Pakistan Northern Areas

Rash Peak charlie
Taking in the views from a viewpoint near Rash Lake, embedded in the Karakoram mountains a good two days hike from the main Karakoram highway.



Rash lake

Shores of alpine Rash lake.

Rash peak view east

The view eastward from 5098m high Rash Phari (peak) along the Hispar glacial valley.  The high peak toward the left in the distance, poking out above the clouds, is likely to be K2, second highest peak after Everest.  The panoramic view from atop Rash Phari has to be one of the most spectacular, easily accessible viewpoints in all of the Himalayan mountain ranges.



Chapurson valley

An estuary of glacial streams flowing out of mountains in the Chapurson valley, a remote corner of northwest Pakistan across the Hindu Kush from the Wakhan corridor of Afghanistan.  The first road through the valley was only constructed in the 1980s during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the first electricity in the 1990s, and the first computer in 2003.  You can't buy Coca-Cola anywhere in this valley even if you wanted to.


Sost dry port

The Chapurson river flows into Sost, the northernmost town in Pakistan, and the immigration checkpoint before the Karakoram Highway continues through the Khunjerab pass and the High Road to China.  At the dry port in Sost, cargo is loaded from giant Chinese cargo trucks onto colourful smaller trucks capable of driving through crappy mountain roads, and destined for all corners of Pakistan.

Back to the mountains.  The jagged peaks around the village of Passu are some of the most breathtaking in the world.

Passu bridge

For some, the hiking highlight in Pakistan is the two suspension bridges walk from Passu.  That river below is flowing at high speed and because you're forced to look down to see the next step, the bridge gives the illusion of swaying.  Definitely a vertigo-tester.  On the far side, there is no food available to buy, but we were lucky enough to do this during apricot harvest season and so we pigged out on wild apricots for lunch.

One of the possible walks from the backpacker paradise of Karimabad is up to the Duikar viewpoint, also known as the Eagle's nest, which passes these agricultural terraces.

To Pakistan from the Grand Trunk Road