January 2012 - Travel Pakistan

Kel Valley Azad Jammu Kashmir

Hunza Valley in Autumn

K-2 Siren of the Himalayas

Malam Jabba Swat Valley

Shangrilla Resort Skardu

Kohe Safed FATA

Passu Cones Gilgit-Baltistan

Jan 26, 2012

K-2 the second highest peak in the world Pakistan

K-2 (8,611m) is the second highest peak in the world and it is located in the District Skardu of Gilgit-Baltistan in northern Pakistan. The peak is exactly on the border of China and Pakistan dividing the two countries, its north face is in China and south face in Pakistan. 
Interestingly almost every person is aware of the word K-2 and everyone is aware that this is a giant mountain but there are many other things about K-2 which worth reading but people are not aware of. In the remote Karakoram mountain ranges, this towering mountain had been hidden from the outer world, even from the indigenous people, until early 1900 due to its remoteness. 

Who named the K-2 mountain? 

This is the fact that due to its remoteness even the locals were not aware of the mountain and it didn't have any local name, the reason it was named K-2, means the second highest peak in Karakoram range. The first person who explored the peak was the Godwin-Austin, an English surveyor, that is why the mountain used to be known as Mount Godwin-Austin before it was named as K-2.  
K-2 was named by another British surveyor, Thomas Geroge Montgomerie, who was surveying the mountains of Himalaya and Karakoram during the Great Trigonometric Survey of British India. As mentioned above it was very difficult to reach the remote area where K-2 is located therefore the surveyor sketched the two towering mountains in the Karakoram range from a mountain in the Himalayan range, Mount Haramukh presently located in the region of Indian Occupied Kashmir, some 210 km south of the K-2. 
As the surveyor was observing the sight of the K-2 some 210 kilometers away from its base, he labeled the two soaring mountains as K-1 and K-2, means the first and second highest peaks in the Karakoram range. Later it turned out that actually the K-2 was the highest peak of the Karakoram range and K-1 was actually the 8th highest peak in the Karakoram range.

How to reach there? 

Well, when you read the name of K-2 the first thing you would think will be that how could I reach there, I am not a mountain climber. Even if you are not an experienced climber, having the sight of K-2 from its base camp would be a proud moment for you. Nowadays not only experienced climbers but the amateur mountaineering enthusiasts are also visiting the areas of K-2 base camp to have a sight of the giant mountain. 
Reaching there in the vicinity of K-2 is somehow difficult and it needs determination and passion. If you are not a Pakistani, first you need to reach Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. From Islamabad, there would be a daily flight to Skardu, the major town in the region. It takes about an hour to reach Skardu from Islamabad. From Skardu the real expedition starts. 


Jan 23, 2012

Nanga Parbat (Naked Mountain) Gilgit-Baltistan Pakistan

Nanga Parbat (literally, Naked Mountain),  is the ninth highest mountain in the world and the western anchor of the Himalayas. Located in Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan, Nanga Parbat is one of the eight-thousanders, with a summit elevation of 8,126 meters (26,660 ft). An immense, dramatic peak rising far above its surrounding terrain, Nanga Parbat has not only proved difficult to climb, but also has a notable incidence of tragedy associated with its climbing.

Nanga Parbat forms the western anchor of the Himalayan Range and is the westernmost eight-thousander. It lies just south of the Indus River in the Astore District of Gilgit–Baltistan in Pakistan. Not far to the north is the western end of the Karakoram range.

Base Camp Altitude:4300m
Ideal Duration:50 Days
Best Time:May - July
No of Camps Required:04
The Himalayas are a great mountain range formed by the collision of Indo- Pakistan tectonic plate with the Asian Continent. The central Himalayan mountains are situated in Nepal, while the eastern mountains extend to the borders of Bhutan and Sikkim.

Nanga Parbat massif is the western corner pillar of the Himalayas. It is an isolated range of peaks just springing up from nothing and is surrounded by the rivers Indus and Astore. Nanga Parbat or "Nanga Parvata" means the naked mountain. Its original and appropriate name, however, is Diamir the king of the mountains.

Nanga Parbat (main peak) has a height of 8,126m/26,660 ft. It has three vast faces. The Rakhiot (Ra Kot) face is dominated by the north and south silver crags and silver plateau; the Diamir face is rocky in the beginning. It converts itself into ice fields around Nanga Parbat peak. The Rupal face is the highest precipice in the world. Reinhold Messner, a living legend in mountaineering from Italy, says that "everyone who has ever stood at the foot of this face (4,500m/14,764ft) up above the 'Tap Alpe', studied it or flown over it, could not help but have been amazed by its sheer size; it has become known as the highest rock and ice wall in the world!".

Nanga Parbat has always been associated with tragedies and tribulations until it was climbed in 1953. A lot of mountaineers have perished on Nanga Parbat since 1895. Even today it is claiming a heavy toll of human lives for, the mountaineers, in search of adventure and thrill, are becoming its victims in pursuit of their eagerness to find new and absolutely unclimbed routes leading to its summit.

It was in 1841 that a huge rockslide from the Nanga Parbat dammed the Indus river. This created a huge lake, 55 km long, like the present Tarbela lake downstream. The flood of water that was released when the dam broke caused a rise of 80 ft in the river's 3 level at Attock and swept away an entire Sikh army. It was also in the middle of the nineteenth century that similar catastrophes were later caused by the damming of Hunza and Shyok rivers.

The Nanga Parbat peak was discovered in the nineteenth century by Europeans. The Schlagintweit brothers, who hailed from Munich (Germany) came in 1854 to the Himalayas and drew a panoramic view which is the first known picture of Nanga Parbat. In 1857 one of them was murdered in Kashgar. The curse of Nanga Parbat had begun.