Chitral,

Roghili Gol

Duration 4 days
Distance 27 .8km
Standard moderate
Season Mid-June-September
Start/Finish Izghor
Zone and Permit Open, no permit
Public Transport yes
Summary Trekking along clear streams through extensive cedar forest brings you to alpine meadows and lakes at the Roghili Gol’s head

South from Izghor in Golen Gol is Roghili Gol named for its cedar (rogh) forests. Two turquoise lakes lie in the valley’s upper alpine basin, surrounded by prime ibex and snow leopard habitat.

Planning

Maps 

The US AMS 1: 250, 000 topographic map Churrai (NJ 43- 1) and 1: 253, 440 topographic map Chitral (I 42- f) cover the trek. Izghor is labeled as Uzghor.

The British Survey of India 1: 63, 360 topographic maps 38 M/13 and 38 M/14 show more detail. Local people call the lower late Tsak Chhat (tsak means ‘little’; chhat, a ‘lake’) and the upper one Lut Chhat (big lake). They also sometimes refer to them as Muli Chhat (lower lake) and Turi and 38 M/14 sheets are a little confusing as they label Tsak Chhat as More Chhat, and Lut Chhat as Tore Chhat.

Getting TO/From The Trek

Chitral- Izghor jeeps takes 1½ hours. Jeeps usually depart Chitral in the late morning for Golen and depart Golen in the early morning For Chitral. The staging area is a small teashop, the Kohinoor Hotel, across Chew Bridge, just north of Chitral town on the road’s east side. Hakim Khan, who also runs the adjacent store, can help you find the right jeep. Chitral- Izghor special hires.

Alternatively, get off any Chitral- Buni van at Golen Gol 18km, north of Koghozi. From here, it’s three to four hours’ walk to Izghor following the jeep road and traversing steep cliffs high above the river. Pass through Golen (1890m), the valley’s first village, where the houses are built of the ever- present speckled granite. Beyond Golen, fragrant yellow- blossomed laburnums (beshoo) blanket the valley walls early in the season.

The trek

Day 1 : Izghor to Lochuk  

2 hours, 5. 2km, 415m ascent

An enormous spring pours forth at the base of the cliffs just north of Izghor (2225m), the valleys’ second village. Near where the road crosses the stream coming from the spring is an open, grassy camp site. When you reach Izghor from Chitral in the morning, walk to Lochuk in the pleasant late- afternoon shade. Follow the Roghili stream’s true left bank up a good, but steep, trail through a rich cedar forest. The clear stream, enormous in early summer, subsides by July. In 1¾ hours reach huts at Molassi amid a mixed pine and cedar forest. Cross an alluvial fan and a log footbridge over a stream, and in 15 minutes reach the pleasant, flat, grassy forested area and huts of Lochuk (2640m). The views downvalley and north- west to Tirich Mir are good. Uncontrolled cutting of trees in these magnificent, but finite, forests for timber, fuel wood and cleaning of fields is evident. Izghor villagers now realize that if it continues at its present rate, no forest will be left for their Children.

Day 2 : Lochuk to Buthijhal

1½ hours, 2.5km, 390m ascent

Continue up the trail through pine forest, passing occasional huts. In 15 minutes, the forest ends. Kundar Gol, the side stream to the east, is home to ibex herds. Overgrazing by livestock is apparent. As the trail fades, keep walking up the rocky route along the true left bank of the Roghili Gol. Willows line the stream, but many have been nibbled away by goats. It takes one to 1½ hours to reach Buthijhal (3030m). Large birch trees (buthi) are visible west of the stream. Buthijhal is also a grazing area with a few huts. Canals along each side of the valley may be mistaken for trails.

Day 3 : Buthijhal to Lut Chhat

3 hours, 6. 2km, 735m ascent

Pass one more small cultivated area in 15 minutes, with its few huts at the base of a cliffs, right in the path of possible rock fall and avalanche. Ascend rocky rubble for one hour to a few scattered birch trees (3240m) on a rise. Continue upvalley as it turns to the south- west and narrows. Pass through the narrow defile (tang) and 1½ to two hours from Buthijhal reach the first of two aqua Lakes, Tsak Chhat (3682m). The trail continues up the stream’s true left (west) bank 1.25km to the second lake, Lut Chhat (3765m). Beyond the lake are two Challenging passes: Roghili Gree and Roghili An (see Jughor, and Roghili An, under Other Treks).

Jughor

Jughor village, at the Jughor Gol’s mouth, is south of, and across the river from, Chitral town. Plan to visit Jughor the day before you start in order to organise any trek. Four demanding passes are towards the valley’s head: two head south to Shishi Gol; and two head east, one to Koghozi Gol and the other to Roghili Gol.

From Jughor, walk upvalley to a hut at Chhato Shal  (3048m), where the trail crosses to the true left bank. Go 750m farther to a junction (3161m) of two trails. One trail leads south up the kapashung Gol to the passes to Shishi Gol and the other leads east up the Bungolbahan Gol to the other two passes.

The kapashung Gol route splits father upvalley. Here, the route to the south- east crosses the Domukh An (4380m) to Kalas in Shishi Gol. The route to the south follows the Kapashung Gol’s true right bank for 3Km, along the highest branch, to Kapashung Gree (4318m), which also leads into Shishi Gol.

The route east up Bungolbahan  Gol stays on the true left (south) bank and offers two options. First, from the 3161m trail junction, you can Proceed 3Km upvalley and cross the river. A very steep 500m climb north brings you to the difficult Koghozi An (4480m) from where a steep descent into the Koghozi Valley leads to Koghozi village on the Chitral- Gilgit road. This is a difficult Class 3 cross-Country route.

Second, you can ascend half is a Kilometre farther north- east along the Bungolbahan Gol’s true left bank to Roghili Gree (4638m). It’s then a steep 850m scree descent into the basin of the upper Roghili Gol. The basin is labeled Angarbah on the Chitral (I- 42 F) sheet, but local People don’t recognize this name. Follow the south bank of a stream heading north- east 8km farther to Lut Chhat (3764m), a lake. From a trail Junction 500m above the lake, you can head north down Roghili Gol by crossing the stream feeding the lake and contouring along its north bank (see the Roghili Gol trek). Alternatively, you can cross the Roghili An.

Roghili An

From Lut Chhat in the upper Roghili Gol (see the Roghili Gol trek,) a route crosses the Roghili An (4496m) to Madaglasht in Shishi Gol. Continue along the north and west shores of Lut Chhat. Go beyond the lake for 500m and cross the stream to its south bank. Here two routes divide: one to the Roghili An and the other to the more difficult Roghili Gree (see Jughor, above). The demanding route to Roghili An (4496m) turns south- east and crosses a steep ridge to Madaglasht in Shishi Gol.

Day 4 : Lut Chhat to Izghor

4- 6 hours, 13.9km, 1540m descent

Easily return from the lakes to Izghor

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