K2 and Concordia

Into the `Throne Room of the Mountain Gods`

21

days

Trek

From $3,220 Land only

Book this holiday

Holiday Overview

Highlights

  • Awe-inspiring views of K2 from Concordia
  • Dramatic Trango Towers
  • The classic Karakoram range
  • Broad Peak and the Gasherbrum range

This classic trekking holiday in the heart of the Karakoram mountain range takes you to the glacial junction known as Concordia which is dominated by huge and encircling peaks. Just 10 kilometres (6 miles) from the precipitous south face of K2 (8611m) and nearer still to Broad Peak (8047m) and the stupendous Gasherbrum IV (7925m), this is unquestionably one of the most spectacular camping places on earth. Following generally good trails, our week-long walk into this remote area of Pakistan leads from the village of Askole through a veritable wilderness of rugged valleys and towering peaks. The scenery becomes daily more impressive as we trace a route across the moraines of the vast Baltoro Glacier, overshadowed by the sheer granite walls of the Trango Towers to our left and the shapely summit of Masherbrum (7821m) to the right. Including the option to walk from our camp at Concordia to K2 Basecamp, this universally acclaimed Karakoram trek is well within the capabilities of keen hill-walkers.

Is this holiday for you?

This almost legendary walk up to K2 Basecamp and Concordia is within the capabilities of any reasonably fit person with previous trekking or hiking experience. There are some differences to trekking in Nepal and India. The terrain is generally more rugged underfoot, there are no tea houses or lodges on the route and no villages or permanent habitation above the villages where you start and end your trek. You will travel as a self-supporting group with your porters and this in itself can be a highly rewarding experience. During the trek, the pace is dictated to a great extent by the distances that the porters can reasonably walk and this means that we will usually walk for between four and six hours each day. This equates with around 6 to 8 miles per day, as walking speed is restricted by the altitude and by the sometimes difficult terrain. In the early stages of the trek we may encounter daytime temperatures in excess of 30°C. In these circumstances we try to get as much of the days walk as is possible done before lunch. We have a rest day at Paiju while our porters prepare for the remainder of the trek which will be on the Baltoro Glacier. Once on the glacier, daytime temperatures cooler, varying from the mid twenties at the snout to around 5 or 10°C at Concordia, whilst night-time temperatures once on the glacier will dip below freezing. The terrain on the glacier is mostly rubble and moraine debris, and usually we are following an undulating man-made trail where rocks and boulders have been cleared to allow the passage of horses. Occasionally we may encounter short sections of ice but here the surface will generally be granulated and grit filled and can easily be walked on with ordinary boots. No mountaineering skills or specialist equipment are required for this trek but a sense of adventure and a willingness to adapt to the needs of a self-supporting group travel are essential items to bring with you!

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Islamabad. Transfers from Islamabad Airport are provided.
  • In the morning we take the spectacular flight to Skardu (2500m).
  • We drive through the 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 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 (4200m).
  • Trek along the Baltoro Glacier to Concordia (4500m).
  • Option to trek to Broad Peak Base Camp (4572m) and/or K2 Base Camp (5100m).
  • Trek down the Baltoro Glacier to Shachspong (4100m).
  • Trek to Horbose (3795m).
  • Trek to Paiju (3420m).
  • Trek to Korofon (3075m).
  • Trek to Askole (3000m).
  • Drive to Skardu (2500m).
  • Fly to Islamabad.
  • Contingency day in case of delays.
  • Departure day. Islamabad airport transfers provided.
2016
Sun 17 Jul - Sat 06 Aug Code K2 /02/16/ Adult$3,220 Status Sold Out Call Us
More information
  • K2 and Concordia
  • The departure reference for this tour is K2 /02/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 17 Jul and departs on Sat 06 Aug
  • Single Supplement $365 - Includes all group hotel nights (single tent not included)
  • Single Tent $175
Sun 07 Aug - Sat 27 Aug Code K2 /03/16/ Adult$3,220 Status Limited (Only 2 places left) Book now
More information
  • K2 and Concordia
  • The departure reference for this tour is K2 /03/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 07 Aug and departs on Sat 27 Aug
  • This departure has limited availability. Don't delay - secure your place today with a deposit of $1,000
  • Single Supplement $365 - Includes all group hotel nights (single tent not included)
  • Single Tent $175
Sun 04 Sep - Sat 24 Sep Code K2 /04/16/ Adult$3,220 Status 2 more to guarantee Book now
More information
  • K2 and Concordia
  • The departure reference for this tour is K2 /04/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 04 Sep and departs on Sat 24 Sep
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $1,000
  • Single Supplement $365 - Includes all group hotel nights (single tent not included)
  • Single Tent $175
2017
Sun 04 Jun - Sat 24 Jun Code K2 /01/17/ Adult$3,380 Status Available Book now
More information
  • K2 and Concordia
  • The departure reference for this tour is K2 /01/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 04 Jun and departs on Sat 24 Jun
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $1,000
  • Single Supplement $365 - Includes all group hotel nights (single tent not included)
  • Single Tent $175
Sun 02 Jul - Sat 22 Jul Code K2 /02/17/ Adult$3,380 Status Available Book now
More information
  • K2 and Concordia
  • The departure reference for this tour is K2 /02/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 02 Jul and departs on Sat 22 Jul
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $1,000
  • Single Supplement $365 - Includes all group hotel nights (single tent not included)
  • Single Tent $175
Sun 06 Aug - Sat 26 Aug Code K2 /03/17/ Adult$3,380 Status Available Book now
More information
  • K2 and Concordia
  • The departure reference for this tour is K2 /03/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 06 Aug and departs on Sat 26 Aug
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $1,000
  • Single Supplement $365 - Includes all group hotel nights (single tent not included)
  • Single Tent $175
Sun 03 Sep - Sat 23 Sep Code K2 /04/17/ Adult$3,380 Status Available Book now
More information
  • K2 and Concordia
  • The departure reference for this tour is K2 /04/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 03 Sep and departs on Sat 23 Sep
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $1,000
  • Single Supplement $365 - Includes all 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 International airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to the 'Joining arrangements & transfers' section 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
  • trip direction
  • transfer
  • trek

