Islamabad – Chilas – Tarashing – Herrligkoffer Base Camp – Latobah – Shaigiri – Mazeno Base Camp – Mazeno High Camp – Mazeno La – Upper Loibah Meadow – Zagot – Halaley Bridge – Chilas – Islamabad.
The trek commonly called “Around Nanga Parbat” does not actually go all the way ‘around’ Nanga Parbat. Instead it goes halfway around Nanga Parbat, beginning on the south side of Nanga Parbat from Tarashing in the Rupal Valley. The route heads west up the Rupal Valley, and turns north to cross the Mazeno La to Fairy Meadows.
Nanga Parbat (8125 m), the western most peak of the Great Himalayan range, is one of five 8000 m peaks in Pakistan. This 20 km long series of peaks and ridges forms a huge massif. Its solitary white appearance, visible from the south for at least 100 km, prompted the name Nanga Parbat, which means “The Naked Mountain.” It is also known as the “Killer Mountain”, because of the difficulties of reaching the summit. The first ascent was an almost miraculous solo ascent without oxygen in 1953 by the German Herman Buhl. Its sheer south face, called the Rupal face, rises over 5000 m from the valley floor to the summit and offers trekkers breathtaking close-up views. The north Raikot face plunges over 7000 m from the summit to the Indus River, forming one of the world’s deepest, dramatic gorges.
The Rupal Valley, on the south side of Nanga Parbat, is accessed via the Astor Valley, which leaves the KKH at Jaglot 60 Km south of Gilgit. Short, easy treks in the Rupal Valley offer incredible views. Astor Valley residents are mostly Sunni Muslims with 25% Shia Muslims, who mostly live along the upper tributaries. Shia is the main language, with Urdu a second language for men. Few villagers know any English.