|Zone and Permit||open, no permit|
|Summary||This glaciated pass brings trekkers close to the Mazeno Peaks in a traverse of the southern flanks of the Nanga Parbat massif.|
Mazeno La (5399m) is a technical glaciated pass over Nanga Parbat’s Mazeno ridge, with its challenging unclimbed summits of Mazeno Peak (7100m) and four subsidiary 7000m Peaks. The trek skirts the southern half of the Nanga Parbat massif from the Rupal Gah to Diamir Gah. From Zangot in Diamir Gah, the standard route descends the Bunar Valleys to KKH. An Alternative, more strenuous, six- day route continues north- east from Zangot, crossing two more passes en route to Fairy Meadow. Experienced guides say most trekkers don’t succeed in crossing the pass. Only fit and experienced trekkers with basic mountaineering skills should attempt this route.
WHAT to Bring
Mountaineering equipment necessary to travel in roped teams and fix rope is required, depending on snow conditions (see mountaineering equipment,); wearing a climbing helmet is prudent. Heavy early- season snow pack favours the time between early August and the third week of September when less snow is present and more rock is exposed. The descent from the pass can be tricky at this time, though may require as little as 10m fixed rope. Descent is easier earlier in the season when more snow is present, but requires as much as 300m fixed rope.
The US AMS 1:250,000 topographic map Gilgit (NI 43-2) covers the entire trek, whereas the Deutscher Alpenverein (DAV) 1:50,000 topographic map Nanga Parbat Gruppe covers the route except Diamir and Bunar. The U502 map labels Karu Sagar as Kachal Gali and Kutagali as Kachal. Khusto Pass between North Jalipur and South Jalipur Peaks isn’t named on maps, but the DAV map marks it as 4837m.
Guides and Porters
Hiring an experienced Shina- speaking guide from Chilas who knows the route and can manage the complex porter logistics is strongly recommended. It’s necessary to change porters as you pass through different valleys. The first group of porters, usually hired in Tarashing, go only to the top of the Mazeno La literally. Here these porters are replaced by ones from Bunar. To coordinate this change of porters, make arrangements with the shopkeeper in Bunar before your trek, telling him how many porters you need on what date. He then organizes porters to meet you either on top of the Mazeno La or the Bunar porters may walk without loads up the Rupal Gah. Bunar porters then either take you to the KKH or to Shaichi depending upon your route. Bunar porters may extort camping fees in Diamir Gah. When continuing to Shaichi, Gunar porters replace the Bunar porters. Small parties, however, can usually get by without changing porters. Regardless, be prepared to change porters and be prepared for the financial consequence. Each group of porters gets wapasi, making this an expensive route! Porters ask for a flat rate per stage, including payment for food rations.
It’s 11 stages total From Tarashing: (1) Herrligkoffer Base camp; (2) Latobah; (3) Shaigiri; (4) Mazeno Base Camp; (5) Mazeno High Camp; (6) Mazeno La; (7) Upper Loibah Meadow; (8) Loibah Meadow; (9) Zangot; (10) Halaley Bridge; and (11) Bunar.
The alternative route to Fairy Meadow from Tarashing totals 18 stages (1-9) nine stages between Tarashing and Zangot; (10) Kutagali; (11) Karu Sagar Pass; (12) Shaichi; (13) Gutum Sagar; (14) Jalipur High Camp; (15) Beyal; (16) Fairy Meadow; (17) Jhel; and (18) Raikot Bridge.
GETTING TO/FROM THE TREK
To the Start
For information on transport to the trailhead, see the Rupal trek.
From the Finish
From Bunar, transport is readily available east to Chilas or up the KKH to Gilgit. Prearranging Halaley- Bunar special hires shortens the trek by one day.
Days 1-2 : Tarashing to Shaigiri
2 days, 18.5km, 744m ascent
From Tarashing (2911m), camp at either Herrligkoffer Base Camp or Latobah en route to Shaigiri (3655m). (See Days 1-2 of the Rupal trek,).