Holiday Itinerary

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

    Arriving in Islamabad International Airport, we are met by the trip leader or a representative of our Pakistan agent. KE Land Only package services begin with a transfer to the group hotel. The majority of international flights arrive in the early morning and you may want to rest before lunch, during which the group will rendezvous for a full trek briefing and can have any questions answered. In the afternoon it may be necessary for the whole group to visit the offices of the Ministry of Tourism to receive an official ‘briefing’ about visiting restricted areas whilst our agent completes the permit formalities. The trip leader will organise this if it is required. 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

  • In the morning we take the spectacular flight to Skardu (2500m).

    Weather permitting, 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 group hotel and can 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

  • We drive through the 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. We reach the southern tip of the Biafo Glacier which stretches for 63km to Snow Lake making the Biafo the third longest glacier in the world outside of the polar regions. Fortunately there is a bridge across the river flowing from its snout and this avoids us having to cross the loose moraine of churned boulders and rubble 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

    • Meals bld

    • Time 5 - 6 hrs trekking

  • Trek to the Panma Valley and cross the 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 over the top of 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 a less energetic but extremely spectacular route traversing the cliff face itself. The path is exposed in places and of course there are no guard rails, but it is always wide enough for a horse! Having crossed the cliff face we descend again to the Panma River and cross the toll bridge operated by local Askole people under a government license. We make camp a little way beyond the bridge.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 4 - 5 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 and wash basins.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6 - 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).

    An exciting day of trekking today as we approach the snout of the mighty Baltoro Glacier with the Trango, Cathedral and Lobsang peaks rising up dramatically ahead of us. The trail takes us up onto the glacier itself and for the next couple of hours we pick our way amongst the jumbled moraine of its surface. Leaving the glacier on its south side, we then follow a sandy trail through a narrow ablation valley that is compressed between the glacier and the steep valley sides. Our next camp is at the place known as Horbose (3795m) beside the Liligo Glacier, a tributary of the Baltoro.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6 - 7 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 on the edge of the glacier before dropping down onto the glacier itself to trace a path through the moraine 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

    • Meals bld

    • Time 3 - 4 hrs trekking

  • Trek along the Baltoro Glacier with views of Masherbrum to Goro (4200m).

    Leaving Urdukas behind, we cross to the centre of the glacier and quickly come within sight of the spectacular Masherbrum (also known as K1) 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 at the place known as ‘Goro’ (4200m). We are quite high now and 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

    • Meals bld

    • 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

    • 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 a climax 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. If time permits we can also visit the Gilky memorial where the names of those who have died climbing K2 have their names inscribed on plaques and plates. 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 at least 600 metres of ascent and descent.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 7 - 12 hrs trekking

  • Trek down the Baltoro Glacier to Shachspong (4100m).

    We begin the return trek. In descent we can make longer stages and today we go as far as Shachspong (4100m), located on a mound in the centre of the glacier and affording magnificent views of the surrounding granite spires and towers.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs trekking

  • Trek to Horbose (3795m).

    We continue our descent of the Baltoro glacier. It is amazing how different ebverything looks in descent. Today we trek as far as Horbose where we make camp off the glacier for the first time in several days.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs trekking

  • Trek to Paiju (3420m).

    Crossing the Baltoro to its north side beneath the towers of Uli Biaho we finally climb down its snout to reach a good trail back to the spring oasis of Paiju. On our first arrival here we relished the prospect of a cooler climate ahead. Now we will welcome its warmth!

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 5 - 6 hrs trekking

  • Trek to Korofon (3075m).

    Following the Braldu River downstream, we make the detour into the Panma Valley to the bridge across its tributary to reach Korofon

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs trekking

  • Trek to Askole (3000m).

    This will be our final day of trekking, passing the Biafo Glacier and climbing up to the green fields of Askole. Here we say goodbye to our porters who will return to their villages.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 5 - 6 hrs trekking

  • Drive to Skardu (2500m).

