Pakistan is blessed with natural beauty and its breathtaking landscapes especially its north. One such location are the Deosai plains. Translated literally it means the Land of Giants. Located at altitudes of between13,500 ft and 16,000 ft Deosai is the second highest plateau in the world (after Tibet) The area has been declared a National park as it houses the rare Himalayan brown bear (among other animals) which was previously in danger of extinction. The park covers an area of about 3000 sq. km and is located in the Skardu as well as Astore districts, is mostly treeless and is covered in snow for more than half of the year (November to May) Our destination was the Sheosar lake located almost smack in the middle of the park near the Chilam valley at an altitude of 13,650ft. It was the second attempt by Mujeeb in his ‘Grey Matter’ but for all others it was a first in our VW’s. The track is mainly unpaved and we were going to put our aircooled VW’s to yet another test.
We decided to empty the Baywindow of all the dead weight and divide the passengers of the Syncro in that and the beetles. As mentioned in my previous post the Syncro had a transmission breakdown and while we had managed to get her going with power to its front wheels only, we didn’t want to risk another breakdown going up some serious heights.
The phenomenon of glacial ice melt streams was a major concern and we had to try avoid the peak flow even though it wouldn’t be possible to avoid it altogether as we would be returning the same day at a later hour. The whole group was excited as it was the highlight of our expedition. However the few days of chilling in Rama made it seem like the beginning of an adventure.
I’ll let the pictures do the talking from here on.
sign at the park entry point. Another sign said “shoot nothing but pictures, leave nothing but your footprints” hmmm
- millions of flowers appear as soon as the snow retreats
this pictures gives you an idea of the scale
sheer climb right after a turn
Grey Matter making small work of the big climb
the long tailed Golden marmot ((Marmota caudata) found in the Deosai plains
a bird..dunno its name but it looked interesting and ..well its a bird!
Maybe its the rarity of oxygen at the high altitude or another factor but some of us did some weird things that day.
the Deosai plains
We made it!
From the paved highways of North America to the torturous tracks in the Himalayas..Billo does not give up!
enjoying a special treat – snow dug up from specially selected spot with some rose flavoured syrup. Important tip. AVOID yellow snow!
Grey Matter ..the fearless