we're arriving in mid-march in islamabad and planning for a 10-day mountain trek.
(1) is march good time for trekking at all? if not what else around islamabad would you suggest? does travelling all the way down to the south make any sense?
(2)apart from a visa and vaccinations, any other things we should take care of before leaving?
(3) as for trekking specifically, what areas do you suggest? any organized treks you'd recommend? the 2 of us have no really serious climbing experience, but we're rather fit and some effort is OK
I went to Pakistan 10 years ago. My parents lived in Islamabad for 3 years. A drive up the Khyber Pass was my highlight. Not sure about the security situation there now though. Swat and Chitral are places my uncle ( a climbing, hiking enthusiast) enjoyed the most when he visited. Locally to Islamabad you have the murree hills a few hours away. If its mountains you are after though i would definitely head up north as the landscape is stunning. Never went south though so i can't comment on that. Hope this helps.
going back to my earlier question - is March good for trekking at all?
Has anyone ever done trekking in March in Himalaya, or Karakoroum?
Just a point, we're not really thinking of any strenous climbing, more of a 5-6 day hiking that would be OK for 2 relatively unexperienced folks like us.
Some ppl have been recommending (also on other discussion board sites) North-west region, or going along the KKH (karakhoroum highway), places like Gilgit, Baltit, Chilas, Skardu, Nanga Parbat camp.
aren't these areas restricted entry for foreigners?? Don't we need special permits to get in there? or Indian visa?
I had to get a pass to travel in the North West Frontier Province, i think we were ok to Peshawar, but the pass was needed to travel from Peshawar to the Afghan border through the Khyber Pass as the security situation in this region is very unstable. I think i read on CNN the other day that Northern Pakistan is experiencing some severely bad weather at the moment as well so you might want to keep an eye on that if you are going shortly. Unfortunately, my dad sorted the pass out as he worked at the British embassy so i'm not sure how and where you would get it. I would definitely advise a bit more research on the subject before you make your plans though.
Yeah it seems that Afghan border is even more unstable than with India.
So we're now thinking of either Northwest province, or jammu kashmir.
In another place I read that manned with army jammu kashmir is in fact a very safe place to be. but then again, don't i need indian visa there? i only have an old map where this is still on the indian side
So let's say I don't go north because of weather, and I don't go west towards Peshawar because I don't have passes for that. Anywhere else I could do trekking? Looking at the map now only Quetta region's left. Pretty far from Islamabad though