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Holiday Overview

Highlights

  • Views of K2, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum from the Gondoro La
  • Walking in Concordia and the Baltoro Glacier
  • One of the world`s top 5 trekking adventures
  • Experience the picturesque Hushe Valley in Pakistan

An exceptional and ambitious trekking adventure holiday walking in the Karakoram Mountains of Pakistan across the Gondogoro La from K2.  This very exciting trek leads from Askole, via the Baltoro Glacier to Concordia and then onwards across the Gondogoro La (5585m) into the Hushe Valley. Trekking in the heart of the Karakoram by way of the Baltistan capital of Skardu, our trek gains height gradually, with magical views of peaks such as the Trango Towers, Masherbrum and finally, from Concordia, of K2 itself. After walking up the Godwin Austin glacier to visit the base camps for Broad Peak and K2, we continue our trek through a glaciated wilderness to the Gondogoro La. Climbing to the pass, we are rewarded by unforgettable views back to K2 (8611m), Broad Peak (8047m), the Gasherbrums, Chogolisa and also of Hidden Peak, one of the few places accessible to trekkers from which this mountain can be viewed. Then, dropping down from the pass, we can enjoy an sesational walk-out through pleasant alpine valleys to the friendly Balti village of Hushe. If you are keen to visit K2 and have some experience of winter mountaineering, then this is the way to go. Truly, one of the finest high mountain experiences on Earth!


Important note: The Pakistan Government have introduced new regulations for the crossing of the Gondogoro La. From 2016, all groups attempting the Gondogoro La must be accompanied by a Government-appointed Liaison Officer (as with all mountaineering expeditions). The costs of the Liaison Officer are covered by the group and these can be considerable (up to $3,000). The KE holiday price includes these Liaison Officer costs. We strongly advise when comparing other providers, that you check whether these costs are included in the price.

Is this holiday for you?

This great trekking holiday to Concordia and across the Gondogoro La to the Hushe Valley is one of the most ambitious of our Pakistan departures, traversing a remote mountain pass and including several tough trekking days. We have given this trip our toughest grade to reflect the sustained nature of the trekking and also to take into account the quite committing pass crossing. Within the time that we have allowed for this expedition, we can comfortably complete the route, allowing sufficient time for acclimatisation. 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 of the order of four to six hours walking per day. This equates with only 10 to 14 kilometres, as walking speed is restricted by the altitude and by the sometimes difficult terrain. During the crossing of the Gondogoro La, the group will use crampons and may be roped together for some sections. Fixed lines will be used to safeguard ascent and descent of steeper slopes for clients and porters.  Previous trekking experience is a prerequisite for this trip and some previous experience of walking on snow slopes using crampons is highly desirable. Previous technical mountaineering experience is not required and all the mountaineering techniques used on the crossing of the Gondoro La will be taught and practiced during acclimatisation days.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Islamabad. Islamabad Airport transfers are provided.
  • Fly to Skardu. Rest of the day at leisure.
  • Drive via Shigar Valley and the Braldu Gorge to Askole (3000m).
  • Trek past the snout of the Biafo Glacier to Korofon (3075m).
  • Trek to the Panma Valley and cross the Panma river (3100m).
  • Trek beside the main Braldu River to Paiju (3420m).
  • Acclimatisation day.
  • Trek up onto the Baltoro Glacier, cross to the south bank and continue to Horbose (3795m).
  • Trek beside the glacier with views of Trango Towers to Urdukas (3900m).
  • Trek along the Baltoro Glacier with views of Masherbrum to Goro (4295m).
  • Trek along the Baltoro Glacier to Concordia (4500m).
  • Option to trek to Broad Peak Base Camp (4572m) and/or K2 Base Camp (5100m).
  • Trek the Upper Baltoro Glacier to Ali Camp (4800m).
  • Trek across the Gondogoro La (5585m) with views of 8000m peaks and descend to Huisprung (4600m).
  • Trek down the Gondogoro Glacier to Dalsan (4150m).
  • Trek down the Gonogoro Valley to Saitcho (3350m).
  • Contingency day for possible delays.
  • Second contingency day or trek to Hushe Village (3050m).
  • Drive beside the Hushe River and follow the Shyock and Indus rivers to Skardu (2500m).
  • Drive to Skardu airport and fly to Islamabad.
  • Contingency day for possible flight delays, or at leisure in Islamabad.
  • Departure day.Islamabad Airport transfers provided.
2016
Sun 17 Jul - Sun 07 Aug Code GLA /02/16/
Adult$4,500 Status Departed
More information
  • K2, Concordia and the Gondogoro La - Gondogoro La
  • The departure reference for this tour is GLA /02/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 17 Jul and departs on Sun 07 Aug
  • This trip has already departed
  • Single Supplement $290 - Includes all 5 group hotel nights (single tent not included)
  • Single Tent $175
2017
Sun 11 Jun - Sun 02 Jul Code GLA /01/17/
Adult$4,295 Status Available Book now
More information
  • K2, Concordia and the Gondogoro La - Gondogoro La
  • The departure reference for this tour is GLA /01/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 11 Jun and departs on Sun 02 Jul
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $1,000
  • Single Supplement $290 - Includes all 5 group hotel nights (single tent not included)
  • Single Tent $175
Sun 02 Jul - Sun 23 Jul Code GLA /02/17/
Adult$4,295 Status Available Book now
More information
  • K2, Concordia and the Gondogoro La - Gondogoro La
  • The departure reference for this tour is GLA /02/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 02 Jul and departs on Sun 23 Jul
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $1,000
  • Single Supplement $290 - Includes all 5 group hotel nights (single tent not included)
  • Single Tent $175
The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining in Islamabad. For clients making their own flight arrangements, Islamabad Airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to 'Joining Arrangements and Transfers' in the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.


BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

We have undertaken to guarantee that all of our Land Only prices will not change once you have booked your holiday. Unlike some of our competitors we have decided never to surcharge, whether you are booking for this year or the next.

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Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • airport
  • point
  • peaks
  • pass
  • trip direction
  • transfer
  • trek

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in Islamabad. Islamabad Airport transfers are provided.

    Arriving at Islamabad International airport, we are met by our tour leader or a KE representative. KE Land Only package services begin with a transfer to the group hotel. In Islamabad we use a centrally situated, air conditioned, tourist class hotel. You may want to rest in the morning before lunch, during which a full trek briefing will be held and any questions answered. It may be necessary for the whole group to visit the offices of the Ministry of Tourism to receive an official ‘briefing’ about visiting the restricted area around K2 whilst our agent completes the permit formalities. The trip leader will organise this. Depending on the time available to us there may be the option to do some sightseeing in Islamabad, a city purpose-built in 1961 as the new capital of Pakistan. Alternatively, we could visit the ‘Twin City’ of Rawalpindi a town from the days of the British Raj. The two cities are very different in character; the older settlement is rather sprawling with enormous and complicated bazaars where you can easily get fascinatingly lost. Islamabad, by contrast, is much more open, with many parks and wide streets arranged on a grid system.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals ld

  • Fly to Skardu. Rest of the day at leisure.

    We take the early morning, 1-hour flight from Islamabad to Skardu, skirting breathtakingly past the Rupal and Diamir faces of Nanga Parbat. It is even possible to catch a fleeting glimpse of K2 and the other high peaks of the Baltoro in the distance before landing at Skardu. Here, we check in to the K2 Motel overlooking the Indus and spend the afternoon looking around the bazaar, visiting the nearby Alexandria Fort or taking a jeep ride up to the beautiful Satpara Lake.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Drive via Shigar Valley and the Braldu Gorge to Askole (3000m).

