For any adventure lover, the Shamshal pass trek is no less than a wonder. This trek contains extreme beauty in it. It is located in a very difficult and remote valley of Shamshal. Usually, hikers ascending any mountain go towards height. However, at Shamshal, somewhere heights and at some point, towards the slope. The whole trek is complicated.
At Shamshal pass, a rare Wolf of Pakistan can be found. The wolves exist here in abundance. Yolk is called Khush Gae in these areas. Leopards, Wolfs, and bears create a lot of trouble for the local populace.
Highest Settlement of the World
World’s highest settlement is at Shamshal pass. At an altitude of 4,500 meters. At such height, humans don’t live in any other place in Pakistan. Only tourists go to such heights to ascend the peaks. However, the people of Shimshal are such hardcore that they contain and take care of the cattle at such high altitudes. At Shujrab, several thousand goats. People take care of them in rotation. 8 to 10 days, one group takes care of goats. Another replaces this group after this period. For local people, the track is for 3 days.
At Palmier pastures, there are 1500 yolks. They graze there and are looked after for 6 months of the year.
Islamabad to Shujrab
The journey starts in Islamabad. Hunza is the first stop. From Hunza, a road turns towards Shimshal village from Passukool. The distance between Shimshal village from Hunza is almost 4 hours. On the first day, the tourists stay at Shimshal village. On the second day, they halt at a point named Pest Khurd Been. From Pest Khurd Bin a 9-hour, extremely tough hike leads the tourists to Arbab Prem. From this point, they move towards Shujrab. Mostly, at this spot, the luggage is carried by donkeys. Interestingly, the donkeys are relatively small sized in hilly areas than planes. A rule for luggage exists that nobody carries more than 20 kg of luggage. The donkeys too cannot carry more than this limit.
Shujrab to Shamshal
From Arbab Prem to Shujrab, the distance is covered in 7 to 8 hours (if the hike was good). This trek makes the trekkers wonderful time and again.
In any month of summer, snow can fall at Shamshal pass. The journey/hike up to Shamshal pass or Minglin sar from Shujrab entirely depends on the weather. Hikers may have to wait for several days if the weather doesn’t permit them to go ahead. From the local community, they can purchase a sheep or goat. They can cook it for you as well.
We do not find such diversity at any track in entire Pakistan. Other peaks or summits are with no population. Here, even at the top of Shimshal’s pass, people live. When a person thinks many times to go/hiking, the Shimshal populace builds their homes there.
After a 3 to 4-hour hike from Shujrab, one reaches Shimshal and Palmier Pasture. This is the biggest pasture in the area, where thousands of Yolks keep grazing. Running water stream between grassy meadows. Surrounded by snow-covered peaks. What a beautiful and wonderful pasture!
Yolk is the backbone of the Shimshal economy. This animal is grazing here. Whenever some yolks are to be sold, they are moved to Shimshal village beneath. There, the meat and skin of yolks are sold. Tents and other warm items are made of their skin hairs, which help combat the cold. Yolk is the only animal in the world, which is an herbivore and can survive at such high altitudes. No other animal has such a lung capacity to survive in this area.
At Shamshal pass, the highest active lake in Pakistan exists. It is known as Shamshal Lake or Lupe la Lake. It is at 5,050 meters in altitude. There are 3 lakes, 2 small and 1 big. The bigger one is Lupe la Lake. It is distant from the other 2 lakes. It is almost frozen for the whole year. Only for 1 or 2 months, the upper layer is not on the surface and thus water is seen. Rush Lake is perhaps considered the highest for the reason that it freezes for a lesser duration. While Lupe La Lake remains frozen for a longer period of the year.
However, the views of the lake are awesome.
From the same point, the Shimshal River started. The same Lupe la Lake feeds water.
Minglin Sar Peak
This peak is at the highest point of the Shimshal pass. Weather is a great obstacle in ascending it. Hikers and climbers have to wait for several days but in vain.
Diversity at Shimshal Pass
Lush green planes of Palmier pasture are seen here. Extremely vast wetlands exit at Shimshal pass. Snowcapped high mountains please the viewers. Such diversity at this altitude doesn’t exist anywhere in the world. Such views are not even at Deo Sai. Mountains and peaks at such close distances are not at Deo Sai, the MAGNIFICIENT. Yolks in this abundant amount do not exist anywhere in Pakistan. Here are scores of yolk herds. They looked fewer after. Other graze themselves.
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