Patagonia - Southern Patagonian Ice Field

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Approaching the village of El Chalten

Approaching the village of El Chalten

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Cerro Marconi Norte is just ahead - we want to go to the top of it

Cerro Marconi Norte is just ahead - we want to go to the top of it

Fitz Roy

Fitz Roy

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Paso Marconi in relentless Patagonian rain

Paso Marconi in relentless Patagonian rain

Our camp on Paso Marconi

Our camp on Paso Marconi

Paso Marconi and Gorra Blanca

Paso Marconi and Gorra Blanca

Paso Marconi and Cerro Marconi Norte

Paso Marconi and Cerro Marconi Norte

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Walking up Cerro Marconi Norte

Walking up Cerro Marconi Norte

Cerro Marconi Norte and Fitz Roy in the bacgroound

Cerro Marconi Norte and Fitz Roy in the bacgroound

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The view over the Paso Marconi

The view over the Paso Marconi

Southern Patagonian Icefield

Southern Patagonian Icefield

Volcan Lautaro and Southern Patagonian Icefiled from Cerro Marconi Norte

Volcan Lautaro and Southern Patagonian Icefiled from Cerro Marconi Norte

Gorra Blanca, Paso Marconi from Cerro Marconi Norte

Gorra Blanca, Paso Marconi from Cerro Marconi Norte

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Fitz Roy from Cerro Marconi Norte

Fitz Roy from Cerro Marconi Norte

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Southern Patagonian Icefield from the air - Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre on the right

Southern Patagonian Icefield from the air - Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre on the right

The expanse of the Southern Patagonian Icefield

The expanse of the Southern Patagonian Icefield

Southern Patagonian Icefield

Southern Patagonian Icefield

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Hiking on ice

Hiking on ice

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Our camp at the Cirque de Los Altares

Our camp at the Cirque de Los Altares

Awesome clouds of southern Patagonia

Awesome clouds of southern Patagonia

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Cerro Torre

Cerro Torre

Cerro Torre from Cirque de Los Altares

Cerro Torre from Cirque de Los Altares

Cerro Torre

Cerro Torre

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Cerro Torre

Cerro Torre

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Base of the Cerro Torre

Base of the Cerro Torre

Summit snow mushrooms of Cerro Torre

Summit snow mushrooms of Cerro Torre

Looking up Cerro Torre from its base - now it looks like a real tower

Looking up Cerro Torre from its base - now it looks like a real tower

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Cirque de Los Altares

Cirque de Los Altares

Inside the Cirque de Los Altares

Inside the Cirque de Los Altares

Cirque de Los Altares

Cirque de Los Altares

Our camp on the Icefiled in front of the Cirque de Los Altares

Our camp on the Icefiled in front of the Cirque de Los Altares

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Good weather does not last...

Good weather does not last...

Horizontal rain of Patagonia

Horizontal rain of Patagonia

Glaciar Viedma

Glaciar Viedma

Glacier Viedma

Glacier Viedma

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Glacier Viedma

Glacier Viedma

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Lago Viedma - looking for condors

Lago Viedma - looking for condors

Glacier Viedma and Lago Viedma

Glacier Viedma and Lago Viedma

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Waiting for a ride on Lago Viedma

Waiting for a ride on Lago Viedma

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Glacier Perito Moreno

Glacier Perito Moreno

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Perito Moreno Glacier

Perito Moreno Glacier

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Perito Moreno Glacier from the air

Perito Moreno Glacier from the air

Patagonia

Patagonia

Patagonia

Patagonia

Southern Patagonian Icefiled

Southern Patagonian Icefiled

Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre from the air

Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre from the air

Gorra Blanca

Gorra Blanca

Cerro Torre group and the Cirque de Los Altares

Cerro Torre group and the Cirque de Los Altares

Cerro Torre

Cerro Torre

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Southern Patagonian Icefield

Southern Patagonian Icefield

Fitz Roy Group and Glacier Viedma

Fitz Roy Group and Glacier Viedma

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Patagonia

Patagonia

Pakistan Snow Lake Hispar Pass

In July of 2005 our small group traversed the Biafo and Hispar Glaciers in the Karakoram Mountains of Northern Pakistan.  The two glaciers are connected by the 5,128 Hispar Pass. Along the way, we camped and explored the Snow Lake, one of the largest expanses of ice in the Karakoram Mountains.  

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Nanga Parbat, we arrived in Islamabad on June 19. We were unable to get on the flight to Skardu in Baltistan and drove in a big private bus instead. We stopped in Chilas at the K2 Motel after a 12 hours drive at the half way point between Islamabad and Skardu.