    We leave Skardu by jeep for the 7 hour drive to the roadhead at the village of Askole, passing through the fertile Shigar Valley. The last 2 hours of the drive covers the ground which used to make up the first two days’ walk of the trek and includes the passage of the infamous Braldu Gorge section. The road into this high valley is prone to landslide, especially as summer progresses and the high glaciers melt, and it is not always possible to drive as far as Askole. It can sometimes be necessary to start our trek as much as a day’s walk from the usual roadhead. This does not happen very often, however, and given good road conditions we will spend our first night under canvas in this famous Balti village, high above the thundering Braldu River.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

  • Trek past the snout of the Biafo Glacier to Korofon (3075m).

    A beautiful day’s walk, giving us a quite gentle introduction to Karakoram trekking. From our campsite we wend our way through the lanes and fields of Askole which will be the last settlement that we will encounter on our trek to Concordia. Watching the local people go about their daily business is a fascinating insight into the lifestyle of the hardy Balti people. Shortly before we reach the Biafo Glacier there is a bridge across the river flowing from its snout and this avoids having to cross the loose moraine of the glacier itself. We make camp on the other side of the Biafo at Korofon, (3075m), amongst a spring-fed clump of trees which harbours a remarkable variety of birdlife.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 300m

    • Distance 12km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 290m

    • Time 4 - 5 hrs trekking

  • Trek to the Panma Valley and cross the Panma river (3100m).

    Above Korofon, we follow the course of the Braldu as far as the junction with the tributary Panma River. To cross the fast flowing river we have to make a detour to a bridge up this side valley. Several years ago it was necessary to make a long climb here to detour around a huge cliff which towers above the river but today’s trail, built with pick and dynamite to allow supply horses to reach the Baltoro Glacier, provides an easier but spectacular route traversing the cliff face. The path is exposed in places and of course there are no guard rails, but it is always wide enough for a horse! Having got ourselves across the Panma River we make camp a little way beyond the bridge. 3 to 4 hours walking. The trip leader may opt to combine this and the previous day’s trek in order to create a contingency day or to catch up if we have experienced a delay on the flight to Skardu.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 230m

    • Distance 9km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 120m

    • Time 3 - 4 hrs trekking

  • Trek beside the main Braldu River to Paiju (3420m).

    Returning to the Braldu River once again, we continue on a good path, passing a couple of old camping places at Chowblok and Bardomal, which are now rarely used, as much of the level ground has been eroded by the shifting river. Beyond these old camping places the path runs for a while at the very edge of the river, before climbing to higher ground and allowing us excellent views of the impressive Paiju Peak. We have to negotiate a couple of streams today and depending on the melting of the glaciers above, we may have to ford these so sports style sandals are useful today. At our high point today we have views ahead to the snout of the Baltoro Glacier and the granite peaks of the Trango and Cathedral groups. On a clear day it is even possible to see K2, which is partially obscured by the shark’s fin of the Lobsang Spire. After dropping down to the main Braldu River again, we reach the excellent camp at Paiju (3420m), which is nestled in a clump of trees - the last we will see for some time. This is a traditional stopping point for all expeditions headed for Concordia, where porters prepare their food supplies for the glacier. There are levelled pitches for tents and the site is equipped with toilets.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 580m

    • Distance 21km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 335m

    • Time 7 hrs trekking

  • Acclimatisation day.

    We spend a rest day at Paiju. This is good for acclimatisation and it is also a useful time for the porters to bake as much bread as they can for the trek on the glacier. For those with energy to spare there is the opportunity to hike up the hill for beautiful views of the Trango Towers.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

  • Trek up onto the Baltoro Glacier, cross to the south bank and continue to Horbose (3795m).

    From Paiju camp, one hour’s walk brings us to the snout of the mighty Baltoro Glacier which we cross with care to gain its south side. The path now continues along lateral moraines, passing Liliwa campsite, en route to Horbose (3795m). Just before we reach the camp we have to make a diversion south for approximately half an hour in order to cross a side glacier which joins the Baltoro. Horbose campsite has sensational views of the Cathedral Towers, the Trango Group and the striking rock tower of Uli Biaho. A great day of trekking over difficult and mixed terrain.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 640m

    • Distance 15km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 220m

    • Time 8 hrs trekking

  • Trek beside the glacier with views of Trango Towers to Urdukas (3900m).

