Naltar Ishkoman Trek

Highlights

  • This trek is designed you to provide a great view of the whole Hindukush range and its mountains by trekking up to Naltar- Ishkoman pass which is a lush green pass. Naltar is very famous in terms of its greenery and skiing opportunity in winter. Each winter there arranges a competition of skiing

Naltar Pass Trek 4600m: This trek is designed you to provide a great view of the whole Hindukush range and its mountains by trekking up to Naltar- Ishkoman pass which is a lush green pass. Naltar is very famous in terms of its greenery and skiing opportunity in winter. Each winter there arranges a competition of skiing

Hidden in the mountains a dramatic, barren gorge 19 km long is the surprisingly green and lush valley of Naltar. Some climatic quirk gives Naltar about 410mm of rainfall per year, more than three times that of Gilgit and the valley is heavily wooded with pine, spruce, birch, rowan, and juniper.

Asumbar: Asumbar Hoghost, a non-glaciated east-west pass, links Asumbar village in Ishkoman with Dal Sandhi in Yasin. The pass is occasionally called the Ishkoman Pass (not to be confused with the Punji Pass, which is also sometimes called Ishkoman Pass). Asumbar Haghost is one of the easiest passes to cross anywhere in the Karakoram and Hindukush. The trek is also one of the most linguistically diverse. Along the trail, Shina, Khowar, Wakhi, and Burushaski are spoken, not to mention Urdu.

The trek involves walking through flowery meadows, lakes and spectacular greenery. The route also passes through a lush forest of cedar, pine and birch. It therefore offers something more diverse in terms of landscape and has more than the usual share of scenic beauty without being too physically demanding. An excellent option of beginners as well as experienced trekker.

Apart from soothing landscapes, Hindukush ranges of mountains offer the best opportunity to trek across many untamed passes from one valley to another, where we follow some of the ancient paths left by locals before the invention of modern means of transportation and are still used by shepherds of Ghizer valleys. The Punji pass trek is one of the ancient routes barely known to tourists and less traveled area, connecting Ishkoman village to Darkot village – Yasin, Ghizer region, Gilgit –Baltistan Pakistan. The pass is named after a distinctive cairn (Punji in Burushaski) 2.25 km west of, and 350 m. below, the pass, marking the highest possible campsite on the west side of the pass. The pass is also called Ishkoman Haghost by Darkot villagers.

Overview Naltar- Ishkomen And Asumbar Pass Trek

Day-01: Arrive Islamabad airport and transfer to hotel  

Day-02: Drive to Chilas via Babusar Pass 4137m 12-14hrs

Day-03: Drive to Naltar Lake 200km. Overnight in tents   

Day-04:  Trek to Lower Shani 3-4hrs hours. Overnight in tents 

Day-05: Trek to Pakora High camp 2- 3 hours, 4.4km. Overnight in tents 

Day-06: Trek to Jut 6- 8 hours, 12.1km. Overnight in tents 

Day-07: Trek to Pakora 3-4 hrs 9.5km. Overnight in tents 

Day-08 Trek to Asumbar 3-4 hrs. Overnight in tents

Day-09: Trek to Lower Charinj 4- 6 hours. Overnight in tents 

Day-10:  Trek to Upper Borta Bort 3-4 hours. 8km. Overnight in tents 

Day-11: Trek to Mayur 5-6 hours, 10.6km. Overnight in tents 

Day-12: Trek to Sandhi 5- 6 hours, 17.7km. Overnight in tents 

Day-13:  Drive to Darkut 3-4 hrs. Overnight in tents

Day-14: Trek to Boimoshani 5- 6 hours. Overnight in tents 

Day-15: Trek to Holojut 5 hours, 8.9km. Overnight in tents 

Day-16: Trek to Galtir 8.5km 5-6 hours. Overnight in tents 

Day-17: Trek to Handis 4-5 hrs, 8.6 km. Overnight in tents 

Day-18: Drive to Gilgit 4-5 hrs. Overnight at hotel 

Day-19: Drive to Naran via Babusar pass. Overnight at hotel 

Day-20: Drive to Islamabad 5-6hrs. Overnight at hotel 

Day-21: Transfer to Islamabad airport for return flight 

Map and Itinerary for Naltar Ishkoman Trek

Day-01: Islamabad
Welcome at Islamabad airport, and transfer to hotel, after refreshment proceed for city tour of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, which includes famous Faisal Mosque, Shakar Parian, Pakistan monument, Damen Koh, Lok Versa, Museum, Rawalpindi old bazaar, Raja Bazaar.

