Istor O Nal (7000M) is the 3rd highest mountain in the High Hindu Kush range, in the Chitral District of Pakistan. It is the 68th highest independent peak in the world. It crowns a massif with 11 peaks of elevation more than 7000 m (22986ft). The peak is located a few kilometers north of Tirichmir. Because Istor o Nal is behind the highest peak of Hindukush (Tirichmir 7708m) from many view points, it is not easily visible and therefore not well known.
The word “Istor o Nal” means horse shoe in the khowar language. Istor means “horse” and nal means “shoe” and the massif is look like a giant horse shoe.
Istor o Nal was first climbed on June 8, 1955 by the Americans Major Ken Bankwala, Josef E. Murphy, Jr, and Thomas A. Mutch, on a Princeton Mountaineering Club Expedition. They climbed the west ridge, starting from the south side of the peak through the Terich Glacier. Their small, minimally financed expedition (by the standards of the time for high altitude mountaineering) achieved what was then the second highest summit attained by Americans.
The main summit 7403m was climbed by a Spanish expedition in 1969 headed by Anglada. 2 of the 11 peaks are still unclimbed i.e. North East Peak 7276m and East Peak 7100m.
In the year 2000, a Swiss Expedition led by Simon Perritaz arranged an expedition for the unclimbed North East Peak 7276m with 8 other members; they could not gain the summit due to shortage of rope, time and mostly weather condition. The two peaks are still unclimbed and an obvious challenge for mountaineers.
The trekking route starts from Shagrom (the uppermost village of Terich valley) about 135 km from Chitral Town and 60 km from Buni. Buni is the Head Quarter of upper Chitral sub-division. It is approachable from Chitral Town to Shagrom only by Jeep. The jeep road goes as far as Shagrom (2900m) but an alternate route e.g. jeep road goes up to Zani Pass 3840m and then the trek descends down to Shagrom.
Base Camp is set at Babu Camp-Terich Concordia and it is 30 km away from Shargom. The Base Camp route is divided into 4 stages, from Shagrom to BC, and can be completed in 3 days trek.
Shagrom to Sherniak 3540m, 13 km. 5-6 hours trek.
Sherniak to Shughur Baisun 4038m, 12km. 5-6 hours.
Shughur Baisun to BC 4700m, 10 km. 5-6 hours trek.
Day 01 Islamabad Arrival in Islamabad transfer to hotel for short rest, afternoon half day city tour of Islamabad/Rawalpindi
Day 02 Day Free day for shopping and other preparation o/n hotel
Day 03 Drive to Chitral by charter coach o/n hotel
Day 04 final shopping for the trip o/n hotel
Day 05 Drive to shagrom o/n camping
Day 06 trek to shernaik
Day 07 trek to shughur baisun
Day 08 trek to base camp
Day 09-45 CLIMBING DAYS
Day 46 trek down shernaik
Day 47 trek to shagrom
Day 48 drive to chitral
Day 49 drive to Islamabad
Day 50 onward flight