    A shorter day today, mindful of the need to gain height slowly. We follow a path along the lateral moraine of the glacier to the camp at Urdukas, (3900m). This campsite is perched a hundred metres above the glacier on terraces originally hacked out of the hillside by the Duke of Abruzzi’s expedition. It has truly sensational views of the Trango and Cathedral towers and the Lobsang Spires.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 250m

    • Distance 6km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 40m

    • Time 3 - 4 hrs trekking

  • Trek along the Baltoro Glacier with views of Masherbrum to Goro (4295m).

    From camp we cross to the centre of the glacier and quickly come within sight of the spectacular Masherbrum on our right hand side. Ascending and descending the mountains of rubble which are strewn over the ice, we also have glimpses ahead to the peaks which surround Concordia. Especially prominent is the stunning Gasherbrum IV at the head of the Baltoro glacier. There are good views back towards the Trango and Cathedral peaks as we approach our camp known as ‘Goro’ (4295m). We are camping on one of the largest pieces of ice outside the polar regions so we will make sure to wrap up warmly for the cold night ahead.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 330m

    • Distance 12km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 90m

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs trekking

  • Trek along the Baltoro Glacier to Concordia (4500m).

    The final approach day to Concordia takes us through what must arguably be the most spectacular mountain scenery anywhere in the world! We awake to see the sunrise on the dramatic Mustagh Tower on our left and continue our approach to the “Throne Room of the Mountain Gods.” Our campsite at Concordia (4500m) is surrounded by the majestic wonders of Gasherbrum IV, Mitre Peak, Broad Peak, Chogolisa, Crystal Peak, Baltoro Kangri and, of course, K2! Words fail to describe such a place.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 290m

    • Distance 12km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Time 5 - 6 hrs trekking

  • Option to trek to Broad Peak Base Camp (4572m) and/or K2 Base Camp (5100m).

    It is hard to point to individual highlights on a trip where every day brings new and more spectacular views. For many people a visit to the actual base camp used by climbers on K2 will certainly be a highlight. Getting an early start we make our way up the medial moraine of the Godwin Austen Glacier, coming first to Broad Peak Basecamp after 2½ - 3 hours of trekking. We usually know somebody at this camp and there is a good chance we can stop for tea here before continuing up to K2 Basecamp. It is possible to make a half day excursion as far as Broad Peak Base camp and get all of the truly fantastic views back towards Concordia. For those who want to visit K2 base camp the trail continues along the moraine and then on the glacier itself for a further 2½ - 3 hours to reach the moraine ‘island’ known as ‘the strip’, the traditional base camp area for the Abruzzi Ridge. For those going as far as K2 base camp this is a strenuous day of approximately 10 – 12 hours walking on rough glacial terrain with 600m of ascent and descent.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6 - 12 hrs trekking

  • Trek the Upper Baltoro Glacier to Ali Camp (4800m).

    We leave the main trails behind us from today onwards, striking ever more on a far less travelled route. Ascending first the Upper Baltorro and then the Vigne glacier over a mix of terrain from morraine boulders to straightforward level ice, todays hike really is one to savour. If the upper part of the glacier is snow coverered we may need to rope up for the final section to reach our camp for the Gondoro La known locally as 'Ali Camp' (4800m)

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 380m

    • Distance 12km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 10m

    • Time 5 - 6 hrs trekking

  • Trek across the Gondogoro La (5585m) with views of 8000m peaks and descend to Huisprung (4600m).