Nanga Parbat, we arrived in Islamabad on June 19. We were unable to get on the flight to Skardu in Baltistan and drove in a big private bus instead. We stopped in Chilas at the K2 Motel after a 12 hours drive at the half way point between Islamabad and Skardu.

Nanga Parbat - the view from near Chilas.

Nanga Parbat - the view from near Chilas.

Nanga Parbat

Nanga Parbat

Nanga Parbat

Nanga Parbat

The meeting point of the Hindu Kush, Karakoram and the Himalaya mountain ranges

The meeting point of the Hindu Kush, Karakoram and the Himalaya mountain ranges

Remains of the Buddhist culture in northern Baltistan (a point of interest along the ancient Silk Road)

Remains of the Buddhist culture in northern Baltistan (a point of interest along the ancient Silk Road)

Karakoram Highway

Karakoram Highway

Balti fast food in Skardu. We arrived in Skardu on June 20th. We got up early the following morning to take photos of Indus River sand dunes. In Skardu, we stayed at the Pioneer Hotel.

Balti fast food in Skardu. We arrived in Skardu on June 20th. We got up early the following morning to take photos of Indus River sand dunes. In Skardu, we stayed at the Pioneer Hotel.

The Indus River valley near Skardu in the evening.

The Indus River valley near Skardu in the evening.

The Indus River near Skardu

The Indus River near Skardu

The early morning light on the sand dunes of the Indus River near Skardu.

The early morning light on the sand dunes of the Indus River near Skardu.

The sand dunes of the Indus River

The sand dunes of the Indus River

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Sand dunes of the Indus River

Sand dunes of the Indus River

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We drove from Skardu to Askole. The drive is 6-7 hours long and follows the Shigar River Valley. The road was blocked by a rock fall but the locals blasted the passage open. A bridge over the Braldu River near Askole.

We drove from Skardu to Askole. The drive is 6-7 hours long and follows the Shigar River Valley. The road was blocked by a rock fall but the locals blasted the passage open. A bridge over the Braldu River near Askole.

The bridge over the Braldu River near Askole.

The bridge over the Braldu River near Askole.

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Jeep track from Skardu to Askole. We were blocked by a rockfall.

Jeep track from Skardu to Askole. We were blocked by a rockfall.

The road from Skardu to Askole along the Braldu River. Askole is at 2,965m.

The road from Skardu to Askole along the Braldu River. Askole is at 2,965m.

The spot where the trail to the Baltoro Glacier and K2 meets the trail to the Biafo Glacier, a few hours walk from Askole.  During Day 1 on June 22, we hiked on a steep trail through a narrow notch in the cliffs before we could descend to gain the glacier proper.

The spot where the trail to the Baltoro Glacier and K2 meets the trail to the Biafo Glacier, a few hours walk from Askole. During Day 1 on June 22, we hiked on a steep trail through a narrow notch in the cliffs before we could descend to gain the glacier proper.

Day 1. The view to the Biafo Glacier before we descended to it. Our destination was Namla camp at 3,263m. We hiked for 7 hours from Askole. On the way, we got lost in the middle of the Biafo Glacier.

Day 1. The view to the Biafo Glacier before we descended to it. Our destination was Namla camp at 3,263m. We hiked for 7 hours from Askole. On the way, we got lost in the middle of the Biafo Glacier.

Day 1. Hike from Askole to Namla Camp.

Day 1. Hike from Askole to Namla Camp.

Day 1. Hike from Askole to Namla Camp.

Day 1. Hike from Askole to Namla Camp.

Day 1. Hike from Askole to Namla Camp.

Day 1. Hike from Askole to Namla Camp.

Day 1. Hike from Askole to Namla Camp. Biafo Glacier is visible below. The porter’s name is Shirkan.

Day 1. Hike from Askole to Namla Camp. Biafo Glacier is visible below. The porter’s name is Shirkan.

Dai 1. This was our lunch spot. After lunch we descended to the Biafo Glacier.

Dai 1. This was our lunch spot. After lunch we descended to the Biafo Glacier.

Day 1. Biafo Glacier - en route to Namla Brings camp.

Day 1. Biafo Glacier - en route to Namla Brings camp.

Day 1. The frontal part of the Biafo Glacier. We got lost in the rubble.

Day 1. The frontal part of the Biafo Glacier. We got lost in the rubble.

