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10
Ke Classic
Ke Classic
Holidays

K2 and Concordia

Pakistan
10 reviews
Available Departures: Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep

20 days from

US$3,805

without flights
Walk & Trek
Guided Group
CHALLENGING CHALLENGING

A trekking holiday to K2 and Concordia in the Karakoram Mountains of Pakistan

Trip Code: K2
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

K2 and Concordia

Highlights
  • Spectacular views of Broad Peak, Gasherbrum and K2 from Concordia
  • Trek past the dramatic towers of Trango, Cathedral and Lobsang
  • Visit K2 Basecamp (optional) and overnight at Broad Peak Basecamp
  • Western leader plus local guide and full trek support

At a Glance
  • Group Size 5 to 12
  • 14 days trekking
  • Max altitude - 4850 metres (optional to 5100m)
  • Join In Islamabad

Accommodation & Meals
  • All meals included
  • 13 nights Camping
  • 5 nights Hotel
Overview

KE have been trekking in the Karakoram Mountains of Pakistan since 1984. It is the place where our story began and it has a special place in our hearts. The trek to Concordia at the foot of K2 (8611m) the second highest peak on Earth is an absolute classic. It was the very first KE trek and is arguably still the best. KE groups always receive a fantastic welcome from our friends in Baltistan. The 'wild west' town of Skardu is our point of access for the Karakoram Mountains and from here we drive in rugged 4WD vehicles via the village of Askole, the highest village en-route to K2, to begin our trekking adventure.


Trekking into the heart of the Karakoram, we see such famous peaks as the Trango Towers, the Cathedral group and mighty Masherbrum (first designated K1 by the survey of India because it appeared to be the highest peak in the Karakoram). After several days of trekking on and beside the Baltoro Glacier, we reach the junction of glaciers known as Concordia, the place that US adventurer Galen Rowell aptly named the 'Throne Room of the Mountain Gods'. Nowhere else on earth can you stand so close to so many of the world’s highest peaks including Broad Peak (8047m), Gasherbrum (8080m) and the stupendous south face of K2 (8611m). After a night at Concordia, we will then move our camp up to Broad Peak Basecamp (4850m) and spend a night there, which gives those who are keen to visit K2 Basecamp the best possible chance of doing so. Anyone choosing to go no further than Broad Peak Basecamp will still enjoy arguably the best views of K2 and of the surrounding mountains. Escorted by a KE Western leader and supported by a local guide and trek crew drawn from the local Baltistan people, this is adventure trekking at its finest. This universally acclaimed Karakoram trek is well within the capabilities of experienced hill-walkers.


View our full range of adventure holidays in Pakistan.

Is this holiday for you?

This almost legendary walk up Concordia is within the capabilities of any reasonably fit person with previous trekking or hiking experience. There are some differences to more popular trekking regions of the Greater Himalaya such as Nepal. In the Karakoram the terrain is generally more rugged underfoot, there are no tea houses or lodges on the route and no villages or permanent habitation above As …

This almost legendary walk up Concordia is within the capabilities of any reasonably fit person with previous trekking or hiking experience. There are some differences to more popular trekking regions of the Greater Himalaya such as Nepal. In the Karakoram the terrain is generally more rugged underfoot, there are no tea houses or lodges on the route and no villages or permanent habitation above Askole. The altitude ‘steps’ are generally easier in the Karakoram mountains than in Nepal since we are ascending vast glaciated valleys (in fact the largest glaciers in the world outside of the polar regions are in the Karakoram). Although we spend a fair amount of time on the glacier, we are rarely walking on ice and crampons are not required as the trail is almost entirely on the stones and rubble that have melted out from the glacier. We will travel as a self-supporting group with a Western leader and a local trek crew and this in itself can be a highly rewarding experience. We will usually walk for between 6 and 8 hours each day, covering a distance of around 15 kilometres on average. 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 are essential items to bring with you!

Why KE?

We are by far UK’s leading operator of treks in Pakistan. Leading groups to this part of the world since 1984, working with the same expert Pakistani local guides, we are rightly considered one of the pioneers of adventurous trekking in the Karakorum (its what the 'K' in KE Adventure stands for!)

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Itinerary

Your holiday starts at the hotel in Islamabad. Transfers from Islamabad Airport are provided. The majority of international flights arrive in the early morning and you may want to rest before lunch. The first group get-together will be at lunch, during which the tour leader will provide a pre-trip briefing. 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. If there is the opportunity to include a sightseeing tour today, either in the modern city of Islamabad or in nearby Rawalpindi, a city from the days of the British Raj, it will be optional and there will be a charge payable locally.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

L D

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 (8126m) the world's ninth highest peak. 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. A prominent rock inscription of the Lord Buddha on the drive up to Satpara is a reminder that this area was a part of the Buddhist world before the arrival of Islam.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Making a reasonably early start, we leave Skardu by jeep for the first stage of our approach to K2. The road is mostly surfaced as we pass through the relatively fertile Shigar Valley, but deteriorates after 3 hours or so as we turn eastwards to follow the Braldu River. The valley narrows as we negotiate the steep-sided 'Braldu Gorge', a section which 30 years ago occupied the first 2 days of the trek to Concordia. By mid afternoon we reach Askole (3000m), a single street of wood and mud-brick houses, backed by irrigated fields of corn and potatoes and groves of apricot trees. We camp outside the village.

Accommodation

Camping

Meals

B L D

Leaving Askole, the highest village in the valley, we have just a short drive through a wild landscape to the snout of the mighty Biafo Glacier. Here, we cross one of the outflows of the glacier on a 'jhola' (box and cable) bridge to reach the place known as Korofon. From Korofon we start our trek on a rough jeep track which continues as far as the junction with the tributary Panma River. We cross this tributary on a suspension bridge and set up our camp a little way beyond the bridge at the place known as Jhola Camp (3140m).

Accommodation

Camping

Meals

B L D

Ascent

250 M

Descent

110 M

Time

4 hrs trekking

Distance

8 KM

We make an early start today for our first proper day of trekking. The trail takes us out of the tributary Panma Valley and turns east to follow 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 (sports sandals or old trainers useful). 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 expedition staging camp at Paiju (3420m).

Accommodation

Camping

Meals

B L D

Ascent

580 M

Descent

335 M

Time

6 - 7 hrs trekking

Distance

21 KM

Paiju is the traditional stopping point for all groups headed for Concordia, located at a widening of the Braldu Valley and within sight of the snout of the mighty Baltoro Glacier. This became a key staging point for climbing expeditions and trekking groups due to the presence of spring water and a sparse population of trees which were originally use for cooking fires. Today there are several levelled pitches for tents and the site is equipped with 'long-drop' toilets and wash basins - a 'bathroom' with one of the best views in the world! We spend a complete day at Paiju, which is good for our acclimatisation and is also a useful time for our porters to bake as much bread as they can for the trek before we climb up onto the glacier. We have the option to stretch our legs with an easy walk out and back towards the snout of the glacier. We spend a second night at Paiju.

