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Ditch the tropical vacation; visit Nepal and climb Island Peak this autumn!

Snow Lake Hispar La Trek

Experience the Wild Karakoram

DIFFICULTY: Strenuous

TOTAL TREK DISTANCE: 115 km

MAX ALTITUDE: 5200 meters

TOUR DURATION: 21 days

LODGING: Mix of hotels + camping

GROUP SIZE: 5-8 people

A journey unlike any other: the Snow Lake Trek: Pakistan

Tucked away in the far reaches of the Karakoram Mountain range lies two of the longest glaciers on earth outside of the polar regions: the Biafo and the Hisapar Glaciers. 

This rugged, awe-inspiring landscape is what adventure dreams are made of. 

Our challenging 21-day Snow Lake Trek expedition is the most remote and unique trekking trip we offer and is the ultimate challenge for people who are keen for a real adventure. 

Our expert staff has the skills and local knowledge to help you achieve your Snow Lake Trek objectives. 

snow lake trek pakistan

Let us show you what Pakistan is all about.

Our team of skilled guides, porters, and cooks ensure professional support throughout the expedition, while also giving you the freedom to truly experience the Karakoram Mountains without the big crowds or busyness of base camps.

Cross wild mountain passes, camp on a glacier under the glowing Milky Way, experience legendary Pakistani hospitality, get deep into Central Karakoram National Park and gain new skills and experience from industry professionals in a challenging alpine environment. 

Upcoming Dates

Dates

Places

Deposit

Full

June 24th - July 14th, 2024 (Application Only)Available$1000$6050
July 10th - 30th, 2025 (Application Only)Available$1000$6050

Want to Embark on the Snow Lake Trek in 2025?

Epic Expeditions will accept new team members onto the 2025 expedition on an application/interview basis

We will interview all team members and make sure you are up for the challenge. 

We need a minimum of 5 people to run this trip – because there is safety in numbers and because of the complex logistics involved in running this trip. 

Send us an email to arrange a call with our adventure staff to apply to join and to learn more about how we prepare and execute such adventures as the Snow Lake Trek.

Have a question about this expedition?

Your Trip Leaders

travel hunza valley

Sohail Sahki

Sohail is one of the most experienced members of the Epic Expeditions team and we are beyond stoked to have him on board. As a veteran of the Karakoram and a native of Karimabad in the Hunza Valley, there is not much Sohail can’t do in the mountains. 

Besides having the ability to speak more languages than we can count, Sohail has explored every corner of Gilgit-Baltistan and logged more trekking miles in a year than most people will do in a lifetime. As of the summer of 2022, Sohail has summited Gasherbrum 1, Gasherbrum 2, and K2 – three of Pakistan’s five 8000-meter peaks. Sohail guides several trips including our annual bespoke expeditions, but specializes in Hunza Valley tours.

Itinerary

Arrive at Islamabad airport where you will be met by our staff; we’ll ferry you to the hotel where you can chill out and freshen up. We recommend arriving in Islamabad at least one day early so that you can settle in and be ready to go on the morning of day one.

Note: accommodation pre-tour is not included.

The plan is for our whole group to catch an early morning flight to Skardu (50 minutes), the largest city in Baltistan. If the weather is clear, we can catch some truly epic views of Nanga Parbat and other massive peaks in the area.

Once in Skardu guests will have free time throughout the day to rest and to explore the city and the bazaar. Today, we will finalize our trekking permits at the local government office and have dinner together as a group. 

Today, the team is busy food shopping and packing all of the group supplies. Team members have free time in the city during the morning and early afternoon. In the late afternoon (time permitting), we will visit the Kharpocho Fort as a group for those who want to come. We will have dinner again as a group before setting off in the morning.

*If the group is arriving overland from Islamabad, the entire schedule is bumped back a day, to allow for a day of rest in Skardu (that is why we schedule in buffer days!)

Today, our adventure begins in earnest! Our team will assemble early at the hotel and after breakfast, we will load up the 4×4 jeeps and begin the bumpy, dusty drive to Askole – the gateway to Central Karakoram National Park. The journey from Skardu takes between 6-8 hours depending on road conditions. We will eat lunch en route.

