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Nanga Parbat / Mazeno Pass Trek

Altitude: 5399m 17,710ft max / Season: June-Sep / 23 Days
Nanga Parbat Pakistan Child

Himalaya Map

Pakistan Itinerary

Harligkoffer Base Camp
Mazeno Base Camp
  Mazeno High Camp
  Mazeno Pass
  Laibh Meadows
  Zangot Rest
  Gutum Sagar
  Jalipur High Camp
  Fairy Meadows

Nanga Parbat (8125 m.) is the western most bastion of the Himalayas. One has to travel completely around the globe to come back to the Himalayas to see such high peaks on our planet. The word 'Nanga' means naked and 'Parbat' is mountain.

This immense massif made a never-to-be-forgotten childhood impression on us. Masood saw this peak rising into the heavens when he was only five years old! It is a sight that is as vivid as it was then; 35 years ago.

Nanga Parbat is also a killer mountain. Many climbers died on it before it was summited by the great Hermann Buhl without supplemental oxygen in 1953. His epic climb is still unsurpassed. We are honored to say that it was at our uncle's clinic in Lahore where Hermann Buhl came to recuperate and was treated for his death-like state.

Nanga Parbat is also located where the continents have collided. Here the Indian plate is going under the Asian plate at a rate of about few inches a year. Consequently, Nanga Parbat is still rising. In fact it is the fastest rising mountain in the world!

This is a land of superlatives. The view of Nanga Parbat from the Indus River is one of the most awesome sights in the world. This largest land escarpment in the world consists of a rise of about 7000 m. from the base of the mountain to its summit. On the other side of Nanga we have the famous Rupal Face; the tallest wall in the world with a sheer 4500 m. cliff!

The journey traditionally called: 'Around Nanga Parbat' actually goes halfway around the mountain. It offers us stupendous sights of this Himalayan giant. The crossing of Mazeno Pass (5,399 m.) is a technical endeavor where ropes are fixed on steep pitches. The trip is for anyone who wants to get close to this legendary mountain and feel its presence deep down in one's soul! This is a challenging trek in Pakistan's Himalaya.

Detailed Itinerary - Nanga Parbat Mazeno Pass Trek

Day 1, Rawalpindi/Islamabad

Hotel, trek briefing. We will have ample time for sightseeing and shopping in colorful old bazaars of Rawalpindi and new markets of Islamabad. We may also drive to the huge modern Faisal Mosque in Islamabad.

Day 2, Besham

Hotel, drive. We will drive on the famous KKH to Besham through Taxila and Abottabad. Time permitting we will stop at the famous Gandharan archeological sites in Taxila. We will drive up the lush green foothills of the Himalayas and cross the mighty Indus near Besham. It will take about 6 to 8 hours to drive to Besham.

Day 3, Gilgit (1,500 m 4,920 ft)

Hotel, drive. It takes about six to eight hours to drive from Besham to Gilgit. The drive through the Indus Gorge is guaranteed to knock your socks off! The view after crossing the Rakhiot Bridge of Nanga Parbat is without any parallel. Standing at around 1,000 m. you see a mountain which rises to above 8,000 m.! This is the largest land escarpment in the world. This is also where the  three greatest mountain ranges meet; Himalaya, Hindukush and Karakoram.  We will have time to shop in the Central Asian bazaars of Gilgit.

Day 4, Astore (2,350 m 7,700 ft)

Camp, jeep drive. We will backtrack our route from Gilgit and take a left hand turn on the KKH near Jaglot to enter the Astore valley. It takes about 6 to 8 hours to get to Astore town. We will camp in Astore.   

Day 5, Tarashing (2,900 m 9,500 ft)

Camp, jeep drive. After about 3 to 4 hours of rough jeep driving we reach the village of Tarashing in the Rupal valley. Here we send our jeeps back to Gilgit. The Rupal valley is a beautiful forested valley with many pine trees.

Day 6, Rupal (3,200 m 10,500 ft)

Camp, trek. The trek begins. We walk through lush and gentle fields and cross the snout of the Tarashing Glacier. The walk only takes about 2 to 3 hours. If we feel fit, we can go to the next camp (Herligkoffer Base Camp) or just relax at Rupal.

