Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Ishkoman valley a land of beauties

The Ishkoman valley, running north to South to join the Gilgit Valley, divides the Karakorum Range from Hindu Kush. It was once the principality of Chitral when there was the Kingdom system before 1972. It incorporated to Pakistan by the same year. The valley is a junction of numerous trekking routes with beautiful landscape and amazing natural sceneries. The people here mostly speak the language of Chitral named Khowar. Some parts of it there people speaking Shina the language spoken in Gilgit and Punial. There are Wahki speaking people in the valley too. Public vans are available from Gilgit city to every village of the valley either you can hire special transport if you want comfortable travelling to reach to end of the jeep road for chosen trek. The people are hospitable and always ready to help you when you travel in the valley. You will be invited to local summer houses (cottages) offering local dishes especially made of milk, as you know that people live on the high pasture with herds of their cattle during the summer season and you can experience unique culture of the valley that adds to the enjoyment of your holiday. Trekking in the valley is heart touching smooth paths and spectacular views of snow covering peaks and lush green camping sites with crystal clear spring water all along the treks. There are both kind of treks you have an option to go on easy trek or difficult one. The valleys has some the beautiful lakes on your way to trek you come across the lakes, thick forest, rivers, glaciers and lush green meadows.
There are seven possible treks from Ishkoman valley to other valleys of Gilgit. One of the famous and the most interesting trek the Wakhan Corridor trek could be done from here. Apart from the six other open zone treks could be done on your own or with an organized tour agency. A five or six days trek starts from the village of Pakhora leads east towards Naltar Valley near to Gilgit across the 4,600 meters Naltar Pass (I will post the day to day itinerary with description in the next posts). The 55 kilometers long trek begins in the village of Bilhanz goes up the Korumbar River round west side Kozsar 6677 m peak to the Chilinji Pass 5,290 meters.
  Another restricted zone trek as mentioned above option from the top of the Korumbar River is to go northwest to the northern most tip of Pakistan, skirting the border with Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan and across the Kurombar pass (4343 m) to Broghil, at the top of the Yarkhun River to the N.W.F. P now it is KPK.
The treks connecting the Ishkoman and Yasin valleys will be described in the next posts. The Ishkoman pass is well used by the locals to go to Darkot which is one of the remotest villages of Yasin with fantastic landscape.
There numerous snow covered peaks all along the treks below 6000 meters easy to climb during the trekking with very little climbing experiences, and there are some of the peaks demanding for technical climbers, most of them are unclimbed and unnamed still waiting for their names and explore. Most of the peaks are in a very easy access of one day or two days trek is required to base camps of the peaks.
   I hope you will enjoy reading this article and encourage me by commenting on and suggesting for improvement. I am very new blogger and wish to explore the hidden parts of this country with my own live experience. Still I need great help of readers and bloggers to make it more interesting.


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