A Traveler and Nature Lover

TREK:SWAT TO GILGIT VIA MAHUDAND LAKE, DIDRILLI PASS

INTRODUCTION:

Agrivarsity Scouts Group organized Annual Summer Hiking and Trekking Course-2017 from 10–19 July 2017.

Dadrili pass has become sort of trekkers’ favorite in Pakistan’s North in past couple of years. One possible reason is that Swat had virtually remained closed for trekking and tourism since 2009 army operation and trekkers remained reluctant to visit it despite things getting back to normalcy. Dadrili pass connects upper Swat with Ghizer and has an altitude of around 5000 meters. Pass is considered a non-technical pass generally however rope use is recommended on the first 200 meters of descend because of some crevasses. Crampons are not required though. Although pass can be attempted from both sides, it is generally done from the Swat side. One potential reason is the easier and cheaper availability of porters from this side. July and August are the best months to attempt this pass.

The Trek

Trek starts from the Mahudand Lake which is accessible from Kalam through a couple of hours’ jeep drive. Porters can be arranged from either Kalam or from the Matiltan Village on the way to Mahudand.

Day: 1 Mahudand Lake to Jabba via Dawangar

Mahudand to Dawangar (4–5 hours) trek remains very gentle for the first day and runs in parallel to the river coming from Dadreli and Kachigani. The surrounding was full of natural beauty like glaciers streams rocks, etc.

Day: 2 Jabba to Palanchi

This is a day when tree line is crossed and trek ascends a bit more steeply than the previous day. Water is available however there is no shade. 7 hour consume to complete this track.

Day: 3 Palanchi to Dadrili Base

As with every pass day, this is a tough day with high altitude pass to cross. In June, there will be snow on this side of pass however it gets melted by July. From the next few hundred meters of descends remain snow covers through the year. Last few hundred meters ascend to the pass are very strenuous. There are no trees however available before Ambesh.

Day: 4 Dadrili Base to Ambesh

Once the river level is achieved, the trek becomes very gentle and greenery doesn’t let you get bored or tired. Ambesh comes in around 6–7 hours from the Base with a few settlements and forest.

Day: 5 Ambesh to Handrap Lake

This place from now onwards is known as the land of trout’s and has some of the thickest trout population in Pakistan’s North with Handrap Lake as the biggest sanctuary. At Handrap Lake, trout’s of different sizes can be seen swimming inside the Crystal Lake water. They can be caught using spinners pretty easily. It is undoubtedly one of the best tasted fish and is very delicious even if cooked with salt without any spices.

Day: 6 Handrap Lake to Handrap Village

The trek was very gentle and greenery doesn’t let you bore or tired. This is the last day of trek and can take you back to the civilization. Handrap Village can be reached from Handrap Lake in around 4–5 hours. From there it takes further an hour to touch the Gilgit Chital road.