I was in Skardu for a very short two days trip at the start of this month. I could not update the blog with the trip report and pictures. Here is the belated post about it.
There were two objectives of this trip. One was to gather some information and do some preparations for our planned summer expedition for the year 2011. This year we have planned to do Biafo Hispar and snow lake in the month of July Inshallah. Other objective was to get some used and new trekking gear that would be reliable and much cheaper than the stuff generally available in Islamabad or Lahore.
I did not want to take the risk of Skardu flight and wanted to save some bucks too so decided to go through NATCO. It has a daily bus service from Rawalpindi that leaves at 4 PM and has a fare of Rs. 1900. The bus took 26 long hours to reach Skardu. Initially I had the plan to come back via bus too but the flu that I had before leaving Islamabad got transformed into fever after that long journey and I decided to try my luck with PIA. Luckily, there was a seat available for Islamabad the next day. I had to pay Rs. 4650 as one way fare but have come to know that this has been increased now by PIA. What took 26 hours of the long and hectic journey became just a 45 minutes pleasant flight on the way back. It was indeed a lucky day where the weather was clear and visibility was awesome. On a clear day like this one, the flight between Skardu and Islamabad becomes a very fascinating one where one can get views of some of the highest peaks and valleys of the world in the great ranges of Karakorum and Himalaya. Moreover, as it was just the beginning of summer season, there was still a lot of snow on the higher grounds that made the whole journey indeed memorable. The plane also passes along the shoulder of Nanga Parbat (8126m), which is world’s 8th and Pakistan’s 2nd highest mountain that is also known as The Killer Mountain (see the second picture below).
I took some pictures during the air journey that I am sharing below.