We will arrive at Askole in the late afternoon and camp out on the grounds of a simple lodge.

It is also possible that we will need to spend an extra day in Skardu finalizing our permits if they are not ready the day before (again, this is why we schedule buffer days!).

Walking 12km (7 to 8 hours)

The trek starts by following the K2 Base Camp trail and then turns west onto the Biafo Glacier.

The trail ascends over a shoulder to reach the left moraine and descends on to the glacier then back on to the left bank where the grassy camping site called Namla is located behind a lateral moraine.

Walking 7km (5 to 6 hours)

After crossing a fracture zone on the glacier we reach the center of the glacier where we follow moraine ridges, underfoot there is loose rock making this a challenging day.

We set up camp on the left bank of the Biafo in a grassy area.

Walking 11km (6 to 7 hours)

The route continues up the center of the glacier on a broad highway of ice making the walking easier than yesterday. We cross to the right and come off the glacier to a grassy area where Baintha camp is located.

This is a rest day for you and the porters in order to help with acclimatization to the high altitude. You can relax in camp or if feeling energetic walk up a ridge behind the camp with fine views of Latok group and The Ogre.

Look out for Ibex that can often be seen on grassy slopes above.

Walking 11km (5 to 6 hours)

The trail is steep and loose to get onto the glacier however once there we follow the flat glacier making relatively straightforward walking.

Further along the glacier, there are some crevasses to be aware of where depending on the conditions we might rope up to safeguard our passage. There are superb views of many peaks including The Ogre (7,813m) and also we will get the first views of the Hispar La and Snow Lake.

Spectacular views along the trail of Masherbrum, Gasherbrum IV, and the summit of Broad Peak can be seen from just outside your tent.

Walking 10km (8 hours)

Today we walk to the south end of a large snowy flat area known as Snow Lake finding our way through a network of crevasses. Snow Lake is a high-altitude glacial basin over 16km wide at the head of the Biafo and Hispar glaciers.

Martin Conway, the first foreign visitor, gave Snow Lake the name in 1892 and described this area as “beyond all comparison the finest view of mountains it has ever been my lot to behold, nor do I believe the world can hold a finer.”

Walking 11km (5 to 6 hours)

 

Today we trek up to the vast Snow Lake area and make the ascent near Hispar La. The climb to Hispar La is not too steep although it always feels quite strenuous at this altitude, we also have to be aware of the crevasses in this area. The views at Hispar La are fantastic looking down Biafo Glacier to Snow Lake, The Ogre and another side down Hispar glacier to peaks into Hunza.

The goal is to actually camp below Hispar La to take in the views and vibe of this special place, making the La crossing in the morning.

Walking 4km (5 hours)

After an early start, we descend from Hispar La crossing a crevassed area, and then later on the glacier flattens out. We have to cross Kani Basa glacier which is a fracture zone where the two glaciers collide. Shortly afterward we reach our camp located in a grassy ablation valley with good views of Kanjut Sar (7,760m).

Walking 10.5km (6 to 7 hours)

This is a challenging day as we have to find our way through a series of moraine ridges; climb a loose scree slope then cross several glacial streams. Jutmal camp is on a grassy area along the side of the glacier.

Walking 8km (6 to 7 hours)

The route continues up the center of the glacier on a broad highwayAfter an hour we descend down a steep bank to cross another side glacier then back to the valley as  before where the walking is good. Camp at Bitanmal is in a large meadow often used by herders from Hispar village.

Walking 5km (4-6 hours)

We make the last side glacier crossing over the Kunyang Glacier, then walk up by a steep path and cross a stream to get to the meadows at Falaling Chhish.

Walking 15km (7 to 8 hours)

From our camp at Falaling Chhish we cross a bridge to reach Hispar village. You will certainly notice the vibrant green of the orchards and terraced fields after the black and white scenery of the Hispar Glacier.

Depending on the condition of the road we may meet our jeeps in the village if the road is broken then we have a further walk followed by a short drive to our last camp on this trek. If the road is in a fine state, we will drive back to Aliabad on this day. 


