Eagles Nest

Eagle’s Nest

Starting as a small camping site in 1994, Eagles Nest has grown into a full service hotel. The friendly family-run hotel offers accommodation to suit every budget. The personal hospitality and personal touch which you find every room service, food and garden is unique, and has made many guests wanting to prolong their stay. Eagle’s Nest Hotel is situated in the village of Duikar, which is preached on a 2850 meter high ridge above Altit village in Hunza valley.

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Ultar Peak

Ultar Peak

Ultar Sar (also Ultar, Ultar II, Bojohagur Duanasir II) is the southeasternmost major peak of the Batura Muztagh, a subrange of the Karakoram range. It lies about 10 km (6.2 mi) northeast of the Karimabad, a town on the Karakoram Highway in the Hunza Valley, part of the Gilgit District of Gilgit–Baltistan, Pakistan

While not one of the highest peaks of the Karakoram, Ultar Sar is notable for its dramatic rise above local terrain. Its south flank rises over 5,300 metres (17,388 feet) above the Hunza River near Karimabad, in only about 10 km (6.2 mi) of horizontal distance. Combined with its strategic position at the end of the Batura Muztagh, with the Hunza River bending around it, this makes Ultar a visually striking peak.

Ultar Sar also gained fame in the 1990s as supposedly the world’s highest unclimbed independent peak. This was incorrect, as Gangkhar Puensum in Bhutan is higher, and remains unclimbed (and off-limits) as of 2007. (Two other higher peaks are also reputedly unclimbed and of independent stature.) However, that perception did add to the appeal of the peak, and a number of expeditions attempted to climb it. During the 1980s and 1990s fifteen expeditions made attempts and no summits, but with a number of fatalities.

The first two summits were made in 1996 by two separate Japanese expeditions, the first on 11 July from the Tokai section of theJapanese Alpine Club) led by Akito Yamazaki, and the second led by Ken Takahashi. The first summit team comprised Yamazaki and Kiyoshi Matsuoka (who died one year later on the nearby peak Bublimotin). They climbed the peak from the southwest inalpine style, doing much of the climbing at night to avoid danger from falling rock and ice. After their summit, they faced strong storms and bivouaced several days without food before returning to basecamp. Yamazaki died of an internal disease after the descent to basecamp. The second summit was made on 31 July via the south ridge by Takahashi, Masayuki Ando, Ryushi Hoshino, Wataru Saito, and Nobuo Tsutsumi. Since 1996, there have been no recorded ascents of the peak.

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Golden Peak

Golden/spantik Peak

Spantik or Golden Peak is a mountain in Spantik-Sosbun Mountains subrange of Karakoram in Nagar Valley, Gilgit Baltistan,Pakistan. Its northwest face features an exceptionally hard climbing route known as the “Golden Pillar”. It lies east of Diran and northeast of Malubiting.

Spantik was first climbed in 1955 by Karl Kramer’s German expedition. The most commonly climbed line follows the south east ridge, which was attempted by the Bullock Workman party in 1906. The ridge rises 2700 metres over a lateral distance of 7.6 km, at angles which are mostly less than 30 degrees, with a few sections up to 40 degrees. It contains varied terrain, from rocky outcrops to snow and ice and scree.

The mountain is very popular with organised commercial expeditions, due to its relative ease of ascent and scarcity of objective dangers. The short 3 day approach trek across straightforward terrain also provides for easy access and gradual acclimatization. This peak was scaled by Aus-Pak expedition in July 2011 lead by a team of mountaineers from Army High Altitude School Rattu. Lt Col Abdul Aziz was supervising the team of Climbers.The peak can be approached from Nagar Valley as well as from Baltistan side. The First expedition was held in 1988, the team composed of six Pakistan Army Personnel with German Team, The first Pakistani who reached the summit was Captain (now Brigadier) Muhammad Moiz Uddin Uppal, Another expedition named the China-Pakistan Friendship Expedition scaled Spantik Peak. Expedition leader Lt Col (retired) Dr Abdul Jabbar Bhatti in a call from the summit said that the expedition members took turns to reach the summit between 1:45pm and 2:15pm on Sunday July 15. Earlier, the summit team, which had started from Camp II (5, 600 meters) on July 14, set up Camp III (6,000 metres) the same day and pushed for the summit the following day. C III was established 300 meters lower than planned, which, combined with worst weather conditions and lack of visibility during return from summit, resulted into missing the route and forced whole team to spend the night outside the camp, at time when members were already exhausted. Digging out snow caves was the only option for protection from extreme environment.

