Sonia Peak – Shimshal

Sonia Peak – Shimshal (6340M) EXPEDITION 20 – 25 days, Ex-Islamabad, guided climbs The Sonia Peak is situated near Chopchingal Pass 5100m. It is in restricted zone, one need a trekking permit to climb this peak. 20-25 days round trip from Islamabad is recommended to climb the Sonia Peak.   Sonia Peak’s first ascent made by a German team in 1998 and names this peak after […]

Sonia Peak – Shimshal


20 – 25 days, Ex-Islamabad, guided climbs

The Sonia Peak is situated near Chopchingal Pass 5100m. It is in restricted zone, one need a trekking permit to climb this peak. 20-25 days round trip from Islamabad is recommended to climb the Sonia Peak.


Sonia Peak’s first ascent made by a German team in 1998 and names this peak after her wife Sonia. Since 1988 it has been climbed many times. It has different routes to ascent. From the north ridge it has been climb by the local guide from Shimshal Hasil Shah and he names this route to “Hasil Route”. This north route is safer then the south face. Sonia Peak is a beautiful snow peak, ideal for those looking for small peaks expeditions.


Sonia Peak is 6340 meters high; accordingly to new law publish by government of – Ministry of Tourism on 27 October, 2005. All peaks below 6500 meters will be remaining free of Peak Fee for 2006.


Some part of Shimshal Valley comes under open zone and some part of Shimshal Valley is comes under restricted zone close to boarder. Chopchingal Pass and Sonia Peak comes under restricted zone. A trekking permit of 50 US dollars per person with formalities of briefing and debriefing in Tourism office, license guide and insurance for guide, cook, porters, requirement of Tour Operators to obtain trekking permit is require climbing or trekking to the summit of Sonia Peak.


Rawalpindi and Islamabad is the gateway to the high mountain of northern . An International airport link the world with dozens of international flights each day to this small and busy airport. You will need to get trekking permits from tourism office in Islamabad. Then off to Passu in upper Hunza by the famous Karakoram highway with 20 to 21 hours road journey (also known as the old silk route). If you fly to Gilgit you will also see the 9th highest mountain in the world- Nanga Parbat. Be prepared for delays, road blockage due to landslides.


A three hours drive from Passu village by jeep via the newly built Shimshal road will bring you to the valley of Shimshal.


For your trekking journey to the base camp of Shimshal Village you need food, supplies and porters to carry them. Food supplies you can either buy in Islamabad, Gilgit. Porters to carry your supplies, you can hire in Shimshal Village.


Shimshal village to the base of Sonia Peak it is 5 to 6 days trekking with river crossing, steep hiking, and glacier walking. Sonia Peak base camp is an altitude of 4500m. From the base camp another day of trekking will bring you to the Advance Base Camp at an altitude of 5200m. From ABC it is 2 days climb to the summit with snow climb and fix rope, ice until the summit is soft, need crampon, ice axe, gaiters.  1 one day for return to ABC in clear days but we recommend you to have more then 3 days for ascending and descending. From the summit one can see all the 8000m peaks and 7000m peaks of Himalaya (Nanga Parbat) and Karakoram K2, GI, GII, Broad Peak.


Use and experience of fixed rope, ice axe and carabineers is a must before you plan for SoniaPeak. About 200m fixed rope is requiring for the different section of climbing from ABC to the top of Sonia Peak.  After finishing the climb one can trek down via the Chopchingal Pass to Karakoram Highway in two to three days.

Day 01        Arrival at Islamabad

After arrival met and transfer to your hotel, after short rest drive to  Islamabad for trek briefing and obtain trekking permit.

Day 02        Rawalpindi – Chilas

After an early breakfast 12 hours drive to Chilas with frequent stops and lunch at Besham. Overnight at Chilas Inn.

Day 03        Chilas – Passu

A 6-7  hours drive will bring you to the village of Passu 2500m. On arrival transfer to your hotel. In the evening prepare for the trek.

Day 04        Passu – Shimshal Village

Drive by local jeeps to Shimshal Village (3250m) for 6- 7 hours. On arrival transfer to your camping site for overnight.

