Trekking and Mountain climbing in the Gilgit-Baltistan Area, in Northern Pakistan is quite popular and mountaineers, mountain climbers, and trekkers from all over the world come to visit the area with the highest concentration of the highest peaks in any area in the world.
All foreign nationals are required to register when visiting this area and you can usually arrange this through your travel agent. If you want to travel to any areas above 6000m, you will also need a permit from the Pakistan Ministry Of Tourism. Make sure you have registered for everything well in advance of your intended travel, as the process can take as long as two months and you're probably best off organising it via one of the many tour companies based in Pakistan. Remember that some travel insurance polices can be affected without possession of the proper permits.
Be sure to use a reputable guide company with good reference when trekking in the Gilgit-Baltistan area, for starters, climbing high mountains can be inherently dangerous and adding the risk of kidnap or banditry to the experience is really unnecessary.
Sadly, like most of Pakistan, there have been recent outbreaks of sectarian violence in the area and you should be aware that this is a real risk.
During the monsoon season between July and September, Pakistan is prone to extreme flooding and landslides which have displaced millions of people in the past. When large scale flooding occurs, fresh drinking water and food can become quite scare and the risk of insect and water borne diseases jumps dramatically and continues for sometime after the floodwaters have subsided.
From late July of 2010, heaving flooding affected a large area in Pakistan, with the Khyper-Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh areas being especially affected. More than 1450 people were killed, and millions were displaced.
Pakistan does reside within an active seismic zone and earthquakes do occur. The 18th of January 2011 saw magnitude 7.2 earthquake strike the south west of Pakistan, official reports said that there was only limited damage with no deaths, but that cannot be guaranteed for any future earthquakes. Mountainous regions are prone to minor earth tremors as well, and are subject to landslides and avalanches as well as flooding.
Coastal areas are also at risk of being exposed to cyclones, although this is not as prevalent a danger as that presented from flooding.
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