Day-02: Islamabad- Chilas 
Drive to Naran 5/6 hrs (239.2 km) via Mansehra- Naran-Jalkhad. After lunch continue drive to Chilas 3-4 hrs (113.3 km) via Babusar Pass 4173m), arrive and transfer to hotel
Babusar Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 4.173 m (13,691 ft) above the sea level. The pass is the highest point in the Kaghan Valley, Pakistan. The pass connects the Kaghan Valley via the Thak Nala with Chilas on the Karakoram Highway. It’s one of the famous hair pinned roads in the world.

Day-03: Chilas- Gilgit- Naltar Lake
Drive to Gilgit 134km, after lunch continue drive from Gilgit to Naltar Lake 65km 2 hrs. Overnight in tents
Naltar Valley /Lake: This place is well known for its wildlife and glorious mountain landscapes, Trekking routes link with Ishkoman, Chalt and Punial valley. Transportation is accessible from Gilgit to Naltar but throughout a definite time after those personal arrangements. Now at Naltar Valley, you can enjoy with small lakes and glaciers, trout fishing in the lake and much more.

Day-04: Naltar Lake to Lower Shani
Trek to Lower Shani 3-4hours, 9.5km, 420m ascent. Overnight in tents
Skirt the Lake and in 15 minutes cross a footbridge to the Naltar Gah’s true left (east) bank. Over a low rise, two more lakes up the western side Valley come into view, and the river ahead braids out. Cross the broad area called Shing in 45 minutes, walking along the river bed and fording a huge side stream that tumbles from the east. Where the river narrows, the Gujar settlement of Gupa sits along the river’s true right (west) side. Footbridge above and below Gupa give access to the settlement, but the main trail stays on the true left (east) side.
After one hour, for a major side stream from the east, which leads to the glaciated Chaprot Pass between Snow Dome (5029m) and Mehrbani (5639m). The hanging glacier on the west side of the pass and even larger one on its east side prevent anyone from crossing this pass. Beyond the stream 15 minutes, high above the river, are huts at Lath and the first view of the Shani Glacier’s terminus.

Day-05: Lower Shani to Pakora High Camp
Trek to Pakora High camp 2- 3 hours, 4.4km, 540m ascent. Meals & overnight in tents
Rhubarb and junipers cover the hillside, and the trail continues past huts in 45 minutes, marking the start of Upper Shani. Go over a rise above these huts and descend immediately into the ablation valley. Just above where the river goes under the glacier, cross a footbridge. Do not continue traversing above the true left bank, because the river is too wide and deep to ford higher up. Walk 15 minutes along the river bed’s true right side, with the pink and orange rock of the Shani Glacier’s lateral moraine to your left, to the upper end of the flat alluvial ablation valley.

Day-06: Pakora High Camp to Jut/Uts
Trek to Jut 6- 8 hours, 12.1km, 480m ascent, 1320m descent. Meals & overnight in tents
Behind the high camp at side stream flows from the west, south of a large rock outcrop. An indistinct trail follows this stream up steep, loose rock one hour, passing a few cairns. The east side of the pass has several small snowfields and a large crevasse- free snowfield just below the top. Cross the snowfield in 30 minutes and reach the obvious Pakora Pass (4710m). North of the pass is Sentinel (5260m), a moderately difficult alpine climb.

The west side of the Pakora Pass is glaciated, but any crevasses are lower down. Descend across snowfield, working to the north (right) onto the obvious grey lateral moraine in 15 to 30 minutes. Follow a faint trail down the lateral moraine 30 minutes to its end, where it abuts the Pakora Glacier (gomukh in Shina). Cross the width of the icy glacier in 30 minutes, heading towards reddish rocks on its west margin.
To continue to Pakora, walk down the lateral moraine high above the Pakora Glacier’s south-west margin, which fills the upper valley. Continue two hours on a faint trail to Lal patthar (3690m), named in Urdu for the huge reddish boulder amid a few junipers. It’s called Krui Bokht in Khowar. The boulder provides shelter for porters and a few possible tent sites are nearby, but the sloping hillside and distant water make this an undesirable Camp.

Day-07: Jut- Pakora
Trek to Pakora 3-4 hrs 9.5km, 117m descent. Meals & overnight in tents
The descent from Jut to Pakora gets progressively steeper as the canyon narrow. From the pastures for end descend and cross the river on a good footbridge. The trail downhill says on the Pakora Gol,s true left side, contouring an Artemisia covered hillside on a wide donkey trail. It stays high above the raging river. Often on exposed galleries. The river falls into a deep gorge with waterfalls tumbling down both sides. Reach a side stream and a large, solitary willow in 2 hours. Cross a plank foot bridge to the true right bank in 30 minutes to reach the first cultivated fields of Pakora.