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Rakaposhi

Rakaposhi

Rakaposhi is a mountain in the Karakoram mountain range in Pakistan. It is situated in the Nagar Valley Nagar District approximately 100 km north of the capital city Gilgit of the Gilgit–Baltistan province of Pakistan. Rakaposhi means “Snow Covered” in the local language. Rakaposhi is also known as Dumani (“Mother of Mist”). It is ranked 27th highest in the world and 12th highest in Pakistan, but it is more popular for its beauty than its rank might suggest. Rakaposhi has an uninterrupted vertical rise of approximately 6000 m (19,685 feet) , making it the tallest mountain on Earth when measured from the base to peak.

Rakaposhi was first climbed in 1958 by Mike Banks and Tom Patey, members of a British-Pakistani expedition, via the Southwest Spur/Ridge route. Both of them suffered minor frostbite during the ascent. Another climber slipped and fell on the descent and died during the night.

Rakaposhi is notable for its exceptional rise over local terrain. On the north, it rises 5,800 metres (19,029 ft) in only an 11.5 km (7.1 mi) horizontal distance from the Hunza River. There are magnificent views of Rakaposhi from the Karakoram Highway on the route through Hunza. A tourist spot in the town of Ghulmat (located in the Nagar Valley) called “Zero Point of Rakaposhi” is the closest convenient view point of the mountain.

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Baltite Fort

Baltite Fort

Baltite Fort or Balti Fort is an ancient fort in the Hunza valley in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. Founded in the 1st CE, since 2004, it has been on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative list.

In the past, the survival of the feudal regime of Hunza was ensured by the impressive Baltit fort, which overlooks Karimabad. The foundations of the fort date back to 700 years ago, with rebuilds and alterations over the centuries. In the 16th century the local prince married a princess from Baltistan who brought master Balti craftsmen to renovate the building as part of herdowry. The architectural style is a clear indication of buddhist Tibetan influence in Baltistan at the time.

The Mirs of Hunza abandoned the fort in 1945, and moved to a new palace down the hill. The fort started to decay which caused concern that it might possibly fall into ruin. Following a survey by the Royal Geographical Society of London a restoration programme was initiated and supported by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture Historic Cities Support Programme. The programme was completed in 1996 and the fort is now a museum run by the Baltit Heritage Trust.

Historical background

In the past several small independent states formed part of the history of the Northern Areas of Pakistan. Among them Hunza and Nager were traditional rival states, situated on opposite sides of the Hunza (Kanjut) river. The rulers of these two states, Mirs known as Thum (also Tham, Thom or Thámo), built various strongholds to consolidate their power. According to historical sources,[2] the Hunza rulers initially resided in nearby Altit Fort, but after a conflict between the two sons of the ruler Sultan, Shah Abbas (Shάboos) and Ali Khan (Aliqhάn), Shaboos moved to Baltit Fort, making it the capital seat of Hunza. The power struggle between the two brothers eventually resulted in the death of younger one, and so Baltit Fort became the prime seat of power in the Hunza state.

Ayasho II, Thum/Mir of Hunza in the early 15th fifteenth century married Princess Shah Khatoon (Sha Qhatun) from Baltistan (inMoghul history Baltistan is called Tibet Khurd, which means Little Tibet), and was the first to modify the face of Altit and, subsequently Baltit Fort. Baltistan had a very strong cultural and ethnical relation with the Ladakh territory to the east. Not surprisingly, the structure of Baltit Fort was influenced by Ladakhi/Tibetan architecture, with some resemblance to the Potala Palace in Lhasa. Then additions, renovations and changes to the building were being made through the centuries by a long line of following rulers of Hunza.

Home of many ancient forts, the Northern Areas of Pakistan lost some of its heritage around the 19th century as a result of attacks by the Maharaja of Kashmir. However, one of the biggest changes in the structure of the Baltit Fort came with the invasion of the British in December 1891. Safdarali Khan, ruler of Hunza and his wazir Dadu (Thara Baig III), fled to befriended Kashgar (China) to seek ‘political asylum’ with their fellows and families. With the conquest of Hunza and Nager states the fortified wall and watch towers of the old Baltit village and watch towers of the Baltit Fort on its north-western end were demolished as required by the British. They installed his younger brother, Sir Muhammad Nazim Khan K.C.I.E, as the ruler of Hunza state in September 1892.

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Borith Lake

Borith Lake

Borith Lake is a lake in the Gilgit–Baltistan, Pakistan. Borith is a hamlet in the surroundings of the Borith Lake to the northwest ofHusseini, a village near Gulmit, Gojal, in the upper Hunza. The altitude of Borith is roughly 2,600 m (8,500 feet) above sea level.

