The Snow Lake Trek is a challenging yet rewarding adventure for experienced trekkers and mountaineers. It offers stunning views of the world’s largest non-polar glacier, the Baltoro Glacier, and the mesmerizing Snow Lake.
The trek is famous for its breathtaking landscapes, glacial crossings, and proximity to some of the highest peaks on Earth, including K2.
Location: Snow Lake is located in the Karakoram Range of Pakistan, in the Gilgit-Baltistan region. The trek starts from the village of Askole and leads to the magnificent Snow Lake.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to undertake the Snow Lake Trek is during the summer months, from June to August, when the weather is relatively mild, and the snow has melted, making the trail accessible.
Duration: The trek typically takes around 15 to 20 days to complete, including the return journey.
Day 1: Askole
- Arrive in Askole, the starting point of the trek.
- Get required permits from the local authorities.
- Stay overnight in a local guesthouse or camp.
Day 2: Askole to Jhula
- Trek from Askole to Jhula.
- The trail passes through the picturesque Askole Village and follows the Braldu River.
- Camping options are available near Jhula.
Day 3: Jhula to Paiju
- Hike from Jhula to Paiju.
- The trail becomes steeper and more challenging.
- Paiju is a beautiful campsite with stunning views of Paiju Peak.
Day 4: Acclimatization Day in Paiju
- Spend the day acclimatizing to the higher altitudes.
- Short hikes around the campsite are recommended to help adjust to the altitude.
Day 5: Paiju to Urdukas
- Continue the trek to Urdukas.
- The trail offers panoramic views of Trango Towers and Cathedral Spires.
- Urdukas is a scenic campsite overlooking the Baltoro Glacier.
Day 6: Urdukas to Goro II
- Hike from Urdukas to Goro II.
- You will cross the Baltoro Glacier, which can be challenging.
- Goro II is a basic campsite near the glacier.
Day 7: Goro II to Concordia
- Trek to Concordia, the heart of the Karakoram Range.
- You’ll be surrounded by some of the world’s highest peaks, including K2, Broad Peak, and Gasherbrum IV.
- Concordia is a remarkable camping site.
Day 8: Rest Day in Concordia
- Take a well-deserved rest day in Concordia to explore the surroundings.
- You can also plan a hike to K2 Base Camp from here.
Day 9-12: Trek to Snow Lake and Back
- Begin the trek to Snow Lake, a frozen wonderland.
- Spend a couple of days exploring the Snow Lake region.
- Enjoy breathtaking views of ice formations and peaks.
- Return to Concordia for the night.
Day 13: Concordia to Goro I
- Start the return journey by trekking back to Goro I.
Day 14: Goro I to Paiju
- Trek back to Paiju campsite.
Day 15: Paiju to Askole
- Hike back to Askole, where the trek began.
Day 16: Askole to Skardu
- Return to Skardu, the nearest major town, via Jeep.
Physical Fitness: Ensure you are in good physical shape as the trek is physically demanding due to the high altitudes and rugged terrain.
Permits: Obtain the necessary permits from the local authorities and check the latest travel regulations for the region.
Pack Wisely: Pack warm clothing, waterproof gear, comfortable trekking boots, and a high-quality sleeping bag.
Altitude Sickness: Be aware of the symptoms of altitude sickness and take necessary precautions. Acclimatization days are crucial.
Local Support: Consider hiring local guides and porters to assist you during the trek. They are experienced and can be invaluable.
Leave No Trace: Respect the environment and local culture. Carry out all your trash and avoid disturbing the natural surroundings.
Safety: Always prioritize safety. Keep an emergency plan, communication devices, and a first-aid kit handy.
The Snow Lake Trek is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for adventure seekers. It offers unparalleled natural beauty and a sense of accomplishment for those who conquer its challenges. Remember to plan well, stay safe, and immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring landscapes of the Karakoram Range.