Day-08: Pakora- Asumbar 
Trek to Asumbar 3-4 hrs en route cross small towns of Asumbar village. Meals & overnight in tents

Day-09: Asumbar to Lower Charinj
Trek to Lower Charinj 4- 6 hours, 8.4km, 270m ascent. Meals & overnight in tents
The lower Asumbar Valley can be very hot and dry in summer; carry water and enjoy the shady places along the river. From Asumbar village (2910m), climb steadily up the Asumbar Nala’s true right (south) bank passing fields and in one hour reach the first of four footbridges. Cross to the true left bank and in 15 minutes cross the second footbridge, an enormous boulder, back to the true right bank. Climb steeply 45 minutes passing corn fields to salty streams from the south. A Gujar‘s house with a large willow sits across the stream. Continue 15 minutes and cross the third footbridge to the true left bank. Springs along the trail here provide the only clear water until Charinj.

Day-10: Lower Charinj to Upper Borta Bort
Trek to Upper Borta Bort 3- 4 hours. 8km, 810m ascent. Meals & overnight in tents
Continue through the dense stand of trees 15 minutes to the first of five side streams that flow in from the south. Ford this large stream and climb 30 minutes past a few huts high above the river to Upper Charinj. Continue past junipers and tall birches and pass above the tree line to reach Wakhikandeh, a year-round Wakhi settlement with three households. Just past the houses, cross a footbridge over the second side stream. This large side valley leads south across a 4500m ridge where two routes diverge: one route crosses the Asumbar An (4800m) to Darmodar Gah; and the other descends the Daeen Gol to Daeen village in the Iskhoman Valley, across the river from Chatorkhand. Although it’s longer for them, Daeen villagers prefer walking along the road to Asumbar village and then up the Asumbar Valley to Charinj rather than crossing this steep pass. A few Gujar huts are across this large side stream. Reach a third stream and more Gujar settlements in 30 minutes. The trail begins a steady climb, contouring up the rocky hillside past scrub junipers, to emerge after one hour in a pasture. This is Borta Bort, an area which gets its name from the huge boulder visible valley.

Day-11: Upper Borta Bort to Mayur
Trek to Mayur 5-6 hours, 10.6km, 570m ascent, 930m descent. Meals & overnight in tents
The trail Continues through the boulder field 45 minutes to a broad grassland called Jinali (polo ground in Khowar), a possible, although less desirable, high camp. Porters prefer staying in huts near Borta Bort. Ahead are two low points (passes) on either side of a hill. The route goes over the northern low point. The southern one is steep on the west side, passes close to an icefall, and cannot be crossed by donkeys. Cross Jinali, fording a silty side stream, and follow the river’s north (right) fork past springs 45 minutes to the base of the hill leading to the pass.
Ascend over grass one hour to the gentle flower- carpeted Asumbar Haghost (4560m). Rakaposhi and Diran (7257m) peaks to the east and the peaks of the high Hindu Kush to the west are visible.

Day-12:  Mayur to Dal Sandhi
Trek to Sandhi 5- 6 hours, 17.7km, 930m descent. Meals & overnight in tents
The main trail follows the Asumbar River’s true left bank, although another trail goes along its true bank through three areas cultivated by Burusho from Sandhi. In one hour, reach Gamas, a huge cultivated area bisected by a large side stream, high above the main river’s south bank. Below Gamas, cross a footbridge to the true right bank where the trail stays to Dal Sandhi. After 30 minutes reach the start of Haghost An. When villagers irrigated this land and brought it under cultivation, they changed its name from Chucho Ano Tok (in Khowar, chucho means ‘dry place’; ano, the ‘top of’) to Haghost An. Burusho, however, refers to it as Bay Haghost.

Day-13: Dal Sandhi- Darkot 
Drive to Darkut 3-4 hrs, Meals & overnight in tents 

Day-14 Darkot to Boimoshani
Trek to Boimoshani 5- 6 hours, 9.6km, 1200m ascent. Meals & overnight in tents
If you’re not previously acclimatized, cover the 1200m elevation gain from Darkot to Boimoshani in two days. Ascend from Darkot to Sawarey or Mardain (camp sites for large trekking parties are limited) the first day, and then to Boimoshani the next day. Climb the obvious trail that snakes its dusty way up the hillside east from Darkot (2760m). In 1½ hours reach Gartens (2880m) and then Gamelti (3139m). Cross Alam Bar and walk along the willow-lined path through Sawarey in 15 minutes reach the sturdy footbridge over the Gasho Gol. Reportedly a difficult, seldom- used two- day route goes up Gasho Gol and over a 5700m pass via the Chiantar Glacier to Shuwar Sheer in Broghil.
Continue through a cultivated area called Mardain 45 minutes. Pass the last trees and reach the confluence of the Nyu Bar (nyu means ‘big’) from the north-east and Hanisar Bar from the south. Local people refer to Nyu Bar as Tshili Harang, which is the name of the main summer settlement upriver. Beyond Tshili Harang lies Atar Pass (see Other Treks in Ghizar,). Pyramid- shaped Garmush (6243m) rises above the head of the Nyu Bar; the snowy peak with the distinctive glacier west of Garmush is unnamed. Farther west is the wide, flat, snowy pass between the Gasho Gol and Broghil.

