Pakistan: Challenging Fairy Meadows road to Tattu

Lenght: ~16km one way

Duration: 45 min – 2 hours

Start: Coming from the south, the start of the road is ~55km (~34mi) after Chilas just before Raikot bridge.

Difficulty: This road is extremely dangerous and the road condition is worse than Shimshal Valley. It has very rocky and steep sections without guardrails right next to vertical drops of a few hundred meters.

Special preparations: Make sure the weather is stable, because you can’t ride this road with snow. Even with rain this wouldn’t be lots of fun anymore. We had to pay a little fee to the Jeep guys that maintain the road and are waiting just before Raikot bridge. They also registered us and our bikes.

How was it?

We came from the north and stopped right at the turnoff to check, if this was the right track. Some of the guys from the Jeep companies came immediately to talk to us. They were quite friendly and wanted to know, if we ride to Tattu. First we thought, that it is a scam, but it turned out, that they charge a little fee, because they “maintain” this route. They checked our bikes, ask for our riding skills and if we really know what we are planing to do here. Afterwards our bikes and passports got registered and we payed 800 rupees (~4,50€) each. Actually we were wondering a bit, because everybody told us before, that it is not allowed to ride this road on your own. Maybe we were allowed, because it already was the end of the season?

The first 5 kilometers is a winding road with lots of rocks and landslides. The tried to clear the track with a digger in several sections, but these parts were very rough and rocky. As soon as you reach the gorge the road gets exposed and dangerous. The locals told us before, that a Jeep with 6 people came off the road a week ago and all of them were dead. With that in mind, we rather rode very slowly.

Compared to Shimshal Valley the track is steeper and rougher. With all the luggage on our bikes, they came to their power limits. It was the first time on the whole trip, that the engines were almost not strong enough anymore, to turn the rear wheels. Sometimes you have to give way to Jeeps coming from the other direction. That can be quite exciting, because there is actually not lots of space for more than one vehicle.

In the end the route is not that exposed anymore, but stays rough all the way to Tattu. Although the road is only 16km one way, you really need some time for that. Shortly after the village Tattu is the Jeep parking an a few kiosks. The road just stops there and you only can continue by hiking. We parked our bikes and a friendly local police man allowed us to store our main luggage in his house. That helped us a lot to be sure our stuff is safe and to leave for a hike to fairy meadows.

Conclusion: The route was fun to ride, but would have been even nicer with more horse power and without luggage. The scenery is fantastic, especially in the last part where you can always see mighty Nanga Parbat.

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