Accommodation

Camping

Meals

B L D

Another early start today. From our camp at Paiju, a walk of approximately one hour brings us to the snout of the Baltoro Glacier. After viewing the outpouring of melt water from the ice we now climb up onto the back of this great beast. At this point the ice of the glacier is completely covered by rubble and rocks and although we are following a trail used by many expeditions, the going here can be quite tough. The trail undulates as we climb over the swells of the flowing glacier and it is fascinating to think that the stones underfoot could have come from the summit of Broad Peak, Gasherbrum or K2. Gradually we work our way across the glacier to its south side where we can use a path along lateral moraine. Heading roughly east we continue, sometimes on the moraine and sometimes down beside the glacier until we reach a side valley. At this point it may be possible to continue more or less directly by climbing up onto the glacier. Or, if the glacier is not easily accessible, we will turn off into the valley for approximately half an hour to reach a point where we can cross the meltwater stream (sandals or old trainers required). Finally reaching the camping place at Horbose (3795m) we have 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

Meals

B L D

Ascent

640 M

Descent

220 M

Time

8 hrs trekking

Distance

15 KM

We have a shorter day today, mindful of the need to increase our sleeping altitude slowly. We continue east beside the Baltoro Glacier either along the lateral moraine or sometimes on the glacier itself, passing the ship-like prow of Great Trango and the isolated pillar of the 'Nameless Tower' to our next 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 K2 expedition of 1909. It has truly sensational views of the Trango Towers to the west and directly opposite and almost a mile away across the valley, the vast rock walls of Cathedral Peak and Lobsang rise like ramparts above the glacier. This is a truly awesome place. We should reach here in time for a late lunch and the rest of the afternoon is free to tend to camp chores or just to soak up our fabulous situation.

Accommodation

Camping

Meals

B L D

Ascent

250 M

Descent

40 M

Time

3 - 4 hrs trekking

Distance

6 KM

Leaving Urdukas behind, we follow the moraine edge eastwards until it is possible to climb up onto the broad back of the glacier. We now cross to the centre ground where the 'flow' is generally smoother and soon we come within sight of the spectacular Masherbrum (7821m) 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 (7925m) at the head of the glacier. There are good views back towards the Trango and Cathedral peaks as we approach our camp at the place known as 'Goro' (4295m). 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 cooler nights ahead.

Accommodation

Camping

Meals

B L D

Ascent

330 M

Descent

90 M

Time

6 - 7 hrs trekking

Distance

12 KM

The final approach day to Concordia takes us through what must arguably be the most spectacular mountain scenery anywhere in the world! Our approach to Concordia continues along the heaving swells of the Baltoro Glacier as we pass Mustagh Tower (7284m), an imposing monolith of rock first climbed by Joe Brown and Ian McNaught-Davis in 1956. At the time this was considered one of the hardest climbs in the region. A French team competing for the summit by a different route reached the top just five days later, but then almost thirty years passed before the third ascent was made by Sandy Allan, Tony Brindle, Mal Duff and Jon Tinker, following Brown's original route. Ahead of us Gasherbrum IV (7925m) acts like a beacon drawing us on, whilst at some points on today's walk we can also see Gasherbrum ll (8035m) which peeks out to the right of Gasherbrum lV. As we make our way up the Baltoro, the aptly named Broad Peak (8051m) comes into view above the ridge connecting Marble Peak and Crystal Peak on our left. K2 keeps itself hidden until the very moment we reach Concordia when suddenly its full height is revealed in sweeping lines that climb almost 4000 metres from the valley floor to the summit - a sight that will never be forgotten. Concordia is a wide area where glaciers coming down from K2 meet those from the Gasherbrums and Chogolisa. It was given its name by Sir Martin Conway, explorer and alpinist who named the place after another famous glacial junction in the Swiss Bernese Oberland. It is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular places on the planet and here you can stand within 20 kilometres of no fewer than four eight-thousanders and ten of the world's thirty highest peaks! We make our camp at approximately 4500 metres on a moraine ridge surrounded on all side by jagged peaks including Gasherbrum IV, Mitre Peak, Chogolisa, Crystal Peak, Marble Peak, Baltoro Kangri, Broad Peak and K2.

Accommodation

Camping

Meals

B L D

Ascent

290 M

Time

5 - 6 hrs trekking

Distance

12 KM

North of Concordia, the Godwin-Austen Glacier leads directly to the foot of K2, just 10 kilometres away. The first part of today's walk is the most difficult, crossing the chaotic meeting of the Godwin-Austen and Baltoro glaciers and involving the negotiation of a maze of crevasses and meltwater rivers. Beyond, the underfoot conditions are slightly easier, sometimes on long, level sections of gritty ice. It takes around 4 hours to get to Broad Peak Basecamp (4850m), followed by another 4 hours of out-and-back for those who are keen to get to K2 Basecamp. We overnight at Broad Peak Basecamp and anyone who chooses to go no further than this will enjoy arguably the best views of K2, as well as a fine panorama back down-glacier to Concordia, spectacularly framed by Mitre Peak, Chogolisa and the Gasherbrums.

Accommodation

Camping

Meals

B L D

Ascent

600 M

Descent

250 M

Time

8 hrs trekking

Distance

14 KM

A much easier day today, as we head back down the glacier to Concordia. Lunch at camp and an afternoon at leisure with plenty of time to enjoy the special ambience of the 'throne room of the mountain gods'.

Ascent

50 M

Descent

400 M

Time

4 hrs trekking

Distance

8 KM

This morning we can take a last look at K2 before packing up the gear and heading back down the Baltoro. In descent we can make longer stages and today we go past Goro to a campsite off our approach route at a place known simply as Shachspong (4100m). The word Shachspong is Balti for 'a big pile of stones' which is seems ironic considering the landscape through which we are trekking, but in fact this is a reasonably elevated part of the stone covered glacier and as such it makes for a very good viewing platform. Our local crews also refer to this place as Rex's Camp, after Rex Munro, the much-loved KE leader who completed more than 30 K2 treks in the 1990s. K2 is once again hidden but Gasherbrum IV resumes its prominence at the head of the Baltoro and also reveals a sliver of Gasherbrum 1. Down valley, the serried ranks of granite towers and spires of the Lobsang, Cathedral and Trango move into the distance, beyond which lie the peaks of Uli Biaho and Paiju. Directly opposite to the south is the snow-capped red granite spire of Masherbrum. This is an atmospheric place and now that they are headed for home it is quite possible that our crew will want to have a party. Almost anything can be a musical or percussion instrument and if you have the chance, listening to the voices of the Baltis in full song is quite an amazing experience.

