The Kharh Kharri (pronounced just as one would describe the sounds produced by an old jeep on a bumpy trail!) Lake is situated in Upper Gabral Valley some 45 kms North of Kalam. The lake derives its name perhaps from the Kharakhali Peak (which in turn is also referred to as Khakhri Peak) to its North, although the local pronunciation and spelling from the references available on Google Earth and the Alpine Journal are distinctly different.
This particular opportunity to visit the lake arose at the end of a routine visit to the Anakar Primary School which the IJC has been supporting since the 2010 floods. Having finished our work at Anakar (labelled as Bankhawar on GE) by early afternoon, we tried to make a dash up the valley to Utror, Gabral and beyond hoping to be able to make it there before sunset after being told that the trail finished short of the lake and you had to walk for sometime. Estimates on the walk varied between 45 mins to 2 hours which was not really a great sign based on prior experience of such matters! Nevertheless, we chugged our old horse and headed up the valley though not were we able to resist the smell of chappal kababs as Utror!!
The motivation to visit the lake was multi fold. I remember having gone there years ago with my family though could not recall having seen much of a lake on that visit. It was primarily the areas beyond the lake that were of prime interest as although I am not much of a trekker, the prospect of hopping across some hills from Swat to Chitral has been intriguing my fancy from sometime. Some research on the region South of Buni Zom and North of Kalam produced some very interesting results with high mountains, passes and glaciers all of which appear raher accessible by Pakistani standards. Anyhow, the prospect of Kumrat, Gabral and Ushu Valleys converging and leading onto Sor Laspur just appears magical to say the least...
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