolo Sheep, and even the elusive magnificent Snow Leopard. This is an ideal high Pamir meadow country strewn with thousands of colorful flowers. This is a challenging trek, and ropes are provided for various river crossings and aid at other steep places.
Duration: 23 days
Camping Nights: 14 days
Hotel Nights: 08 days
Maximum Altitude: 2880 meters
Best Season: Late May to early October
Location: Karakoram Range
Day 1, 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.
Day 2, Gilgit (1,500 m 4,900 ft)
Hotel, flight. One of the most thrilling mountain flights in the world. We will fly in a Fokker Friendship turboprop plane, which seats about 40 people. The plane flies at an altitude of about 4,500 m. in the Indus valley. It is surrounded by high peaks, including Nanga Parbat (8,125 m.). In Gilgit, we have time to shop and do some sightseeing.
Day 3, Gulmit (2,400 m 7,870 ft)
This is a 5-hour drive into northern Hunza valley. Gulmit is a small town on the KKH. Rakaposhi (7,788 m.) towers above the KKH on the way. Hunza valley is a Shangri-La!
Day 4, Dut (2,600 m 8,530 ft)
Camp, jeep. From Gulmit, we drive to Pasu, and here we cross the Hunza river to enter the Shimshal River gorge. This is a formidable place with steep walls on both sides. Route permitting, we will try and drive to Dut. The trip from Gulmit takes about 3 to 4 hours of driving.
Day 5, Ziarat (2,600 m 8,530 ft)
Camp, trek. This is a tough day’s walk through some scree slopes. We are lucky that bridges have been built to help us cross the Shimshal River couple of times. The walk takes about 6 to 7 hours.
Day 6, Malunguti (2,800 m 9,200 ft)
Camp, trek. In 3 to 4 hours of walking, we will reach our campsite next to the Malunguti Glacier. We can go further, but this is an excellent spot to rest a little after walking through the Shimshal gorge. We will be crossing mountain streams on the way.
Day 7, Shimshal (2,900 m 9,500 ft)
Camp, trek. We have to cross the problematic Malunguti Glacier before seeing the beautiful terraced fields of Shimshal village. The walk takes about 3 to 4 hours, and on our right, we can see the towering Distaghil Sar.
Day 8, Shimshal (2,900 m 9,500 ft)
Camp, rest. Shimshal is the heart of the Gojal region of Hunza. Old Hunza traditions have been preserved here in this remote and inaccessible village. This is an excellent place to rest and meet with the incredibly hospitable locals.
Day 9, Zardgarben (3,800 m 12,460 ft)
Camp, trek. In about 5 to 6 hours of trekking uphill and crossing mountain streams and scree slopes, we will come to Zardgarben. This is an excellent place to acclimatize.
Day 10, Jaffar Wasshk (4,300 m 14,100 ft)
Camp, trek. This takes about 4 to 5 hours. If we are lucky, we will be able to see some Ibex on the way. This is a beautiful campsite with many flowers.
Day 11, Hindjerab (4,000 m 13,120 ft)
Camp, trek. Today we will cross the Boesam Pass (4,600 m.). The walk takes about 6 to 7 hours and goes through a spectacular glacier country. The pass is non-technical.
Day 12, Wierben (3,600 m 11,800 ft)
Camp, trek. We will follow the beautiful Boesam valley down to Wierben. Here we are at the high meadows where, during the summer, villagers bring their yaks to graze.
Day 13, Chapchingiol Valley (3,700 m 12,140 ft)
Camp, trek. After crossing the Ghujerab River on a ‘garari’ or with the help of ropes, we enter the arid Chapchingiol gorge. Here we have to travel and recross the river a few times. Strings will be provided by our staff to help us through this part of the trek. This may take 2 to 3 hours.
Day 14, Chapchingiol High Camp (4,000 m 13,120 ft)
Camp, trek. In another 2 hours or more, we will come to our high camp before crossing the nearly 5,000 m. Chapchingiol Pass.
Day 15, Kuksel Valley (4,600 m 15,100 ft)
Camp, trek. This is a long, tough day of about 8 hours. From Chapchingiol High Camp, we ascend over scree slopes to the top of the Chapchingiol Pass, which is always covered in snow and ice. The descent is tricky, and ropes are fixed. The staff is still ready to help and assist in any way. On the north side of the pass, we will find a suitable place to camp once off the glacier.
Day 16, Kuksel Springs (4,400 m 14,430 ft)
Camp, trek. In 3 hours or so, we reach the shepherd huts of Kuksel along the KKH. We walk along the Kuksel River.
Day 17, Gulmit (2,400 m 7,870 ft)
Hotel, jeep. The drive takes about 3 to 4 hours. It is a beautiful feeling to complete a challenging and very remote walk through the Shimshal region and the Khunjerab National Park, which is the home of many endangered species. We hope to be talking about seeing the magnificent wildlife for a long time to come.
Day 18, Karimabad (2,440 m 8,000 ft)
Hotel, jeep. A very short drive on the KKH brings us to the capital of Hunza. We will have time for shopping and sightseeing in this magical place.
Day 19, Gilgit (1,500 m 4,920 ft.)
Hotel, drive. We return to Gilgit and have ample opportunity to visit the Central Asian bazaars of Gilgit.
Day 20, Besham
Hotel, drive. In about 8 hours of driving on the KKH, we will arrive at Besham, located above the Indus River, to the local tribesmen.
Day 21, Rawalpindi/Islamabad
Hotel, drive, and trek debriefing. In another 8 hours of driving on the KKH, we arrive back in the twin cities.
Day 22, Rawalpindi/Islamabad
Extra ‘cushion’ day!
Note: Day 22
will be used as a ‘cushion’ day in case of delays in travel due to weather, route change, health, acclimatization issues during the trek, etc.
- 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 types of 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 types 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