    We make an early start for the gradual ascent of the West Vigne glacier to the foot of the Gondoro pass. From here the climb to the Gondoro La will take around 3 hours. The view from the top includes K2, Broad Peak, Chogolisa and the Gasherbrums, including Hidden Peak. We then go down steep rockier slopes using fixed ropes to safeguard the descent and make camp in the place known as Huisprung (4600m).

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 9 - 12 hrs trekking/climbing

  • Trek down the Gondogoro Glacier to Dalsan (4150m).

    An easier day today with just 500 metres of descent. Following the Gondogoro glacier we descend the valley crossing the glacier to the ablation valley on the left bank to a camp among sparse grass at Dalsan (4150m).

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 4 hrs trekking

  • Trek down the Gonogoro Valley to Saitcho (3350m).

    We continue our descent of the Gonogoro Valley to its junction with the Chaakusa and the main Hushe Valley. We have a riverside camp at Saitcho and for the first night in almost a week, breath the thicker air below 4000 metres and sleep to the sounds of running water. (3350m).

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 5 - 6 hrs trekking

  • Contingency day for possible delays.

    This is a contingency day in case of delays to the trekking schedule. Saitcho is a great place to relax in the sunshine or for those with an insatiable trekking appetite a walk up into the Charakusa valley to see K6 and K7 is well worth the effort.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

  • Second contingency day or trek to Hushe Village (3050m).

    A day of about 3 to 4 hours brings us to Hushe village (3000m), the first permanent habitation we encounter since leaving Askole. If necessary, this can also be used as a spare day, making an early start and combining this day with tomorrow's drive to Skardu.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 3 - 4 hrs trekking

  • Drive beside the Hushe River and follow the Shyock and Indus rivers to Skardu (2500m).

    Driving through the Hushe Valley with its villages of intense agriculture we come to a junction with the Shyock River which flows from Ladakh. Crossing the river on a suspension bridge we now drive on tarmac road first following the Shyock to a confluence with the Indus, then along this major river back to Skardu. Arriving in the Balti capital, we check into our hotel and enjoy our first hot shower in over two weeks!

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Drive to Skardu airport and fly to Islamabad.

    We drive to Skardu Aiport where we catch our flight back to Islamabad. On arrival in Islamabad, we check in to the group hotel. The rest of the day is free for sightseeing or shopping in the local bazaar.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Contingency day for possible flight delays, or at leisure in Islamabad.

    This is an important contingency day in case there is a delay to the flight from Skardu. If not required, this will be a further day for sightseeing in the capital city. If due to bad weather there is no possibility of a flight we will drive down the incredible Karakoram Highway to Islamabad.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Departure day.Islamabad Airport transfers provided.

    Departure day. Islamabad Airport transfers provided.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • An experienced professional KE climbing leader
  • Islamabad Airport transfers and internal flights and associated airport transfers
  • All land transport involved in the itinerary
  • All accommodation as described in the trip dossier
  • All meals
  • All permit fees and Liaison Officer costs
  • Once on trek a full service including food and all equipment (excluding personal equipment)
  • Travel insurance
  • Pakistan Visa
  • Tips for local guides and support staff
  • Miscellaneous expenses
  • souvenirs etc.

On trek, the food is a mixture of local and Western, dishes using ingredients mostly purchased in Pakistan and cooked by our highly trained trek cooks. Breakfasts consist of cereal, muesli or porridge, eggs, bread or chapatti, tea and coffee. Lunches are a picnic from a choice of canned fish, tinned meats, cheese, pickles, pate, and crackers or chapattis, sometimes accompanied by hot soup and noodles, and finished off with tea or coffee. Dinner taken in a group ‘mess’ tent, is a three course meal. We do routinely cater for vegetarians but you must inform us if you wish your diet to be exclusively vegetarian.