Day-15: Boimoshani to Holojut
Trek to Holojut 5 hours, 8.9km, 720m ascent, 810m descent. Meals & overnight in tents
Follow the trail gradually up through thyme and wildflowers 45 minutes to a deep ravine. Cross the stream in the ravine, which is usually icy in the morning, and climbs 15 minutes to the highest possible camp site (4250m) where a 1m- high cairn, or punji stands. Cows share the grassy well-watered slopes with marmots. Porters need adequate gear to camp here. The views down valley are superb, especially the peaks and dramatic icefalls south of Darkot An above Rawat. South of Punji Pass raises the distinctive snowy Pyramid of Punji Peak (5800m).

Day-16: Holojut- Galtir
Trek to Galtir (summer settlements) 8.5km 5-6 hour. Meals & overnight in tents
Descend steeply for 15 minutes. Across the river, three dramatic icefalls meet. Traverse through scrub junipers and tall- stemmed weeds with berries called Laka. After 15 minutes, turn east, with the glaciers and a moraine lake below. Continue 30 minutes to a clear stream and a birch grove. Continue well above the river 15 minutes to Talas, a cluster of wigwam- style conical- roofed huts built of juniper branches. This is the highest of the many summer settlements of Shina- speaking people from Iskhoman village.

Day-17: Galtir to Handis
Trek to Handis 4-5 hrs, 8.6 km, 940m descent, overnight in tents
The trail climbs and stays high above the true left bank through juniper and artemisia covered hillside to Kai. Across the Baru Gah is the once- cultivated settlement of Phaiz. From Kai, continue high above the true left bank 45 minutes, then pass through boulders and juniper from where Handis, the first cultivated land in the valley, is 15 minutes ahead. Trails are along both sides of the Baru Gah between Handis and Ghotulti. If continuing to Ghotulti the same day, cross a footbridge over the Baru Gah above Handis and follow the trail along its true right bank two hours to Ghotulti to meet the road just south of the bridge. Otherwise cross the footbridge over theMathantir Gah, which flows from Atar Lake. Walk through Handis (2930m) 15 minutes to good camp sites in flat, grassy, shaded areas near a large, clear stream.

Day-18: Handis to Ghotulti-Gilgit
Drive to Gilgit 4-5 hrs, Meals & overnight at hotel

Day-19: Gilgit-Islamabad or Naran
Drive to Naran 234km, 5-6 hrs, overnight at hotel

Day-20: Naran to Islamabad 
Drive to Islamabad 5-6 hrs 29.28km en-route visit Taxila museum and historical sites
Taxila: Most of the archaeological sites of Taxila (600 BC to 500 AD) are located around Taxila museum. For over one thousand-year Taxila remained famous as a centre of learning Gandhara art of sculpture, architecture, education, and Buddhism in the days of Buddhist glory. There are over 50 archaeological sites scattered in a radius of 30 km around Taxila. In Taxila visit archaeological sites of Jaulian, MohraMoradu, and Sirkap. Later visit.
Taxila museum: A museum comprising various sections with rich archaeological finds of Taxila. It is one of the best and well-maintained site museums of Pakistan.

Day-21: Fly back
Transfer to Islamabad airport for international flight

Service details for Naltar Ishkoman Trek

What's Included

  1. Accommodation and Meals
    Accommodation will be provided based on following hotels sharing twin/double occupancy.
    Islamabad– Hill View hotel or similar category – Bed & Breakfast only.
    Chilas– Midway Shangri-La or similar category – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
    Gilgit– PTDC Motel or Gilgit Embassy – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Naran– PTDC Motel or Guesthouse Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Note:
    Alternate accommodation will be provided if rooms in
    above-mentioned hotels are not available. Check in before 12:00 pm is subject to previous night charges
  2. Transportation
    Air-condition transportation for sightseeing
    Air-condition transportation for airport pick and drop

    Air-condition transportation from Islamabad to Gilgit- back to Islamabad 
  3. Porterage (Low Altitude Porters)
    Required porters during trekking 
    Free baggage allowance for members personal gear is 15 KG
  4. Taxes and Fees
    Road taxes.
    Camping fees 
    Bridge crossing fee
  5. Camping Food & Equipment & Accessories
    Camp food during trekking and camping
    Mattresses.

