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Rakaposhi the Great

Before we decided to run the Rakaposhi Basecamp Trek as one of our trips through Karakoram Bikers, Tabish went and explored the area. Tabish had not previously done much trekking and this was his first major multi day hike.

This is his story.

We have since polished off the details from his early learning experience, fine tuned the approach, taken on board the areas for improvement and now offer the Rakaposhi Basecamp Trek as a four day hike from our Five Giants homestay in Danyor.

Day 1 - Minapin to Hapakun I was excited, like I’d been waiting for this moment for a long time. We left Gilgit at six am for Minapin, from where the track to Rakaposhi Base Camp – known as Taghafri – starts. We arrived around 8 am and had breakfast while waiting for our guide and porter to get ready. After breakfast - and two hours wait - we finally started the trek. The start of the trek was beautiful. We crossed the village and soon came onto the actual track. It was pretty tough for me that I was going on a mountain but the track was good and wide, on which you can walk easily.

After almost one hour I had the first view of Diran Peak from the track and when I turned back and saw the view of Minapin and Hunza I was amazed at the beauty. After that we took a little break at the small and only shop on the track, next to a small waterfall made by the owner. After some refreshing tea bought from the store and much needed splashes of cold water from the stream, we continued on our way. By this time the track was getting smaller, covered with trees, bushes and streams of glacial ice melt. We crossed two little tiny wooden bridges over the water and reached a very small village. There were eight little shepherd houses, but there was just one man staying there, and one happy family of three ducks and local birds called Chakoor. We rested there for another half an hour again and the man served us local style Lassi made with Goat Milk that was really delicious and pure.

Then we started again for Hapakun where we had to spend our night. That part of the trek was actually really steep, but eventually we reached Hapakun after three to four hours total trekking. It was very nice – lush green meadows surrounded with Mountains with a spectacular view of Hunza and Nagar. Interestingly there was mobile reception there, enough to call and message easily. After having some rest, we had lunch and chilled for a while, then enjoyed the beautiful sunset. At night, the view of our galaxy was amazing – you can clearly see the whole Milky Way and fall asleep watching the shooting stars.

The small shepherd village.

Day 2 - Hapakun to Rakaposhi and Diran Base Camp Almost immediately after breakfast at nine am we continued our trek to Rakaposhi Base Camp. It was pretty tough climbing a steep mountain constantly for two hours. After ninety minutes hike the first view we got was amazing and unforgettable – the first view of Rakaposhi and its whole mountainous wall, touching to Diran Peak with its great glacier. When I saw this wonder the first words that came out of my mouth were Allah-o-Akbar Subhanal Khaliq and ! I sat down for a while and enjoyed the moment.

After that we reached Rakaposhi Base Camp and had lunch. Then around two pm we left for Diran Base Camp. We were totally unaware about what we were going to do now, only that we knew we had to cross the glaciers. The first was a black glacier, full of stones both big and small, then a white glacier, and back and forth between the two at least seven times. It was an amazing experience to walk on a glacier for four to five hours with mesmerising views and some dangerous and beautiful flowing water, under the shadow of Rakaposhi and Diran.

Finally, we reached the Diran Base Camp after around six pm. The sunset there was amazing, a golden hour on Diran and its Base Camp is unforgettable. However, we had a bit of a mishap. The gas stove we took with us was not working properly so we had to collect some sticks to make a fire. Eventually we managed to cook dinner, which tasted great. After dinner, I had a cup of tea and then went to sleep. While our guide had said that there was a room for us to sleep in and would not need any tents, we arrived to find it filled with cow poo… We decided to sleep under the sky, an amazing experience. Before I went to sleep, I could see so many stars - it was very nice.

Day 3 - Kacheli Lake and back to Rakaposhi Base Camp After getting up early and enjoying the beautiful sunrise over Diran Peak we started trekking towards Kacheli Lake from Diran Base Camp. It’s a track lasting almost three to four hours there and back from Diran Base Camp. It’s pretty tough but once you see the terrific views of Diran peak it’s well worth it. After the tough hike we reached Kacheli Lake – at first I thought it wasn’t very impressive. Disappointingly it was a lot smaller than I expected, almost like a pond. But when I went to the opposite side of the lake and saw the reflection in the water of both Rakaposhi and Diran it was really awesome.

I sat down there and enjoyed the view for several minutes, took some pictures and rested. My friends that were there with me had a swim, but I didn’t really feel like it. Once we were finished we came back to Diran Base camp, had a little lunch and started heading back towards Rakaposhi Base Camp by crossing the glacier. Here we got to use a new track, on which we saw some more breathtaking views. After getting back to Rakaposhi Base Camp we spent our 3rd and last night there. The view in the night was awesome yet again with lots of stars and a clear milky way.

Day 4 - Back to Minapin and then Gilgit On the fourth day we returned following the same route from Rakaposhi basecamp. With lots of memories and with some new amazing experiences. We started turning back from Rakaposhi Base Camp and after reaching Minapin headed straight back to Gilgit.

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