Of Fairy Meadows: Nanga Parbat aka the Killer Mountain

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This is The Shooting Star’s first ever guest post. Adnan Bashir, a traveler from Pakistan, who goes by the pen name Delirium, explores one of the most fascinating peaks on the other side of the Himalayas, the Nanga Parbat aka the Killer Mountain.

After 26 hours of a hectic journey, I asked the driver to stop the bus. With twisted necks and aching backs, we stood at the narrow Raikot Bridge built over the waters of Indus. A gust of hot dusty wind greeted us, as did the towering barren rocky mountains surrounding the narrow gauge in the middle of nowhere.

We got onto the first jeep offering a standard deal, and began ascending and negotiating unbelievably sharp twists and turns into the barren mountains, before being transported to a lovely green speck amid the hills, named Tato after the hot springs flowing there.

An old, collapsed bridge was being re-erected, leaving crossing the stream along a narrow path, as the only alternative.

Nanga parbat, base camp, fairy meadows, broken bridge, himalayas, pakistan, offbeat travel

You have to be really lucky to be able to hire another jeep across the bridge for a short ascending ride to a place called Jhail; i.e. this is where our trek officially started. Under the blazing sun, on stony paths, amid sparse vegetation, with the snow-clad Bulder Peak in the distance, we were determined to make it to the elusive Fairy Meadows.

The Nanga Parbat peak teased occassionally from behind a range of peaks dwarfed miserably by the giant, in its white attire, leaving us spellbound. The higher we climbed, the harder it got. Pine growth thickened, their fragrance permeating through the air. Abundant water turned the landscape green and rich. Finally, a sharp ascent led us to the top of a wide plateau and a surprising clearance marked by verdant meadows and thick clustered pines. A magical place, Fairy Meadows.

nanga parbat, base camp, fairy meadows, killer mountain, offbeat travel, pakistan, himalayas

nanga parbat, base camp, fairy meadows, killer mountain, offbeat travel, pakistan, himalayas

Fairy Meadows offers the most stunning views of the Nanga Parbat, with its location on the western edge of the Himalayas in Pakistan. Legend has it that the Phantoora Lake attracts and hosts descending fairies.

Located by a stream a few kilometers from Fairy Meadows, is Beyal camp, a small, romantic, tranquil camping spot right at the foot of towering peaks.

beyal camp, nanga parbat, base camp, fairy meadows, killer mountain, offbeat travel, pakistan, himalayas

Trekking higher up along the frozen Rai Kot Glacier, we saw clouds of snow soar to the skies, intermittently accompanied by thundering sounds of avalanches. Soon we found ourselves enclosed within a cluster of peaks, a half circle comprising the most lethal and vertical north face of the killer mountain, Nanga Parbat.

nanga parbat, base camp, fairy meadows, killer mountain, offbeat travel, pakistan, himalayas

nanga parbat, base camp, fairy meadows, killer mountain, offbeat travel, pakistan, himalayas

The thrill of the climb gave way to nostalgia as we crossed the wooden bridge and threw our backpacks into the jeep again. As we drove away from the bridge, that land of fantasies gradually engraved itself into the layers of our memory with each distancing moment and mile.

Writer bio: Delirium is a nomad and wanderer. An aspiring free spirit. A nature and mountain lover by heart. An engineer & business manager by profession. A learner and knowlege seeker by passion. He blogs at The Delirious Outbursts and tweets @Delirium19.

Shivya Nath
Shivya Nath is an Indian girl who fell in love with traveling, writing and social media. The first is the most thrilling, because being from a protective Indian family means every travel plan comes with a small battle. She says, "I’m not complaining. At my age, few from my hometown have traveled as much and as independently as me."

She juggles work, travel and blogging, until she finds the perfect blend of the three. Join her on her journeys around the world, as she seeks the most untouched, undiscovered of places that few have been to, and even fewer have written out.
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