K2 and Gondogoro La Trek

22 Days
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K2 and Gondogoro La trek

Get the experience of a lifetime

K2 and Gondogoro La have lured trekkers from around the world for decades now, thanks to the splendorous views, adventure, wild and dramatic landscapes and amazing experiences trekkers get to experience all through the trek.

K2 and Gondogoro La trek is a great achievement for the trekkers in itself. But the venture is not meant for the novice trekkers because it involves trailing through dangerous mountain and glacial routes, facing harsh weather conditions, going up and down the gorges, and rushing through icy torrents.

The higher the risks, the higher the reward: when you finally make it to the Gondogoro La, you would get a truly mesmerizing, delightful, and soul enriching feeling. Of course, reaching at the foot of the second-tallest mountain on earth can be an experience of a lifetime.

DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION Benazir Bhutto International Airport
DEPARTURE TIME Please arrive at least 2 hours before the flight.
INCLUDED
 

Transportation from Islamabad to Islamabad
Accommodations
Food Professional high/low altitude guide
NOT INCLUDED ► Travel insurance
► Visa to Pakistan (Letter of Invitation and other supporting documents will be offered by us for visa application)
► International flights (return tickets)
► Tips for guides, porters, staff etc
► Miscellaneous (drinks, telephone calls, laundry etc at hotels)
► Souvenirs

The K2 and Gondogoro La trek offers you some of the most epic views of four peaks standing 8000 meters above sea level in addition to hundreds of other beautiful peaks of varying altitudes. However, you must be ready to witness and experience the odds because in them lies a truly extreme adventure. Harsh weather, deep crevasse in the glaciers, snowfall, and spending secluded nights on a frozen wasteland are included in the odds.

The trek will take you across the 62 kilometers Baltoro Glacier, which is one of the most trekked glaciers in Pakistan. Baltoro Glacier mingles with the Vigne and Godwin-Austen glaciers at the enormous natural dome of Concordia, developing one of the most stunning mountain campsites on our planet. This is the place where nature plays with art to offer you picture-perfect views of K2, creating an unmatched ambiance.

Trek to K2 and Gondogoro La with Karakorum Expeditions

Karakorum Expeditions has 22 days itinerary for trek to K2 and Gondogoro La. Your day will start as we pick you up from the airport in Islamabad. The next day, we’ll either fly or drive you to Skardu, depending on the weather condition. Because your actual trek starts in Askoli, so we’ll drive your to the valley in a jeep. You’ll get enough time to rest and relax in between the journeys from one destination to another.

During the venture, we’ll take you through the picturesque 5550 meters high Gondogoro La in a bid to arrive in Hushe village. We also provide you the optional opportunity to rest for a day at Concordia, the meeting point of the three glaciers and the spot that offers you spectacular views of the K2, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum I and Gasherbrum II. The trek reaches climax at this point. We will then get you back to Hushe valley and hit the road for Islamabad.

Karakorum Expeditions has decades of experience in organizing treks to K2 and Gondogora La. Our team of high altitude guides, expert cooks, high altitude porters and support staff will make sure that you indulge yourself in enjoying the offering of nature while they take care of everything you need and require to make your trek a truly memorable experience.

If you are interest in trekking to K2 and Gondogoro La, contact us now for details.

Day 1. Meet our guide(s) at the Islamabad Airport

Our full-board service package for Gondogoro La Trek begins only after arrival in Pakistan. After airport transfer, there would be plenty of time before lunch to relax at the hotel. Most of the international flights will arrive during the morning. All team will meet for lunch that would end with a briefing about our trek/expedition and a question-answer session. This shall be followed by a short visit to Tourism Ministry of Pakistan for an official and mandatory briefing about traveling to the northern mountains. Meanwhile our team will complete the necessary paperwork.

Feature:
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 2: Early morning air / road travel to Skardu town (2500m)  Sightseeing during the day.

The one hour “subject to weather” flight from Islamabad offers a lot. The stunning route the flight takes goes through major Himalayan mountain range and one can enjoy breathtaking views of world’s 9th highest peak, Nanga Parbat peak (8126m). Before landing the majestic K2 and other known peaks in the area would visible if we are lucky. Some might even be able to spot a part of the K2 Gondogoro La Trek route. After check in at our hotel, the day will be spent visiting Bazar, historical forts, scenic lakes or visiting ancient rock inscriptions, one of which is of 8th century Manthal Buddha Rock that shows traces of Buddhist monks and pilgrims who had influence in the area before Islam.

