Bilal of Must Love Mountains recently travelled to Pakistan where he photographed some of the most beautiful alpine regions in the world. Here's a recap of the expedition in his own words.
Gondogoro La at 5,940m (19,500 feet) is the highest mountain pass in the world. Starting from the valley of Hushe, we were one of the few groups ever to cross this pass from the south side. In order to minimize the chance of rock-fall we started our attempt at 11pm when the ice is frozen and there is no chance of melt. This also meant temperatures well below freezing. My Arc'teryx fleece, insulation, and outer shells all worked beautifully.
Reaching the top, every muscle in my body ached. The water in my bottle was frozen solid, but the view of first light hitting some of the highest mountains on the planet made everything else insignificant. K2, Broad Peak, Gashabrums, Mashabrum, Laila Peak, and countless others stood there bathing in the morning sun.
Climbing down the north side, it was much easier trekking down the snowy slopes than the ice covered rocks of our ascent. Over the next week, we trekked down the west Vigne Glacier to Concordia, which contains the largest concentration of the highest peaks anywhere on the planet. Then, following the Baltoro Glacier, passing by the Trango Towers, we reached the village of Askoli. From there, we planned to trek the length of the Biafo Glacier (the third-longest non-polar glacier) to Snow Lake. Unfortunately, deteriorating weather and forecast of a late monsoon forced us to abandon our plans and return, with Snow Lake filed away as an adventure for another day.