Gondoro Peak and the Hushe Valley
Pakistan, Climbing, 18 days - from £1,795 (land only) - from €2,245 (land only) - from $3,140 (land only)
Day 1: Rendezvous at the group hotel in Islamabad in the morning. Islamabad Airport transfers are provided. KE Land Only package services begin with breakfast at the hotel.
Day 2: In the morning we take the spectacular flight to Skardu. We take lunch in Skardu, then drive for 3 hour by jeep beside the Indus and Shyok rivers to our hotel in Khaplu.
Day 3: At Khaplu we cross the Shyok River on a suspension bridge and continue our spectacular road journey, following the jeep road to Hushe Village, the highest settlement in the area. We set up our first camp in the village.
Day 4: A day for acclimatisation and for exploring. One option for today is to trek up to the summer grazing settlement in the high Honboro Valley. Camp.
Day 5: Following an easy walk through fir-dotted grazing land, we tackle more the difficult terrain of glacial moraine to reach the wide grazing area known as Brumbrammah beside the Masherbrum Glacier. We set up camp here for the next two nights.
Day 6: To aid our acclimatisation we follow the moraine ridge and cross a tributary of the Masherbrum Glacier to reach Masherbrum Basecamp. There are wonderful views today of Masherbrum itself and back down the valley to a row of spikey Karakoram peaks. Afterwards we return to our camp at Brumbramah.
Day 7: An easy day dropping back down to Hushe Village where we receive the usual warm welcome from our hosts. We set up camp in the village and the rest of the day is free to explore and make final preparations for our trek up the Gondogoro Vally.
Day 8: A short day to the idyllic campsite of Saitcho situated at the junction of the Charakusa and Gondogoro Valleys. At this altitude it is quite hot in the middle of the day so we will make an early start to reach Saitcho before lunch. The afternoon is free for relaxing or exploration.
Day 9: Trekking beside the Gondogoro Glacier, we follow a wooded moraine ridge to the summer grazing camp known as Gondogoro 'Village'. From here we walk beside the moraine of the glacier and make a final scramble up a rocky gulley to our next camp in the ablation valley at the place known as Dalsan.
Day 10: A long but inspiring day, walking mostly on the Gondogoro glacier with its weird 'mushroom' formations of rocks atop columns of ice. We pass beneath the beautiful spire of Layla Peak and reach the area known as Huisprung, a grassy terrace beside a small meltwater lake. This will be our base camp for the peak.
Day 11: A day for rest and acclimatisation. We will spend part of this day practicing the safety techniques required for ascending fixed ropes and glacier walking.
Day 12: A midnight start for the climb of Gondoro Peak. The climb is in 3 parts, a trek and easy scramble to the glacier, a steady ascent of easy angled snow slopes and then a final steeper ridge involving the use of fixed lines for the last 100 metres. The view from the summit is spectacular. Descent is by the same route arriving in camp at lunchtime. Overnight in Huisprung.
Day 13: Stepping back onto the great Gondogoro Glacier, we make our way down, passing the bulk of Masherbrum until we can scramble onto the moraine and we end the day walking through a delightful ablation valley filled with flowers and wild rhubarb, to reach Dalsan.
Day 14: From Dalsan we must descend the loose gulley and walk along beside the glacier until we can once again get onto the moraine. We follow the track down through Gondogoro 'Village' and a then descend a ridge covered in scrubby trees which leads to Saitcho. Here we make the last camp of the trek.
Day 15: We have a short (3 hour) walk to Hushe. As before we make an early start to avoid the heat of mid-day at this low altituide (3000 metres). Our jeeps will be waiting for us in Hushe and we make the 3 - 4 hourr journey back down the valley to Khaplu. we stay tonight in a hotel - a chance to shower away the dust of the trek!
Day 16: An early start for the drive to Skardu where we catch the late morning flight to Islamabad. Arriving in the capital we check into the group hotel. The remainder of the day is free for relaxing or independant sightseeing arrangements can be made.
Day 17: Today is an important contingency day in case of cancellation of the Skardu flight in which case we will have travelled on the Karakoram Highway with an overnight stop along the way. If the contingency day has not been required this is a day to explore Islamabad, a remarkably modern and cosmopolitan city, or nearby Rawalpindi a much older and traditional city of the Punjab.
Day 18: KE land Only package services end after breakfast. Complimentary airport transfers are provided.