Where on the earth, are the most of highest mountain peaks, largest glaciers, wildest rivers, only remaining flora & fauna and unique most civilization is Gilgit-Baltistan. The northern part of Pakistan is renowned for the meeting point of Himalaya, Karakoram, Hindukush and Pamir. Nowhere else over the globe is such spectacular mountain scenery in a single country.
Rising upto 8611 meters, Chogori (K2 – 2nd highest mountain in the world); this region is well populated with stunning wonders. The Baltoro region, the most visited and admired trek in the world provides really what it is renowned for. Four of the 8000 meters and twenty two over 7000 meters peaks are standing along the Baltoro Glacier. 58 kilometers long this glacier is remarkably unique mountain paradise because of snow covered peaks, sliding glaciers, rivers and granite towers.
Almost attached to the Baltoro, the Biafo Glacier is another spacious name for adventure trekkers. Joining with the Hispar Glacier in Nagar region, Biafo-Hispar makes world’s largest glacial land (other than Polar Regions). Like Baltoro, this largest iceland is also surrounded by many 6000 to over 7000 meter high snowy peaks. At the junction of Biafo and Hispar, the Snow Lake is a dream destination for the trekkers. A large area covered with solid ice almost 2 kilometers in depth, Snow Lake (Lupke Lawo – local name) is a crown for Northern Areas of Pakistan. Dastaghil Sar, Kunyand Chhish, Pumeri Chhish and hundreds of named and unnamed peaks are the reason making it precious for mountaineers of the world.
The Gilgit-Baltistan province consists of two major divisions i.e. Baltistan and Gilgit. Among all, Baltistan with its capital Skardu is the most wild and remote among all the valleys. With almost uncountable tributaries and water resources, Indus and Shyok are the main rivers in Baltistan. Maximum of the Karakoram wilderness is in Baltistan and makes it the most wanted mountain place. Broad Peak, Gasherbrum massif and Masherbrum are the highest peaks in Baltistan region.
Deo Sai National Park is famous for its unique geographic characteristics and flora and fauna. A few Himalayan Brown Bears and Snow Leopards still survive in Deo Sai National Park. With an average altitude of 4000 meters Deo Sai also known as ‘Roof of the World’.
Gilgit is the most developed and largest division of Northern Areas of Pakistan. In this region all the four highest mountain regions meet at Jaglot, 20 minutes drive from Gilgit right on the Karakoram Highway. At this point the two major rivers Gilgit and Indus merge and make the Indus. Gilgit is also the most populated part of Northern Areas of Pakistan. Hunza, Nagar, Gojal and Ghizar are districts of Gilgit Division. Naltar, Ishkoman, Ghizar and Shandur provide a number of trekking and mountaineering opportunities. Nanga Parbat, Rakaposhi, Batura (also glacier), Passu (also glacier), Ultar, Dastaghil Sar, Kunyand Chissh and many other peaks are in this area of natural beauty. Gilgit, Hunza, Hispar, Khujerab and many other rivers in this region are providing Pakistan a major source of running water. Batura and Passu glaciers are the largest glaciers in Gilgit region with 40 to 50 kilometers in length. Because of the highest mountain areas in the world, there are many high passes in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. Khunjerab, the world’s highest public pass, border between Pakistan and China is one of these passes. Many named and unnamed lakes in different valleys of Northern Areas of Pakistan also provide a touch of nature’s artwork. Kachura, Satpara, Karumbar, Shaucer and Rama lakes are few names among the major contributors in the magnificence of Northern Areas of Pakistan.
It is easily possible to present a number of facts regarding how these areas should be visited. There are a number of writers in the world who having build there portfolios by writing on Northern Areas of Pakistan. But still these areas are waiting for the steps which belong to the same country land. Many of our mountain treks see many foreigners but just a few Pakistanis. Let’s see how long it would take Pakistani trekkers geared up to explore these wonders. We have a variety of luminous crowns but no kings.