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Trekking Permits


All visitors to Pakistan must have a passport valid for six months after their intended departure from Pakistan, and most nationalities need a visa. Application forms are available from Pakistan embassies and Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) offices. Rates vary depending on nationality. 


The official Pakistani definition of trekking is walking below 6,000 meters. Trekking areas are divided into three zones: open, restricted and closed. No permit is required for the open zone, which covers most of Pakistan. The restricted zone covers the border areas with India, China, Afghanistan and Iran and includes most of Baluchistan and some areas of Chitral. It also covers certain very popular treks in Baltistan, where the number of trekkers needs to be regulated.

Border areas are generally defined as being within 48 kilometers of the frontier, though there are exceptions—in Azad Kashmir, for example, the restricted zone is within 16 kilometres of the border. India and Pakistan have been fighting on the Siachen Glacier since 1984, so all of the Siachen area is now closed.

The Ministry of Tourism has approved ten treks in restricted zones, for which permits are required and a trekking fee of Rs lOO/- per person is levied. Five of these treks are along and around the Baltoro Glacier, including the Vigne, Gondogoro and Masherbrum passes (all of which lead onto the Baltoro Glacier from the south) and the Panmah Glacier (north of the Baltoro Glacier, towards the Chinese border). The remaining five restricted treks are in Chitral: the three Kalash valleys of Birir, Bumburet and Rumbur and the Utak Pass connecting Rumbur to Garam Chashma; from Garam Chashma up the Shishgol, close to the Afghan border; the trek into Tirich Mir from Barum; the Shah jinali Pass; and the Thui Pass. These last two have recently been reclassified from closed to restricted.

Permits ( for foreigners )are issued by the Tourism Division (College Road, F7/2, Islamabad) within 24 hours of application, which must be made in duplicate through an approved trekking-tour operator and accompanied by two passport photos and passport details of all participants. An approved guide must accompany all treks in restricted zones, and guides and porters must be insured for the sum specified by the government. All trekkers must be briefed in Islamabad before departure and register at the check posts along the way.

It is possible, but difficult, to get permission to trek along restricted routes other than the ten mentioned above. This takes time. Applications must be made through a recognized trekking-tour operator and accompanied by a route map, photos and passport particulars of all trekkers. If permission is given, a liaison officer will be assigned to accompany the trek.

For detailed information on all the trekking rules and regulations, apply to the Tourism Division in Islamabad. Mountaineering rules and regulations, which are different from trekking ones, are available from the same source. Specify that you require the rates for hiring porters and jeeps, as these are a special appendix and not in the trekking and mountaineering rules booklets (rates vary in the different valleys).

The regulations detail the open, restricted and closed zones and conditions for the hire of porters, guides and liaison officers. The exact duties of liaison officers, mountain guides and the government specifies all high- and low-altitude porters—as are their equipment and food rations. Groups of more than five members must have a doctor or someone qualified in first aid with them, and there rules governing photography, foreign, insurance, security and what to do in case of accident.

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