July 4th (Friday) Travel Day

Mobile health clinic conducted by Dr Bill Hanlon, Basic Health International, for shepherds based at 4700 m Shimshal Pass  (known locally as Shimshal Pamir) reached from Shimshal village, Hunza Valley, Karakoram Range, Pakistan

We started out the day gaining good elevation along the side creek and then started a long traverse high above the river. There were spectacular mountain and river views along the traverse. The footing was more forgiving as things started to dry out. We stopped for a break at an old shepherd’s hut with an old dried out yak pelt outside. This would be the site of our last camp on the way out.

We then dropped down to the river, crossed a long suspension bridge and ascended a muddy, narrow, steep trail on the left side of the river. We then dropped down to a shepherd’s hut on the banks of the river where we stopped for lunch.

We then crossed a small bridge and headed up a steep, slippery, narrow incline above the river. This took us to a prominent point with spectacular views. Above this was a very cool wooden ladder made out of juniper and other local woods. This took us through a narrow section through pillars of mixed rock and clay and on to a open doorway to another high point with spectacular views down valley.

At this point the terrain flattened out and we reached another shepherd’s hut where we had some chai.

In light rain, we traversed across clay like terrain with spectacular views of snow capped peaks towards Shimshal Pass and yaks grazing in their summer pasture high on the upper slopes on the far side of the river.

A little later we saw a herd of 7 Ibex grazing above us but conscious of our presence.

We later dropped down to a side creek drainage to 2 shepherd’s huts and our campsite in a beautiful, green area. The newer hut was constructed by Hussain and his brother in honour of their mother. We were joined a little later by 3 local donkeys grazing happily nearby and content at finding some new grass in this dry landscape.

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