    D3V sleeping tent.
    Toilet Tent.
    Shower Tent.
    Complete Mess tent/table/chairs.
  6. Kitchen Equipment
    All necessary kitchen utensils.
    Kitchen tent.
    Lamps for light.
    Cooking Stoves
  7. Staff
    Professional English Speaking Guide
    Professional Cook
    Assistant Guide as per group size
    Cook helper 

What's not Included

  • International air ticket & airport taxes.
  • Visa fee for Pakistan & personal insurance of the clients.
  • Tips for drivers, porters and staff
  • Single Supplement
  • Hotel meals in Islamabad (lunch & dinner)
  • Helicopter charges in case of use for rescue
  • Transfers to and from airports for participants making individual air arrangements
  • Optional excursions or deviations from the scheduled tour
  • Sleeping bag and all personal expenses such as telephone, fax, email charges, liquor or soft drinks,
  • Room service, gratuities for personal services, items of a purely
  • Any other service that is not mentioned in the list above.

Joining Arrangements & Transfers

  • All clients arriving on Day 1 will be met at Islamabad Airport by our representative who will arrange the transfer to the group hotel. Similarly, transfers will be provided back to Islamabad Airport on the final day of the itinerary. Full joining instructions together with hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

Meal Plan

  • While in Islamabad accommodation is on Bed and breakfast basis and our guide will guide you to different restaurants nearby for lunch and dinner, while at the camps you will get breakfast with porridge and cereal, toast or chapattis/parathas, omelettes and a range of hot drinks. Normally a hot lunch is served during the trek, In the afternoon you will be given tea and biscuits and a three-course meal will follow with soup, a main meal, and dessert. We bring along fresh vegetables and meat for the main meals. We can cater for those with special dietary requirements, so long as we are informed of these at the time of booking.

Accomodation

  • The accommodation arrangement in Islamabad is of standard hotels. Rooms at our provided hotels will be on twin sharing basis. At the time of camping, the participants will be sharing a tent fit for two persons. If any participant is coming alone on this trek he/she will be accommodated with one of the other member for tent and room sharing. For strangers and solo trekkers, first preference will be given to same gender stays. Nevertheless, a participant can opt for separate tent of hotel rooms as he/she likes, however additional cost will be incurred for making separate arrangement. Any participants seeking separate accommodation must inform our office in advance.

Dates Availability Status
20-JUN-2019 - 10-JUL-2019 AVAILABLE
10-JUL-2019 - 30-JUL-2019 AVAILABLE
12-AUG-2019 - 01-SEP-2019 AVAILABLE
01-SEP-2019 - 21-SEP-2019 AVAILABLE

The best time for Naltar Ishkomen trek is from June to September. The start and end dates in the table above are your dates of arrival and departure from Pakistan. We have at least one guaranteed departure every year. Our dates for the trek to Naltar Ishkomen are given above. We can organize solo trek if your dates do not match our dates of fixed departures.

How the trip will operate?

Upon arrival in Islamabad, one of our representatives will pick you up from the airport and transfer to hotel. Next day we drive over Babusar Pass (4,173m) to Chilas. After overnight we drive to Naltar valley on 3rd day. Naltar is the beginning of the trek and each night we camp out as we travel up the valley with our porters providing entertainment and color to the otherwise stark and barren countryside. Our cooks provide wholesome and high-quality food during the trek. The guide and porters will coordinate all the movements of equipment and people up and down the mountain and are there to assist and facilitate you. At the end of the trip the group retraces its steps to Islamabad.

What is a typical day on trek?

The day starts with an early morning mug of tea brought to your tent by one of the cook’s helpers. Before heading over to the mess tent for breakfast it is best to pack your overnight gear into your duffel bag. During breakfast the tents will be packed away and, after the porters have arranged their loads, they will set off on the trail in the cool of the morning. After breakfast, probably between 7 am and 8 am, we start walking. The pace of the trek is leisurely with plenty of time to enjoy the scenery, take photos and explore the local villages. Lunch will be around 11 am at a spot by the side of the trail and is prepared for us by the cooks. There is more walking after lunch and normally you will get into camp by mid-afternoon with the tents already put up by the local staff. In the evening a three-course meal is served in the mess tent around 7 pm. After evening meal the guide will discuss the plan for the next day with the group. People might stay in the mess tent chatting about the day’s events for a while before retiring to their tent for the night.

What you Carry?

In your daypack, you will need to carry extra warm clothing (depending on the altitude, location, and weather), a rain jacket, water bottle, film and camera gear, valuables and personal items such as sunscreen, lip-Eze etc. Porters carry all group gear and your trek pack. A daypack of approx. 45litres is ideal for this trek.

What is participation statement and acknowledgment?

Participants should be aware trekking, mountaineering and travelling in a developing country are activities that involve a risk of personal injury or death. As a condition of booking, you must accept these risks and be responsible for your own actions and involvement.

Adventure travel requires an open and flexible attitude. You may Experience extreme conditions, unpredictable weather and last minute changes to the itinerary beyond our control. Lack of acclimatization to high altitudes could also be a risk factor. Our itineraries allow optimum time for acclimatizing although it is possible that some individuals might be slow acclimatizers.

