Gondoro Peak and the Hushe Valley

A trek and climb in the spectacular Karakoram valleys of Hushe





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Holiday Overview


  • Sensational 2-week climbing itinerary
  • The friendly Hushe villages of the Karakoram mountains
  • Trekking beside the beautiful spire of Laila peak
  • The culture and hospitality of the friendly Balti people

We are pleased to once again, offer this superb 2-week trekking and climbing holiday to arguably the world's most spectacular mountain area, the Karakoram. We begin this adventure with a dramatic mountain flight to Skardu in Baltistan and a drive along the Indus River to Hushe Village, nestled deep in the Karakoram mountains. We have been bringing groups to Hushe for thirty years and several of our groups have raised money for, or worked on a number of KE sponsored projects benefitting the village, including new school classrooms, a fresh water supply and a small hydro-electric power plant. KE groups are always assured a warm welcome from this friendliest of Karakoram villages. After an acclimatisation period exploring the valleys above Hushe Village, we trek up the Gondogoro glacier to a grassy 'ablation zone' below Gondogoro Peak, which featured in the very first KE ‘trekking peak' holiday. After establishing our base camp complete with lakeside reflections of sensational peaks such as the slender spire of Laila, we have a day to further acclimatise and to practice our skills and ropework. The culmination of the holiday is the ascent of the technically straightforward Gondoro Peak. Needless to say, the views from the summit are sensational! It's great to be offering this classic trip once again.

Is this holiday for you?

The terrain encountered on this holiday will vary from shepherds paths through grassy valleys to loose scree and boulders on the glacier moraine and on the peak, we will encounter snow slopes angling from 30 to over 45 degrees. On steeper slopes climbers are safeguarded by fixed lines placed by the guides. Our trekking pace in Pakistan is dictated to a great extent by the distances that the porters are prepared to walk and this is usually of the order of four to six hours walking per day. This equates with only 10 to 14 kilometres or 6 to 8 miles per day, as walking speed is restricted by the altitude and by the sometimes difficult terrain. Distances and times will be longer on the return when we are fit and acclimatised and travelling mostly downhill. The climbing on Gondoro Peak is technically very straightforward meriting an alpine grade of PD minus. Previous trekking experience is recommended for this holiday as we will be wild camping in a very remote area. Some previous experience of walking on snow slopes using crampons is is also useful though not essential. Previous technical mountaineering experience is not required and all the mountaineering techniques used on the climb of Gondoro Peak will be taught and practiced during the acclimatisation day prior to the ascent.


Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Islamabad. Islamabad Airport transfers are provided.
  • Fly to Skardu (2500m), lunch in local hotel, then drive to Khaplu (2600m).
  • Drive across the Shyok River and follow the Hushe River to Hushe Village (3050m).
  • Acclimatisation day. Option for day hike to Honboro Valley for view of K2.
  • Trek to the mouth of the Gondogoro Valley at Saitcho (3350m).
  • Trek along the lateral moraine ridge of the Gondogoro Glacier to Dalsan (4150m).
  • Day 7
  • Trek on the Gondogoro Glacier past Layla Peak to Huisprung (4600m).
  • Acclimatisation day. Skills training.
  • Climb Gondogoro Peak (5650m) and return to Huisprung (4600m).
  • Trek down valley on the Gondogoro Glacier and through the lateral ablation valley to Dalsan (4150m).
  • Trek to Hushe Village and drive to Khaplu (2600m).
  • Drive to Skardu and fly to Islamabad.
  • Contingency day for possible delays.
  • Departure day. Islamabad Airport transfers provided.
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 notes 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.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

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

Holiday Itinerary

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

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

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals ld

  • Fly to Skardu (2500m), lunch in local hotel, then drive to Khaplu (2600m).

    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. After taking some refreshment, we continue our journey by jeep on a spectacular road beside the Indus to the village of Khaplu. Here we check into our hotel located high above the village and giving magnificent views over the rock spires and towers which mark the entrance to the Hushe Valley. If poor weather has grounded the Skardu flight we will be obliged to make the journey by way of a 24-hour drive. This is an epic journey along one of the most remarkable roads in the world crossing the Babusar Pass and travelling through the gorge of the Indus River.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Drive across the Shyok River and follow the Hushe River to Hushe Village (3050m).

    Beyond Khaplu we cross the Shyok River to begin an entertaining four hour jeep ride up to Hushe, through a number of small and picturesque villages in the lower Hushe Valley. En route we must cross a number of ‘nullahs’ or small river valleys. These nullahs which are fed by meltwaters from the glaciers high above the valley, are often dry in the early morning but can become impassable by the afternoon as the hot sun goes to work. Starting from Khaplu ensures that we should have minimum trouble with these ad-hoc rivers. Hushe is the highest village in the area at 3100 metres and is the last permanent habitation that we will encounter until we reach Hispar Village - more than three weeks away. We set up camp in a field just below the village with the huge bulk of Masherbrum dominating the valley to the north.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

  • Acclimatisation day. Option for day hike to Honboro Valley for view of K2.

