Among all trekking options for the Rakaposhi, the Minapin to the Rakaposhi base camp trek is the most popular. The reason behind this popularity among the trekkers is the broad and clear view of this beautiful Karakoram peak.
The Minapin village is at a walking distance of 4 KM and about an hour from the KKH. There are several guest houses, hotels and camping sites available in the Pissan and Minapin villages for a stay before the negotiations with the adventure trail to Hapakun, Tagafari and Kacheli. In the tourist season, the kitchen and food services are available at Hapakun and Tagafari. It is recommended to confirm the availability of food and kitchen services before leaving the Minapin. Porters can be hired by contacting the ‘numberdar’ at Minapin village on a fixed rate decided by the local government officials and the village elites.
A jeep road from the Imam Bargah chowk in Minapin village leads towards the Minapin River and dam constructed for the electricity. With serene views of the cultivated land with boundaries of apricot, cherry and apple trees on both sides, this is an easy walk and 20 to 30 minutes to reach the blaring river bank. Few guest houses are available at the end of village which provide more convenient staying options and reduce the time and efforts for trekking up the Rakaposhi mountain. Carrying water is also required for the first hour of trekking after which frequent drinking water springs cross the trek.
After crossing the wooden bridge, it takes about two hours’ steep hiking to reach the Banjidas. It is recommended to start the trekking in the late afternoon when the shadow of mountain covers the trek and makes the walk easier. The views of Minapin Glacier and Diran Peak are awesome. Banjidas is a summer settlement with fresh water and bushes with pink flowers. There are few Gujar’s huts as well from where milk, ‘lassi’ and the best quality ‘desi ghee’ may also be available. A beautiful cold waterfall falling down from the rocks makes it an excellent refreshing rest spot.
Another hour’s walk in the trees and bushes takes you to the Hapakun. This is a marvelous green land with thick grass floor and thick forest on the slopes. Hapakun is a great camping spot with availability of fresh water melting down from the heights of Rakaposhi. A couple of campsites are available here with food availability.
From Hapakun it requires two to four hours trekking to reach the Tagafri. It is green inclined trek covered with the pine tress for the first half which turns into a lush green grassy landscape before reach Tagafri. Before reaching the Tagafri, there is high ridge with amazing view of Minapin Glacier below with a background of a long and high snowy wall starting with the DIran Peak and ends at the Rakaposhi Peak on the right. The glacier from here looks like a bundle of ice cones with needle like edges. On the right side, the Rakaposhi Peak appears (if not in the mist), extremely close to you.
From the ridge, a steep path drops down towards the Tagafri. Tagafri is a wide grassy ground like bowl, starting from a direct lush green slope of the Rakaposhi. Tagafari is an ideal campsite with availability of camping and dining services. For energetic enthusiasts, it can also be a climbing opportunity to attempt the safe and non technical areas of Rakaposhi. You can start ascending the slopes of 7788 meters high Rakaposhi!
From Tagafri to Kacheli, it needs to walk on the glacier for about 3 to 4 hours. A local guide is required to help crossing the difficult moraine and the glacier from the safest passage. The Kacheli is another grassy and flower strewn meadows. This place is also known as the Diran Peak basecamp. A lake is also situated further up which requires one to two hours’ hiking. This lake is also called Kacheli lake which offers excellent views of all peaks of the Rakaposhi massif. An optional alternate route for return is also there which leads to the Miachar village.