Fully-inclusive of all meals throughout, from lunch on day 1 to breakfast on day 22.
All clients arriving on Day 1 will be met at Islamabad Airport by the trip leader or a KE representative who will arrange the transfer to the group hotel. Similarly, transfers will be provided back to Islamabad Airport on the final day of the itinerary. Clients booking a Land Only Package should let us know if Islamabad Airport transfers are not required. Land Only clients MUST provide the KE office with full details of their flights. Full joining instructions together with hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.
During this trip the group will spend 3 nights in Islamabad at a good standard hotel. The group will also have a night in a tourist standard hotel in Skardu before starting the trek and a night at our agent's very comfortable hotel in Khaplu at the end of the trek. Whilst on trek there will be a total of 16 nights spent camping. All accommodation is based on twin sharing. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired with another single client of the same sex. It is possible to hire a single tent while on trek for an additional cost. Please note single tent hire does not include single rooms in hotels. For the 5 hotel nights, single rooms are available for a supplementary cost. Additional hotel nights in Islamabad are also available. For hotel prices and single supplement costs please refer to the dates and prices page of the trip on our website. Hotels are subject to availability and prices may vary.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

Shortly after first light one of the cook crew will wake you with a cup of tea or coffee brought to your tent. You will have plenty of time to get up and pack your kitbag before sitting down to a hot breakfast, during which camp will be struck and the porters given their loads. Setting off in the pleasant cool of the morning, we will generally reach our lunch stop after 3 to 4 hours walking. The cook crew, having overtaken us on the trail, will already have the lunch preparations well under way. Lunch usually takes an hour or even two and again this is a cooked meal. This is a great time for relaxing, reading and sitting in the sun. The pack-animals usually catch up with the group during lunch and are well on their way to camp which we hope to establish by the afternoon, well before dusk. It is usual for the afternoon’s walk to be shorter than the morning session. During the day you are free to walk at your own pace. On arrival at camp, the camp crew will quickly put the tents up and a hot drink will soon follow. Dinner is a 3-course meal served in the mess tent. This is a great time of day for reliving the events of the trek so far and for general socialising. After dark, the temperature quickly falls and everyone will soon be tucked up in their sleeping bags.

Skardu Flights

Skardu is a weather-dependent airport. Since the valley is completely surrounded by high mountains, planes can only land here in good visibility and this means flights to and from Skardu are never guaranteed. The planes do fly more often than not, but cancellations can and do occur and in these circumstances we will travel by road. This is an epic journey along the Karakoram Highway, one of the most remarkable roads in the world. In most circumstances we aim to make this journey over two days with an overnight stop in an hotel approximately halfway, but occasionally it may be necessary to do this as a continuous journey. If flights to Skardu are cancelled on the outbound journey, we may opt to try to fly the next day staying an extra night in Islamabad (your trip leader will make this decision). There is enough flexibility in the trekking itinerary to allow us to make up the time. If the flight is cancelled on the return journey we have built in a spare day in Islamabad for this.

Travel on the Karakoram Highway

In 2015 the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) removed their advice against ‘all but essential travel’ to Gilgit-Baltistan and we are pleased that we can once again take our groups into the mountains of the Karakoram. We encourage you to read the up to date Travel Advice from the FCO on their website at: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/pakistan. Currently, the FCO still warns against travel on the Karakoram Highway (KKH) although we expect this to also change in the near future. We generally manage to avoid travel on the KKH by flying from Islamabad to Skardu and from Skardu or Gilgit back to Islamabad. However, it is important for you to realise that if poor weather causes one or both of our scheduled internal flights to be cancelled, we may be obliged to travel on the Karakoram Highway.

We advise that you check with your insurer regarding your cover in this situation. If your preferred insurer cannot offer cover for the entirety of your holiday, the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) offer insurance that will cover you. Please refer to the BMC at https://www.thebmc.co.uk/insurance

You can be assured that we only allow our groups to drive on the Karakoram Highway when the flight option is ruled out and when our excellent local contacts assure us that the area is safe. We have been taking groups to Pakistan for over 30 years and have never had any problems on this road, even during those periods when the FCO has advised against travelling on it. In actuality, the journey along the Karakoram Highway is spectacularly scenic and an epic experience which has been enjoyed by hundreds of KE clients.