The majority of our trips visit remote areas where you are away from normal emergency services and medical facilities. In case of a serious injury requiring hospitalization, it has to be accepted by you, evacuation could take up to several days and may impede your ensuing recovery. Helicopters are the most usual means of evacuation, however they are not always available or they may be hindered by poor weather and flying conditions.   

What will be the camp food?

While in Islamabad accommodation is on Bed and breakfast basis and our guide will guide you to different restaurants nearby for lunch and dinner, while at the camps you will get breakfast with porridge and cereal, toast or chapattis/parathas, omelettes and a range of hot drinks. Normally a hot lunch is prepared by the trek, In the afternoon you will be given tea and biscuits and a three-course meal will follow with soup, a main meal, and dessert. We bring along fresh vegetables and meat for the main meals. We can cater for those with special dietary requirements, so long as we are informed of these at the time of booking.

 

How about hygiene & sanitation?

All our cooks and support staff are thoroughly trained in kitchen and table hygiene & observe strict hygienic code. You may give your personal water bottles to our kitchen staff every night & they’ll fill them up with boiling water, which will not only warm you up in your sleeping bags for a sound sleep but also provide you with safe boiled drinking water for the following day’s walk.

 

Guidance on tipping?

It is usual to tip the members of your trek crew, including your local guide, if you are happy with the services provided. We estimate that $100 – $150 (in local currency equivalent) will cover this aspect of your trip expenditure.

Towards the end of the trek, the trip leader will help the group to determine an appropriate level of tipping for each crew member, and this is most usually done as a group ‘thank-you’ with a ceremony on the final day of trekking.

 

What will be the weather?

The traditional trekking season in Pakistan is from June to September. The Naltar Ishkoman trek will have a wide range of temperatures depending on the altitude and the time of day. In the mountains between 1,000m and 3,500m, the nights will be cool normally around 5°C. During the day temperatures can be very hot even as high as 40°C in the lower elevations. Bring lots of water, sunhat and sunscreen! At higher altitudes temperatures range from about 20°C to -10°C. The mornings are generally clear with clouds building up during the afternoon and often disappearing at night to reveal beautiful starry nights. Rawalpindi will be hot and humid at this time of year; temperatures typically range from 30°C to 46°C with high humidity, whereas the temperatures in Naltar at 2,228m will be cooler.

 

Vaccinations and medical?

You should obtain professional advice from a travel clinic or your local GP from your home country about which vaccinations to have before you arrive in Pakistan. A dental check-up is a good idea as there will be no dental facilities while on the trek.

 

 

What will be the weather?

How to avoid altitude sickness?

The below notes on altitude sickness is to point out what it is and to note the symptoms. Problems with altitude sickness can usually be avoided if care is taken to prepare properly. Ensure good physical fitness, chose a trip suitable to your level, staged ascents to allow time for acclimatization, drink plenty of liquid and avoid alcohol, be aware of the symptoms of altitude sickness and do not ignore symptoms of altitude sickness if they occur. Normal physiologic changes occur in every person who goes to altitude: hyperventilation (breathing faster, deeper, or both), shortness of breath during exertion, changed breathing pattern at night, awakening frequently at night and increased urination.

By slowly gaining height we reap the benefits of a gradual gain in fitness and acclimatization. We offer advice based on our experience and with the sensible approach we take on all of our treks, anyone who is well prepared, fit and healthy should have few problems, as we are very careful to allow time to acclimatize to the altitude. Even with these precautions, it is still possible for altitude sickness to occur. It is difficult to predict who is likely to suffer from altitude sickness. Sex is not a determinant, nor is age. Your physical condition is important to good altitude adjustment, but sometimes people who are fit ascend too rapidly for their systems to adjust.

Altitude acclimatization

Please also note that individuals vary widely in both their physical response to high altitude and the ability to acclimatize and since physical fitness does not confer any protection or facilitate acclimatization, it is impossible to predict how you will adapt to the altitude. The greatest protection is avoiding rapid ascents and allowing time for acclimatization. Your body can adapt to altitude if given time. We feel this itinerary specifically provides that option, but you must individually pace yourself to go slowly and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Do not push too hard regardless of how physically fit you may be or feel.

Early symptoms of high altitude sickness include a headache, nausea, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, vomiting, dry cough, irregular breathing, shortness of breath, fatigue, swelling of ankles and eyelids. It is not uncommon to experience some of these symptoms when you first arrive at high altitude and then to have them decrease in severity within a few days. It is important that you inform your Trip Leader immediately of any symptoms or discomfort, however minor so that they can help you monitor the situation. Please be aware that remaining at high altitude in spite of alarm signals from your body may result in serious illness or even death.

