The Great Karakoram Traverse
- The ultimate Karakoram trekking challenge
- From Hushe to Hunza across two 5000 metre passes
- Unrivalled mountain landscapes and scenery
- No-one else is offering this magnificent mountaineering expedition
- Our longest and toughest trek
Forging a route through the central Karakoram, from south-east to north-west, this tremendous trek was a KE classic throughout the 1990's and is making a return due to popular demand. Starting out from the Hushe Valley, we cross the Gondoro La (5585m) to reach the junction of glaciers known as Concordia, a place steeped in mountaineering legend and surrounded by four 8000 metre peaks. A day here gives us the option of visiting K2 Basecamp, before continuing our trek down the Baltoro Glacier to Korophon. Here, we cross the snout of the Biafo Glacier and turn to follow our excellent Snow Lake route into the heart of one of the world's most amazing mountain landscapes. Beyond Snow Lake and the Hispar La (5151m), we make our descent to Hunza via a series of lovely off-glacier camping places. This is a sustained and challenging high-level adventure, with more of the feeling and logistics of an expedition than a trekking holiday.
Is this holiday for you?
This is a superb mountaineering journey, which crosses one of the most rugged tracts of terrain on the face of the Earth. Long and sustained, it includes a number of tough days and 2 high and committing pass crossings. We have rated this as one of the toughest treks in our programme. There are only 3 rest days within this 26-day trek and that means you will need to be in excellent physical condition to take it on. However, our trekking pace in Pakistan is dictated to a great extent by the distances that the porters are prepared to walk and this is usually around 6 hours' walking per day. This equates with an average of just 7 or 8 miles per day, as walking speed is restricted by the altitude and by the sometimes difficult terrain.
The crossing of the Gondoro La is a true mountaineering challenge, involving the ascent of steep (45 degree) snow slopes on the Hushe side and the descent of a large glaciated mountain face on the Concordia side. It will also be necessary to rope up to descend the snow-covered West Vigne Glacier. This day will require a midnight start and could be as long as 10 or 12 hours. No technical climbing ability is required as steep sections of the pass will be safeguarded with fixed ropes and full training in their use, as well as in the various techniques required for roped glacier travel, is given prior to the crossing.
The crossing of Snow Lake and the Hispar La involves less steep ground, but it is crevassed and, once again, the group will be roped up, possibly for as many as 3 consecutive days. We require clients booking on this trip to have previous experience of walking in crampons and to be familiar with the use of an ice axe for self-arrest.