2023 dates are now live for K2 Base Camp Trek. Check them out now.

Snow Lake Hispar La Trek

Epic Backpacker Tours x Jackson Groves - 2022

DIFFICULTY: Strenuous

TOTAL TREK DISTANCE: 115 km

MAX ALTITUDE: 5200 meters

TOUR DURATION: 21 days

LODGING: Mix of hotels + camping

GROUP SIZE: 12 people

The concept of this unique expedition is simple...

Every year, we launch a unique scouting adventure itinerary that combines incredible mountain landscapes, adventure photography, comradery, and the once-in-a-lifetime experience of a multi-day expedition in one of the world’s last true adventure destinations.

These are raw, real journeys that require decent physical fitness, a positive mindset, a passion for photography, and above all else – a desire to experience a real adventure in the big mountains as part of a team of like-minded individuals.

Here is what’s on for 2022…

Epic Backpacker Tours x Jackson Groves - 2022

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 photography skills from industry professionals with the Karakoram Range as your classroom.

Upcoming Dates

Dates

Places

Deposit

Full

August 15th - September 4thLimited$500$3700

REFUNDS RELATED TO COVID-19 :  Clients are entitled to have FULL TRIP BALANCE moved to a future trip (credit) OR request a FULL REFUND if we cancel the tour due to complications related to Covid-19

GENERAL REFUND POLICY :

  • Cancellation Less than 90 days until the start of the tour: NO REFUND – Trip deposit can be used as credit towards a future trip. 
  • Cancellation with more than 90 days before the start of the tour: 50% of the trip balance payment (less the deposit amount). Trip deposit can be used as credit towards a future trip. 
  • Cancellation with more than 160 days before the start of the tour: Full refund minus the trip deposit. Trip deposit can be used as credit towards a future trip. 

 Read our full refund policy here 

Want to Join this Adventure?

Drop in an application! Applicants will be considered based on past experience and physical ability – if you have not done any multi-day trekking trips before, please don’t apply.

Your Trip Leaders

Tour leader christopher Lininger

Chris Lininger

Since 2017, Chris has been to Pakistan 11 times. Every year he leads group trips to K2 Base Camp, the Hunza region, and is the director of Epic Backpacker Tours. Chris wanted to take the concept of an adventure holiday a step further by combining his passion for photography, trekking, and alpine environments into one-of-a-kind curated adventures for people who are as stoked on challenging high-altitude adventurers as he is – thus this trip was born!

Tour leader Jackson Grooves

Jackson Groves

Jackson is a force that has been shaking the adventure travel blogging and photography scene since he launched his blog Journey Era in 2016. Jackson first came to Pakistan in the summer of 2021, where he joined Chris for several expeditions including climbing Spantik Peak (7,027 M). Jackson has gained industry-wide recognition for his amazing work photographing his successful summit bids of Manaslu and Ama Dablam in Nepal.

Itinerary

Arrive at Islamabad airport where you will be met by one of our staff (if you are arriving within 24 hours of the start of the tour); 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. Over dinner, you will be properly introduced to our good friend and lead Balti guide for the duration of the trek, Mr. Zahid.

Today, the team is busy food shopping and packing all of the group supplies. Clients 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, out 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 7 and 10 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.

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.

We will 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

We have updated our refund policy to give our clients the maximum peace of mind when booking an adventure with us. Read more about our policy here.

Have a question?

Feel free to get in touch with us using the contact page!

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, sharing observations about the natural world, – these are some of João’s passions.

After his trek to K2 Base Camp and other adventures in the north of Pakistan, the love of the country and the local people resulted in his desire to share these feelings with world.

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 Backpacker Tours 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 will be leading his 11th tour in Iran with EBT this coming spring 2020

When Pedro’s not traveling the world with Epic Backpacker Tours, 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!

– Saisun

Touring Iran with EBT in May 2022 was way above our expectation: itineraries well planned and carefully executed, perfect mix of sights and trekking, delicious food, nice accommodation, great guides and wonderful fellow travellers. Trekking can be handled by anyone physically fit. Highly recommended for those who want to experience the real Iran.

– Sumera

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 Backpacker Tours 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 base camp trek guide

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 Backpacker Tours, 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

For the last eleven years, Chris has been seeking out every shade of adventure in various parts of the globe and had visited more than 65 countries along the way. 

Since 2011, Chris has logged more than 6300 trail miles across five continents and climbed multiple 6000 + 7000 meter peaks in Pakistan and Nepal.

In 2017, a distant dream and a deep passion for the mountains and people of Pakistan led Chris to found Epic Backpacker Tours at a time when foreign adventure tourism in Pakistan was almost nonexistent. Since then, Chris has guided more than 15 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. 

Long-distance hiking, learning languages, meaningful conversations, all things Turkish food, mountaineering, and making tasty coffee above 6,000 meters rank among his favorite things in life. 

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.

When he is not leading or planning tours, Chris works as a writer and photographer on his blog Off the Atlas – an adventure travel blog all about Pakistan. 

 

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

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.”

– Alicia Anne Bjerkseth