Medical conditions that are aggravated or complicated by high altitude include heart diseases, lung diseases, pregnancy, anemia, and sickle cell disease. It is imperative that anyone with any of these conditions consult their physician in detail before attempting this trekking expedition.

Personal Medical Kit

It is very important to have your own personal medical kit and it is wise to bring all the essentials with you from the home country. As time is limited and it will save you having to go searching for medical supplies in an unfamiliar city. Most medicines are available from chemists in main cities. The following suggestions are based on our experience of travelling, trekking and on the most common medical problems encountered. It is important to check with your doctor in case of allergies to any medications.

We suggest that you bring the following:

Plasters: Elastoplasts or adhesive tape.

Antiseptic cream: Germalene, Savlon etc

Crepe or Elasticated Bandage: For knee and ankle support, if you strain in these joints.

Blister dressings: Moleskin, compead, spenco dressings etc. Stop at the first sign of a blister forming and use a plaster or moleskin.

Cold and Flu Medication: Beechams powders, Lemsip, nasal decongestant, and throat lozenges. On treks that stay above 3000 meters for any length of time or on treks with dry conditions, it is quite common due to breathing dry, cold air through the mouth to get a sore throat or a cough (it may become productive due to irritation not necessarily infection).

Treatment For Diarrhoea: Oral rehydration salts, which contain a variety of salts (electrolytes) and sugar. The combination of electrolytes and sugar stimulates water and electrolyte absorption from the gut. It, therefore, prevents or reverses dehydration and replaces lost salts in conditions such as diarrhea and vomiting. Preparations such as Imodium or Lomotil are anti-motility drugs, which do not treat diarrhea but slows the gut. They should only be used when the condition is causing dehydration, much distress or is impossible to deal with on transport. The aim in using them is to take just enough to control the complaint (see section on diarrhea).

General Painkillers: Aspirin, paracetamol and/or ibuprofen etc

Insect repellent and after bite cream:

Small Pair of Scissors

Any Special Medicines: Those you take regularly or will require on your trip.

Optional – Treatment for Giardia: A common infection caused by a protozoan in the upper bowel. It develops one to three weeks after exposure and can result in a sudden acute illness or a more long-lasting condition. The symptoms are usually explosive and gassy diarrhea along with burping and wind that tastes and smells like rotten eggs. There may be abdominal pain after eating. Treatment is a course of Metronidazole; this is a prescription drug. Under the advice given by your GP, you may consider carrying a course of wide spectrum antibiotic in your personal medical kit.

Optional – A Broad-Spectrum Antibiotic: These are prescription drugs and should be used in consultation with a GP. A broad-spectrum antibiotic e.g. Ciprofloxacin may be useful if traveling to remote areas or for long periods. A broad-spectrum antibiotic can be used to treat bacterial infectious diarrhea, dysentery, respiratory, skin and urinary infections. However, antibiotics used without proper medical advise can cause or predispose other medical complications and bacterial resistance e.g. Clostridium or MRSA. Under the advice given by your GP, you may consider carrying a course of broad-spectrum antibiotic in your personal medical kit.

Optional – Use of Acetazolamide (Diamox): For those trekking above 3000 meters, Diamox has been described as an aid to acclimatization and the prevention of altitude sickness

Equipment & Accessories

Rucksack or Day Sack: This is what you carry containing any items you will need during the day, e.g. camera, water bottle, jumper, waterproofs, personal first aid kit (or part of it), toilet paper & lighter etc. A rucksack of around 35 to 40 litres capacity should be large enough, lined with one large plastic bag to

ensure contents remain dry. Padded hip belts are recommended for trekkers.

Sleeping Bag & Liner: A good quality 4-season down or synthetic bag and cotton, thermal or silk liner. Suggested manufacturers RAB, Mountain Equipment, North Face, Ajungilak, Vango.

Scarf/Bandana: Silk, cotton or nylon for keeping the sun off the back of your neck or dust out of your mouth.

Water Bottle: 1x 1 Litre (Platypus, Sigg or Nalgene bottles are recommended). Sigg bottles also makes great hot water bottle!

Water Purification: Biox Aqua Tablets are the safest and most effective form of emergency water disinfection in outdoor environments. Biox Aqua Tablets are more effective than either chlorine or iodine tablets (working against both cryptosporidium and giardia), and leaves no bad tastes or colours behind. Biox Aqua does not react with contaminants in the water to form hazardous byproducts. Each application will take between 10-30 mins to take effect, dependant on the condition of the water source. Puritabs are not advised as they have no effect on the amoebas and will not protect you from hepatitis.

Sun Screen: High protection factor 20-30 or higher

Lip Screen: High protection factor 20-30 or higher

Toilet Items: Soap, travel towel, flannel (or J-cloth), toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, comb, sanitary protection, toilet paper is provided but bring a roll for personal use and at airports!

