Adventures at Matheran Hill Station
March 13, 2013 – 12:05 am | No Comment
Matheran is a Hill Station located near Mumbai, Karjat.   It is located 800 meters above sea level in the Jambol Forest of Maharashtra.  It was found by Hugh Poynts Malet in May 1850.  It spreads over an area of 8 square kilometers in Sahyadri Mountains.  It is one of the best places to spend a two-day holiday if you are in Mumbai or in the vicinity of Mumbai or its suburbs.  To reach Matheran,  [...]

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Trekking in the shade of K2 Godwin Austen

Posted on August 19, 2010 | Adventure TravelOne Comment


The confluence of the majestic Godwin Austen Glacier and the Baltoro Glacier is known as Concordia. The name Concordia was given to it by European travelers and explorers who noted similarities in it to a namesake glacial confluence in the central Alps.

The best region in all of Asia this ancient glacial power house is a treasure for mountain related enthusiasts. Although no climbing is involved, with its awe inspiring and breathtakingly stunning views, it also has on offer hikes to many important base camps of the region.

The call of the wild!

The hiking can take you to the base camps of Broad Peak which is two hours of enchanting terrain, K2 with its raw and rugged hiking ground and the Gasherbrums which are about a three hours journey. And climbing was not to be denied to the thrill seeking bunch of Americans to which I proudly belonged. Despite having a narrow brush with death at a base camp near the wondrous Himalayas when an unwarranted avalanche got the better of us, we craved for more.

K2 Godwin Austen

We learnt of a different exit while coming down the Boldoro Glacier for which we had to climb the Gondogoro Pass which is located high and pretty at about 5450meters. It was a perfect end to a twenty or more odd days vacation letting it loose in the country of Pakistan.

Arrival at Rawalpindi:

Cut to the meeting with the Alpine club of Pakistan after the airport and the hotel affairs. The members are very friendly and we shortly embark on a city trip of Rawalpindi. It reminds me of the Indian capital of Delhi with its bustling and lively markets and bazaars of colorful this and that all vying for the elusive dollar.

Rawalpindi

The real Pakistan with its crowed streets and alleys will appeal to one and all. After the women folks of our team decked it up in all sorts of finery and local fabrics we called it a day. We quickly moved on to Islamabad the country’s capital which lies at the base of the potwar hills.

Parks and mosques of Islamabad await!

Islamabad makes up for the lack of the beautiful monuments in Rawalpindi. We made our trip a quick affair with the Shakespearian Park, Lok versa which is the institute of Traditional Heritage and Folk. We almost missed visiting the Shah Faisal mosque which is the biggest in the world. Enchanting was the word!

The link from Pakistan to china!

Traveling on the karakorum highway was spell binding and the loss of my favorite hat made it emotional as well. This karakorum highway is engineering marvel of the joint effort of the Chinese and the Pakistanis is a link between the two nations. A must travel site which was built at the cost of man people’s lives. We drive to Chilas and then to Skardu along the ancient and the beautiful Indus River.

Karakoram highway

We are amidst nature but driving around has bored the group to the core. The mountains await. The hot springs of sulpur which lie behind Thongal are a joy to watch. The jeep journey from Skardu to Askoli is funas we cross the Braldu river and pass the pretty and dainty villages of Dassu, Thongal, Pakora.

Limpi kiser should not be missed which are the colored stones of copper which are found around the hot springs. The guide enthrails us with the legend of the King kiser and his magical super natural powers.

Of rivers and glaciers:

The trek begins at Askoli as the porters are given their individual loads to carry. It takes us an hour to reach the village of askoli as we walk along the serene Braldu river. I control the urge to not get wet or throw my friends in to the river. We reach the Biafo Glacier after three hours and it is well worth it. The rivers of Domodro and Biafo and the panoramic sights of the majestic Biafo Glacier transform you to a place of your dreams.

Biafo Glacier

The days feel short as we refuse to tire from the treks packed day after day. Walking can get difficult but rest days are there in between for exploring the local areas. Goat meat soon becomes a favorite with troop and singing and dancing the nights away becomes common. The tamarisk trees and streams down the Paiyu peak bring about beautiful memories of spotting fox spore and ibex tracks.

Deciphering K2!

The distant views of the triangle of K2, the snout of the Baltoro Glacier and the Cathedral towers are a sight to behold. The girls even shed a few tears of joy then quickly began clicking panoramic snaps of each other. We were a jolly bunch. Chongori is the local name of K2 which means the great mountain. A full day exploration and journey to the base camp of K2 was tiring yet gratifying for the sights alone.

K2 falls in the Pakistan-china region and part of the towering karakorum range. Up until six thousand meters it is rocky and rugged then it changes to sheets and layers of dense milky snow. It is named after the british topographer Henry Godwin Austen. After it was explored and surveyed in 1856 a decade later it was first climbed by a group of Italian climbers.

Spectacular glacial rivers and icy white landscapes melt into pretty meadows and green pasture lands. The panoramic sights of peaks and mountains are plenty and despite no climbing being part of the package trekking and hiking can be just as challenging in this environment.

We take back fond memories of this twenty two day journey which now seems a blur when we list down and puts facts and fiction apart. It is a much recommended journey of a life time.

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One Comment »

  • Rosalie says:

    The article reminds me of the movie K2…i had watched the movie in the dome theater, sitting at the top row..so you can imagine the effect..the landscape captured in the movie had left me numb..so i can really imagine your the joy u had visiting the place…

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