The high mountain of Gilgit Baltistan and Chitral have superb areas ranging from moderate to high altitude ice and rock climbing through out its length and breadth. As willing Alpine climbers, going to the lofty mountain rages of Karakoram, Himalayas and Hindukush is a childhood dream.
The Drifika (6447m) Peak is located in Charakusa Glacier, Karakoram, Pakistan. Drifika offers a major challenge for veteran climbers, and is considered as one of the hardest climb of below 6500m peaks in Karakoram. The Peak was first climbed by the Japanese expedition team led by Akiya Ishimura in 1978.
Drifica is a tough goal. Climbers desiring to conquer the summit will require having the physical fitness and variety of experience. In addition to the understandable climbing and rope work abilities required those with a broad background of mountain skills are mainly likely to succeed. The capability to be skilled and flexible in the face of changeable weather and snow conditions is necessary.
The best climbing season is from Month of June to end of September each year.
For obtaining of climbing permit one have to visit Ministry of Tourism Islamabad and attend a mandatory briefing and de-briefing at Ministry of Tourism Islamabad and Alpine Club of Pakistan, Islamabad on arrival and return from the mountains.
Journey from Islamabad to Skardu:
For journey from Islamabad to Skardu, you will have three options:
1- Public share transport (Bus or Van):
2- Private air-Conditioned Mini Bus, Van, Jeeps or cars
3- By air
Public service transport:
Local wagon, buses services are available in Rawalpindi. There are many transport companies which operates buses and wagon services between Islamabad-Gilgit and Skardu. The some famous transport companies are NATCO, Mashabrum, and K2 Travel. The bus/van stand is located in Pirwidhai, Rawalpindi, about 20 kilometers away from Ministry of Tourism Islamabad. You can reach the bus stand by hiring a local taxi which costs from 3 to 5 US$. During summer season you have to book your seats well in time before your departure. The current bus/van fare from Rawalpindi-Skardu is between 24 to 30 US$ per seat. The journey time is about 24 to 30 hours depending on road conditions.
Private Air-Conditioned Transport:
You can hire the private Mini Bus (Toyota Coaster) from Islamabad. The hiring cost of Private air-Conditioned Toyota Coaster (Mini Bus) from Islamabad to Skardu is about 470 US$. Hiring charges of Toyota Hi-Roof Van is about 350 US$.
Pakistan International Airlines operate a daily flight of Skardu, subject to clear weather conditions.
Journey from Skardu to Hushe:
Towards Drifika Peak
Skardu is the capital city of Baltistan. At Skardu you can purchase food material, kerosene oil, stoves etc. From Skardu you have to hire a jeep for Hushe village, which is about 100km. Here you have to arrange porters. Next day trek through a lovely and diverse landscape for three days to reach base camp. In the beginning the route takes you north-wards following the Hushe River to the junction of three steep sided valleys. You have to camp here for the night before turning west-wards following the Charakusa glacier which is enclosed by high granite pinnacles.The third day of trekking takes you to base camp located on a flat grassy plain below the multipart rock and ice features of K7 (6973m).
The Drifika Peak is located in a specified restricted area. For climbing and trekking in specified restricted areas (below 6500m). For Climbing in restricted zone below 6500m peaks, foreigners must pay a prescribed fee of 50 US$ per person to obtain a trekking permit from Ministry of Tourism, Islamabad. The validity of trekking permit is 30 days. It also requires hiring an approved/licensed mountain guide; buy a personal accident insurance policy for the guide, cook and porters and to attend a mandatory briefing and de-briefing at the Ministry of Tourism, Islamabad, at the beginning and the end of the expedition trip.
A nominal camping fee are charged at Hushe valley camping sites.