Day 3 : Shaigiri to Mazeno Base Camp
3- 5 hours, 6.5km, 395m ascent
The trail follows the Toshain (Rupal) Glacier’s north margin and crosses several streams before it reaches Mazeno Base Camp (4050m), which is below the Mazeno Glacier’s terminus.
Day 4 : Mazeno Base Camp to Mazeno High Camp
4- 6 hours, 5.5km, 650m ascent
The route turns Sharply north and then climbs steeply to Mazeno High Camp (4700m), which Lies along the glacier’s east margin.
Day 5 : Mazeno High Camp to Upper Loibah Meadow
6- 8 hours, 12km, 699m ascent, 1199m descent
Ascend along the glacier’s north- east margin, crossing it higher up, and reach Mazeno La (5399m) in three hours. The descent on the north side of the pass is very steep, has rock- fall danger, and is technical for 300m to the Upper Loibah Glacier. Continue down the glacier to Upper Loibah Meadow (4200m).
Day 6 : Upper Loibah Meadow to Zangot
5- 6 hours, 10km, 1400m descent
Descend the valley passing through Loibah Meadow to Zangot (2800m).
Day 7 : Zangot to Halaley Bridge
3- 4 hours, 10km, 1000m descent
Descend north- west down the Diamir Gah to its confluence with the Bunar Gah and camp near Halaley Bridge (1800m). This area was first explored by British climbers AF Mummery, G Hastings and J Norman Collie, in 1895.
Day 8 : Halaley Bridge to Bunar
3- 4 hours, 12km, 600m descent
Descend the Bunar Gah to Bunar (1200m) on the KKH.
Alternative Finish : Zangot to Jhel
You can continue via two passes to Fairy Meadow in six additional days. Those interested in a complete circumambulation of Nanga Parbat can then continue from Fairy Meadow to Astor via the Muthat Pass (see Other Treks, for details of this route).
Alternative Day 7 : Zangot to Kutagali
3- 4 hours, 4km, 300m ascent
Climb along the stream to the summer settlement at Kutagali (3100m). From Kutagali, a side trip several hours upvalley to the Diamir Glacier offers closer views of Nanga Parbat’s west face.
Alternative Day 8 : Kutagali to Shaichi
5- 6 hours, 10km, 1300m ascent, 1800m descent
Climb steadily to the Karu Sagar Pass (4400m) and descend just as steeply to Shaichi (Shaichi means ‘field’ in Shina) in Patro Gah (2600m).
Alternative Day 9 : Shaichi to Gutum Sagar
5- 6 hours, 5km, 900m ascent
Head up Patro Gah through forest, crossing side streams for a few hours to the Gunar villagers’ pastures. Ganalo (6606m) dominates the view. Continue upvalley to Gutum Sagar (3500m).
Alternative Day 10 : Gutum Sagar to Jalipur High Camp
4- 6 hours, 5.5km, 900m ascent
Ascend along a stream through the meadows of the bowl below the Jalipur peaks to Jalipur High Camp (4400m). It’s possible to climb the nontechnical South Jalipur Peak (5206m) in one day from this high camp (see the climb’s description in the Fairy Meadow trek,).
Alternative Day 11 : Jalipur High camp to Beyal
4- 5 hours, 6km, 437m ascent, 1237m descent
Climb steeply east towards the east- west Khusto Pass (4837m), between North Jalipur Peak (5215m) and South Jalipur Peak. Ascend on a steep talus slope one to two hours and emerge near a snowfield. The descent from the pass is also steep and on loose talus one hour. Continue to meadows leading past willows and forest into Raikot Gah and Beyal (3500m), reaching Beyal two hours from the pass.
Alternative Day 12 : Beyal to Jhel
2- 2½ hours, 10.5km, 834m descent
On the final day, enjoy the easy walk down to Fairy Meadow and on to Jhel (see the Fairy Meadow trek).