Adventure is the spice of life and adventure seekers know this rule by heart that you should never shy away from discovering the unknown and conquering challenging obstacles. Hiking is considered to be and is very much adventurous, you traverse through rough and uneven terrains, overcoming all the difficulties you can in your path. Today, I am here to give you a guide on how to hike the legendary Rakaposhi Base Camp in one day. Rakaposhi peak is located in the northern areas of Pakistan and is a surreal yet magnificent sight.
Hiking isn’t something that should be rushed; you have to feel in the moment and progress it as it should be. When I went for hiking for the Rakaposhi Base Camp, I saw many groups both national and international and all of them had conquered the legendary base camp in 2-4 days. How about if I told you that you too could conquer this base camp in lesser time, you would be amazed that you can get through here in a mere day.
Although, before you get started you should be fully aware of this beautiful yet majestic peak that you would be conquering. Rakaposhi in its language means “Snow Covered” and it is the true emancipation of its name. While travelling through the Karakoram Highway you can visit this marvelous peak in all of its glory. The altitude of this mountain is around approximately 7,800 meters. Another fun fact regarding Rakaposhi is that you can see it all the way from Hunza Valley, which is so cool and impressive.
As I said, the mountain is 7,800 meters and at around 3,580 meters lies the base camp, which you can (If Willing), conquer in just a day- with the right equipment of course. So let us get started with the ultimate guide on hiking this beauty.
When Is The Best Time To Go?!
As you know that these are the northern areas of Pakistan we are talking about, any hiking plans should be made before the actual fall of the year that is November-December. As the weather conditions in the northern areas are unreliable, it would be better to be at the safe side. Therefore, I would suggest that you make your trip between Late June-October. Now this is a time when the hike trail is mostly clear and there isn’t even that much traffic so you can hike easily. Although, you should be vary enough that temperature at night during October can drop below freezing so pack accordingly. Some people who do multi-day hikes are going to have a hard time although as they would have to camp, you on the other hand will be in a good situation as this is just going to take a day.
Equipment To Pack For Preparation
Going for a hike especially in the northern areas of Pakistan requires a lot of equipment on you. Keep in mind that you actually preparing good for this hike is definitely going to pay off.
Now this is not a rough terrain so you would only need rough and sturdy shoes for the hike, but be ready for snow because that might out you off balance, other than that there is nothing to worry about.
The weather is going to be exceptionally cold, so I would suggest that you wear a thermal suit alongside a warm enough jacket and sweaters. You need to actually put on layers of protection on yourself. Weatherproof jackets and trousers are essential in this situation so don’t go hiking without them EVER.
The hike is going to very energy consuming so make sure that you prepare the necessary lunch and snacks for yourself. The best option here would be to ask the guesthouse to prepare lunch for you; you can even get it packed in their containers. The reason that you should only have organic food from there is because anything else isn’t going to produce the necessary amount of energy for you. After food, water is very necessary, the hike is going to be from 9AM till 5PM (Time may change according to your speed and stamina). Packing 2 liters of water is going to be more than enough; you can fill your canteen from the hike camp.
Let The Hike Begin
Your actual travel plan is going to start from Minapin in the northern areas, and you can easily get there from Gilgit. When you arrive in Gilgit, all you have to do is take the local bus from Gilgit to Minapin, the cost is going to be around Rs. 300 and the journey itself will take around 2-3 hours, depending on the road and traffic.
When you reach Minapin, you would now be wondering that where you should stay. In my opinion and experience, the best place to stay in Minapin would be the Diran Guesthouse. It may be expensive even by the Pakistani standards but it is so much worth it. Let me break down all the facilities you would be getting there:
- A Hot and Cold Shower- This feels like a blessing after your hike because the rest houses there would not accommodate you with that.
- Comfortable Environment- The lawn they have is very reminiscent; it has a very cozy and comfortable environment. You can have lunch and dinner without any kind of interruptions.
So there you go, Diran is the place to stay in Minapin.
From Minapin To Hakapun
The fun thing about this hike is that it can easily be completed in a single day; it is going to take around 7-8 hours so I would suggest that you start as early as possible. My preference would be starting the hike at 8AM and end around 4PM. From Minapin start walking south until you reach an old Hydroplant, actually there will be a bridge there, so traverse through that. After clearing the bridge, you would just have to follow a laid down path, which will make you go through a mountain and a forest.
After that, you will see that you have reached an old local village, and that is an indication that you are nearby your location. From the village, the beautiful Minapin glacier would be visible. Continue your way through the forest, and will see yourself ascending and that is when you will reach the Hapakun campsite. The main indication of the campsite is a white tent and it will be unoccupied most probably if you decided to hike in October.
This is a good time to rest for a while and refill your resources, and now after Hakapun it is going to be straight towards the Rakaposhi Campsite.
From Hakapun To Rakaposhi Base Camp
Now this will be the final hike towards the Rakaposhi Base Camp and will take around 90 minutes from getting one side to another. Keep in mind that this is where the difficulty starts, there will be a very steep climb which will make you zigzag through some forests until you are into the clear. When you are out from the forest, you will start seeing the Rakaposhi peak and that will be a welcome sight.
You need to continue down this path until you get to a panoramic view of the glacier and the path right in front of you. You could be swept away by the awe of the Minapin Peaks as they are surreal and mesmerizing. This is a resting point, you will probably get to the ridge around 2PM if you were really following down the path. Rest here and then descend down to the Rakaposhi base camp, although take in mind that if you haven’t reached the ridge around 2PM then you need to go back because after 2PM the path becomes too hazardous.
So this was it, you just hiked from Minapin to Rakaposhi in less than 8 hours, considering your way back to the campsite again. This was a scenic route and you can rest plenty on the way alongside witnessing the surreal beauty of the plains.