Day 1. Our crew on the Biafo Glacier

Day 1. Our crew on the Biafo Glacier

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The view from Namla Camp at 3,263m.

The view from Namla Camp at 3,263m.

Day 2. En route to Banta I Camp. We initially had to follow the rubble of the lower glacier but soon we started walking on the medial moraine.

Day 2. En route to Banta I Camp. We initially had to follow the rubble of the lower glacier but soon we started walking on the medial moraine.

Day 2. En route to Banta I. Walking up 67 km long Biafo Glacier

Day 2. En route to Banta I. Walking up 67 km long Biafo Glacier

We arrived at the Banta I camp at 3,263m. From here we hiked up to the hills surrounding the camp. We had fantastic views of the Ogre and the Latok group of mountains. The prominent tower on the left is the Ogre's Thumb, to its right is the Ogre 7,285m. Ogre II 6,960m is the triangular peak to the right. On the left is the Latok group. From the back: Latok 2, 7,086m, Latok 1, 7,151, and small peak of 6,034m.

We arrived at the Banta I camp at 3,263m. From here we hiked up to the hills surrounding the camp. We had fantastic views of the Ogre and the Latok group of mountains. The prominent tower on the left is the Ogre's Thumb, to its right is the Ogre 7,285m. Ogre II 6,960m is the triangular peak to the right. On the left is the Latok group. From the back: Latok 2, 7,086m, Latok 1, 7,151, and small peak of 6,034m.

The Ogre and the Latoks above Banta I camp.

The Ogre and the Latoks above Banta I camp.

The Biafo Glacier. The Banta Camp is below.

The Biafo Glacier. The Banta Camp is below.

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The Biafo Glacier.

The Biafo Glacier.

The Latok Group.

The Latok Group.

The Ogre and the Ogre's Thumb

The Ogre and the Ogre's Thumb

Latok 1 - 7,145m and the triangular pyramid of Latok 2 - 7,086m in the back.

Latok 1 - 7,145m and the triangular pyramid of Latok 2 - 7,086m in the back.

The Ogre 7,285m and Banta Brakk II (Ogre II), 6,960m

The Ogre 7,285m and Banta Brakk II (Ogre II), 6,960m

The Uzun Brakk Glacier from the hills above the Banta I Camp

The Uzun Brakk Glacier from the hills above the Banta I Camp

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Day 3. We could not find our way along the glacier. One of the porters climbed a large boulder to find the way. We slogged all day along the Biafo. We encountered deep snow and the going got tough for the porters. We decided to wait until the following morning for the soft snow to freeze. Furthermore, our guide got ill with a stomach ailment.

Day 3. We could not find our way along the glacier. One of the porters climbed a large boulder to find the way. We slogged all day along the Biafo. We encountered deep snow and the going got tough for the porters. We decided to wait until the following morning for the soft snow to freeze. Furthermore, our guide got ill with a stomach ailment.

Day 3. On June 26th and June 27th we camped at rocky ridge in the middle of the glacier at 4,385m.

Day 3. On June 26th and June 27th we camped at rocky ridge in the middle of the glacier at 4,385m.

Our camp on Day 3 and Day 4 in the middle of the Biafo Glacier at 4,385m. We needed a rest day to allow our guide to recover from his illness. We could not hike anywhere as we were surrounded by crevasses.

Our camp on Day 3 and Day 4 in the middle of the Biafo Glacier at 4,385m. We needed a rest day to allow our guide to recover from his illness. We could not hike anywhere as we were surrounded by crevasses.

During Day 3, we were trying to negotiate soft snow in the blazing sun.

During Day 3, we were trying to negotiate soft snow in the blazing sun.

Negotiating soft snow on the Biafo Glacier during Day 3.

Negotiating soft snow on the Biafo Glacier during Day 3.

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The morning of Day 4, we had a cold but clear morning on the Biafo Glacier. We were now at 4,385m. The sunrise was quite spectacular illuminating the peaks lining the Biafo Glacier. We decided to take a rest day to allow our guide to recover from his stomach ailment.

The morning of Day 4, we had a cold but clear morning on the Biafo Glacier. We were now at 4,385m. The sunrise was quite spectacular illuminating the peaks lining the Biafo Glacier. We decided to take a rest day to allow our guide to recover from his stomach ailment.

Sunrise on Day 4 at 4,385m

Sunrise on Day 4 at 4,385m

Sunrise on Day 4

Sunrise on Day 4

Day 5, June 28th. We started early to avoid soft snow again. It was quite cold as we were walking in the shade. We passed below Nagpogoro (black rocks) and Marpogoro (red rocks).

