SHIMSHAl KUCH FESTIVAL HUNZA VALLEY- SHIMSHAL PASS PAMIR TREK 2015
Shimshal is the remotest area of the Hunza Valley in the Upper Hunza Gogal, bordering with China. Shimshal covers the largest territory within Upper Hunza, from its western reaches bordered by the Hunza River, area extends as far as Baltistan to the east and its northern Khunjerab River demarcates the frontier with China. The access to this valley is from Karakoraum Highway at Passu Village in Gojal through a Jeep-able link road 53 km, following a narrow gorge. It takes 3hrs drive on this amazing road from Passu and this road has been opened in 2003, before this road there was 3 days trek to Shimshal from Passu. After the completion of this link road which took around 20 years, the people of Shimshal connected with Karakorum Highway, central Hunza and other southern cities of Pakistan through this link road. This link road has brought a socio-economic revolution in the Shimshal Valley. 

The people of Shimshal are Wakhi and speak Wakhi language, their culture and tradition is unique. Due to being remotest and difficult accessibility, much of their tradition and culture have been remained intact. In ancient time these people were passing very simple life dictated by the seasons and nature around them. Their life was circles around the festivals which gave them some entertainment and passing harsh time, waiting for these traditional festivals to celebrate that gives them some joy. 

Following the old tradition every year in the month of May, Shimshali people use to take their livestock to high pastures of the Pamir for grazing for the period of five months (May to October). During these five months they take care of their yak, sheep and goats, collect the butter, cheese, Yeast for their families for the harsh winter season. The most of their income comes from the sale of yak, which is very expensive also sell the goats now in the market of central Hunza. They sell butter, dry cheese, wool and from the hair of yak make the local carpet. They have very vast pastures and providing grazing for thousands of sheep and goats and these pastures lie in the high altitudes where life is very simple in the nature and hard. Normally Wakhi communities' livestock is cared by the women, the women and children are going to these pastures with yak, sheep and goats, this makes the high pastures a lively and colourful to visit. They are going to the pastures all to-gather and their families take them to the pastures and live them for five months with animals. And in October they come down to-gather, on these occasions while going up to the pastures in the month of May and coming down in October make festivals called "KUCH" that means travel. 

Coming down from the pastures is around 12th to 18th October of each year and day fixed by the religious person of the village in a week, then all the relatives of them from Village go up to the pastures and collect all the yak from different valleys and select strong yak to put the load over them. They start to come down all to-gather from various pastures with yak, sheep, goats they put all their staff and livestock over the yak and small children also on the back of yak. Before entering the village of Shimshal on the bank of the Shimshal River before the bridge spend one night with all these animals like a big caravan and women change their dresses which could bring for them from village. Next day they enter the village all to-gather with new dresses and thousand of cattle at the same time, their families welcome them at the village, meet with them after five months. At this bridge the tradition of goat sacrifice is still going on as before. All to-gather they go to the mosque and do condolence of the families who lost their relatives during five months. Then they go to their homes with their families after program of eating. 

This is also option in this trip that who does not like to does trek to Pamir, can stay in Shimshal Village, walking around and meet with local people and can attend the festival in the village. For the trekkers there is also option to climb Manglik Sar 6050m near the Shimshal Pass, can enjoy of climbing the peak if weather permits.

ITINERARY: 
Day-01/08th October 2015: Arrival to Islamabad airport,
Day-02/09th October 2015: Fly to Gilgit or drive to Chilas 13-14 hrs.
Day-03/10th October 2015: Drive to Karimabad Hunza
Day-04/11th October 2015: Day free at Karimabad
Day-05/12th October 2015: Continue to Shimshal,
Day-06/13th October 2015: Day free at Shimshal depending over the start of kuch 
Day-07/14th October 2015: Trek to Wuch Furzeen 6-8 hrs, overnight in the tent 
Day-08/15th October 2015: Trek to Shuizherav 6-8 hrs, 
Day-09/16th October 2015: Trek to Shimshal Pass 3-4 hrs trek 
Day-10/17th October 2015: Day free for local exploration 
Day-11/18th October 2015: Trek down to Arbab Pureen, 
Day-12/19th October 2015: Trek to the Village 
Day-13/20th October 2015: Continue to Karimabad Hunza, 
Day-14/21st October 2015: Drive to Gilgit/hotel 
Day-15/22nd October 2015: Fly to Islamabad or drive to Besham/hotel 
Day-16/23rd October 2015: Day free at Islamabad (drop to the airport)

SHIMSHAl KUCH FESTIVAL HUNZA VALLEY- SHIMSHAL PASS PAMIR TREK 2015 Gallery
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