Day 05        Shamshal to Zardgarben

Start your first day of trek to Zardgarben about 5 to 6 hours walk with 1075m ascent. Heading east from Shimshal, cross Michael Bridge, and continue through the cultivated are of Band-e-Sar. Turn north into the steep, narrow canyon formed by the Zardgarben River, 1 ½ hours from Shimshal Village. The trail begins along the river’s true right bank, crosses it four times, and in 1 ½ hours reaches Shaushau 3360m, with a spring below the trail. Shau is a woody shrub with yellow flowers used to make weaving spindles. Tung-e-Ben, a sheltered flat place, is five minutes beyond.

Crossing the river a final time to its true left bank and ascend a 250m steep scree slope 45 minutes to a wooden portal 3600m, called Tung-e-Sar (The top of the difficult dry area). A clear stream lies 15 minutes beyond. Continue 30 minutes to the broad, level plain of Zardgarben 4075m. The yellow cliffs above Zardgarben are the source of its name, which means at the base of (ben) the yellow (Zart) rock (gar). This dramatic camp site has a herders hut. The entire enormous valley is an old lake bed formed by a huge rock slide that dammed the Valley. The cliffs frame views south to Shimshal and Adver Sar.

Overnight in camps all meals served by our camping staff.

Day 06        Zardgarben to Jafervask

Continue your trek for another 4 to 5 hours with 527m ascent to Jafervask. Head north from Zardgarben, fording the stream that descends from Uween-e-Sar. Stroll across the maidan and, towards its far end, descend to and ford the Zardgarben River to its true right bank. Immediately the trail climbs to traverse black moraine from a side glacier.

Once across the moraine, the route diverges. When the water is the ZardgarbenRiver is very low, you can immediately descend to the river, ford it and avoid crossing the side stream coming from the west, when it is low, descend to the level plain formed by the side stream before descending to the river. Then follow the true right bank and ford the Zargarben River above the side stream. Once across the river, follow its true left bank to the lone hut 4471m at Shpodeen (place where rhubarb or shpod grows). Follows the river’s edge one hour to Jafervask 4602m, (where a man, Jafer, built a stone wall around fields). When the Zardgarben river is high, stay on the true right bank and ford the side stream. Continue on the river terrace high above the true right bank, and ford the Zardgarben River a few minutes below Jafervask, High cliffs provide a spectacular ackdrop to this grassy flower-strewn spot, home to ibex.

Overnight in camps all meals served by our camping staff.

Day 07        Jafervask to Perchodwashk

Continue your trek, It takes 1 to two hours to  climb the east-west Boisum Pass4875m. The trail basically follows the true left bank of the stream descending from the pass, crossing and then recrossing it just before the final steep, rocky push to the pass. In high water, its requires a ford. Boisum means the pass above (sum) the caves (boi). It refers to the overhanding clefts at the base of the fissured cliff (on your right as you ascend) on the south-west side of the pass. Pir Peak5915m rises east-south-east of the pass.

Overnight in tents all meals served by our camping staff

Day 08        Perchodwashk to War-e-Ben

Continue your trek for another 4 to 5 hours to War-e-Ben. Between Perchodwashk and Mandikshlakh, three tongues of rocky rubble from side glacier push into the Boisum Valley from the west, between these obstacles are two grassy plateaus with clear streams and dilapidated structures called Qul Beg Maidan and Reza Maidan. From Perchodwashk, ford the side stream and stay close to the river’s true left bank, skirting the first side glacier. Stroll across flower-carpeted rolling hills marked by cairns and in 1km pass two possible base sites, Shogshogreen, named for yellow buttercups that yaks like to eat, and nearby Pamireen.

Beyond Pamireen, traverse Qul Beg Maidan and cross the second side moraine. The trail crosses the two-level terraces of Reza Maidan, dotted by ochre lichen-covered boulders, and the last side moraine. He is the first dramatic glimpe of the rocky Ghuzherav. An imposing vertical precipice soars high above the BoisumRiver’s true right bank. Mandikshlakh 4129m, an unattractive cluster of huts and livestock pens on a dusty, stark terrace, is two hours below Perchodwashk at the Boisum Valley’s mouth.

