Islamabad – Chilas – Hunza – Shimshal Valley – Wuch Furzeen – Shimshal Pass – Khush Gud e Gush –Shpodeen Pass (5346 m) – Zardgarben – Bandsar – Shimshal Village – Or – Shimshal Pass – Climbing – Climbing – Arbab Parin – Shimshal Pass (4735m) – Shimshal Village – Karimabad – Rest Day – Gilgit – Basham – Islamabad.
Shimshal valley lies east of Hunza, tucked amid rugged mountains, glaciers and high passes, making it the most remote inhabited area of the Karakorum range. In 1936 the British political agent in Gilgit called it “the most remote settlement in the Empire.” It retains a similar status even today. Its upper valleys are ideal for trekkers and mountaineers, but like many other parts of the Karakorum, this region has not yet been properly explored.
After a short jeep ride from Passu on a narrow jeep trail being built by the Shimshalis, the three-day trek passes through a narrow valley that opens at Shimshal. On the way, we traverse over Malangutti glacier with outstanding views of Dasteghil Sar (7885m), the highest peak of Hunza. After a day exploring the village, continue onward on Khurdupin glacier to the foot of Khurdupin Pass with breathtaking views of Yazghil Domes, Trivor Sar, Yashkun Garden (7530m), Kuningkash, Momhil Sar, Pumarikish, Khurdupin Peak, Virjerab Peak, Kanut Sar and the entire range surrounding Yazghil and Khurdupin glaciers.
Hunza Valley is one of the three subdivisions of Gilgit and makes a bridged link to China through the Khunjerab Pass. Baltit (Karimabad) is the traditional capital of the valley. Its overall population stands at 45,000 individuals. Female education is more than 95%. The valley is surrounded by the lofty peaks of the Karakorum range, of which majestic Rakaposhi (7788m) stands on the southwest side, Golden Peak and Diran Peaks (7327m) on east side, and Ultar Peaks overhead. Hunza has been an independent state ruled by the Mir of Hunza for more than 850 years. The ancient forts of Altit ( 700 years old) and Baltit (Karimabad, 750 years old) are monuments of its past history. Karimabad Fort has recently been extensively renovated to restore it to its original condition and is now open for tourists. It will provide you with the most interesting history of the area and also present a commanding view of the whole valley.
This worthwhile trek leads into the more remote areas of the Karakorum mountains. To know about the traditions of Hunza you have to travel to more difficult villages like Shimshal. The journey continues throughout the Hunza valley and at the end you reach Shimshal valley. After crossing over Chapchangul Pass (5150m) and back to the Karakorum Highway, this trek takes you to Zaragarbin Pass (4600m), Shimshal Pass (4735m), and memorable high pasture lands.
This spectacular trek takes us to one of the most remotely inhabited areas of the Karakoram. To find Hunza traditions still alive, you need to travel to more difficult and remote valleys like Shimshal.
Our jeep driver takes us through all of the Hunza Valley to the beginning of the trek. The trail begins, climbing past rugged mountains, through a narrow gorge, which opens up at the Shimshal Village. About 120 families of 1000 Shimshal people, all of them Ismaili, live in the hamlets surrounded by terraced and irrigated fields. Spend a free day for exploration before your out-bound trek on the same route.
The courageous and well-acclimatized can cross over Chapchingal Pass (5150 m) down to Kuksel Stream, and back to the Karakoram Highway below Khunjerab Pass. This rewarding trek takes you to Zargarbin Pass (4600 m) and Shimshal Pass (4735 m) and the high pasture lands worth visiting. It is home to endangered wildlife species such as snow leopards, wolf, blue sheep, ibex, and Marco polo sheep. This region is now called Khunjerab National Park.