Accommodation

Camping

Meals

B L D

Ascent

30 M

Descent

400 M

Time

6 - 7 hrs trekking

Distance

16 KM

We continue our descent of the Baltoro Glacier. It is amazing how different everything looks in descent with our constant field of vision now filled with an entirely different view. The drop in altitude starts to become more noticeable as the granite walls and spires lining the glacier, which yesterday looked almost lower than us, now tower to lofty heights above. It is also a little warmer and there is more oxygen in the air. Passing through the campsite of the Duke of Abruzzi at Urdukas we can marvel at the tenacity of those early pioneers who endured untold hardship simply to get to their basecamps. After taking lunch on the Duke's terrace, with sensational views across the glacier to Biale Peak which remains hidden except from this vantage point, we continue trekking down this huge valley, sometimes on the glacier and sometimes along the moraine or the valley sides until we reach Horbose, our first off-glacier camp for some days. Ahead now we can make out the end of the glacier and the start of the valley of the Braldu. We can even see the patches of green on the lower slopes of Paiju Peak which mark the location of the spring water camp.

Accommodation

Camping

Meals

B L D

Ascent

100 M

Descent

470 M

Time

6 - 7 hrs trekking

Distance

14 KM

On this day's walk we have a superb view of Trango's Nameless Tower (6239m), first climbed by Joe Brown and Mo Anthoine in 1976. To the left of the Tower a smaller pinnacle is known as 'The Monk' and to the right is the graceful prow of Great Trango (6286m) first climbed in 1977 by John Roskelly and Galen Rowell. In August of 1992 two Australians Nic Feteris and Glenn Singleman climbed to a ledge on Great Trango at 5955m and then BASE jumped, falling hundreds of metres close to the rock walls before opening their chutes and landing on the glacier. At the time this was the highest BASE jump on record. Having made the detour and returned to the main Baltoro Glacier, we now cross to its north side, climbing over the huge swells of the glacier towards the ramparts of Uli Biaho. On the other side we then work our way down to the valley where we pick up the main trail and pass by the snout where the underground river which flows through the length of the glacier erupts out in a cascade to become the Braldu. The last hour of the day is an easy walk on a good path although there is a final uphill pull to reach the campsite at Paiju. On our first arrival here we relished the prospect of a cooler climate ahead. Now we will welcome its warmth!

Accommodation

Camping

Meals

B L D

Ascent

220 M

Descent

640 M

Time

6 - 7 hrs trekking

Distance

15 KM

Now we are off the glacier and at a lower elevation it is considerably warmer and we may make an early start to use the cool of the morning. Leaving Paiju we walk on a good trail down the valley. Once again it is surprising how different the experience is compared to our ascent. The trail rises and falls as we cross several alluvial fans. We have to cross some side streams today, mostly using makeshift bridges or stepping stones but it may be necessary also to wade across, especially later in the day. The source of all these streams is meltwater and so they grow bigger as the day gets warmer. At one point the trail passes close to the river beside walls of conglomerate and it is possible to feel its tremendous power. We follow the main Braldu River downstream to its confluence with the Panma River where we turn north-east to reach a camping place beside the toll bridge at the place known as Jhola.

Accommodation

Camping

Meals

B L D

Ascent

400 M

Descent

770 M

Time

7 hrs trekking

Distance

21 KM

We make an early start ahead of our final short walk back to Korofon and the Biafo Glacier, where we recross the outwash river on the jhola and meet our transport. From here, we set off the long drive back to civilisation after almost two weeks in the wilderness. We cross the level area known locally as the 'King's Polo Ground' to reach the green fields, stone walls and houses of Askole. Continuing, we follow the remarkable jeep road through the Braldu Gorge and then travel down the fertile Shigar Valley to its confluence with the Indus. Arriving in Skardu, we check in at our hotel and there will be time for a welcome shower and clean up before sitting down to dinner. Tonight we will enjoy the comfort of a real bed!

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Ascent

110 M

Descent

250 M

Time

3 hrs trekking

Distance

8 KM

Skardu airport is a 40 minute drive from the hotel along a good road lined with poplar trees. Boarding our plane we have an exciting flight out of the valley, once again passing by Nanga Parbat before turning south for Islamabad. Arriving in the Pakistani capital after a period in the mountains is always a strange experience and it takes a little time to get used to the hustle and bustle and especially the traffic. Our private bus will be waiting at the airport to transfer us to the group hotel and once we have settled in it will be time to take lunch (unless we have experienced unusual flight delays). After lunch the rest of the day is free for independent sightseeing or to relax at the hotel. Your trip leader will advise you on the possibilities for sightseeing. Shopping for hand-made rugs is a usually popular option. This evening we come together again for a celebratory meal at the hotel or in a local restaurant.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Skardu is a 'weather dependent' airport which means the planes will only fly here if the visibility allows line of sight to the runway by the pilot on the approach. Fortunately the weather is mostly clear in the Karakoram but local weather conditions can bring cloud and rain from time to time. If we cannot fly we will travel down to Islamabad by road along the spectacular Karakoram Highway. If we flew up to Skardu this will be an added bonus as it is a fantastic travel experience in its own right. The drive down the Indus River to Islamabad takes two days so this is an important contingency day to allow for this. If we have flown to Islamabad this will be a further day for sightseeing in the capital and your leader will advise the group on the options available for today.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Your holiday ends after breakfast. Transfers to Islamabad Airport are provided.

Meals

B
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Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • An experienced KE Western leader
  • Islamabad Airport transfers for international flights on Day 1 and Day 21
  • 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
  • Guided Islamabad sightseeing
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc
  • PLEASE NOTE: an airport departure tax of Rs500 is sometimes payable.

Travel on the Karakoram Highway

We encourage you to read the up to date Travel Advice on the FCDO website. Currently, the FCDO warns against travel on the Karakoram Highway (KKH) between Mansehra and Chilas.

We generally manage to avoid travel on the KKH by flying from Islamabad to Skardu and from Skardu or Gilgit back to Islamabad. However, if a flight is cancelled we are obliged to make this journey by road and in this case we prioritise the route via the Babusar Pass which avoids the section of the KKH between Mansehra and Chilas. Rarely, when the Babusar Pass is closed, we may have no alternative but to drive through the section referred to in the FCDO advice. 

