Trekking season 2016 is already in full swing. As Ramadan came in June this year, people had planned their main treks to be done right after it. There had been smaller treks executed before Ramadan for example us exploring Jahaz Banda and Trich Mir base, Mazhar Farid and group doing Kandia valley trek in Kohistan and Babar Naeem doing the Dadreli pass along with many groups doing few-day treks in Swat, Kaghan and Kashmir etc. However, the main trekking expeditions were scheduled to be executed post Eid. Groups have therefore started leaving now for their respective exciting destinations all over North. This year is going to witness some interesting trekking in Pakistan. I thought to compile and share some of the noteworthy expeditions for this year based on my knowledge.
Nayyer Qasim continued with his tradition of going for solo major expeditions without any other group members. When he first did it for Lupkela, I assumed he didn’t get a partner. Now that he is doing it for the third time including Sim La he did couple of years back, I can pretty much say this is his habit 🙂 Skam La is one of the passes around Snow Lake. This 5400m high pass connects Baltoro with Biafo glacier. Nayyer climber from Jhula on Baltoro side and has successfully descended to the Biafo side. He remained struck at Snow Lake for three days because of snow blizzards but was able to continue his journey a couple of days ago and he should be around Biantha now. This is specially a remarkable achievement considering he had helped her mother with the liver transplant last year by donating part of his liver.
Lupke La Traverse
Lupke La traverse is going to be the major highlight for this trekking year. After cancelling last year’s attempt, Omar Javaid finally managed to gather the group this time and has reached Shimshal. They would have started the trek yesterday. This is a long challenging traverse of three weeks. All eyes are set on them and praying for their safe and successful journey. Group includes Mazhar Farid, Dr. Zia, Muhammad Ahmed etc – some of very passionate trekkers. It’s definitely going to be a life-time experience for them.
Snow Lake – Biafo Hispar
A record number of groups are attempting Biafo Hispar this year. The trek which used to be a very rare happening in the past is now getting very popular among the trekkers. There are however unconfirmed reports of some un-crossable crevasses formed this year with a glacial lake on the Hispar side of pass that is making the traverse difficult. I have heard that a group has returned to Skardu without crossing it – this news however needs to get confirmed. I hope there is some alternative to this situation and groups are able to cross Hispar without issues.
As I mentioned in one of my previous posts here, this year our group be attempting 5335m high Chillinji Pass. Chilinji pass had remained closed for 7/8 years because of security situation. Last year however, a couple of groups were allowed to cross it and so it has got re-opened again. We are going to start this trek from Chapursan valley and will end at from Karomber-Broghil side making it a 10 days trekking trip in total.
Naltar + Hayal Pass
Asif Saeed with few of his friends is going to do Naltar-Pakora Pass. They plan to combine this trek with a relatively unknown pass Hayal Pass (4700m) that will take them to Chatorkand. This is going to be an interesting and challenging traverse and if done successfully will invite more trekkers to follow the route in coming years.
Imran Mufti from Lahore along with his friends will be crossing the 5340m high Mazeno Pass South of Nanga Parbat that connects Astore to Chilas. This pass is probably going to be attempted after a gap of few years, specially after the unfortunate Chilas incident.
Wondering where is the famous K-2 Base-camp and Ghondogoro passes in the list? Well, no offence to all those hundreds of trekkers attempting it this year but it has become such a common trek that it doesn’t seem interesting enough to mention here. And yes, let me confess I have not been to this trek and don’t have any plan to do it in near future as it doesn’t have that feeling of remoteness attached to it anymore. Nevertheless I wish success for all the trekkers who are going to attempt it this year 🙂
As I have mentioned in the start, this is by no means any exhaustive list. If you happen to do some interesting high altitude trek or know someone attempting something, please share so that I can update the post accordingly. Please note that this is only a list of treks being done not the mountaineering expeditions that is pretty much a different domain.