Masherbrum Base Camp (4500m), Karakoram, Pakistan
An easy, lovely route of 5-6 days the base camp of the Masherbrum peak and back to Hushe village. The route is located in specified restricted zone, and trekking permit is required from Ministry of Tourism, Islamabad. The best season for this route is from the month of May to end of October each year.
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.
Skardu 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.
From 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.
After Burdumal the valley broadens and the route ascends broad slopes from one has the first glimpse of the glacier snout which is rock scattered, dreadful and grey. Descending a little and following the Biafo Lungpa, one can reach Payu or Paiju (3368m). The distance from Burdumal to Payu is about 15km. The Payu is traditional halt point for porters. In Balti language Payu means “Salt”. The Payu camping site is located on a flat terrace littered. At Payu one has to stay in tent for overnight.
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.
Basis Mountaineering and hiking gear is required.
The routes are located in specified restricted zone. A trekking permit and permission is required from the Ministry of Tourism Islamabad. For trekking in restricted zone, foreigners must pay a prescribed fee of 50 US$ per person per trek 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 trekking trip.