Masherbrum Base Camp (4500m), Karakoram, Pakistan
Driving in a jeep from Khaplu Town, a bridge near Surmo, 10 km to the east, gives access to the route leading into the Hushe valley of Baltistan. About 20km from Surmo, the road reaches to Machlu village. From here one can enjoy the spectacular view of the Masherbrum peak. Driving further through a few villages and fording many small streams, the road reaches of a small village of Hushe (3250m), about 37km from Machlu. The Hushe village is last human settlement, before march up to the several glacier and base of the famous peaks of Karakoram range, like, Masherbrum, Chogolisa, K-6, K-7, Liala and Masherbrum Glacier, Gondogoro Glacier, Chogolisa Glacier, and Charakusa Glacier. Here one can buy kerosene oil, basic trekking and climbing equipment and arrange porters.
Getting ThereSkardu can be reached from Islamabad by air or by road. Pakistan International Airlines operates a daily flight for Islamabad-Skardu-Islamabad, subject to clear weather condition. For By road travel, find a Public Transport, bus/van or hire a private van/bus/jeep of car from Islamabad. The Public transport vehicle are available from Rawalpindi Bus stand, there are many transport companies who are operating bus/van/coaches from Rawalpindi to Skardu via Karakoram Highway. While traveling on Karakoram highway in a Bus, Car or van one can enjoy the spectacular mountain scenery of great mountains of Nanga Parbat, Haramosh and many other peaks. From Skardu, one car hire a private jeep for Hushe village.
Route DescriptionFrom Hushe village, the route starts northwards and after about 7-8 hours tiring hours arrives at the snout of Masherbrum glacier. Here one has to stay one night in tents. Next day the ascent beyond the snout and over the crevasse d ice is strenuous. The hiker must hire the services of experienced mountain guide who have to well knowledge of the route. The hiking time is required about 6 to t hours to reach the base camp (4500m) of the Masherbrum Peak. Here one can spent some days to explore the surrounding areas of the glacier, and can climb small peaks of below 6500 meters.
The route can be accessible from Baltoro Glacier too. From Skardu, one can reach Askole village by hiring a Jeep. At Askole village, buy the kerosene oil, basic food material and arrange porters. The camping facilities are available at Askole village. This route is very strenuous and can not be underestimated.
From Askole the route enters the region that described as “the greatest museum of shapes and forms”. The route traverses suddenly over the terminal of the Biafo Glacier, where it meets the Braldu Valley. About 8km after Askole the route crosses the tongue of the Biafo Glacier. Another 4km further on, one will reach the Korofong campsite, which the route follows up the Dumordo River for a shortcut, crossing a bridge to its east bank and continuing along the Biafo Lungpa, reach Burdumal camping site (3353m). Here one has to stay in tents for overnight. The distance from Askole to Burdumal is about 19km.
In the widen valley beyond Payu the loft mountains of the Karakoram start coming into view. The route enters in a region of icy wilderness where the surface of the glacier can be seen covered with loose rocks, further continuing along the northern side of the valley over hillocks and spacious stretches of stones. The glacier is about 2km broad, curves northeast then east on the long route from its head at Concordia. Hiking in the glacier is slow and tiring and one has make extra effort to find a safe route, avoiding crevasses and ice ridges to reach the Liligo (3715m). One has to stay here in tent for overnight. The distance between Payu and Liligo is about 10 km.
The most strenuous and demanding part of the whole route. It involves crossing many sub glaciers flowing in from the north between great rock peaks, hiking up and down over a confusion of rocks and threading a way throughout an endless network of enormous boulders. To the left high lofty snow covered peaks and rock towers stab the sky, and reach the Urdokas campsite at 4011m. The distance between Liligo-Urdokas is about 10km. One has to in tent for overnight.
Another exhausting stretch over snow and moraine hillocks of frozen icy rocks, crossing the glacier and crossing the Masherbrum Pass (5364m), one can reach the Masherbrum base camp.