We take a jeep for a couple of hours to Nagar village along a rather narrow track before reaching the Karakoram Highway.

We drive up the road to Karimabad where we check into a boutique eco-lodge in Aliabad and the rest of the day is free to wash up, relax, and just chill the F out after so many days of trekking.

This day is allocated for any potential delays during trekking. We do not want our guests to miss their domestic flights due to delays and at the same time we can’t rush the trek if the weather turns. These delays can be caused by multiple factors including (but not limited to) roadblocks. This time can be utilized for sightseeing in Hunza valley.

Hunza valley is truly spectacular and today we have the chance to explore Karimabad, it is an interesting town spectacularly situated on a hillside to the north of the road with views of the fertile valley below (due to their extensive irrigation system) and a glimpse of snowy mountains.

There is an option to visit Altit Fort – which is more than 1000 years old, once the home of the ruling Hunza king dynasty.

Early Morning Flight to Islamabad from Gilgit.

We will have a chill day in Islamabad and an epic feast all together OR we will be driving the KKH en route to Islamabad if we have flight delays. 

We booked in an extra day in Islamabad in case of travel complications getting back from Gilgit. Since you have just completed the most epic hike of your life, we do not want to add any group stress by making the departure window tight.

Today will be a free day in the city with group breakfast and dinner included. After a final meal together, our epic journey of a lifetime has come to an end and the time has come to say goodbye.

We arrange for transfers to the airport for those who are flying out over the next 12 hours.

Check-out of the hotel is around 11 am on Day 21. You can choose to stay on at the same hotel if you are not flying home right away, though any additional nights at the hotel are not covered.

Refund Policy

Read more about our policy here.

Adventure Guide

Hailing from the Toronto region of Eastern Canada, with a background as a former standout athlete (hockey of course) and a  love of mountain adventure, Clark is a welcomed addition to the Epic team.

In addition to being a keen photographer and adventurer, Clark brings his brilliant sense of humor, leadership skills, and positive attitude to everything he puts his mind to. 

When he is not leading trips, he is working on taking over the hard apple cider game in Canada as a skilled craft brewer. 

Adventure Guide

Noemi grew up in the mountains of German-Speaking Switzerland where she naturally developed a deep love and respect for mountain environments.

She is a talented photographer, aspiring climber, and speaks at least 5 languages fluently including Arabic (and probably a few more that we don’t know about), which she taught herself in a matter of months by watching YouTube videos. 

Noemi has spent the last several years traveling, hiking, and photographing her way around many different countries in the Middle East, South and Central Asia, and Europe, and we could not be more stoked to welcome her to the Epic team! 

Adventure Guide

As our man on the ground in Mongolia, there is not much this legend can’t do. As a native the Bayan-Ölgii province of the Western Mongolia Altai, Syerik has been working as a guide and tourism entrepreneur…

for the past several years and is one of the rising stars in Mongolia adventure travel industry. 

He is currently building a beautiful Ger (Yurt) camp near his hometown where he will host Epic Mongolia team members on our trip as well as other travelers from around the world! 

He is the perfect guide for your trip to Mongolia. Serik did an amazing job giving us a well rounded experience in the Altai NP region and down in the Gobi…
The food was fantastic and Serik gave us many opportunities to learn about the Kazakh culture in that region including traditional meals. (I can’t recommend enjoying the milk tea enough!)

– Coastal

Head of canine operations

Choriza started off life as a care-free vagabond on the streets of Madeira Island without any place to call home. From the moment we met her, we knew this dog was just different, and it was pretty much love at first sight. 

She gave up the dog street life in favor of joining her new dad Chris to become a full-time member of the Epic family towards the end of 2022.

These days she can be found listening in on the fringes of important Epic business meetings while half-asleep on the couch. She is a keen hiker, lover of mud, rare steak, and might just be the sweetest little dog we have ever seen. 

Adventure Guide

An experienced trek leader and
IFMGA aspirant ski guide, avid alpine climber, devoted adventure photographer.

Organized and guided trekking expeditions, climbs and ski tours in Tajikistan’s Pamirs, Patagonia, Peru, Morocco, Nepal, Kyrgyzstan, Georgian and Russian Caucasus and Kamchatka.

