For anyone who wants to have a first time taste of Himalayan trekking, we recommend the Rush Lake trek in the heart of the Hunza valley. During this trek you will cross glaciers, high meadows, lovely irrigated terraced fields and also have the spectacular view of the mighty Karakoram mountains from Rush Lake.
The trip begins in Islamabad from where we will proceed towards Hunza. The first sight of the towering Rakaposhi (7788 m.) takes one's breath away. The views get better and better as we approach Karimabad; the capital of this unbelievable beautiful valley. If there is Shangrila on earth, then this must be it!
Our short trek starts across the valley and the Hunza river at a place called Hoper. This is where the snout of the famous Barpu glacier meets another glacier called Bualter. Hunzakuts (people from Hunza) believe that glaciers are either male or female. Each glacier exudes its own gender qualities and when a male and female glacier meet they give birth to a baby glacier!
After four or five days of trekking we will reach the beautiful Rush Lake. We will have ample opportunity to rest in this awe inspiring place and to take in the fantastic mountain panoramas. Our return to Karimabad is via another route down the Barpu Glacier. At Karimabad you will have time to do some shopping and sightseeing in a bazaar of an ancient mountain kingdom. From here you will drive back to Gilgit and onwards to Islamabad.
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, Gilgit (1,500 m 4,920 ft): Hotel, flight. One of the most thrilling mountain flight in the world. We will fly in a Fokker Friendship turboprop plane which seats about 40 people. The plane flies at an altitude of about 4,500 m. in the Indus valley. It is surrounded by high peaks including Nanga Parbat (8,125 m.). In Gilgit we have time to shop and do some sightseeing.
Day 3, Karimabad (2,440 m 8,000 ft): Hotel, drive. This is a 3 hour drive into the heart of the Hunza valley. Rakaposhi (7,788 m.) towers above the KKH. Hunza valley is a Shangri-La!
Day 4, Hoper (2,800 m 9,180 ft): Camp, jeep. Today we will drive across the Hunza River to enter the mountain kingdom of Nagar. The drive takes about 2 hours and we set up camp in Hoper village. We have ample time to discover this unique village next to the Bualter Glacier.
Day 5, Shishking (3,000 m 9,840 ft): Camp, trek. After crossing the Bualter Glacier, which can take anywhere between 1 to 4 hours depending upon the route, we arrive at our campsite right smack in between the Bualter and the Barpu Glaciers.
Day 6, Brichkoor (3,300 m 10,820 ft): Camp, trek. In about 5 hours we will reach Brichkoor camp site. Crossing the Barpu Glacier is easier than the Bualter and the walking is basically done in an ablation valley of the Barpu. During this part of the walk we have beautiful views of Ultar, Diran and Spantik peaks.
Day 7, Guttons (4,300 m 14,100 ft): Camp, trek. This is a steep relentless tough climb. It takes about 6 hours to get to the camp site. The views of the peaks above the Hispar Glacier are outstanding.
Day 8, Rush Lake (4,700 m 15,400 ft): Camp, trek. In about 2 hours of walking we will arrive at one of the most beautiful place in the Hunza valley having awesome views of the Karakoram. If we climb a nearby hilltop, we can see K2 along with the other high peaks of the Karakoram from there.
Day 9, Phay Phary (3,500 m 11,480 ft): Camp, trek. An epic descent day! We will come down about 1,200 m. in 4 hours or so. The descent is on some talus and grassy slopes.
Day 10, Miar (3,300 m 10,820 ft): Camp, trek. Today we will cross the junction of Sumayar Bar Glacier and the Miar Glacier. The walk will take us about 2 to 3 hours through the glacial maze.
Day 11, Hapakund (3,100 m 10,160 ft): Camp, trek. Now we walk on the other side of the Barpu Glacier as compared to when we were going up to Rush Lake. The walking is not that hard and takes about 2 hours.
Day 12, Hoper (2,800 m 9,180 ft): Camp, trek. In about 4 hours we return to Hoper village after crossing the difficult Bualter Glacier.
Day 13, Karimabad (2,440 m 8,000): Hotel, jeep. We drive back to Karimabad and settle in our comfortable and cozy hotel.
Day 14, Karimabad (2,440 m 8,000 ft): Hotel, rest. Shop, visit ancient forts, do some sightseeing or just sit and relax and sip tea in the garden of your hotel while looking endlessly at Rakaposhi and Ultar peaks!
Day 15, Gilgit (1,500 m 4,920 ft): Hotel, drive. We return to Gilgit and have ample opportunity to visit the Central Asian bazaars and do some sightseeing here also.
Day 16, Rawalpindi/Islamabad: Hotel, flight and trek debriefing. Here we go again and find ourselves looking forward to being on this world famous flight. One can never get enough of the sight of Nanga Parbat which is so huge that the plane takes about ten minutes to cross its northern face!
Note: On day 16, if the weather is bad and flights are canceled then we will leave Gilgit by road on KKH to return to Rawalpindi/Islamabad. This will be a long day and we will arrive back in Rawalpindi/Islamabad sometimes during late evening of the same day. On the other hand the flight takes under 2 hours.
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!