We have been taking groups to Pakistan for over 35 years and have never had any problems on this road. 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 meet at the hotel in Islamabad.

Transfers are provided from/to Islamabad Airport for all clients arriving on Day 1 of the Land Only itinerary and departing on the last day of the Land Only itinerary.

Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

All meals are included in the holiday price from arrival on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 19.

It is not recommended to drink untreated water from the taps. If you are on a trekking or cycling holiday, water is supplied to fill up your individual bottles. This will be boiled, filtered or provided in large jerry cans or 5 litre bottles. Additionally you should take purification tablets or a filter bottle (such as a Water-To-Go bottle) to treat your water when in towns or where water is not supplied. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles.

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 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. Trail-mix and snacks will be provided.

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. Accommodation at each of these hotels is twin-sharing with en-suite facilities. Whilst on trek there will be a total of 13 nights spent camping in 2-person tents. 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.

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. If we did not do this groups would risk being stranded in Islamabad and you should beware of companies that say they will only fly to Skardu as this may mean you have no possibility of trekking. See our 'Important Note' about travel on the Karakoram Highway for more details.

The group will be led by an experienced KE Western 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. 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.

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

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. You will also pay directly for guided sightseeing in in Islamabad if this works out for your group and you choose to take part in the tour. The cost of this will be approximately 50 US dollars for a half-day tour. 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, taking care that all notes are new, clean and in good condition. 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. Withdrawing cash from an ATM machine may prove to be impossible anywhere on this trip. 

It is usual to tip the members of your trek crew, 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.

For this holiday you should take one piece of luggage, which should be a soft and sturdy duffel bag and a daypack.  Your bag on trek will be carried by porters. The packed weight of your 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.

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.

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

All British passport holders are required to obtain a visa for entry into Pakistan. Download our Pakistan Visa Information document for full details of how to apply.

If you have a severe allergy please inform the KE office before you travel. We will do all we can to help, but we cannot guarantee an allergy free environment on KE trips. You will need to carry your own treatment for the allergy with you, as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' are not carried as standard by KE leaders and staff. You should inform your leader on arrival of your allergy, and let them know where you keep your adrenaline pen.

Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any vaccinations or other medical preparation prior to your holiday. 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 discretionary for this trip. Malaria exists in the area around Islamabad. However, incidences of urban transmission of malaria are extremely low. In Skardu or Gilgit 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 should note that proof of Polio vaccination will be required on exiting the country. On holidays to more remote areas you should also have a dentist check up. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

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 suggest that you adopt a weekly exercise regime leading up to your trip. Regular hiking in hill country is the best training but running, cycling and swimming are also good for developing cardio vascular fitness and stamina. Before departure, we recommend that you undertake a number of long walks in hilly country.

 

 

 

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.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. 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 FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

  • Trekking in the Karakoram. Bart Jordans. Cicerone

  • 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.

TerraQuest: Karakoram. 1 : 175,000

Available from Stanfords - stanfords.co.uk - £14.99

This is the best map for all of KE's current Karakoram treks. Covers the central part of the Karakoram Range on a waterproof and tear-resistant, double-sided map, with coverage extending from Gilgit and the Karakoram Highway to the peaks of K2 and Gasherbrum. The map is presented in a special format, handy for conveniently viewing just small sections of it at one time.

 

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

Please note that a paper copy of your travel insurance is required if you are travelling to Huaraz and the Huayhuash region.

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 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.

 

You must bring the following items:

  • Hiking boots (see notes)
  • Sports sandals or old trainers (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) (we encourage re-filling water bottles rather than single use plastic)
    Water purification tablets
  • 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).
  • 2x small padlocks (one for left luggage and one for trek bag)

Packing checklist:

  • Trainers for camp use
  • Spare laces
  • Trekking trousers
  • Underwear
  • Baselayer shirts
  • Shirts or T-shirts
  • Thermal underwear
  • Wash kit including soap and flannel (water is available at most camps for washing and is more eco-friendly that wet-wipes)
  • Small towel and small cloth (the latter for wiping out dusty tents)
  • Antibacterial handwash
  • Trekking poles (recommended)
  • Gaiters (optional)
  • Microspikes (Kahtoola) or similar footwear traction (see notes)
  • 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
  • Dry bags(s) for daypack/kitbag contents (to ensure they keep dry)

Notes:

We suggest that you take a pair of trekking poles which can be helpful on the rough terrain encountered on and off the glacier.

The rugged underfoot conditions are also really hard on boots and it is important that you take walking boots that are in good condition and not nearing the end of their shelf-life.

Kahtoola Microspikes or similar footwear traction can provide extra security when walking on sections of dry glacier.

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

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

Reviews

4.8 out of 5 from 10 reviews

Back to the Baltoro - all change? ★★★★★

Andrew's review of the August / September 2022 K2 and Concordia trek - below - is both comprehensive and evocative, but I can add a slightly different perspective. I first trekked to K2 in 1990, with KE, Baltistan Tours and the legendary Rex Munro. The 2022 trip was a chance to return with my son, who is about the same age as I was all those years ago. Some things had changed a lot; Skardu is a town, not a village with an airstrip, you can photograph bridges without fear of military interest and there are horses carrying luggage along the trail. However, the biggest difference is no doubt the road through the Braldu gorge to and beyond Askole. Not only does this cut almost a week from the walking, but has also bought noticeable improvements for the villages and people along the way. Although as we found this year, when it's washed away, you have to return to the old ways and travel by foot. One thing that hasn't changed is the scenery - I took many of the same photos again from the same places. It's a tough trek, even in the warm, dry days that we had this year, but the sense of increasing scale and remoteness is worth it. To spend time in Concordia again, with very few other parties, was particularly welcome. Bart did an excellent job of stepping into Rex's shoes for me, as did Zafar, who has taken over at Baltistan Tours from his father, who waved us off all those years ago. I'm glad that I had the chance to repeat what is probably the best trekking that I've ever done.
By Graham from Godstone | 23 December 2022

