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  • Writer's pictureVoita

Hoon, one more time

Tuesday passed entirely uneventful.

I kept offering Sahlan alternatives of shorter or longer trips we could do together, him being by friend and a local benefactor. At one point he almost seemed convinced.. and then the moment passed. Instead, I was offered to go talk with local university students, which also seemed like an interesting idea. But then Sahlan woke up at two in the afternoon and that concluded my efforts to do something together. I needed the rest day, and I half saw it coming, so I took the day in stride.


back on the slopes

The slow flow of events gave rise to a last desperate plan as come weekend, I have to already be back in Islamabad.

find the hut

mountain paths

I have no tent, but I know about a hut which I can reach. I know it's opened, and unguarded. And the views, both in the hike and from the cottage, are world class.

And I'm behind on filming.


And so I took a camera up to the Hoon cottage and luckily I didn't meet anyone at all this time, except for herds of yaks grazing on the meadows.

Duran peak

Duran (l), Rakaposhi (r)

It was a lovely evening, even though there's only sliver of the moon and I couldn't take any night photos.

The hut's stove has an insane draft; water on them boils faster than on a gas burner. But they need to be constantly fed to stay alive.

The borrowed sleeping bag, traditionally with a broken zipper, was more than warm enough.

Ultar massif

all of Ultar glacier

Lady Finger peak next to Hunza Peak

I skipped the sunrise. Even the idea of climbing somewhere at three in the morning was making me nauseous. But it's the end of the season, so it's allowed.

I've missed the optimal path few times even during the day and reached the highest top of the Hoon ridge by eleven. I was luck; for the first time this year I was able to see all of Ultar without clouds!

What a grand conclusion of the filming journey.

high altitude vanity

peak traffic

The way back, from the hut with my bag, took forever and half. The extra weight carried shows and forces trekker to take extra care; slipping is much more dangerous, when one's joints aren't used to the extra weight. And the mountain is big and losing the way so easy...

rosehip, the last altitude as well as seasonal survivor

fashionable cloud cap on Duran

back in Karimabad

In the end, I've only made it back with the sunset again. All excited I found out that shower in other rooms works and has a hot water.

One last evening with the guys playing ludo and watching cricket, huddled over a small electric heater. Start of many a similar night over the next six months.

Whereas my journey back begins tomorrow.

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