On my second visit to Karimabad, the weather was dramatically better. It was getting later in the season, with temperatures dropping and skies clearing.
Rakaposhi, below, is still one of my favorite views from here.
In the morning, I rode the bike up to Eagle's Nest, a hotel and campground on the mountain opposite Karimabad. The views from up there were unbelievable.
Lady Finger was nearly unobscured
Golden Peak, not visible from the village, seems to be another popular postcard shot.
Eagle's Nest looks right down on Karimabad.
The terraced hills from the next village.
The Hunza valley, with fertile ground hugging both sides of the Indus.
Finally a picture from Diran, still partially obscured by clouds.
A few others of which I did not know the name.
Riding up to Eagle's Nest was an adventure in itself. I understand why the Jeep drivers here charge nearly $20 for the 1.5 hour round-trip. The path is barely navigable. For reference, the patch of grass in the left of the picture below is about level.
The next day I hiked up as far as I could into the meadow at Ultar. This is a picture from Baltit fort from that angle.
A long chat with the owner of the Tourist Park Hotel in Karimabad, the only Shia Muslim in a predominantly Ismaili village, convinced me that a hike out of Hopar was fraught with difficulties. The donkeys know the way up the mountain best, followed by the porters and lastly the guides, who are just glorified hotel employees charging a fee for tagging along and following the porter. Since 9/11, the tourist trade in Pakistan has slipped year after year and with it the quality of porters, guides, and their services. Some of his comments were echoed by a French couple I met at Cafe De Hunza and as such I decided to not tackle Rush Phari, much as I would have liked to.