All About Gilgit Baltistan

Nanga Parbat Base Camp

Nanga Parbat, this name always gives me goosebumps because of the stories we have heard about it. Nanga Parbat is famously known as the killer mountain which is the second highest peak in Pakistan after K2 and ninth highest peak in the world with a height of 8,125 meters.

Nanga Parbat
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Nanga Parbat

Nanga Parbat: The Killer Mountain

You must have got stuck in the substitute name of Nanga Parbat that why is it called the killer mountain? Let me clear the confusion then. Many mountaineers tried to climb this mountain unsuccessfully and they died, because of the fact that it is one of the hardest mountains to climb. Approximately 31 people died attempting to climb Nanga Parbat before its 1953’s first ascent by Austrian climber Hermann Buhl. Thus, this mountain does not even favor the most experienced mountaineers

 This Eight-Thousander is covered with snow and is a beautiful spot for mountaineers and tourists to trek in summers. The name Nanga Parbat is derived from the Sanskrit words nanga and parvata which together mean “Naked Mountain”.

Undoubtedly, Nanga Parbat base camp is one of the spectacular attractions that attracts hundreds of tourist and mountaineers each year across the world. It is located in Diamer district of Gilgit Baltistan. In addition, Nanga Parbat is part of Himalaya and is separated from Karakorum by Indus river. The picturesque Fairy Meadows are yet another reason why tourists come to visit Diamer and Nanga Parbat.  Furthermore, this Nanga Parbat base camp trek will take you through the crystal green lakes, gigantic water falls, leafy pastures and what not. In other words, it is like a piece of paradise.

Three Faces of Nanga Parbat

Diamer Face, Raikot Face and Rupal Face are three diverse and distinct faces of Nanga Parbat, each providing a unique approach of climbing. Furthermore, these faces are not only different in terms of their appearance, but their routes also start from totally different valleys. You can start your journey from Gilgit or Karakurum Highway towards Tarashing which is a green alpine village on the way. You can camp there overnight and trek towards Shagiri, a place famous for flowers and in 2 days you will reach Rupal base camp.

Rout from Gilgit Airport to Rupal Base Camp
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Rout from Gilgit Airport to Rupal Base Camp

Diamer face takes 3 days as it is the lengthiest track. On the way, you need to cross a steady green plateaued place full of alpine flowers, known as Kutgali. It is the famous base camp due to its spectacular near view of Nanga Parbat.

From Bunar, Chilas to Nanga Parbat Base Camp
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From Bunar, Chilas to Nanga Parbat Base Camp

For Raikot base camp, you need to start from Raikot bridge on Karakurum Highway towards Jail which is again a small place in Tato Valley at the foot of Fairy Meadows. Raikot Bridge as the name reflects is a bridge on Karakurum Highway, located 80km away from Gilgit and if you measure the distance from Islamabad it is approximately 400 KM. Once you get there at the bridge, you’ll have to register with the police as a precaution. You might have heard that prevention is better than cure. Here begins your adventure in a jeep. Yeay! The jeep does not drop you directly at the Fairy Meadows. Yes, you heard it right.  You have to go on foot for two to three hours through aromatic alpine forests to get to the Fairy Meadows campsite. Fairy Meadows is one of the best spots for adventurers. The breath-taking sceneries, lush green pastures and easy access have made this place a great vacation point after a hike of few kilometers, you will reach another camp site known as Behal. Behal is famous for the serene atmosphere, lit a bonfire and sleep under starry sky. How can one ask for more?

From Raikot Bridge to Fairy Meadows Map
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From Raikot Bridge to Fairy Meadows Map

Among these faces Rupal Face is very famous due to its world tallest vertical wall to climb and it is 4570 meters from the base.

Avalanche Risks

Some Once you are done with trekking and hike, you can return from the base camps. The porters, tour guides and the police will accompany you back to the village. Whether you are in Fairy Meadows base camp, or Raikot base camp or other base camps, you need to be very vigilant, because there is always risks of avalanches. You have to keep an eye on your surrounding; nature will provide you omens as well. For example, bizarre sounds, strong winds, gales etc. will be some of the warning signs. Any change in them may signal towards a disaster. So, better be careful.

Despite having a very dangerous and notorious nomenclature, Nanga Parbat is unpredictably attracting trekkers to its base camp which is only 4 hrs away from the fairy meadows. Let me tell you here that fairy meadows are used by locals to organised treks towards the base camp. Although there are threats of avalanches in the Fairy Meadows and all other base camps of Nanga Parbat, still it never fails to attract people. In addition, people always come here and rejuvenate their bodies and souls. So, the risk-taking is worth it.

If you haven’t visited the place, you must plan a trip to the beautiful valleys of Diamer and enjoy a happy vacation over there.

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