Travel Worn Satchel

Landscapes of Northern Pakistan

I travelled to Northern Pakistan naively thinking that only the people would defined the place. Yes, the people of this area, in the main, are friendly, approachable, generous and industrious but the mountains around which they live are…well, almost indescribable.

I spent three weeks going in between, around, over, through and beside the spectacular Karakorum, Himalaya and Hindu Kush mountain ranges.

One traveller I met told me she thought after a while the mountains looked the same. This could not be further from reality. Yes, there are similarities but you don’t need to look too closely to see differences.

From the craggy peaks, long steep sided slopes and valleys raging with glacial melt-waters of the Karakorum’s to the soaring heights of the Himalayas with deeply cut valleys that give way to alpine meadows and glaciers. And finally the Hindu Kush where loose rocks litter the high passes between a mixture of ragged peaks and rounded domes.

The Western Himalayas

The Astore valley. Drove along this to Tarashing village which is the starting point for a climb of Nanga Parbat – The ‘Killer Mountain’
Nanga Parbat – the ‘Killer Mountain’. As the sun fell it cast a shadow of the mountain on the sky and clouds. The actual peak at 8,126 metres, is on the left despite it looking lower than the one on the right.

The Karakorum Range

Karimabad and the Hunza Valley from the Eagle’s Nest. In the background is the permanently snow covered Rakaposhi. Its peak, which is in the cloud stands at 7,788 metres
Attabad Lake. Created in January 2010 by a massive landslide that blocked the river, cut off roads from higher up the Hunza and submerged Attabad village. The sticks to middle left of the water are in fact the tops of trees that once grew among the village.
The Hussaini Bridge. It spans about 300 metres across the Hunza. The planks that make up the floor are about 2 feet apart through which the rushing river is all too visible. It was a very windy on the day I was there so after about a 100 metres clinging on I turned round…that’s my excuse anyway. The Passu Cones can be seen in the background.
Passu Glacier. There is no sense of scale here but the ice cliff in the foreground is between ten and fifteen metres high.
Passu. I woke up to this view from my hotel room.
Photograph taken just outside Passu Village.
A break in the dark grey clouds illuminates a small section of the mountains that surround Karimabad.

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