Sewing Kit: Needle, cotton and a few safety pins for emergency repairs.

Small Knife: Swiss army style – has many uses (do not carry this in hand luggage when taking international or internal flights it will be confiscated).

Notebook/Diary/Pens

Small Padlocks: Essential for locking your kit bag and bags left at the hotel.

Passport & Spare Passport Photographs: (3-4 plus any required for permits)

A Copy of Your Insurance Certificate: This is very important and useful.

Money Belt: To carry valuables (passport, money, air ticket) this should be worn at all times when travelling.

High Energy Trek Snacks: Sweets, chocolate bars, dried fruit, glucose sweets, Kendal mint cake. These can make all the difference in unfamiliar surroundings.

Personal Medical Kit: (see list above).

Compression Bags, Stuff Sacs, Pillow Cases or Small Plastic Bags: To separate the gear in your kit bag and kept dry.

Cigarette Lighter/Matches: For burning toilet paper and rubbish.

Wet Wipes: One pack very useful for wiping hands, face and other parts of body.

Antibacterial Hand Cleansing Gel: Small bottle.

General Equipment List

This is a suggested kit list of some items needed when trekking. It is best to pack several thinner layers rather than one thick layer. There is a weight limit on trek (13-20kg depending on the package). It is best not to pack more items than what you actually need on any holiday.

Clothing

Lightweight Thermal Underwear: Tops (2), bottoms or long johns (1). Made from polypropylene, Coolmax, Capilene etc, as cotton does not provide adequate warmth.

Underwear

T-Shirts or Polo Shirts: (3) Capilene, DryFlo or Coolmax are preferred for their quick drying/high wicking ability.

Long Sleeved Shirt or Blouse: (1-2)

Trekking Trousers (2) e.g. polycotton trousers or zip off trousers.

Lightweight Wool or Fleece Jumper: (1)

Fleece or Pile Jacket: (1)

Duvet Jacket: Medium weight down or synthetic, it needs to fit overall insulation layers.

Waterproof Jacket: Good storm proof mountain jacket with attached hood.

Waterproof Trousers: Good storm proof trousers with side zips to the knee.

Travel Clothes: Lightweight cotton, preferably only for travelling in, e.g. separate to trekking gear.

Mitts & Gloves

Synthetic Gloves: 1 pair lightweight fleece/wool/pile.

Mitts: To fit over gloves

Footwear

Boots: It is most important that you have well-fitting, comfortable boots, lightweight boots (Gore-Tex or leather). Boots are to be preferred rather than training shoes for the actual trekking, giving your ankles and feet much better support on the rough and stony ground and providing better grip. Boots protect the feet from bruising or damage caused by protruding stones or boulders. Boots should be sturdy enough to take flexible crampons.

Training Shoes/Sandals: For travelling in and around the cities, hotels and at camp. Also for wearing when crossing streams to protect feet.

Socks: 2-3 pairs of thin liner socks (polypropylene or Coolmax) to be worn next to the skin.

Harness: You need it while crossing Gondogoro La

Gaiters: Useful if we encounter snow.

Crampons: You only need it for Gondogoro Crossing. It is important to have the correct crampons for your boots.

Headgear

Sun Hat: Baseball cap or wide-brimmed sun hat.

Wool or Fleece Hat

Head Torch: e.g. Petzl Tikka, Zipka or Black Diamond Moonlight and spare batteries.

Sunglasses: Essential to get a pair, which cuts out 100% UV rays. It is a good idea to also have a spare pair of good sunglasses. Glacier glasse

General Considerations When Packing

  • Keep the weight and bulk down to a minimum.
  • Baggage allowance on most international flights is around 23kg. Most people tend to bring more clothes than they actually need.
  • You only need one change of clothes for time spent in towns/cities.
  • On treks, your kit bag weight should be kept to below 15kg.
  • For all trips but especially trekking it is important to dress in layers. When it is hot you will only be wearing light trousers and a T-shirt, when it gets colder you can add to this until you are wearing most of your clothes!
  • Fragile and valuable items should be carried in your hand baggage.
  • Most people take their daysack or rucksack on the plane as hand luggage but many airlines only allow one item of hand baggage, which should not be more than the airlines specified size.
  • Camera gear should be carried as hand luggage in a padded or protective bag, discreet bags are ideal as they do not advertise the expensive contents and attract unwanted attention.
  • On internal flights, there is an allowed baggage allowance of 15kg per person. When flying internally we suggest trekkers wear all your heavy clothes and boots to keep your baggage to a minimum.
  • Any excess baggage charges will have to be borne by you.
  • Pack all batteries, knives, sharp object and lighters into your main luggage to avoid confiscation by security personnel.
  • Take a small sealable clear plastic bag if you wish to take liquid items such as toothpaste onboard the aircraft.
  • Do not leave bags unattended at airports.

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