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Kaghan Valley is a Playground for Trekking and Mountaineering by AA Khan – Explore Kaghan

When it comes to climbing mountains, Pakistan’s has K2, at 8,611 metres (28,251 ft) above sea level is the second highest peak in the world after Mount Everest at 8,848 metres (29,029 ft). It is located on the China–Pakistan border between Baltistan in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of northern Pakistan, and the Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County of Xinjiang, China. K2 is the highest point of the Karakoram range and the highest point in both Pakistan and Xinjiang. Then we have some high mountains in Himalayas such as Nanga Parbat in Diamer Districr Gilgit Baltistan, the ninth highest mountain in the world and 2nd highest in Pakistan at an altitude of 8126 meters. Talking about the third Tirich Mir in Hindu Kush mountain range, Tirich Mir in Chitral District, at the elevation of 7708m is ranked 33rd globally and the highest mountain in the world outside of Himalayas and Karakoram range.

Now let’s get to the topic of Which are the mountains in Kaghan Valley for Trekking and Mountaineering?

Kaghan is a playground and a training-ground, and near enough to civilization to give one a first-rate scramble in 15 or even 10 days … In this way it is distinctly analogous to the Alps as they were, for one can always in 15 days arrive at peaks and passes of which no one knows anything . . .’ So wrote General C. G. Bruce in 1910. His remarks are still valid today. Reading his book,1 it is evident that, though widely travelled in the Himalayas, he spent some of his most enjoyable days in this small and relatively minor valley.

The area, comprising approximately 1,500 sq. miles, is drained by the Kunhar River which has its source close under the Babusar Pass, 13,684 feet, in the north, and flows roughly southwards for 95 miles until it enters the Jhelum River near Muzaf- farabad. To the north of the valley, over the Babusar Pass, lies Chilas and the Gilgit Agency ; to the south, Abbottabad and the lower Hazara District. The great gorge of the Indus lies to the west, with the mountains of Swat and Indus Kohistan beyond. On the eastern fringe lies the territory of Jammu and Kashmir. A road through the valley, open to jeeps for about three months in the year, provides a direct link with Gilgit; and was the only access route in the days before the opening of the air service from Rawalpindi. The Babusar Pass, which is in regular use by animal caravans, is snowbound for most of the year and is often closed during the winter.

From the mountaineer’s viewpoint the Kaghan Valley is still practically virgin country. Its peaks, though some are really attractive, do not possess the lure of high altitude; thus climbers, for better or worse, have passed the valley by. In the northern part of the valley it is possible to enjoy the jsort of climbing, in length, variety and character, that one would expect to get on an Alpine holiday. Every year, after the opening of the motor road in June, walkers, anglers, and campers frequent the lower part of the valley. There are forests of deodar, pine and fir ; alpine meadows, lakes ; and a plentiful supply of huts and rest-houses linking attractive pathways. The larger villages in the main valley possess most of the trappings of civilization. The trout fishing in the Kunhar River is justly claimed to be the finest in the subcontinent. The people of the valley, like all hill-folk, are cheerful and friendly. But they seem to lack the toughness and vigour of the Pathan tribesmen in the adjacent valleys to the west. Whilst they are good load-carriers, they appear to be less venturesome on snow ; though an introduction to technique may be all that is lacking. I found them honest and quite unspoilt.

From Book: Twenty Years in the Himalaya.’ The Hon. C. G. Bruce. Edward Arnold, London, 1910

Today for Climbers and Mountaineers I think Kaghan Valley is still virgin, So Start from Makra Peak 3,885 metres (12,746 ft) to Mini K2 to Mid level Musa Ka Musala to Highest Malika Parbat 5,290 m (17,356 feet), the Kaghan Valley is a playground for Trekking and Mountaineering we have in Himalayan region of Northern Pakistan.