A full member and meets the organiser of the British Alpine Club. Visited over 40 countries, lived in the UK for four years. Certified first-aider.

We joined Andrew on a fantastic trip to the Fann Mountains in Tajikistan, pure nature and magnificent scenery! Andrey was super prepared and led us safely up and down numerous passes and through some rough and icy cold rivers. Thank you for a very memorable trip, your planning and prep was excellent!

– Monika Steinlechner

epic expeditions team

Adventure Guide

Our man in Nepal, Sandip is what we like to call a “Swiss Army Knife”. There is not much Sandip can’t do when it comes to helping Epic to run our expeditions smoothly in Nepal.

His tireless work ethic, passion for all things trekking in the Himalayas, and smart decision-making mean that Sandip is a truly invaluable member of our team.

Sandip is passionate about showing visitors to his country an amazing time, and he goes above and beyond to make sure that happens. 

His company Himalayan Masters is Epic’s trusted partner in Nepal and one of the country’s top new tour agencies.

We really enjoyed the entire journey, and I would like to say that Sandip is truly professional. He guided us and he is a hardworking person, providing us with the best service and taking care of each one of us. Plus, he is super funny! The kind of professionnal you always want to find on your path for your explorations! 

– Alexandra Ruth

Fairy Meadows

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Our Favorite Experiences

#1 Sunrise from Reflection Lake

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#2 Hiking to Nanga Parbat Base Camp

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#3 Playing cricket with the locals

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Trips Where We Visit Fairy Meadows

Our flagship Pakistani adventure tour.  Road trip with some  hiking and cultural immersion.

A trekking-style tour that features some very remote locations, inlcuding a K2 viewpoint.

Adventure Guide

João has born in the mountains of Madeira Islands in Portugal. Nature lover, writer, musician, guide, for him, a day without contact with outdoor vibes is a nightmare. 

With a degree in Cultural Studies in Portugal and a Master of Arts in Global Cultures and Creativity in the U.K.

João found out what really matters in life can be found on the trails, and in the contact with people from different backgrounds and cultures.

Guiding, crazy trekking missions, and sharing observations about the natural world, – these are some of João’s passions. 

After trekking to K2 Base Camp and exploring all over Northern Pakistan, he fell in love with the country and the local people. His experiences resulted in his desire to share these feelings with the world.

João is one of the most experienced guides at Epic and his skillset and positive mindset in the mountains is second to none

When not in Pakistan, João is  guiding and exploring in the Madeira Islands trails –  discovering some of the hidden treasures on his Portuguese Island.

João I can not thank you enough for the off the beaten paths and views you keep giving. Definitely one of the most challenging and amazing hikes we did 1200m meters all the way up to Fanal forest and circling back to the hidden village. Wow!

– Jeffery 

travel hunza valley

Adventure Guide

Sohail is the newest addition to the Epic team and we are beyond stoked to have him on board. As a veteran of the Karakoram and a native of Karimabad in Hunza, there is not much Sohail can’t do in the mountains. 

Besides having the ability to speak more languages than we can count, Sohail has explored every corner of Gilgit Baltistan and logs more trekking miles 

in a year than most people will do in a lifetime. As of the summer of 2022, Sohail has summited Gasherbrum 1, Gasherbrum 2, and K2 – three of Pakistan’s five 8000-meter peaks. Sohail guides several trips including our annual bespoke expeditions but specializes in Hunza Valley tours.

Chris and Sohail, and the team at Epic are FANTASTIC! Highly recommend anyone to do a tour with ‘Epic’. They have the perfect balance of fun, excitement and wild adventures, tied in with being super professional and ensuring your safety/health in a foreign environment. Don’t waste a moment and book a tour with these guys as the value for money is UNREAL!

– Borgan

iran travel tour

Adventure Guide

Pedro’s been traveling all around the globe since 2009. His keen interests in documentary photography, rural life, and local people from different ethnic groups have been the focus of many of his professional projects.

Since 2012, he has developed his passion for travel and awesome shared experiences into a full-time adventure photography tour leader position.

