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Great Karakoram Ski Traverse

The combination of 126 km long corridor of Biafo and Hispar glaciers in mighty Karakoram makes the longest glacial system outside the polar region. The valleys of Nagar / Hunza and Baltistan open up on either end of the glaciers. Both of glacier meet at the 5155 met high Hispar Pass. The giant snow field of Hispar glacier before the Hispar Pass is known as Snow Lake. In ancient times this route was frequently used to connect the Silk Route with the part of Indian continent. Crossing this route on skis is a life time experience to have traversed this famous glacial route.

The normal trekking itinerary would always start from Baltistan region starting form the last village of Askoli but for our ski program, we start our trek from Nagar valley. This is what the past ski teams have been doing and found appropriate.

  • Day 01: Islamabad
  • Day 02: Chilas
  • Day 03: Karimabad
  • Day 04: Hispar Village
    Today we leave our bus and ride jeeps to Hispar village (3100 M), the last remote village in Nagar on the opposite side of Hunza valley. The jeeps take around 4 hours to get the last village where we will camp for the night and prepare our stuff and arrange porters for the next day which will be our first trekking day. The jeep trails is not paved and we have to cross a few suspension bridges over the Hispar River.
  • Day 05: Today is our first trekking day.Short after the Hispar village; we have to cross a foot fridge over the Hispar glacier which is just coming out of the snout of the Hispar Glacier. We keep our way to the extreme left of the morain. Bitenmal is a summer settlement where we can find shepherd huts. The trek from Hispar village to Bitenmal campsite takes about 8 hrs which includes the crossing of Jutmal Glacier. The glacier crossing can be strenuous due to the rock falling as the sun shines and the snow on the morain melts.
  • Day 06: Today we continue another long trek to Shiqambaris, a camping site and summer settlement but not as ideal as Bitenmal. This campsite is high above the glacier morain. The night can be pretty cold here due to the glacier breeze as we will be facing the length of the glacier.
    Overnight in tents.
  • Day 07: Today we start early in the morning. After 30 minutes we get on the glacier and another 2 to 3 hours walk depending upon the snow condition, we will reach the point where we can start with our skis. Set up your luggage and say good bye to the porters and guide. The porters and guide will return from that point and the team will continue to Hispar pass.
  • Day 08-12: Skiing on Hispar Snow Lake until you cross the pass and meet Biafo glacier and continue to get down to Biantha. You must communicate with your guide so that he can arrange to send the porters to pick you. This is possible as you may be having a satellite phone. The porters will meet you at Biantha or depending upon the snow condition again you can fix the point to meet up with the porters.
  • Day 14: Biantha
    The porters will ready at Biantha to pick you up. Meet the porters and trek down to Namla
  • Day 15: Trek to Namla
  • Day 16: Trek to Askoli
  • Day 17: Jeep to Skardu

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