Day 5, June 28th. We started early to avoid soft snow again. It was quite cold as we were walking in the shade. We passed below Nagpogoro (black rocks) and Marpogoro (red rocks).

Upper Biafo Glacier

Upper Biafo Glacier

Looking back from the trail between the Biaffo Camp and Lukpe Lago camp on Day 5.

Looking back from the trail between the Biaffo Camp and Lukpe Lago camp on Day 5.

Day 5. En route to Snow Lake (Lukpe Lawo).

Day 5. En route to Snow Lake (Lukpe Lawo).

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Biafo Glacier, looking towards the Latok Peaks. Biafo Glacier here is at the altitude of 4,428m

Biafo Glacier, looking towards the Latok Peaks. Biafo Glacier here is at the altitude of 4,428m

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Day 5, en route to Lukpe Lawo.

Day 5, en route to Lukpe Lawo.

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Day 5, we can now see the Snow Lake ahead.

Day 5, we can now see the Snow Lake ahead.

Day 5. Approaching the camp on the Snow Lake at 4,745m. We were intending to stay there for a few days to explore the area. The hidden crevasses posed a threat though as the snow would get soft in the intense sun.

Day 5. Approaching the camp on the Snow Lake at 4,745m. We were intending to stay there for a few days to explore the area. The hidden crevasses posed a threat though as the snow would get soft in the intense sun.

Biafo Glacier, approaching the Snow Lake

Biafo Glacier, approaching the Snow Lake

Approaching the Snow Lake, the Hispar Pass is on the left

Approaching the Snow Lake, the Hispar Pass is on the left

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On the Snow Lake

On the Snow Lake

Day 5 and Day 6. Our camp on the Snow Lake at 4,745m.

Day 5 and Day 6. Our camp on the Snow Lake at 4,745m.

Snow Lake, looking north east.

Snow Lake, looking north east.

The view from our camp at the Snow Lake at 4,745. Day 5 and Day 6.

The view from our camp at the Snow Lake at 4,745. Day 5 and Day 6.

Cooking area on the Snow Lake

Cooking area on the Snow Lake

Shirkan in our camp at Snow Lake at 4,745m.

Shirkan in our camp at Snow Lake at 4,745m.

Snow Lake

Snow Lake

The Snow Lake, looking back at the Biafo Glacier.

The Snow Lake, looking back at the Biafo Glacier.

The Snow Lake, looking North West to the Shimshal Pass.

The Snow Lake, looking North West to the Shimshal Pass.

The Ogre from our camp at the Snow Lake.

The Ogre from our camp at the Snow Lake.

Sunrise from our camp at the Snow Lake.

Sunrise from our camp at the Snow Lake.

Snow Lake at sunrise.

Snow Lake at sunrise.

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Day 7, we departed our camp at Snow Lake to cross the Hispar Pass. We started very early to take advantage of the frozen snow. The area of the Hispar Pass has a lot of hidden crevasses.

Day 7, we departed our camp at Snow Lake to cross the Hispar Pass. We started very early to take advantage of the frozen snow. The area of the Hispar Pass has a lot of hidden crevasses.

Approaching the Hispar Pass on the horizon, Skam La Pass and to the right (around the buttress) is the Biafo Glacier.

Approaching the Hispar Pass on the horizon, Skam La Pass and to the right (around the buttress) is the Biafo Glacier.

Climbing to Hispar Pass.

Climbing to Hispar Pass.

Hispar Pass 5,151m The pass is actually a large and levelled snow field like a large plateau. We were planning to camp there but due to high winds we decided to camp further down.

Hispar Pass 5,151m The pass is actually a large and levelled snow field like a large plateau. We were planning to camp there but due to high winds we decided to camp further down.

The Hispar Pass 5,151m

The Hispar Pass 5,151m

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The Hispar Pass

The Hispar Pass

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Looking back at the Snow Lake

Looking back at the Snow Lake

Snow Lake

Snow Lake

Snow Lake

Snow Lake

Snow Lake

Snow Lake

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Approaching to the top of the Hispar Pass 5,151m

Approaching to the top of the Hispar Pass 5,151m

Skam La Pass on the left in the clouds. Below it, the Snow Lake.

Skam La Pass on the left in the clouds. Below it, the Snow Lake.

