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Karakorum: Workman Peak, 5885m (Snow Lake)

PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 9:10 am
by evets

we will walk the Biafo-Hispar traverse this summer...

we have basic mountaineering experience, but we will go with a Pakastani mountain guide on this epic trek.

we have some extra days and we are looking into "climbing" an easy trekking peak on this traverse... around snow lake.

people having info or experience in Workman Peak (5885m) which is supposed to be climable from the Hispar La?

is this suitable for trekkers having "climbed" Nevado Pisco in Peru and Huayna Potosi in Bolivia... these peaks have PD alpine rating

other trekking peak suggestions along the Biafo-Hispar traverse?


PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:07 pm
by WouterB
Make sure you keep on eye on recent developments. I was planning on doing Manglik Sar, but the taliban are now moving towards Islamabad. This could be a problem.

Try contacting alpine. He's from around the area and has helped me out too.

PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:22 pm
by evets
don't worry...

i am keeping an eye on recent developments every day!

please try to look through the bad news that is spread out in Western Media

good local news channel:

for the moment the Gilgit-Baltisan is still a safe heaven!


PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:11 pm
by Damien Gildea
The problem is not Gilgit, Skardu, Hunza or Baltistan/Baltoro. The problem now is getting to those areas safely. The part of the KKH north of Islamabad has always been slightly risky and now it is worse. This was before the recent advance of the Taliban in the last few weeks.

The British Foreign Office makes this very clear. They do NOT warn against going to Gilgit or Skardu, and suggest flying there. They DO warn against the section of the KKH between Islamabad and Gilgit. Chilas also has always been risky. Islamabad is also more dangerous, but that is also a question of luck, and where you go / don't go and how long you spend there. It is hard to get flights to Gilgit or Skardu - you could be waiting a week. ... a/pakistan

I realise that western governments are always very cautious. But strangers on Lonely Planet are no better, particularly when most of them are involved in the tourism business in Pakistan. A comment on that first link you posted "travelling on the KKH is totally safe" is bullshit. It has never been 'totally safe' for a westerner. I have travelled it 10 times (5 times in each direction).

I really like Pakistan, I have been there four times. I always ignored warnings on how dangerous it was. I was planning to go again this year, but I probably will not go.


PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 8:41 am
by evets
so did you hear/read any bad report on something happened with tourists between Islamabad and Gilgit?

there are NO reports up to date of any harassments towards tourists in either Chilas or Besham and Kohistan

here another topic on that issue: ... ID=1727790

so you were there 10 times passing by... what was your feeling of the Chillas-Besham stretch?

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:37 am
by evets
so besides the security concern, nobody has information on this peak?


PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:34 pm
by Damien Gildea
I was personally harassed and threatened by an imam in a village near Besham in July 1996 - long before September 11th 2001. Death to America! (I am Australian).

The KKH goes very close (north of Abbotobad?) to the Line of Control for the Kashmir conflict. It has long been an area close to militant activity, but you're never in the area for long.

Agencies in Islamabad always like to stay in the same couple of hotels in Chilas, in groups, with everything locked up. They don't like that area at night.

A European family (Dutch?) were dragged out of their jeep on the KKH north of Karimabad maybe seven or eight years ago and threatened by armed men. They escaped unharmed but a local working for them was shot. This was reported at the time, but not widely. There have been other incidents (three separate deaths) but they were not related to 'terrorism' or 'religious extremists' (Ned Gilette murdered in his tent, a euro couple disappeared in northern Chitral and Japanese woman found raped and murdered - the latter two confirmed to me by Nazir Sabir).

So it has never been totally 'safe'. Now it is just less so.


PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:47 pm
by BigLee
I personally wouldn't have any major concerns about climbing in Pakistan this summer. As already said, the main problems are away from the climbing areas. It may be prudent to fly although sometimes flights to Gilgit get cancelled in poor visibility (minor problem of Nanga Parbat being close to the flight route). Skardu flights are rarely cancelled. You should be able book online at PIA's website else find a PIA shop. I personally wouldn't spend longer than you have to in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, etc due to recent events. There are regular buses heading north from Islamabad. I'd have a back-up plan to Pakistan in case things get worse. Eg India.

Further to the KKH never being totally safe, in 2005 buses and other vehicles had to travel through the Indus Kohistan stretch in armed convoy due to tribal tensions in the area. This led to the Islamabad-Gilgit trip taking around 20 hours due to long dalays in the formation of the convoys. Maybe they'll be doing the same this summer if there is a security risk on the KKH's lower stretches. The KKH is the only road to China with whom a large amount of trade is done. Long-term, the Babusar Pass is being upgraded to offer a shortcut to the KKH through Besham, etc.

Regards Workman Peak, I've not personally seen it at close quarters although have visited Hispar and and seen it from high up at a distance. I suspect, like a lot of the easier stuff in the Karakoram, that it might be more like an AD.

Workman Peak is the peak directly left of Hispar Pass in this photo.


Peak 6243 (right) with Snow Lake in the distance

You'll need to look at the photo in full resolution to see the peak properly.

PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 3:17 pm
by Corax
As Damien and Lee says; the problem isn't in the mountains, but possibly on the way getting there. In general I'd say you shouldn't worry too much about it, but there's always the bad luck ingredient. To be in the wrong spot at the wrong time. A bomb, a guy on a mission or whatever. Then again, that can happen anywhere.
I've spent about 18 months in Pakistan and I'd say the northern areas is one of the safest places on earth. Some border areas are dodgy and so is Indus Kohistan. Personally, I haven't had much problems unless I've really been asking for it. For example I traveled in the border areas of Afghanistan with the Mudhjahedin during the times of war and so on. Then I got into some tight situations, but if you just head to Islamabad and then fast north I don't think you'll encounter any problems.
Another thing you should add to the analysis is that the media are really keen on painting some countries pitch black. Pakistan is one of them. When I went there first time about 20 years ago I thought I was heading for a very dangerous part of the world, but encountered only friendlyness, hospitality and had a really good time. Also have in mind that the police and the army are always doing their best to keep visitors out of the potentially dangerous areas.

only media war

PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 9:21 pm
by littlekarim
i am in skardu city now and see daily groups here in local market purchasing climbing equpements, and other things.
i have some goups this year also they are coming in pakistan they know about Gilgit,chilas,hunza,skardu, they have good knowldge about north pakistan.
best of luck

PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 9:00 am
by evets
hello again!

thx for all the comments...

so there is NOBODY on the forum who has experience/knowledge about this famous peak?


Safety in Pakistan

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 10:29 am
by Plizi
littlekarim wrote:Hello
i am in skardu city now and see daily groups here in local market purchasing climbing equpements, and other things.
i have some goups this year also they are coming in pakistan they know about Gilgit,chilas,hunza,skardu, they have good knowldge about north pakistan.
best of luck

Skardu is safe. But KKH?

work man peak image

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 6:18 pm
by adventurepk

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 6:48 pm
by evets
thx for the picture!

is it the peak on the left side?


work man peak

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:04 pm
by adventurepk
Highest one