ISLAMABAD (ET): A three-member team of the Khan Research Laboratories’ Hiking and Mountaineering Club has successfully completed a trek of the Biafo and Hispar glaciers in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) via Snow Lake and Hispar La pass.
Team leader Qazi Iqbal Ahmed and members Khawar Hussain and Kamal Mazhar Khan completed the grade-E trek in eight days with the help of just two porters, according to the Alpine Club of Pakistan (ACP).
A grade-E trek, defined as “very tough”, is the highest difficulty level in an international five-level trek grading system.
The team camped at the top of Hispar La on August 24.
The Biafo and Hispar glaciers are located in the Karakoram mountain range and the trekking route is surrounded by 12 7,000-metre peaks. The 63-kilometre-long Biafo glacier meets the 49-kilometre long Hispar glacier at the Hispar La pass. The pass is located at an altitude of 5,151 metres.
But most geographers consider the two glaciers to be one, according to the Alpine Club of Pakistan — an assessment that makes Biafo-Hispar the second longest glacier in the world after the 100-kilometre Lambert glacier in East Antarctica.
On its own, the Biafo glacier is the third longest glacier outside the polar zones, after the Fedchenko Glacier in Tajikistan and the Siachen Glacier, which is also in G-B.