It lies approximately 2 km to the north of Ghulkin, a saline body of water occupying a small hollow at an elevation of 2,500 meters (8,200 feet). The lake can be reached via a 2 km unpaved jeep route from Husseini village, which lies adjacent to Ghulkin village. It is also accessible by a 2-3 hour trekking route directly from Ghuylkin, across the end of the Ghulkin glacier. The site is an important sanctuary for migrating wildfowl and is a must to be included in the itinerary of bird-watchers and nature lovers. To witness the large number of ducks arriving from the warmer parts of southern Pakistan, one should visit between the months of March and June. The birds rest here on their way northwards to the cooler waters of central Asia. Similarly, from September–November, the spectacle occurs in reverse with the onset of winter towards the north.

A short trek of one hour each way will bring you to Ghulkin Glacier. Just follow the trekking route towards Borith Lake as far as the edge of the glacier, and return by the same route.

For the more adventurous, a longer walk to Passu Gar Glacier is another attraction, crossing both Ghulkin Glacier and Borith Lake. Having crossed Ghulkin Glacier by the same route, continue on the southern side of Borith Lake past the settlement of Borith Bala and the now deserted settlement of Shahabad. The lack of a continuous water supply led to the desertification of this village many years ago. On reaching Passu Gar, one finds a spectacular view of all the icy crenellations along its length. The walk takes about 4–5 hours form Ghulkin to Passu. From the glacier, a path leads down to the Karakorum Highway and the Shisper Hotel.

Alternatively, transport can be obtained locally, enabling the exploration of many routes around this area from different starting points, such as Gulmit.

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Rush Lake

Rush-Lake

Rush Lake is a high altitude lake located in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan near Rush Pari Peak, 5,098 m (16,726 ft). At 4,694 meters, Rush is one of the highest alpine lakes in the world. It is located about 15 km (9 mi) north of Miar Peak and Spantik (Golden Peak), which are in the Nagar valley. Rush Lake and Rush Peak can be reached via Nagar and Hopar and via the Hopar Glacier (Bualtar Glacier) and Miar Glacier, which rises from Miar and Phuparash peaks. The trek to Rush Lake provides spectacular views ofSpantik, Malubiting, Miar Peak, Phuparash Peak and Ultar Sar.

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Naltar Lake

Naltar Lake

Naltar is a wonderful valley just about 2 hrs drive from Gilgit in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. Trekking on an easy trail and crossing a forest and shepherds settlements en route is a hidden paradise known as, Naltar Lake, a crystal clear emerald green lake. This is an ideal place for camping. It has green fields and lush green alpine trees. The green and forested Naltar Valley receives more rainfall than other areas in the Hunza Valley, and its alpine scenery is a refreshing change in the arid Karakoram. The Naltar Valley runs north-west from Nomal village, on the west bank of the Hunza River 25 km north-east of Gilgit. Naltar was a hill station for the British and has some military facilities, including a Paki­stan Air Force winter survival school. There is also a ski-lift at Naltar Valley and there are a few Naltar lakes higher up in the valley.

There are three lakes in Naltar Valley known as Naltar Lakes or Bashkiri Lakes at an altitude ranging from 3050–3150 m. The first Bashkiri Lake is located at a distance of 12 kilometers (08 mi) from Upper Naltar (or the Naltar Bala). The road up to the lakes is a non-metallic dirt-road alongside a rivulet, flowing down the valley. The lakes are surrounded by dense pine forests, during winters it becomes almost impossible to reach the lake with any vehicle due to the heavy snow (10 to 15 feet high) on the road.

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The ruby Mine

ruby mine

A ruby is a pink to blood-red colored gemstone, a variety of the mineral corundum (aluminium oxide). The red color is caused mainly by the presence of the element chromium. Its name comes from ruber, Latin for red. Other varieties of gem-quality corundum are called sapphires. Ruby is considered one of the four precious stones, together with sapphire, emerald and diamond.

Prices of rubies are primarily determined by color.The brightest and most valuable “red” called blood-red or “pigeon blood”, commands a large premium over other rubies of similar quality. After color follows clarity: similar to diamonds, a clear stone will command a premium, but a ruby without any needle-like rutile inclusions may indicate that the stone has been treated. Cut and carat (weight) are also an important factor in determining the price. Ruby is the traditional birthstone for July and is always lighter red or pink than garnet. The world’s most expensive ruby is the Sunrise Ruby.

Color

Generally, gemstone-quality corundum in all shades of red, including pink, are called rubies.However, in the United States, a minimum color saturation must be met to be called a ruby, otherwise the stone will be called a pink sapphire.This distinction between rubies and pink sapphires is relatively new, having arisen sometime in the 20th century. If a distinction is made, the line separating a ruby from a pink sapphire is not clear and highly debated. As a result of the difficulty and subjectiveness of such distinctions, trade organizations such as the International Colored Gemstone Association (ICGA) have adopted the broader definition for ruby which encompasses its lighter shades, including pink.

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