Relentless, arduous and undulating but incredibly rewarding ★★★★★

For something like 30 years I have dreamed about seeing K2 with my own eyes. Having read many of the epic mountaineering stories about K2 and the other peaks surrounding Concordia and the wider Karakoram, this region has always had a magnetic draw. Make no mistake though, just getting to Concordia for that final view up the Godwin Austin glacier to K2 feels like an expedition in its own right. There is a good reason for K2 being famed as one of the most remote 8000ers to reach! The luck of our l eader Bart was on our side. His 3rd trip of the season and no cancelled flights to Skardu. I was fortunate to bag a window seat on the right hand side of the plane and had awe inspiring views of Nanga Parbat. The pilot on the outbound flight gave us a running commentary for the whole flight and described every major peak and feature we could see. The landing at Skardu itself was amazing. After a night in Skardu and some time to see the town, we made our way by Jeep to Askole. This is proper off-road driving. The Balti drivers are highly skilled and if you do your best to relax, this is an exhilarating 6 hours of driving through some dramatic country. Day 5 is when the serious walking starts and you need to be prepared for some long hot days. Most of us improvised buffs to cover our entire heads and necks and some even brought umbrellas. Shade is rare and you will need to take on plenty of fluid. When you finally mount the snout of the Boltaro this is when the ground underfoot changes drastically. The only possibly training for this would be to spend 6 to 7 hours a day walking across the overburden piles of a welsh slate mine. You are effectively walking over undulating dunes of shattered rock, sitting over ice, for hour after hour. This is also when the Balti guides (like our wonderful Kareem) come into their own. The route is never that clear but somehow after hours of zig zagging through this nightly tumbling glacier you reach your next camp. Often with a wonderful lunch prepared half way by the excellent porters. It is an arduous journey to Concordia and you need to be lucky with the weather. We met few other groups on our trek, which by the way really adds to the experience of it being a remote journey, but those that we did weren't always so lucky with the weather. For our first 10 days we had stunning views and blue skies. The other advantage of going later in the season (September) was that we literally had most of the camp sites to ourselves.There are stories of them being quite crowded in July and August. The downside, if there was any, is that by this late in the season, the climbing expeditions from K2 and Broad Peak have packed up and gone home - which brings us to the 'rest day' at Concordia. This is where you have an option on the trek to either spend this day resting at Concordia to enjoy the truly magnificent situation OR trek to K2 and Broad Peak base camps. So here's the facts - if you take the latter option, it will be hard! You have about 12 hours of light if you set off at first light. You will spend at least 2 hours getting through the glacier at Concordia to pick up the route alongside the Godwin Austin. Here the ground underfoot probably becomes the most difficult of the trek. And once you finally get to the base camps, what is actually there? As I said before if you're late in the season they will be vacant and no more than rocks and stones and maybe a signpost to mark the camp. So ask yourself whether you want to do 12 hours hard walking to get just that bit closer to K2 and Broad Peak? Some felt it was worth it as when else can you 'bag' and 8000er base camp? So the 'rest day' is a bit of a misnomer. Once you're at Concordia most will feel the pull to the base camps so there isn't really an option to rest. And remember, the next few days you will be descending the Boltaro in half the time you ascended it so be prepared for some long tough days. KE have some options here to make the trips to the base camps more viable - they could extend the time at Concordia by 1 or 2 days, making the overall trip length 20 or 21 days. And a word on the trip grading. Having done Grade 8 trips elsewhere, the overall trip in my view should be graded as a 9 and if the base camp option is taken then it should be a 10 overall. This is a true adventure trek and cannot be compared to the base camp treks of Everest and Annapurna. It is highly rewarding and I had the bonus of usefully losing about 8 kilos in weight (not through illness but effort!). Finally, your luck will have truly held if you get Bart Jordans as you trip leader - what a guy, the consummate professional (and he can sing!!).
By Andrew from Peterborough | 21 September 2022

40 Years of waiting to enter the Throne Room of the Mountain Gods ★★★★

From the opportunity to wander around the markets of 'Pindi' to reaching Concordia this trek delivers in spades. We enjoyed a window seat view of Nanga Parbat on the short flight to Skardu, followed by a very enjoyable jeep drive to Askole. The first couple of days are well paced and a good opportunity to get to know fellow trekkers. The campsite at Jhola was the first of many instances of meeting expeditions that were on the way back from the 8,000 metre peaks that we will see in the coming day s. It is easy to concentrate on the hardship of walking on a very tough glacier surface, which some days may seem endless! However, the gallery of great mountains that unfolds is the reward. The scenery is simply jaw dropping day after day! Expect early starts to the day's trekking and long afternoons, to either enjoy glacial ice cold water to wash(!) or soak up the scenery, or read a good book. To be away from the seemingly permanent connectivity of the modern world is a delight, along with the darkness and silence of night - only interrupted by the occasional thundering distant avalanche. I described the walk along the Baltoro, as being like mother nature's version of walking through the endless halls of Versailles, en route to the golden throne of the Sun King. It starts with 5,000 metre peaks and then a, seemingly endless role call of the greatest mountains on the planet. After all of these peaks are revealed K2 finally reveals herself in a truly unforgettable climax. This is quite simply a great trek.
By Duncan from RIYADH | 21 September 2019

Once In a Lifetime... ★★★★★

I have always wanted to go to Pakistan and this trip exceeded all my expectations in terms of mountain scenery - Concordia provides an incredible amphitheatre of some of the world's largest and most impressive peaks. I am now struggling to edit my photos! Don't underestimate the fitness levels required - it is fairly non-stop and hard work requiring concentration and balance on the rocky terrain (the Baltoro Glacier). You need good, well worn in boots, comfortable socks and decent trekking poles . There isn't a huge amount of ascent and descent but it is the potentially hot and humid conditions, rocky and unforgiving terrain and dust that make this trek hard work at times. However, with a good level of fitness you will be fine. KE and their lofcal agent generally did a wonderful job looking after and supporting us along the way from the administration in obtaining the trekking visa to our own personal visa to even arranging balloons and a cake for my birthday whilst we were on the trek (I hadn't told anyone but they secretly noted the date on my passport details!). The local agent did a lot of ad hoc organisation to ensure that we experienced as much as we could in and around Islamabad (I loved visiting Rawalpindi) and an additional trip to Taxila. He even drove us to the airport himself! On the trek, we were lucky to be joined by Bart Jordans who has a fabulous sense of humour and dealt with issues that arose on the trek efficiently and professionally. He was also a very interesting guy to get to know given his considerable experience of trekking, particularly in the Himalayas and Karakorum. It is worth noting that you are provided with daily snacks, loo roll, foam sleeping mats (although definitely bring a decent thermarest or equivalent) and handwash. Tips for other items to bring - umbrella (there is not much shade - sounds ridiculous but even the mountaineers we met had one!), small shampoo and travel wash (it is possible to do some washing of yourself and clothes in streams), SPF lip balm (my lips got rather destroyed despite taking some) and a fantastic camera with a decent power bank. Weather was generally good and certainly on the days when it mattered - we did have quite a few days of rain/cloud so bring some good reading material. I would strongly recommend this trek to anyone who loves mountain scenery - the views are honestly spectacular and the people incredibly warm and welcoming. I could have stayed much longer and hope to go back at some point in the future. Thank you KE and Baltistan for an incredibly special and memorable trip!
By Georgina from London | 19 September 2019

