Burji La Pass
The Deosai plain (4000 m), a vast high altitude plateau covering an area of over 400 square km, south and west of Skardu, borders on Indian Kashmir. In Balti, the region is known as “Bhear Sar” means place of flowers. Nowhere lower than 4000 m, this uninhabited alpine grassland has numerous clear streams with unusual snow trout, a large brown bear population and multitude of golden marmots.
Deosai is surprisingly rich in plants and animals, bursting into life during the brief spring and summer months. The plateau is home to the Himalayan Brown Bear, unique to this part of the world. Other mammals found on Deosai included Tibetan Wolf, Tibetan Red Fox, Himalayan Ibex etc. Deosai Plateau offers several opportunities for trekking and easily accessible from Skardu.
GETTING TO/FROM THE TREK
To the Start
Follow the road west from Skardu towards the airport to the bridge over the Satpara stream. You can easily walk or take a Suzuki.
From the Finish
Walk a day or hitch along the road back to Satpara and Skardu or head west to the Astor Valley, since there’s no public transport. Special hires. (When reversing directions, Burji Lungma is the first clear side stream from the north.)
Day 1 : Skardu to Wozal Hadar
6-7 hours, 20km, 1520m ascent
Burji is the first valley west of the large, broad Satpara Valley. From the west side of the bridge over the Satpara stream, reach the obvious narrow opening of the Burji Nala in 1½ hours. Follow a herders’ trail along the clear stream, inexorably ascending past stands of birch and willow. Herders’ huts and a spring at Pindobal offer a camp site three to four hours upvalley for those not yet acclimatized or those crossing the pass from south to north. The treeless camp site of Wozal Hadar (3810m) is one to 1½ hours farther.
Day 2 : Wozal Hadar to Burji Lungma
5-6 hours, 9km, 1006m ascent, 701m descent
The valley opens into a wide Basin. Burji La is the obvious snowy saddle on the east side of the ridge above the upper basin two to three hours from Wozal Hadar. A broad snowfield lies below the pass. If crevasse are visible, ascend the rocky spur just west (right) of the snowfield to Burji La, marked by a cairn. The giant peaks at the Baltoro Glacier’s head rise above the lower ridges in a grand panorama. To the south, several icy blue lakes nestle below a small ridge. Descend south to the valley below, the Burji Lungma (4115m), and follow it to its confluence with a larger, clear stream, and camp in grass along its banks. Up this stream to the north-west is the Dari La (see).
Day 3 : Burji Lungma to Ali Malik Mar
3 hours, 10km, 183m descent