The group will be led by an experienced KE leader. During the trek the group will be accompanied by a full support crew, including a local guide, cook and kitchen crew, as well as porters to carry all equipment and personal trek bags.

Approximately £200 (or equivalent in US dollars, Euros etc.) changed into local currency should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses, including porter and trek crew tips. Note that money for tips should be changed into local currency (denominations of 500 rupees or smaller only) before you leave Islamabad. It is not necessary to purchase local currency (Pakistan rupees) before your trip. Money can be changed at a reasonable rate at the airport or at authorised money changers. Since you will be changing the majority of your spending money into local currency soon after your arrival, we recommend that you take it in cash. US dollars, Sterling and Euros can readily be exchanged at the airport. US dollars will give you more flexibility to exchange in smaller towns or in an emergency. Credit cards can be used to purchase many goods in Islamabad or Skardu and are particularly useful for more expensive items such as carpets. It is possible to withdraw cash (rupees only) from cash machines in Islamabad using credit and debit cards.

It is usual to tip the members of your trek crew, including your local guide, if you are happy with the services provided. We estimate that £80 - £100 (in local currency equivalent) will cover this aspect of your trip expenditure. Towards the end of the trek, the trip leader will help the group to determine an appropriate level of tipping for each crew member, and this is most usually done as a group ‘thank-you’ with ceremony on the final day of trekking.

Your baggage on trek will be carried by porters. The packed weight of your trek bag whilst trekking including your sleeping bag and camping mattress should be no more than 12.5 kgs. (27 pounds). You should note that this allowance which is governed by maximum porter loads, is slightly less than allowances for treks in India and Nepal and is quite strictly adhered to. It is possible to leave items not required on trek at the group hotel in Islamabad and also in Skardu. Note this allowance does not include your mountaineering equipment which will be collected from you in Skardu and carried separately in communal bags.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

This holiday involves going to very high altitude. During the course of your trip you will be spending at least one night above 4000 metres and/or trekking to 5000 metres or above. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude on our website which can be viewed via the link below. Unless you have previous experience of trekking above 4000 metres you should consult one of our trekking experts before embarking on this holiday. On this trip we carry a portable altitude chamber (PAC-bag) and/or bottled oxygen for use in emergencies. www.keadventure.com/page/altitude.html

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum. The packed weight of your trek bag whilst trekking including your sleeping bag and mattress should be no more than 12.5 kgs. This limit which is set by the porters is strictly enforced and bags will be weighed prior to setting off on trek. Anything not required on the trek can be left at the group hotel in Islamabad. Please note that your mountaineering equipment will be packed into additional, communal kitbags at the start of the trekking and this equipment will not be part of your personal 12.5 kgs weight limit.

When selecting clothing for this holiday, please be culturally sensitive. Tight fitting or revealing clothing is not appropriate. Shorts and tee shirts can be worn but only once we are above the last temporary habitations of the valley.

You must bring the following items:

  • Sleeping bag (comfort rated -15°C)

  • Thermarest or similar sleeping mat

  • Daypack 30 to 40 litres

  • Hiking boots

  • Mountaineering boots (see ‘Mountaineering equipment’ below)

  • Trainers or sandals for river crossings and camp use

  • Socks

  • Walking socks (2 or 3 pairs)

  • Spare laces

  • Trekking trousers

  • Lightweight waterproof overtrousers

  • Underwear

  • Thermal baselayer - leggings

  • Thermal baselayer shirts (2 short sleeve, 2 long sleeve)

  • Shirts or T-shirts

  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper

  • Waterproof jacket

  • Warm jacket (down)

  • Sunhat

  • Warm hat

  • Sunglasses

  • Thermal gloves

  • Warmer and waterproof gloves or mittens

  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)

  • Water bottles 1 litre (x2)

  • Trekking poles

  • Headtorch and spare batteries

  • Washbag and toiletries

  • Antibacterial handwash

  • Small towel

  • Basic First Aid Kit including: antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), altitude (Diamox), painkillers, plasters, blister treatment, insect repellent, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite). Glucose tablets and multi-vitamin tablets.

