/ Pakistan, again!

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D_Wills - on 19 Jan 2012
So I have been invited to a friends wedding in Pakistan in June and have decieded that I'll make the journey across. After speaking to quite a lot of folk encouraging me I'm going to seek some advice from the UKC wisdon (and yes i have searched the forums and seen what there is too say). The wedding is in Karachi but i was thinking about making a trip of it and going for 2-3 weeks. I have been warned by some over zealous friends/family that travelling alone is not a good idea / stupid and the foriegn office seem to back this but i am not too worried - stupid?? I was also thing about travelling up to the north / kashmir / into India and whilst i know this isn't recommended, how dangerous will it be (I am a reasonably well seasoned traveller). Whilst not wanting to carry a full rack and climbing gear is it going to be possible to climb if i take my shoes or will it be unbearably hot? Does anyone have any must see's or things to avoid? Also any particually cheap ways to get there?

Thanks in advance, and apologies for any errors in spelling/grammer for those UKC users apsiring to be Lynn Truss
punj - on 20 Jan 2012
In reply to D_Wills: i was out there in 2008, the cheapest flights we could find were with airblue, at the time they flew out off manchester and a london airport, worth a look

we went through islamabad and traveled between skardu and hushe before Trekkng into our BC, would recomend just going to the north for the travelling, 6hours following the indus on an open jeep was awesome!

only the way back we drove the KKH, we flew on the way in. if the flight is on i recomend it if only for the veiws of Nanga Parbat

not sure if you can cross the indian border in Kashmir, we were told by our operators that the next major valley East, Siachen i think, was closed to foreigners

anything you think i can help you with just email me and ill do my best
ice.solo - on 20 Jan 2012
In reply to D_Wills:

go, but consider what you can do over there.

'climbing' in pakistan usually refers to big stuff, but theres a bit of 'normal' rock around islamabad - where it will be really hot.

another option is the charakusa where its usually big rock faces, but theres less-huge options too, tho it will still require exped type logistics to get out there.

around gilgit theres rock routes too, as well all along the upper kkh, but you will need to talk to locals about where and what.

you cant cross into indian kashmir - simple as that. the borders not open.
you can cross into india thru wagah and on to amritsar.
the kkh is not what it used to be, but is still doable.

avoid quetta and peshawar unless you know what youre doing. avoid swat and the lower kkh to raikhot as well.

must sees would be hunza if you get that far. passu, skardu and the big peaks if you get further.
yep, saichen is off limits. also, everything else out around the baltoro takes time to organize - 2 or 3 weeks would be really stretching it.
for that amount of time stick with the kkh and maybe a trip out to hispar or somewhere.

dont be fooled by what the agencies and popular media say: parts of pakistan ARE dangerous.
the thing is not simply not go to those parts and you will be as fine as being in any other developing country with issues.
D_Wills - on 20 Jan 2012
In reply to punj:

Thanks, airblue seemed the cheapest option when i was searching so I will probably just go with them.

So would you suggest the experience of flying it one way and driving the KKH on the way back or if possible just to fly?

Also what jabs and or pills did you have before going?

Thanks for your help

D_Wills - on 20 Jan 2012
In reply to ice.solo:

Thanks for your help,

I think in that case I will probably leave the climbing as at the moment I get scared on multipitch Scottish routes. I just remebered seeing an article on here about bolt cliping in Islamabad.


I see from a bit of googling that the Kashmir borders are very shut, seems I had wrongly remebered a bit of the BBC programe High Altitude where they skied in Indian administered Kashmir and i though they had crossed over but obviously not.

Seems like doing a bit of travelling up the KKH to the NE is my best bet and I'll sort out some sort of itinary before going. All of those places you have listed I've googled and they look amazing.

Thanks for your help and helping to get me over excited.


ice.solo - on 20 Jan 2012
In reply to D_Wills:

Its a great place and totally cool up north.

Email me if you want a hand or just want to stay psyched.
seankenny - on 20 Jan 2012
In reply to D_Wills:

Remember that Pakistan is a big country so to get from Karachi to the north will need an internal flight. And then from Islamabad to the northern areas is either another flight, or a very long bus journey. As has been said before, two weeks would be pushing it unless you were to make a flying visit to Hunza and do some day trips from there. Doing stuff in Pakistan will inevitably take longer than it does in the UK! And in June it will be stinking hot.

If you have the time I'd thoroughly recommend a visit to Lahore. Wonderful city with fantastic monuments and a great atmosphere. Also the trip overland from Pakistan to India at Wagah is fun to do too - you go from Lahore to Amritsar, which has the Sikhs' lovely Golden Temple, and then down to Delhi, it's a very pleasant trip.
punj - on 21 Jan 2012
In reply to D_Wills:definetly do the flight on the way if you can because it might not be an option on the way back and the veiws of NP are awesome, it was our Exped leaders birthday and he got in the cockpit so seen K2. also the KKH is worth it but maybe not twice in the space of a few weeks!

before i went i had a lot of people saying WTF you going there for, its dangerous etc. thankfully i ignored them, the people in the north were in general the nicest(and happiest) i think ive ever met, also its one of the poorest parts of the country. even in Islamabad i felt safer than i would walking about the streets of london at night.

the scale of everything is immense, i had been in Zermatt just before i went but nothing prepares you for the size of the mountains, and the Indus looks wider than loch tay at most points but all the time a raging torrent!
Bruce Hooker - on 21 Jan 2012
In reply to D_Wills:

Here's an expedition report but more interesting for you a lot of photos of the Chitral area of N Pakistan and the Kunar valley right up to Pecchus, near China. I doubt that the road into Chitral from Islamabad is open as it goes through the Afghan border area but there may be a possibility of flying. It's a wonderful area to visit but take advice on safety, things have changed in 40 years, alas.... the people there were friendly then.

http://www.windmillweb.info/climbing/HinduRaj/index_page.htm
ads.ukclimbing.com
punj - on 21 Jan 2012
In reply to D_Wills: http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=66165

thers some recent footage on here of the flight and the KKH, will proberly get you a fair bit more excited!

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