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A Trail in the Shadows of High Mountains

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A Trail in the Shadows of High Mountains

Page Type: Trail

Location: Pakistan, Asia

Trail Type: Cross Country, Downhill, Mountain, Trials, Paved, Touring

County: Pakistan

Technical Difficulty: Hard

Aerobic Difficulty: Hard

Layout: Other

Elevation Gain: 10000 ft / 3048 m

Length: 55.0 Mi / 88.6 Km

Route Quality: 
 - 1 Votes
 

 

Page By: Afzal

Created/Edited: Jan 5, 2010 / Apr 8, 2010

Object ID: 274238

Hits: 5329 

Page Score: 80.49%  - 12 Votes 

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Skardu-Askole Trail

Where mountains preen themselves, their debris litters the brief summer flush of grain in the terraced field of Askole, Pakistan's highest and most remote village, the last human settlement before the march up Baltoro Glacier to Concordia and highest land on earth.

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Askole Village (3048 m)
Askole (3048 m) village is famous for its gateway to highest mountains on earth, like K2, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum, Muztagh Tower and many more. The Askole village is also gateway to the longest glacier on earth outside the polar region. The trail from Skardu to Askole village is about 85 kilometers, in which 32 kilometers is paved up to Shigar and further road is un-paved.


Trail Description

A beautiful trail in Karakoram, Pakistan
 
From Skardu town the road traverses a sandy desert that must have been a lake during and just after to the ice age; signs of this can still be seen. The green oasis of Shigar is soon reached, following the swift flowing Shigar River, upstream, the road lead through orchards and sandy stretches. The Haramosh range, with its snow covered peaks, rises the left. Soon after Shigar, at Skoro, a trail branches northeast to cross Skoro La (5070m) and drop directly to Askole. In the main valley Tandara village is a paradise of green trees, flowers and fresh cool streams amidst the rocky wilderness. A few kilometers ahead the Braldu River meet the Shigar and the road turning northeast, enters the Braldu valley and arrives at Dassu (2679m). Now the road and Braldu River becomes more enclosed.

On way to Askole
 
The road climbs strenuously and having gained about 500m, it descends to a gravel bed over moraine and sand. The road leads through a section where the valley widens and reaches the oasis of Biano and further to Askole village.

Getting there

Beautiful Shigar Valley, Karakoram, Pakistan
 
Askole can be reached from Skardu by jeep. The jeep drive is about 8 hours from Skardu. Or one can enjoy the biking on this trail. But it will be best if start the biking from Askole village towards Skardu.

When to Bike

The best season for this trail is from the month of April to end of October each year. However, Mountain biking can be possible in the winter season also.

Camping:

Camping sites are available at Askole village and all places on the trail.

Images

Way to Mountains, Karakoram, PakistanSkardu, BaltistanGrain fields of AskoleSkardu Town, Baltistan, PakistanShigar Valley, Baltistan, PakistanShigar ValleyAlong Indus River
Skardu, along Mighty Indus RiverOn way to AskoleDassu Village on way to AskoleAskole Trail