The following items are optional:

  • Insect repellant – (DEET)

  • Scarf or buff

  • Sleeping bag liner

  • Pee bottle

  • Travel clothes

  • Pen-knife (note: always pack sharp objects in hold baggage)

  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)

  • Small padlock (to lock your KE trek bag)

  • Camera

Mountaineering Equipment

  • Insulated and rigid mountaineering boots which can be securely fitted with crampons. (B2 grade minimum).

  • Ice axe

  • Crampons

  • Climbing harness

  • Karabiners (2 x screwgate)

  • Sling (120cm)

  • Prussik loops X 2 (4m of 6mm cord makes 2)

  • Climbing helmet

Equipment hire

It is currently not possible to hire equipment for this holiday.

 

Needle Sports (specialist mountaineering equipment shop)

Needle Sports is the English Lake District's foremost specialist climbing shop supplying mountaineering, rock, ice, alpine and expedition equipment worldwide. Internationally recognised as among the very best of the UK's top technical climbing gear retailers. They have a good range of equipment appropriate for this trip and offer knowledgeable advice both on their website and in store. View >>http://www.needlesports.com/

 

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport for each country that you visit.

Visa Pakistan

All nationalities require a visa. The visa fee is approximately GBP £134 and you must apply for it prior to departure. To obtain a visa for Pakistan you will require a letter of introduction from an approved agency and a copy of the group Restricted Area permit, both of which will be provided by KE. Visa applications can only be made in person or via a visa processing company, at one of 5 application centres located in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Bradford. Please download the detailed information document: Visa information

Vaccinations (Pakistan ONLY - Polio)

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you specific require any vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella), along with hepatitis A and typhoid. Malarial prophylaxis is dicretionary for this trip. Malaria exists in the area around Islamabad. However, incidences of urban transmission of malaria are extremely low. In Skardu and in the mountains there is no malaria risk. A certificate of yellow fever vaccination is required if travelling from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited for more than 12 hrs through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. Travellers who intend to visit Pakistan for 4 weeks or more that proof of Polio vaccination will be required on exit of the country. On holidays to more remote areas you should also have a dentist check up. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

http://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/

It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on a trekking trip getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. For this trip you need to be aerobically fit and also comfortable with walking up to 10 hours on some days. We would suggest that you adopt a weekly exercise regime leading up to your trip. Regular hiking in hill country is the best training but running, tennis and swimming are also good for developing cardio vascular fitness and stamina. Before departure, we suggest that you try to fit in a number of long walks in hilly country.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: www.fco.gov.uk. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

From mid June to August, we can expect to encounter temperatures as high as 30°C at Skardu and 25°C at Hushe and Askole. In June and early July there will be a good covering of snow on the slopes leading to and from the Gondoro la and we may also encounter snow on the upper part of the Baltoro. Above 4000 metres snow can fall at any time of the year. At any time of the season the night-time temperature above 4000 metres are likely to drop to freezing or below and at our highest camps may reach minus 10 or 15°C. The weather is generally good throughout the summer season, with clear skies and little rain or snow. However, weather in mountainous areas is difficult to predict, and short-lived storms can occur at any time of the year.

  • Trekking in Pakistan. Isobel Shaw.

  • Karakoram Highway. King.

  • Top Treks of the World. Steve Razzetti.

  • In the Throne Room of the Mountain Gods. Galen Rowell.

  • K2 Triumph and Tragedy. Jim Curran.

Pakistan: Leomann Trekking Maps of the Karakoram:

Sheet 3 K2, Baltoro, Gasherbrum, Masherbrum & Saltoro Groups. 1 : 200,000

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