Amazing scenery, fabulous staff ★★★★

The local Pakistani staff, as well as my amazing male companions, made this an exceptional and memorable trip: the local staff worked efficiently and tirelessly, making the European guide fairly redundant, until one group member needed to head downhill due to health issues. The food was always excellent, even for me, as a vegetarian, and the local guide was caring, knowledgeable and attentive. The local staff were also very respectful, hard-working and attentive to important details. Though the packing list recommends taking water purification supplies, the local staff carry iodine and use this to ensure the water is drinkable. Make sure your boots are hardy and high quality: one of the group member’s boots fell apart during the trip! Unfortunately, as a vegetarian and animal-lover, I was unprepared to witness the slaughter of chickens on a daily basis at the camps. KE fail to mention, in their trip notes, that livestock is carried by the groups that walk the path to Concordia. I was particularly upset that a goat accompanied our group for several days, dragged by its horns for miles uphill between camps before being slaughtered. Not all groups use goats in this way, so shop around for a more ethical travel organisation if you don’t want to support this cruelty. My understanding, based on correspondence with them upon my return to UK, is that KE simply view the cruelty as ‘cultural’ and necessary to meet the gastronomic needs of the local staff. Of course the chickens also meet these needs. Pakistan is an incredible place. Take a scarf to place over your head in more urban areas, if you are a woman, but be aware that you’ll be stared at, in a curious and interested way, anyway.
By Sarah from STRUTHMORE | 12 September 2019

KE Adventure reply

Thank you for your review. We are pleased you had such a memorable trip. We understand your reaction as a vegetarian to seeing livestock brought along by the local staff. The horsemen and porters who support trekking groups are mostly subsistence farmers who earn extra income by working for expeditions, and while on trek they live and eat as they would at home.


Traveller Reviews
4.8 out of 5 from 10 reviews

Back to the Baltoro - all change?
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Andrew's review of the August / September 2022 K2 and Concordia trek - below - is both comprehensive and evocative, but I can add a slightly different perspective. I first trekked to K2 in 1990, with KE, Baltistan Tours and the legendary Rex Munro. The 2022 trip was a chance to return with my son, who is about the same age as I was all those years ago. Some things had changed a lot; Skardu is a town, not a village with an airstrip, you can photograph bridges without fear of military interest and there are horses carrying luggage along the trail. However, the biggest difference is no doubt the road through the Braldu gorge to and beyond Askole. Not only does this cut almost a week from the walking, but has also bought noticeable improvements for the villages and people along the way. Although as we found this year, when it's washed away, you have to return to the old ways and travel by foot. One thing that hasn't changed is the scenery - I took many of the same photos again from the same places. It's a tough trek, even in the warm, dry days that we had this year, but the sense of increasing scale and remoteness is worth it. To spend time in Concordia again, with very few other parties, was particularly welcome. Bart did an excellent job of stepping into Rex's shoes for me, as did Zafar, who has taken over at Baltistan Tours from his father, who waved us off all those years ago. I'm glad that I had the chance to repeat what is probably the best trekking that I've ever done.
By Graham from Godstone | 23 December 2022

Relentless, arduous and undulating but incredibly rewarding
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
For something like 30 years I have dreamed about seeing K2 with my own eyes. Having read many of the epic mountaineering stories about K2 and the other peaks surrounding Concordia and the wider Karakoram, this region has always had a magnetic draw. Make no mistake though, just getting to Concordia for that final view up the Godwin Austin glacier to K2 feels like an expedition in its own right. There is a good reason for K2 being famed as one of the most remote 8000ers to reach! The luck of our l eader Bart was on our side. His 3rd trip of the season and no cancelled flights to Skardu. I was fortunate to bag a window seat on the right hand side of the plane and had awe inspiring views of Nanga Parbat. The pilot on the outbound flight gave us a running commentary for the whole flight and described every major peak and feature we could see. The landing at Skardu itself was amazing. After a night in Skardu and some time to see the town, we made our way by Jeep to Askole. This is proper off-road driving. The Balti drivers are highly skilled and if you do your best to relax, this is an exhilarating 6 hours of driving through some dramatic country. Day 5 is when the serious walking starts and you need to be prepared for some long hot days. Most of us improvised buffs to cover our entire heads and necks and some even brought umbrellas. Shade is rare and you will need to take on plenty of fluid. When you finally mount the snout of the Boltaro this is when the ground underfoot changes drastically. The only possibly training for this would be to spend 6 to 7 hours a day walking across the overburden piles of a welsh slate mine. You are effectively walking over undulating dunes of shattered rock, sitting over ice, for hour after hour. This is also when the Balti guides (like our wonderful Kareem) come into their own. The route is never that clear but somehow after hours of zig zagging through this nightly tumbling glacier you reach your next camp. Often with a wonderful lunch prepared half way by the excellent porters. It is an arduous journey to Concordia and you need to be lucky with the weather. We met few other groups on our trek, which by the way really adds to the experience of it being a remote journey, but those that we did weren't always so lucky with the weather. For our first 10 days we had stunning views and blue skies. The other advantage of going later in the season (September) was that we literally had most of the camp sites to ourselves.There are stories of them being quite crowded in July and August. The downside, if there was any, is that by this late in the season, the climbing expeditions from K2 and Broad Peak have packed up and gone home - which brings us to the 'rest day' at Concordia. This is where you have an option on the trek to either spend this day resting at Concordia to enjoy the truly magnificent situation OR trek to K2 and Broad Peak base camps. So here's the facts - if you take the latter option, it will be hard! You have about 12 hours of light if you set off at first light. You will spend at least 2 hours getting through the glacier at Concordia to pick up the route alongside the Godwin Austin. Here the ground underfoot probably becomes the most difficult of the trek. And once you finally get to the base camps, what is actually there? As I said before if you're late in the season they will be vacant and no more than rocks and stones and maybe a signpost to mark the camp. So ask yourself whether you want to do 12 hours hard walking to get just that bit closer to K2 and Broad Peak? Some felt it was worth it as when else can you 'bag' and 8000er base camp? So the 'rest day' is a bit of a misnomer. Once you're at Concordia most will feel the pull to the base camps so there isn't really an option to rest. And remember, the next few days you will be descending the Boltaro in half the time you ascended it so be prepared for some long tough days. KE have some options here to make the trips to the base camps more viable - they could extend the time at Concordia by 1 or 2 days, making the overall trip length 20 or 21 days. And a word on the trip grading. Having done Grade 8 trips elsewhere, the overall trip in my view should be graded as a 9 and if the base camp option is taken then it should be a 10 overall. This is a true adventure trek and cannot be compared to the base camp treks of Everest and Annapurna. It is highly rewarding and I had the bonus of usefully losing about 8 kilos in weight (not through illness but effort!). Finally, your luck will have truly held if you get Bart Jordans as you trip leader - what a guy, the consummate professional (and he can sing!!).
By Andrew from Peterborough | 21 September 2022

