The Biafo Glacier
is a 63 km long glacier
in the Karakoram
Mountains of the Northern Areas, Pakistan
which meets the 49 km long Hispar Glacier
at an altitude of 5,128 m (16,824 feet) at Hispar La
(Pass) to create the world's longest glacial system outside the polar regions. This highway of ice connects two ancient mountain kingdoms, Nagar
(immediately south of Hunza
) in the west with Baltistan
in the east. The traverse uses 51 of the Biafo Glacier's 63 km and all of the Hispar Glacier to form a 100 km glacial route.
The Biafo Glacier presents a trekker with several days of very strenuous, often hectic boulder hopping, with spectacular views throughout and Snow Lake
near the high point. Snow Lake, consisting of parts of the upper Biafo Glacier and its tributary glacier Sim Gang, is one of the world's largest basins of snow or ice in the world outside of the polar regions, up to 1,600 m (one mile) in depth.
The Biafo Glacier is the world's third longest glacier outside of the polar regions, second only to the 70 km Siachen Glacier
disputed between Pakistan and India and Tajikistan's 77 km long Fedchenko Glacier
Campsites along the Biafo are located off of the glacier, adjacent to the lateral moraines and steep mountainsides. The first three (heading up from the last village before the glacier, the thousand-year-old Askole
village) are beautiful sites with flowing water nearby. Mango and Namla, the... Read More