Mali-ka-Parbat

  • Altitude 5,290m ( 17,356 ft above Sea Level)
  • Best Time to Summit June-July-August
  • Minimum 6 Days Required to Summit
  • Oxygen Level 50% (If 100% on Sea Level)

The highest mountain in the area is Mali-ka-Parbat, 5,290 m (17,356 feet), referred to by General Bruce as ‘the one real Kaghan giant of the Valley. The ridge-line that contains peaks of name Malika Parbat has 04 prominent summits. Malika Parbat (South) also the main peak and the highest in whole of Kaghan. This peak was climbed by Pakistani Rashid Butt and Omer Bin Abdul Aziz in 1998, however, Rashid Butt fell to his death while climbing down the mountain. This mountain was earlier climbed by the Europeans and also attempted by Pakistanis. Malika Parbat (Cresta), Malika Parbat Fore Summit and Malika Parbat (North) climbed by two expeditions in 2012 summer season, but there is a controversy going on between the two claimanants. Malika Parbat’s all summits are technical in nature, therefore, should not be attempted by those who are merely trekkers.

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Musa ka Musala

  • Altitude 4,080 m (13,390 ft above Sea Level)
  • Best time for Summit June-July-August
  • Minimum 4 Days Required to Summit (from Islamabad)
  • Oxygen Level 60% (If 100% on Sea Level)

Musa Ka Musala stands at an altitude of 4,080 metres (13,390 ft) at the junction of Siran and Kaghan Valleys in Himalaya.
It is situated 150 kilometres (93 mi) north of the city of Abbottabad in Himalayas, Pakistan. A road from Shinkiari, a tehsil of District Mansehra, leads up to Mandagucha the most frequently used trek is Mandagucha, Jacha, Bikhi, Jabbar, Khorri (Gali) and Choti Ziara Gali

Picture By: Muzaffar Bukhari

K-2 of Kaghan Valley aka Mini K2

  • Altitude 4,000 m Approx. (13,00 ft above Sea Level)
  • Best time for Summit June-July-August
  • Minimum 5 Days Required to Summit (from Islamabad)
  • Oxygen Level 60% (If 100% on Sea Level)

This peak, near Jalkhad, is called K2 of Kaghan Valley as it very much resembles K2 when seen from a reasonable distance.

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Makra Peak

  • Altitude 3,885 metres (12,746 ft above Sea Level)
  • Best time for Summit May to September
  • Minimum 4 Days Required to Summit (from Islamabad)
  • Oxygen Level 65% (If 100% on Sea Level)

The Makra is a scenic peak in the Mansehra District in Hazara Region of the Himalayas in northern Pakistan. It is 3,885 metres (12,746 ft) high and almost 200 kilometres (120 mi) from Islamabad on the Naran Road.[3] From Kiwai, a single 7-kilometre-long road runs uphill to Shogran, a tourist resort with numerous hotels; the track continues to climb up to Siri Lake and ends at Paye. From here it is a trek of nine hours to the top of the Makra. Hiking on the Makra is difficult due to snow and the gradient of the mountainsides.
Although it can be straightforward to climb, fatalities have occurred during storms. In spite of its difficulties, the summit offers the good views of Hazara and Azad Kashmir. Fatalities tend to occur in bad weather, especially thick fog, and as a result of the steepness of some sections. The waters from the mountain’s glacier feed the Kunhar River. The place has been named as Makra Peak by locals as Makra (means spider in Urdu, the local language) due to its shape in snow resembling that of a spider on a web.

Makra is a scenic peak in the Azad Jammu Kashmir and Hazara region of the Himalayas in northern Pakistan. It is 3885-M high peak and almost 200 km from Islamabad on Naran road. From Kiwai a jeep track goes upwards to Shogran, a tourist place, the track goes upward to Payee Lake and ends at Seree. From here it is a walking trek of three hours to the top of Makra. The other approach road is from Muzaffarabad the capital of Azad Jammu Kashmir,almost 35 Km to the Base Camp of Makra called Bheri and from Bheri the hiking trek of 5 to 6 hours to the top of Makra. Although it is an easy peak deaths have occurred in storms. In spite of the difficulties, the top offers the unforgettable scenery of Hazara and Azad Kashmir.

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