40 Years of waiting to enter the Throne Room of the Mountain Gods
★ ★ ★ ★
From the opportunity to wander around the markets of 'Pindi' to reaching Concordia this trek delivers in spades. We enjoyed a window seat view of Nanga Parbat on the short flight to Skardu, followed by a very enjoyable jeep drive to Askole. The first couple of days are well paced and a good opportunity to get to know fellow trekkers. The campsite at Jhola was the first of many instances of meeting expeditions that were on the way back from the 8,000 metre peaks that we will see in the coming day s. It is easy to concentrate on the hardship of walking on a very tough glacier surface, which some days may seem endless! However, the gallery of great mountains that unfolds is the reward. The scenery is simply jaw dropping day after day! Expect early starts to the day's trekking and long afternoons, to either enjoy glacial ice cold water to wash(!) or soak up the scenery, or read a good book. To be away from the seemingly permanent connectivity of the modern world is a delight, along with the darkness and silence of night - only interrupted by the occasional thundering distant avalanche. I described the walk along the Baltoro, as being like mother nature's version of walking through the endless halls of Versailles, en route to the golden throne of the Sun King. It starts with 5,000 metre peaks and then a, seemingly endless role call of the greatest mountains on the planet. After all of these peaks are revealed K2 finally reveals herself in a truly unforgettable climax. This is quite simply a great trek.
By Duncan from RIYADH | 21 September 2019

Once In a Lifetime...
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I have always wanted to go to Pakistan and this trip exceeded all my expectations in terms of mountain scenery - Concordia provides an incredible amphitheatre of some of the world's largest and most impressive peaks. I am now struggling to edit my photos! Don't underestimate the fitness levels required - it is fairly non-stop and hard work requiring concentration and balance on the rocky terrain (the Baltoro Glacier). You need good, well worn in boots, comfortable socks and decent trekking poles . There isn't a huge amount of ascent and descent but it is the potentially hot and humid conditions, rocky and unforgiving terrain and dust that make this trek hard work at times. However, with a good level of fitness you will be fine. KE and their lofcal agent generally did a wonderful job looking after and supporting us along the way from the administration in obtaining the trekking visa to our own personal visa to even arranging balloons and a cake for my birthday whilst we were on the trek (I hadn't told anyone but they secretly noted the date on my passport details!). The local agent did a lot of ad hoc organisation to ensure that we experienced as much as we could in and around Islamabad (I loved visiting Rawalpindi) and an additional trip to Taxila. He even drove us to the airport himself! On the trek, we were lucky to be joined by Bart Jordans who has a fabulous sense of humour and dealt with issues that arose on the trek efficiently and professionally. He was also a very interesting guy to get to know given his considerable experience of trekking, particularly in the Himalayas and Karakorum. It is worth noting that you are provided with daily snacks, loo roll, foam sleeping mats (although definitely bring a decent thermarest or equivalent) and handwash. Tips for other items to bring - umbrella (there is not much shade - sounds ridiculous but even the mountaineers we met had one!), small shampoo and travel wash (it is possible to do some washing of yourself and clothes in streams), SPF lip balm (my lips got rather destroyed despite taking some) and a fantastic camera with a decent power bank. Weather was generally good and certainly on the days when it mattered - we did have quite a few days of rain/cloud so bring some good reading material. I would strongly recommend this trek to anyone who loves mountain scenery - the views are honestly spectacular and the people incredibly warm and welcoming. I could have stayed much longer and hope to go back at some point in the future. Thank you KE and Baltistan for an incredibly special and memorable trip!
By Georgina from London | 19 September 2019

Amazing scenery, fabulous staff
★ ★ ★ ★
The local Pakistani staff, as well as my amazing male companions, made this an exceptional and memorable trip: the local staff worked efficiently and tirelessly, making the European guide fairly redundant, until one group member needed to head downhill due to health issues. The food was always excellent, even for me, as a vegetarian, and the local guide was caring, knowledgeable and attentive. The local staff were also very respectful, hard-working and attentive to important details. Though the packing list recommends taking water purification supplies, the local staff carry iodine and use this to ensure the water is drinkable. Make sure your boots are hardy and high quality: one of the group member’s boots fell apart during the trip! Unfortunately, as a vegetarian and animal-lover, I was unprepared to witness the slaughter of chickens on a daily basis at the camps. KE fail to mention, in their trip notes, that livestock is carried by the groups that walk the path to Concordia. I was particularly upset that a goat accompanied our group for several days, dragged by its horns for miles uphill between camps before being slaughtered. Not all groups use goats in this way, so shop around for a more ethical travel organisation if you don’t want to support this cruelty. My understanding, based on correspondence with them upon my return to UK, is that KE simply view the cruelty as ‘cultural’ and necessary to meet the gastronomic needs of the local staff. Of course the chickens also meet these needs. Pakistan is an incredible place. Take a scarf to place over your head in more urban areas, if you are a woman, but be aware that you’ll be stared at, in a curious and interested way, anyway.
By Sarah from STRUTHMORE | 12 September 2019

KE Adventure reply

Thank you for your review. We are pleased you had such a memorable trip. We understand your reaction as a vegetarian to seeing livestock brought along by the local staff. The horsemen and porters who support trekking groups are mostly subsistence farmers who earn extra income by working for expeditions, and while on trek they live and eat as they would at home.


My best mountain scenery trip ever!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I have spent my leisure life in the beautiful mountains of Western Canada, we are very fortunate to have lots of remote wilderness, wildlife and spectacular mountains. I have also traveled to spectacular mountains in other parts of the world. That being said, the size and concentration of massive mountains covered in year round glaciers in the Concordia/K2 region are unbeatable. If you love mountains and you are in good shape and are willing to work for it then this is a once in a lifetime trip! I would also like to complement KE Adventure's Pakistani partners, they continually went above and beyond all of our groups expectations. They took care of all the on the ground details, personally participated in all the tours they arranged for us, took care of our needs including foreign exchange and got all 8 of the trekking members window seats to view Nanga Parbat on the flights to and from Skardu.
By Richard from Brackendale | 23 August 2019