Pedro has found himself continuously going back to the Middle East, with his likely favorite destination being Iran. Pedro lead his 11th tour in Iran with Epic in spring 2020

When Pedro’s not traveling the world with Epic Expeditions, you’ll find him based in the western south of Portugal planning he’s next adventure missions, logistics and working out his photos in local exhibitions.

 I loved the combination of hiking, camping around breathtaking scenery mixed with the cultural aspects. The guide (Pedro) is knowledgeable and work very hard to make the trip as memorable as possible. All in all an epic adventure with some extremely epic individuals! Go for it, you won’t regret it!

– Coastal

Diane Bouvet

Adventure Admin / Marketing

After fleeing from the corporate fashion world in Paris towards the start of 2020, Diane has been working as a web developer and graphic designer remotely from various bases across the globe

She brings all of her incredible design and organizational power to Epic Expeditions and is responsible for many of the beautiful behind-the-scenes design elements. 

Diane has been to Iran and to Pakistan twice including all over Gilgit Baltistan and KPK.

k2 gondogoro la trek

Head of Operations | Guide

A veteran of Pakistan travel, Ralph is an experienced guide, photographer and writer who specializes in documenting remote locations. 

Not one to simply go where everyone else does, he insists on exploring new and lesser-known areas.

Together with Epic Expeditions, he shows people parts of Pakistan that most other operators don’t even know about. He is particularly fond of the village of Barah, which he believes will become just as famous as Hunza one day.

Just got back from EBT’s Trekking Amongst Giants 15 day tour. The experience was first class. Ralph, our head guide, ensured that the entire trip ran smoothly and relatively on time (a bonus for anyone travelling in Pakistan). We had so many unforgettable days on the tour and the trekking was well-planned, safe but also a rewarding challenge. 

– Calvin


Traveling to a non-tourist destination can be a little intimidating but EBT takes all of the worry and trepidation away. From the pre-trip call to meeting the wonderful staff in person you can tell that you are dealing with a company that has a passion for what they do each and every day. Ralph, Zahid, and Khan were supportive, kind, and always willing to go the extra mile to make sure that everyone on the trip was getting what they wanted out of the experience.

– Katrina 

adventure tours pakistan

Founder | Adventure Guide | Director

Since he started exploring the world, Chris has been seeking out every shade of adventure in various parts of the globe and had visited more than 70 countries along the way. 

Over the last 10 years, Chris has logged more than 7000 trail miles across five continents and climbed multiple 6000 + 7000 meter peaks in Pakistan and Nepal.

A few years back, a distant dream and a deep passion for the mountains and the people of Pakistan led Chris to co-found Epic Expeditions at a time when foreign adventure tourism in Pakistan was almost nonexistent. Since then, Chris has guided more than 20 expeditions to various parts of Northern Pakistan.

Chris believes in using photography and powerful adventure experiences to dismantle negative stereotypes regarding what mainstream media considers “dangerous” countries while facilitating unique and meaningful memories in the mountains for countless people from around the globe. 

For him, an ideal start to the day begins with a steaming cup of good coffee, the beam of a headlamp, alpine boots, and a camera in hand.

He lives in Madeira Island when not leading expeditions in far-flung lands. 

Chris also works as a writer and photographer on his blog Off the Atlas – an adventure travel blog all about Pakistan.  

Read this interview our staff did with Chris to learn more about him!

Chris believes in Pakistan and its people, and he believes in the value of journeys shared with others and family cultivated on the road. Honesty and integrity are at the heart of what he does, and this really shines through in his work as a guide. He also makes great coffee – whether at 5am in an empty guesthouse or half way up a Himalayan peak.”

– Will De Villers

Pakistan is a magical country! Had 3 of the best weeks of my life thanks to Epic Backpacking Tours with owner, and one of our awesome guides, Chris. From detailed itinerary, preparation with an equipment list, and visa assistance. To amazing food, great porters, helpful guides, and great accommodations. Epic really hit home run after home run. […]

Their desire for adventure and amazing trip is just as high as yours. Bring a good pound of coffee for the trip. French press coffee every morning and no average tin coffee, plus you’ll be in your guides good books.

– Clark Tyler

epic backpacker tours

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