    Making an early start we drive to Skardu through the relatively verdant Shigar Valley. We check into the K2 Motel and the afternoon is free for sightseeing.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Fly to Islamabad.

    Weather permitting we make the 45 minute flight to Islamabad. Arriving in the capital we are transferred to our comfortable hotel. The rest of the day is free for sightseeing in this modern city.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Contingency day in case of delays.

    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.

    KE Land Only package services end after breakfast. Complimentary airport transfers are provided.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • An experienced English-speaking leader
  • Islamabad Airport transfers
  • Internal flights and associated airport transfers
  • All land transport involved in the itinerary
  • All accommodation as described in the trip dossier
  • All meals throughout the holiday
  • Full trekking service including food and all equipment (excluding personal equipment)
  • Travel insurance
  • Pakistan Visa
  • Tips for local guides and support staff
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc.

On trek, the food is a mixture of local and international dishes, made from 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. Drinking Water Drinking water which has been treated with iodine is provided by the trek kitchen during breakfast, at the lunch stop and while in camp. We use spring water wherever possible but on some days we have no choice except to use glacial melt which may contain silt. Conventional filters do not work well with glacial silt and in camp the kitchen will use a large water barrel which allows the silt to settle away. You should bring a little bicarbonate of soda if you find the taste of iodine unpalatable.

All meals are included in the holiday price from arrival on day 1 to breakfast on day 21.
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 holiday. 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 a total of 3 nights in Islamabad at a good standard hotel. The group will also have 2 nights in a tourist class hotel in Skardu. Whilst on trek there will be a total of 15 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 by 11 a.m. 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 porters 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.

This holiday will be led by an experienced English-speaking local leader. KE have been working in partnership with our local agent for over 30 years and our local leaders are among the best in the business. On trek, the leader will be assisited by a sirdar and a trek crew of cooks and porters. This crew is drawn from local villagers who depend on working for trekking groups to supplement their subsistance income. Most of the crew will have supported KE groups many times before, or their fathers and even grand-fathers will have. Travellling with these friendly and hardy people is a major part of the experience of Karakoram trekking.

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 near to the hotel. 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 in Islamabad. 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.

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.

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. You do not have to bring everything on the list and you should use your own experience and judgement, but we ask you to ensure you have the items on the mandatory list. 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 and also in Skardu.

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.
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    You must bring the following items:

    • Hiking boots

    • Sports sandals or old shoes (for river crossings)

    • Waterproof overtrousers

    • Fleece jacket or warm jumper

    • Waterproof jacket

    • Warm jacket (e.g. down)

    • Scarf or buff

    • Sunhat

    • Warm hat

    • Sunglasses

    • Gloves or mittens

    • Daypack 30 to 40 litres

    • Headtorch and spare batteries

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

    • Water bottles 1 litre (x2)

    • Sleeping bag (comfort rated -15°C)

    • Thermarest or similar sleeping mat

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

    • Small padlock (to lock your KE trek bag)

    Packing checklist:

    • Socks

    • Trainers for camp use

    • Spare laces

    • Trekking trousers

    • Underwear

    • Baselayer shirts

    • Shirts or T-shirts

    • Thermal underwear

    • Wash kit

    • Small towel

    • Antibacterial handwash

    • Swim wear

    • Trekking poles (recommended)

    • Insect repellant

    • Washbag and toiletries

    • Sleeping bag liner

    • Travel clothes

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

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

    • Camera

    Notes:

    PHD Gear Advisor

    PHD specialise in cold weather equipment, from the world’s lightest right up to the most protective for Everest or the Poles. It’s a large range. So to help you choose what you need to keep you warm, PHD have listed the gear that is appropriate for this expedition. View >> http://www.phdesigns.co.uk/gearadviser/destination.php?destinations_id=18

     

    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.

    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 are required. 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 holiday 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 on a variety of terrain including loose scree and boulders for between 4 and 7 hours on most 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 the end of August, we can expect to encounter temperatures as high as 30°C at Skardu and 25°C at Askole (at 3000m). During the day it will remain pleasantly warm (unless there is cloud cover) until we reach Concordia by which time daytime temperatures will be down to single figures. In June we may encounter snow on the upper part of the Baltoro Glacier, but this has usually melted by July. However, snow can fall at Concordia even in August. At any time of the season the night-time temperatures will be considerably lower usually falling to freezing levels once we are above Paiju and at Concordia, overnight temperatures can drop as low as minus 10°C. During the September departures we can expect temperatures just a few degrees lower than the above. The Karakoram Mountains are sheltered from the full effects of the monsoon which means summer is the best season for trekking and climbing here with predominantly clear skies. However, weather in mountainous areas is notoriously 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.
    • 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

    Maps designed specifically for the trekker, presenting the topography by line drawings of mountain ridges, with altitudes of main peaks and passes shown. The maps also show rivers and villages and clearly indicate trekking routes. On the reverse are route descriptions and other information about the area.

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