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Science And Nature

This bridge in northern Pakistan is really a surreal span

Published September 6, 2022

3 min read

Stretching on the glacier-fed waters of the Hunza River and linking the rugged faces of the Karakoram Range, the Hussaini Hanging Bridge is apparently only a delicate thread. Indeed, once the wind blows, the complete amount of rope and wooden planks begins to sway.

Obtaining the shot

To fully capture this image, photographer Kevin Faingnaert didnt need to set foot on the precarious passageway, which includes claimed lives. He took aim from the western bank of the river. From that vantage point, Faingnaert says, he could fully appreciate the scale of the encompassing peaks.

Sky-high

Not definately not the river rises the towering Rakaposhi mountain, a destination for skilled climbers, who is able to reach Rakaposhi Base Camp on a two-day trek from Hussaini. It is a landscape that produces adventurers: Mountaineer Samina Baig was the initial Pakistani woman to tackle the Seven Summits, the best peak on each continent.

(Explore Pakistans wildest, most beautiful landscapes.)

Engineering marvel

Usage of the bridge is via the Karakoram Highway, an 800-mile road cut through a few of the toughest terrain on the planet. Road construction took almost 20 years and was challenging partly due to the remote location and thin air. Crews from China and Pakistan collaborated, developing a modern Silk Road between their countries.

By the numbers

395: Distance of bridge from Islamabad, in miles

500: Approximate amount of bridge, in feet

25,550: Height of Rakaposhi mountain, in feet

This story appears in the October 2022 problem of National Geographic magazine.

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