At the top of Hispar Pass

At the top of Hispar Pass

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Hispar Pass 5,151m

Hispar Pass 5,151m

Looking back from Hispar Pass to the Snow Lake

Looking back from Hispar Pass to the Snow Lake

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The Top of Hispar Pass 5,151m

The Top of Hispar Pass 5,151m

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Looking down the Hispar Glacier from the top of Hispar Pass. We camped by the green lakes below. The campsite was near Khani Basa Glacier at 4,530m. As we approached the camp, the snow got progressively softer making walking difficult.

Looking down the Hispar Glacier from the top of Hispar Pass. We camped by the green lakes below. The campsite was near Khani Basa Glacier at 4,530m. As we approached the camp, the snow got progressively softer making walking difficult.

The surface snow melt on the Hispar Glacier which is 49km long. Our campsite near the Khani Basa Glacier at 4,530m.

The surface snow melt on the Hispar Glacier which is 49km long. Our campsite near the Khani Basa Glacier at 4,530m.

Our camp at 4,530m

Our camp at 4,530m

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Day Hispar Glacier, the night of Day 7 at 4,530m

Day Hispar Glacier, the night of Day 7 at 4,530m

Hispar Pass from Hispar Glacier side and our camp right below the Hispar Pass on Day 7 at 4,530m.

Hispar Pass from Hispar Glacier side and our camp right below the Hispar Pass on Day 7 at 4,530m.

Camp on Day 7

Camp on Day 7

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Day 8, we hiked for 5 hours from the Khani Basa camp to Shikambarish Camp at 4,170m. We traversed the Jutmo Glacier and finished it in a downpour. On the way, we had to traverse a hill/moraine of liquid mud that made our progress slow and tedious.

Day 8, we hiked for 5 hours from the Khani Basa camp to Shikambarish Camp at 4,170m. We traversed the Jutmo Glacier and finished it in a downpour. On the way, we had to traverse a hill/moraine of liquid mud that made our progress slow and tedious.

En route to Shikambarish camp on Day 8.

En route to Shikambarish camp on Day 8.

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Hispar Pass on the left and the Hispar Glacier on Day 9

Hispar Pass on the left and the Hispar Glacier on Day 9

Looking down the Hispar Glacier from our camp near Dachigan at 4,000m on Day 9

Looking down the Hispar Glacier from our camp near Dachigan at 4,000m on Day 9

Crossing the Pumari Chish Glacier en route to the camp near Dachigan at 4,000.

Crossing the Pumari Chish Glacier en route to the camp near Dachigan at 4,000.

Day 9 en route to Dachigan camp.

Day 9 en route to Dachigan camp.

On the Hispar Glacier.

On the Hispar Glacier.

On the Hispar Glacier

On the Hispar Glacier

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The view from Dachigan camp on Day 9 at 4,000.

The view from Dachigan camp on Day 9 at 4,000.

The view across the Hispar Glacier from Dachigan.

The view across the Hispar Glacier from Dachigan.

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Steep climb after crossing the Pumari Chish Glacier.

Steep climb after crossing the Pumari Chish Glacier.

Day 9, Dachigan. From Dachigan, we walked to Hispar Village on Day 10 for 6 hours. We camped at the Huru Village. We had to walk from Hispar to Hurt for some distance due to landslides. We walked the distance of 132km and ascended 2,750m.  From Huru, we took a jeep to Karimabad we were hang our for a day in the Hunza Baltit Inn. On July 7 we drove to Chilas via Gilgit. We were now back on the Karakoram Highway. On July 8, there were serious terrorist attacks in London. This necessitated an armed escort for our group from Abbottabad to Islamabad. We did not know what was going on. The police with guns showed up and wisked us through all the intersections and red lights along the way. Only after arriving at the hotel in Islamabad we found out what had happened in London. We stayed in Islamabad on July 9th and flew home on July 10th.

Day 9, Dachigan. From Dachigan, we walked to Hispar Village on Day 10 for 6 hours. We camped at the Huru Village. We had to walk from Hispar to Hurt for some distance due to landslides. We walked the distance of 132km and ascended 2,750m.

From Huru, we took a jeep to Karimabad we were hang our for a day in the Hunza Baltit Inn. On July 7 we drove to Chilas via Gilgit. We were now back on the Karakoram Highway. On July 8, there were serious terrorist attacks in London. This necessitated an armed escort for our group from Abbottabad to Islamabad. We did not know what was going on. The police with guns showed up and wisked us through all the intersections and red lights along the way. Only after arriving at the hotel in Islamabad we found out what had happened in London. We stayed in Islamabad on July 9th and flew home on July 10th.