Leaving the Boisum Valley, the route turns west into the Ghuzherav, when the water level in the Ghuzherav is low, the trail stays along the river’s true left bank to Avduzhi. When it’s high, you must ford the broad river twice – across and then back to the true left bank – to bypass a section under water. One hour west of Mandikshlakh is Avduzhi 3871m with its huts and a clear stream. Beyond Avduzhi, along an easy trail, lies War-e-Ben 3597m, Ghuzherav’s primary summer settlement. Because yaks can’t cross Chafchingol Pass, they don’t go beyong War-e-Ben.

Overnight camping, all meals served by our camping staff.

Day 09        War-e-Ben to Chafchingol Base Camp

Continue trek to Chafchingol Pass Base Camp, cross the Ghuzherav by an existing steel cable when the water is high or by wading when it’s low, and enter the Chafchingol gorge. The country here is high desert with crumbly, desert-varnished granite and junipers. When water in the Chafchingol River is high, typically three and possibly as many as five difficult fords of the river are necessary. It may require fixing rope for safety.

Once through the gorge, the trail thins, rising above the river and crossing scree slopes to descend to Targeen (Where Tamrisk grows), where a small cramped hut sits by the stream 3870m, two to three hours from War-e-Ben. Beyond Targeen is the confluence of a stream from the west and another from the glaciers at the Chafchingol gol’s head. Ford the western stream and continue to Chafchingol Base Camp 4084m, a site with some low stone wall shelters, two hours from Targeen. Clear water is near the river.

Overnight camping, all meals will be served by our camping staff.

Day 10        Chafchingol to Sonia Peak Base Camp

Continue trek to Sonia Peak Base Camp, which is west of the Chafchingol Base Camp, towards the Chafchingol Valley’s head. Follow the river’s true right bank three to four hours from Chafchingol Pass Base Camp to Sonia Peak Base Camp, or to the high camp.

Overnight camping, all meals served by our camping staff.

Day 11 -12 Summit and return to Sonia Peak Base camp

A long day is require to the snowy pyramid’s summit, returning to Sonia Peak Base Camp with 2256m ascent and 2256m descent, but we kept two days for climbing Sonia Peak, one day for emergency or for the rest. Overnight camping all meals served by our camping staff.

Day 13        Sonia Peak Base Camp to Chafchingol Base Camp

Trek back to Chafchingol Base Camp.

Day 14        Chafchingol Base Camp to Koksil River

Continue your trek to Koksil River other side of Chafchingol Pass for about 6 to 7 hours. It’s a long, arduous day, so start early. The ascent over scree to the permanently snow-covered Chafchingol Pass 5100m takes four hours. It is steep class 2 near the top with loose rock. The pass, marked by a large cairn, is glaciated on its north side. The descent is steep. Early in the season, snow covers a large bergschrund at the glacier’s west margin and the route goes down the snow and requires fixing a rope for safety and probing for crevasses. Late in the season when the bergschrund is open, the route descends the rock cliff on the glacier’s west side. The rock route may require a short rappel (abseil) or fixing as much as 50m of rope for safety.

Once off the glacier, cross to the Chafchingol stream’s true left bank. A small rocky area provides a spot make tea or camp if it becomes too long day. From this spot, follow the Chafchingol stream down to its confluence with the Chap Dur and Koksil river 4420m and camp along the Koksil River, all meals served by our camping staff.

Day 15        Koksil River to Koksil – KKH

Continue your trek for another 3 to 4 hours from the confluence to the Karakoram High Way, the KSF check post and herders’ huts at Koksil 4410m. On arrival met your van/jeep which will drive you back to Karimabad. Overnight hotel all meals included.

Day 16        Karimabad

Rest day at Karimabad, to explore and visit around. Overnight hotel.

Day 17        Karimabad to Besham

Drive back to Besham (9 to 10 hours), overnight hotel.

Day 18        Besham to Islamabad

Drive back to Islamabad (6 hours), overnight hotel.

Day 19        Debriefing at Ministry of Tourism Islamabad

Drive to Tourism Office in Islamabad for trek de-briefing. PM Free, overnight hotel.

Day 20        Fly back home

Transfer to airport for your return flight back home. End of our services.

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