Day 7, Herligkoffer Base Camp (3,600 m 11,800 ft)

Camp, trek. Another 2 to 3 hours of walking brings us to this beautiful meadow campsite.  Our camp is located near some springs and at the edge of the Bazhin Glacier. We start seeing views of Rakhiot Peak and Chongra Peaks of the Nanga Parbat massif.

Day 8, Latobah (3,650 m 11,970 ft)

Camp, trek. In about 2 to 3 hours of walking we will reach this famous campsite right under the largest wall in the world; the Rupal face of Nanga Parbat. The wall rises about 5,000 m. to the summit of this great mountain. On the way we cross the Bazhin Glacier. 

Day 9, Shaigiri (3,700 m 12,140 ft)

Camp, trek. This takes about 4 to 5 hours of trekking. On the way will cross the snout of the Shaigiri Glacier. From Shaigiri we will also have awesome views of the Rupal face of Nanga.

Day 10, Mazeno Base Camp (4,000 m 13,120 ft)

Camp, trek. After crossing mountain streams and leaving the woods and pastures behind we enter the high meadows of the Mazeno valley. This takes about 3 to 5 hours of walking. Here we have outstanding views of Mazeno peaks.

Day 11, Mazeno High Camp (4,700 m 15,400 ft)

Camp, trek. This is a tiring day. It takes about 5 to 7 hours of steep hiking up the hill and the camp is located near the Mazeno Glacier.

Day 12, Laibh Meadows (4,200 m 13,780 ft)

Camp, trek. A tough day! This is the apex of the walk. We will ascend Mazeno Pass (5,399 m.) and descend very steeply on the other side. The ascent is easier than the descent. Ropes will be fixed on the descent on 35% plus slopes. As always, we will be assisted by the staff. This will take about 8 plus hours.

Day 13, Zangot (2,700 m 8,850 ft)

Camp, trek. This takes about 6 hours of walking. We enter a land inhabited by people and walk through pastures. The day is long and involves an exhaustingly steep descent. However, it is not technical as the descent from the Mazeno Pass.  

Day 14, Zangot Rest (2,700 m 8,850 ft)

Camp. Here we enjoy the much needed rest!

Day 15, Kutagali (3,000 m 9,840 ft)

Camp, trek. This takes about 4 to 5 hours and we walk along paths used by herders to reach their summer settlements.

Day 16, Shaichi (2,900 m 9,500 ft)

Camp, trek. In about 6 hours and after crossing the non-technical Karu Sagar Pass (4,900 m.), we reach another summer settlement called Shaichi. The Diamir face of Nanga overwhelms us continuously.

Day 17, Gutum Sagar (3,500 m 11,480 ft)

Camp, trek. We are now walking through forest and summer pastures. We will cross some streams on this leg of the trip. This takes 6 hours plus of walking.

Day 18, Jalipur High Camp (4,300 m 14,100 ft)

Camp, trek. We have an ascending walk for about 6 hours and have good views of Jalipur Peaks.

Day 19, Beyal (3,400 m 11,150 ft)

Camp, trek. Today we will cross the non-technical Khutsu Pass (4,840 m.). From the top of the pass Nanga is seen once again. The steep ascent to the pass takes about 3 hours and the descent to Beyal is done in about 5 hours. At Beyal we camp next to the Rakhiot Glacier.

Day 20, Fairy Meadows (3,200 m 10,500 ft)

Camp, trek. Congratulations! We have circumnavigated the great Nanga Parbat. This is an easy 2 hour walk through pine forest and incredible views. The sight of the north face of Nanga will never leave you!

Day 21, Chilas (1,000 m 3,280 ft)

Hotel, jeep. Our jeeps will be ready to take us from the end of the road near Fairy Meadows. It is about 2 to 3 hours of driving down into the Indus gorge towards Chilas.

Day 22,  Rawalpindi/Islamabad

Hotel, about 8 hour drive on KKH, trek debriefing.

Day 23,  Rawalpindi/Islamabad

Extra ‘cushion’ day!

Note: Day 23 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.

This is a tentative itinerary.  For the enjoyment of your trip a ‘go with the flow’ attitude is necessary.  Many factors will influence your trip, such as weather conditions, health, route conditions, etc.  Please do not take this itinerary very seriously!

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