K2 and Concordia
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
A real "Adventure" trek with some long days and difficult underfoot conditions. The mind blowing scenery showed what must be considered as some of the best views in the world and the late snow only enhanced this. The 34 hour road journey from Islamabad to Skardu gave an insight into a different side of Pakistan and should be looked upon as a bonus.The warmth and genuine friendliness of the Pakistani people shone through our entire visit and the professionalism of the local agents and trek crew c ould not be faulted.This was my 13th trek,the 8th in Asia and I rate this as the best I have experienced.
By Alexander from Peterculter | 21 July 2019

A TRUE ADVENTURE!!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
My sister and I were part of the August trek to K2 base camp, this was a trek we would highly recommend for anyone looking for a real adventure amongst a stunning and intense landscape. We both had an amazing and truly memorable experience in a stunning region of this fascinating country, with the benefit of relatively few tourists compared to other nearby countries. The group was made up of 7 trekkers along with an international and a local guide. The group was great and both guides were excell ent (Ahmed and Jose), we also have to give massive praise to the kitchen crew and team of porters, they were amazing, and couldn’t do enough for you. The food was a mix was western and Asian food which tasted great, though we did feel the packed lunch which was provided on 2-3 of the days was insufficient particularly for the 13 hour day trekking to base camp. The tents were clean and in very good condition. On the return journey to Islamabad our flight from Skardu was cancelled so we made the 2 day journey back to Islamabad by road which was in itself an excellent experience to see more of this beautiful country, if you haven't been to this country before be sure it will surprise you.
By Natalia from Manchester | 19 September 2017

Grueling hike, but well worth it!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Good trip. Tough slog all the way. I don't know the trip could be improved. Jose was a terrific leader. The weather cooperated.

By Mark from Woodinville | 01 September 2017

Adventure of a Lifetime
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This was one of the best adventure vacations of our life, thanks to KE and their staff. It was a trip we will remember forever, We could not have asked for a better leader than Tom Richardson, who has 30+ years of mountaineering, guiding and trekking experience in the Karakorum mountains. Tom always kept the group and crew safe in a treacherous region (on glacier and landslide probe cliffs), ran the trek efficiently while accounting for individual paces and interests, and was full of knowledge a bout the local history and culture. The local crew including the leaders (Mohammad Khan, Ibrahim 1), kitchen staff (Ibrahim 2 et al.) and porters (Ali et al.) were all the cream of the crop. Everything including morning tea, breakfast, camp wind-up, picnic lunches camp set-up, afternoon snacks and tea, and dinner were executed flawlessly without any delay or hiccups. We were fed delicious meal after meal, our tent locations were always the best at the campsites, and it was a joy to get to the campsite after each tiring day with the tent already set up and our bags outside. We were particularly impressed when some of us were late for lunch a few times, and the kitchen crew hiked back 1/2 - 1 hour with warm tea and snacks. With Tom and 2 local guides (MK and Ibrahim), we could count on individual attention during the difficult trek whenever needed. With an excellent support team, we could focus our attention on the spectacular scenery around us. The Karakorum mountains were unlike any other region in the world we have trekked in over the years. The raw forces of nature are very much in evidence everywhere with wild rivers, gigantic glaciers, steep shapely mountains, and vast ice/snow-fields. Every day's trek brought us to new mountains (the Trango group, Masherbrum, Gasherbrums, K2 etc.) which were more captivating than the ones we had seen earlier. Concordia truly lived up to it's title of 'Throne room of the mountain gods' and we still vividly remember the 360 degree panorama of gigantic peaks and glaciers around our campsite there. We were blessed with excellent weather throughout the trek, with cloudless views of K2 on the day of our departure from Concordia. Wishing we could be back in Concordia, Uzma and Shahid Rauf, Pleasanton, CA
By Shahid from Pleasanton | 25 July 2017

DATES & PRICES

Private Departure?

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2024

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  • K2 and Concordia
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: K2 /04/24/
  • This trip begins on Mon 5 Aug and ends on Sat 24 Aug
  • This departure is available and departs within 11 days. Secure your place today with full payment
  • Single Supplement Price: US$300 - Includes all group hotel nights (single tent not included) - Islamabad - Skardu - Islamabad
    Flights are weather permitting
  • Single Tent Upgrade: US$160
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2025

Dates

Adults from

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  • K2 and Concordia
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: K2 /01/25/
  • This trip begins on Mon 2 Jun and ends on Sat 21 Jun
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$950
  • Single Supplement Price: US$300 - Includes all group hotel nights (single tent not included) - Islamabad - Skardu - Islamabad
    Flights are weather permitting
  • Single Tent Upgrade: US$160
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • K2 and Concordia
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: K2 /02/25/
  • This trip begins on Mon 23 Jun and ends on Sat 12 Jul
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$950
  • Single Supplement Price: US$300 - Includes all group hotel nights (single tent not included) - Islamabad - Skardu - Islamabad
    Flights are weather permitting
  • Single Tent Upgrade: US$160
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • K2 and Concordia
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: K2 /03/25/
  • This trip begins on Mon 14 Jul and ends on Sat 2 Aug
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$950
  • Single Supplement Price: US$300 - Includes all group hotel nights (single tent not included) - Islamabad - Skardu - Islamabad
    Flights are weather permitting
  • Single Tent Upgrade: US$160
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • K2 and Concordia
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: K2 /04/25/
  • This trip begins on Mon 4 Aug and ends on Sat 23 Aug
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$950
  • Single Supplement Price: US$300 - Includes all group hotel nights (single tent not included) - Islamabad - Skardu - Islamabad
    Flights are weather permitting
  • Single Tent Upgrade: US$160
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • K2 and Concordia
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: K2 /05/25/
  • This trip begins on Mon 25 Aug and ends on Sat 13 Sep
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$950
  • Single Supplement Price: US$300 - Includes all group hotel nights (single tent not included) - Islamabad - Skardu - Islamabad
    Flights are weather permitting
  • Single Tent Upgrade: US$160
  • Download Trip Notes

Land Only Information

The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary starting at the hotel in Islamabad. Transfers are provided from/to Islamabad Airport for all clients arriving on Day 1 of the Land Only itinerary and departing on the last day of the Land Only itinerary.

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Changes to flights

Please be aware that the flight industry is experiencing a high level of service fluctuation and changes to your flights may occur. This may also require amends to the transfers and joining arrangements. Thank you all for continuing your patience and understanding.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

The price of our holidays can change depending on a variety of factors but unlike some other tour operators, KE have undertaken to guarantee the Land Only price of your holiday will not change after you have booked. The price when you book is the price you will pay, whether you are booking for this year or the next. Book early to avoid any tour price increases, get the best flight prices and take advantage of our 'No Surcharge Guarantee'.

KE Adventure is a fully bonded tour operator. We hold an ATOL license (No: 2808) and are bonded with ABTA (Membership No: W4341)


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