    A day for acclimatisation and for exploring. One option for today is to trek up into the Honboro Valley on the west side of the Hushe Valley. There is a small summer settlement here where women of the village stay for two months of the year grazing goats and yaks and making cheese. En route we will pass the spring source of the clean water supply which is now piped down into the village, funded by donations from past KE clients. Before this system was installed the villagers had to drink the silt laden waters of the Hushe River. Our path follows the route of the pipeline, with excellent views out over the Hushe Valley. If we have had to drive to Skardu, this will be the day we arrive in Hushe.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

  • Trek to the mouth of the Gondogoro Valley at Saitcho (3350m).

    A short day of about 4 hours takes us to the idyllic campsite at Saitcho. This camp lies at the junction of the Charakusa and Gondokoro valleys and is sited on a sandy, tree-shaded area beside a swift-flowing river. There are excellent views of Nameka, the rock pillars of K7 and from the trail leading to the camp there is a sighting of the impressive Charakusa Spire.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 3

  • Trek along the lateral moraine ridge of the Gondogoro Glacier to Dalsan (4150m).

    Heading up alongside the Gondogoro Glacier now, we take a path on a wooded moraine ridge which climbs quite steeply to the seasonal goat-herder’s settlement at Gondogoro Village. Here, we stop for lunch, before dropping down onto the glacier for a scramble along its edge to bypass a section of steep rock. A final scramble up a rocky gulley leads to the very spectacular campsite at Dalsan (4150m) where there are a couple of tiny lakes and staggering views of a range of rocky summits, culminating in the snow-plastered summit of Masherbrum.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 5

  • Day 7

    Heading up alongside the Gondogoro Glacier now, we take a path on a wooded moraine ridge which climbs quite steeply to the seasonal goat-herder’s settlement at Gondogoro Village. Here, we stop for lunch, before dropping down onto the glacier for a scramble along its edge to bypass a section of steep rock. A final scramble up a rocky gulley leads to the very spectacular campsite at Dalsan (4150m) where there are a couple of tiny lakes and staggering views of a range of rocky summits, culminating in the snow-plastered summit of Masherbrum.

    • Ascent 1m

    • Distance 1km

    • Descent 1m

  • Trek on the Gondogoro Glacier past Layla Peak to Huisprung (4600m).

    Dropping down again onto the glacier, our path follows the centre of the ice river, sometimes walking on moraine and sometimes on snow and ice. We have views of the Gondogoro La at the head of the valley and pass the stunning spire of Laila Peak. A long day, walking beneath the beautiful spire of Layla Peak, takes us to the place called Huisprung (4600m), a grassy terrace beside a small meltwater lake.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 5

  • Acclimatisation day. Skills training.

    A day for rest and acclimatisation. We will also spend part of this day practicing the straightforward safety techniques required for ascending fixed ropes and walking roped on the glacier.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

  • Climb Gondogoro Peak (5650m) and return to Huisprung (4600m).

    We make a midnight start for the climb of Gondoro Peak. This early start is necessary to make the best of the conditions on the glacier before the sun softens the snow. The climb can be split into in 3 parts: we begin with a trek up the hill rising above our camp which will take us to the moraines of the glacier. We should arrive here around first light and now we put on our crampons and harnesses and rope up for the steady ascent of easy angled snow slopes as we follow the rise of the glacier to the summit pyramid of the peak. This then gives the 'third section' of the climb on steeper snow on a narrowing ridge. At the steepest sections (around 45 degrees) we will use fixed lines for safety. The final 100 metres to the summit is the steepest of all and once here the view is spectacular, looking down the Gondogoro glacier towards the elegant Laila Peak and the spires and towers of a host of six and seven-thousand metre peaks. We make our descent is by the same route and we should arrive back in camp in time for lunch and a long afternoon rest.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 10

  • Trek down valley on the Gondogoro Glacier and through the lateral ablation valley to Dalsan (4150m).

    Stepping back onto the great Gondogoro Glacier, we make our way down, passing the bulk of Masherbrum until we can scramble onto the moraine and we end the day walking through a delightful ablation valley filled with flowers and wild rhubarb, to reach Dalsan (4150m).

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 5

  • Trek to Hushe Village and drive to Khaplu (2600m).

    We have a short (3 hour) walk to Hushe. As we did on our way in, we make an early start to avoid the heat of mid-day at this low altituide (3000 metres). Our jeeps will be waiting for us in Hushe and we make the 3 - 4 hourr journey back down the valley to Khaplu. We stay tonight in a hotel - a chance to shower away the dust of the trek!

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

    • Time 2

  • Drive to Skardu and fly to Islamabad.

    After breakfast we drive on smooth tarmac for approximately 2 hours to Skardu Aiport where we catch our flight back to Islamabad. Once again, if the weather is bad, we must travel overland. On arrival in Islamabad, we check in to the group hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Contingency day for possible delays.

    Today is an important contingency day in case of cancellation of the Skardu flight in which case we will have travelled on the Karakoram Highway with an overnight stop along the way. If the contingency day has not been required this is a day to explore Islamabad, a remarkably modern and cosmopolitan city, or nearby Rawalpindi a much older and traditional city of the Punjab.

