Naltar – Ishkoman Trek

Following is the description of  Naltar over Naltar Pass to Ishkoman Trek. Source is the book ‘Pakistan Trekking guide’ by Isobel Shaw:

Best Time: Mid July to September
Duration: 5 days
Difficulty Level: Strenuous
Max height:  4600m

Naltar is a two hours jeep ride from Gilgit (42km) via Nomal. Alternate is to go by public bus to Nomal and then hike for about six hours (not recommended). After this the trekking can start:

Stage1 – Naltar to Naltar Lakes About 12 km (4 hours to walk). Can be done in one hour by jeep. The book recommends walking through the thick pine forest. After nine kilometer and crossing the bridge comes Bangla a summer settlement. After that you pass through more forest and reach the first of the Naltar Lakes. There are a total of four lakes around and Isobel Shaw says that you can do fishing there.

Stage2 – Naltar Lake to Lower Shani Four to five hours. Along the way is a summer gujar settlement Gupa. The advice is to have a shepherd or local show you the way as the path may not be clear at some points. Camp at Lower Shani
(which is a summer camp for shepherd). There are 3, 4 peaks of 5800m or so around.

Stage3 – Lower Shani to Naltar base camp Four to five hours. The path goes along the edge of Shani glacier to upper Shani which is a pasture. Then passing through knee deep flowers you reach a Plateau at 4100m where you can camp.

Stage4 – Across Naltar Pass to Kruibokht Six hours. Two hours climb up stones and snow to the flat top of the pass. Views of Shispar peak at a distance. The first hour on the other side of the Naltar pass is across crevassed snow fields. Next is a difficult two hours walk along the crest of the lateral moraine of Pakhora glacier.  Camp at the green pasture along the stream.

Stage5 – Kruibokht to Phakora Six hours. The path is above the river first through pastures and then through thick forest. Passing through settlements you finally come to the Utz village. It is a hot three to four hours before you reach Phakora.  Pakhora is a small village with some shops. Jeeps leave from here for Gilgit.

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