Khunjerab Pass & the Pakistan-Chinese Border

One day we drove up the Karakoram Highway all the way to the Chinese border at the Khunjerab Pass. It is a drive of around 180 km from Hunza to the border. The Khunjerab Pass border is at 4693 m altitude and is apparently the highest paved international border crossing in the world.

First a nice view back down the valley towards Hunza. There is often quite a sharp green line on the mountain side showing you where the man-made irrigation starts – and there is quite a difference between the irrigated vs non-irrigated side of the river in this picture.IMG_0519 copy.jpg

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Hunza River                     IMG_0524 copy.jpg

Pieces of the old silk road can be admired along the modern Karakoram Highway. The smaller roads going up the valleys are constructed in a similar fashion, hanging on the steep mountain sides.IMG_0523 copy.jpg

The Attabad Lake was created in 2010 as a result of a massive landslide which blocked the flow of the river and formed this 20 km long deep lake. Part of the Karakoram Highway was submerged and all transport had to go via small boats (see below) until the new highway had been constructed through 5 tunnels – 7 km tunnels in total. The new road was ready for use 5 years later, in 2015.IMG_0531 copy.jpg

Boats used for transporting people and goods across the Attabad Lake from 2010 to 2015.IMG_0534 copy.jpg

Soon after  passing the Attabad Lake, we arrived at Passu village with this beautiful view to the famous Passu Cones (Tupopdan Peak, 6106 m).IMG_0549 copy.jpg

Deep blue sky above the Passu Cones. The Hunza River becomes broad and meandering north of Passu village.img_5904-copy.jpg

Superb views from Karakoram Highway!IMG_5913 copy.jpg

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A fresh drizzle of snow enhances the contrast on the ruggy peaks.IMG_0582 copy.jpg

Continuing up the highway, lots of fresh apples for sale.IMG_0595 copy.jpg

Picking up construction material from the river. IMG_0600 copy.jpg

Weathered sediments. IMG_0601 copy.jpg

A couple of nice chapati for lunch in Sost. IMG_0608 copy.jpg

After the village of Sost, the valley gets narrower. IMG_0619 copy.jpg

The altitude of the road gradually gets higher, the air gets cooler and the colours change.IMG_0627 copy.jpg

Always be prepared for surprises around the next bend of the road or inside the dark tunnels! It is the season for bringing down the animals from the mountains before the winter.IMG_0630 copy.jpg

Beautiful goats!IMG_0644 copy.jpg

Fresh snow in the mountains, winter approaching the valleys.IMG_0659 copy.jpg

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A large herd of yaks grazing on the opposite hillside – at ca 4000 m altitude.IMG_0678 copy2.jpg

Looking back down on the Karakoram Highway winding its way up through the valley.IMG_0677 copy 2.jpg

The last stretch of road before the Chinese border, the valley broadens and the colours are amazing and clear in the high altitude air.IMG_0679 copy.jpg

A small glacier coming down in the broad valley of the pass.IMG_0691 copy.jpg

Chinese border post, Khunjerab Pass at 4693 m. IMG_0699 copy.jpg

Pakistan border post, Khunjerab Pass at 4693 m.IMG_0698 copy.jpg

Driving back down again, Sost in late afternoon sunlight. IMG_0710 copy.jpg

Back to the first page for an overview

Go back to Karachi!

Go back to the day-trip to Thatta for the Unesco world heritage Necropolis of Makli and the Shah Janan Mosque.

Go back to the drive from Islamabad to Gilgit

Go back to Hunza – first days

Hikes to Rakaposhi Base Camp and Rakaposhi View Point

Nanga Parbat – the Rupal Face

Diran Valley

 


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