    • 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 professional KE leader
  • Internal flights and associated airport transfers
  • All land transport involved in the itinerary
  • All accommodation as described in the trip notes
  • All meals throughout the holiday
  • Once on trek a full service including food and all equipment (excluding personal equipment) is included in the trek price.
  • Travel insurance
  • Pakistan Visa
  • Tips for local guides and support staff
  • Miscellaneous expenses - souvenirs and drinks etc.
On trek, the food is a mixture of local and Western, dishes using ingredients mostly purchased in Pakistan and cooked by our highly trained trek cooks. Breakfasts consist of cereal, muesli or porridge, eggs, bread or chapatti, tea and coffee. Lunches are a picnic from a choice of canned fish, tinned meats, cheese, pickles, pate, and crackers or chapattis, sometimes accompanied by hot soup and noodles, and finished off with tea or coffee. Dinner taken in a group ‘mess’ tent, is a three course meal. We do routinely cater for vegetarians but you must inform us if you wish your diet to be exclusively vegetarian.
All meals are included in the holiday price from arrival on day 1 to breakfast on day 15 of the Land Only itinerary.
All clients arriving on day 1 will be met at Islamabad Airport by the trip leader or a KE representative who will arrange the transfer to the group hotel. Similarly, transfers will be provided back to Islamabad Airport on the final day of the itinerary. Clients booking a Land Only Package should let us know if Islamabad Airport transfers are not required. Land Only clients MUST provide the KE office with full details of their flights. Full joining instructions together with hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.
During this trip the group will spend a total of 3 nights in Islamabad at a good standard of hotel. The group will also have 2 nights in a tourist standard hotel in Khaplu. Whilst on trek there will be a total of 13 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 at 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

The group will be led by a professional experienced KE trek leader. While on trek the leader will be assisted by a team of local guides, cook and kitchen staff and porters who will carry the group's equipment and personal belongings.
Approximately £100 (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 using credit and debit cards.
It is usual to tip the members of your trek crew, including your local guide, if you are happy with the services provided. We estimate that £40 - 50 (in local currency equivalent) will cover this aspect of your trip expenditure. Towards the end of the trek, the trip leader will help the group to determine an appropriate level of tipping for each crew member, and this is most usually done as a group ‘thank-you’ with ceremony on the final day of trekking.
Your baggage on trek will be carried by porters. The packed weight of your trek bag whilst trekking including your sleeping bag and camping mattress should be no more than 12.5 kgs. (27 pounds). You should note that this allowance which is governed by maximum porter loads, is slightly less than allowances for treks in India and Nepal and is quite strictly adhered to. It is possible to leave items not required on trek at the group hotel in Islamabad and also in Skardu. Note this allowance does not include your mountaineering equipment which will be collected from you in Skardu and carried separately in communal bags.

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

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

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

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

You must bring the following items:

  • Sleeping bag (comfort rated -10°C)*

  • Thermarest or similar sleeping mat*

  • Daypack 30 to 40 litres

  • Hiking boots

  • Mountaineering boots (see ‘Mountaineering equipment’ below)

  • Trainers or sandals for river crossings and camp use

  • Socks

  • Walking socks (2 or 3 pairs)

  • Spare laces

  • Trekking trousers

  • Lightweight waterproof overtrousers

  • Underwear

  • Thermal baselayer - leggings

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

  • Shirts or T-shirts

  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper

  • Waterproof jacket

  • Warm jacket (down)

  • Sunhat

  • Warm hat

  • Sunglasses

  • Thermal gloves

  • Warm and waterproof gloves or mittens

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

  • Water bottles 1 litre  (x2)

  • Trekking poles

  • Headtorch and spare batteries

  • Washbag and toiletries

  • Antibacterial handwash

  • Small towel

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

The following items are optional:

  • Insect repellant – (DEET)

  • Scarf or buff

  • Sleeping bag liner

  • Pee bottle

  • Travel clothes

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

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

  • Small padlock (to lock your KE trek bag)

  • Camera

Mountaineering Equipment

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

  • Ice axe*

  • Crampons*

  • Climbing harness*

  • Karabiners (2 x screwgate)*

  • Sling (120cm)*

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

  • Climbing helmet*

Equipment hire / rental

Items marked * can be hired / rented through KE Adventure Travel. Please make requests at least 6 weeks prior to the trip departure. All hire / rental equipment is issued in Pakistan.

Needle Sports (specialist mountaineering equipment shop)

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

From mid June to August, we can expect to encounter temperatures as high as 30°C at Skardu and 25°C at Hushe. Above 4000 metres snow can fall at any time of the year. At any time of the season the night-time temperature above 4000 metres are likely to drop to freezing or below and at our highest camps may reach minus 10 or 15°C. The weather is generally good throughout the summer season, with clear skies and little rain or snow. However, weather in mountainous areas is difficult to predict, and short-lived storms can occur at any time of the year.
Trekking in Pakistan. Isobel Shaw. Karakoram Highway. King. Top Treks of the World. Steve Razzetti.
Pakistan: Leomann Trekking Maps of the Karakoram:

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

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