Feature:
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 3: Jeep Safari to Askole (3000m) Via Shigar Valley

A 7 hours jeep ride to Askole village, crossing the cold desert to Shigar valley first. Askole is small village with few houses in a solitary street. The last two hours drive through Braldu Gorge was once a 2 days trek before the jeep road. In few places the road is intersected by some streams thus only off-road vehicles are considered for this journey. The roads are fragile to landslides due to melting glaciers and thus might require starting the trek a day earlier but this rarely happens. If we reach Askole as per schedule the first night will be spent in the village under the beautiful sky along the rumbling Braldu River.

Feature:
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 4: First Day of Trek towards Korofon (3075m)

Our first trek for Gondogoro La Trek begins from Askole which is the last inhibited village on the route to Concordia. We will pass across the local Balti people as they go by their work in their fields which is quite fascinating. We will trek to the foot of Biafo Glacier, world’s 3rd longest glacier outside polar region and which also is a door leading to the Hispar pass (and snow lake) connecting Baltistan region to Hunza valley. The snow river at the glacier’s foot is stretched 63 km which has a bridge, without which we would have to cross the glacier which is boulder and rubble at the bottom. The campsite Korofong (3,075 m) lays across the glacier’s other foot. The trees here are habitat to a variety of beautiful birds.

Feature:
Accommodation: Camping
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
GPS Data
Distance: 12.2 km
Time: 5 hours
Average Pace: 24 min/km
Elevation Gain/Loss: 301m/290m
Min/Max Elevation: 2,969 m/3,114m

Day 5: Trek Via Panma Valley to Jhola Campsite (3100m)

From Korofong we will be started gaining altitude and follow Braldu course till we reach Panma River which is crossed taking a detour through a trail built on the face of the cliff. Before this trail, trekkers would climb giant cliffs and boulders in order to cross the high velocity river to continue the trekking journey. We go through the locally operated toll “suspension” bridge under the government license. Beyond this bridge is our camp site called Jhola

Feature:
Accommodation: Camping
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
GPS Data
Distance: 8.5 km
Time: 3 – 4 hours
Average Pace: 24 min/km
Elevation Gain/Loss: 229m/119m
Min/Max Elevation: 3,045m/3,159m

Day 6 : Trek to Paiju (3420m) Through Braldu valley

Continuing the path returning to Braldu River. The trek goes on to a narrow path along the river’s edge and then climbs to higher area from where we will view the remarkable Paiju Peak. There would be few streams to settle, thus we would wear the sporty boots. From high points today we will view Baltoro Glacier, peaks of Cathedral group and Trango towers. Continuing the trek to the central Braldu we walk on to the trek’s acclimatization site at Paiju. Acclimatization at this point on the Gondogoro La Trek is essential because ascending too high too hasty can lead to altitude sickness.

Feature:
Accommodation: Camping
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
GPS Data
Distance: 20.5 km
Time: 7-8 hours
Average Pace: 22 min/km
Elevation Gain/Loss: 575m/334m
Min/Max Elevation: 3,115m/3,405m

Day 7: Acclimatization and rest at Camp Paiju ( 3420m)

Before heading for Concordia, Paiju camp has been designated as the acclimatization point located at the foot of Baltoro glacier where Braldu valley widens. This is a significant staging point during Gondogoro La Trek with availability to spring water. This camp has facilities such as long drop toilets, wash basins and a bathroom. This whole day is designated for acclimatization and the porters also bake breads for the climb up over the glacier. Those with spare energy, a great hike above the camp can be a very good exercise and opportunity to view the group of Cathedral Peaks, the stunning Trango towers and also K2 on a lucky day with clear sky.

Feature:
Accommodation: Camping
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 8: Start of Baltoro Glacier Trek ,Walk to camp Khoburtse (3795m)

A trek from Paiju leads upstream to Baltoro Glacier from where the melting water outpours into the river. We ascend and walk on top of the glacier that is rubbles and rocks. The team follows the traditional trails here but it will be a tough walk on the mighty glacier. The team will create our path through Baltoro glacier and towards the south side pursue the moraine trails. We head east to continue along the glacier till we get to the glacier’s smaller side. Here we move towards South till we make crossing to enter the valley. We reach by night to camp Khoburtse. Magnificent views of Cathedral towers group, Trango towers, and Uli Biaho tower can be enjoyed after a great trekking day. Baltoro Glacier Trek can be demanding for many participants on the first day.

Feature:
Accommodation: Camping
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
GPS Data
Distance: 14.7 km
Time: 8-9 hours
Average Pace: 38 min/km
Elevation Gain/Loss: 641m/221m
Min/Max Elevation: 3,379m/3,909m

Day 9: Baltoro Glacier Trek Views of Trango Towers.Camp at Urdukas (3900m)

Considering the increase in sleep altitude and being wary for all participants, we have a short trek day. We will continue alongside the glacier, sometimes on it or above the moraine. We pass by the Trango tower and the lonely peak “unnamed tower” to our camp. This day’s campsite was found and cleared by the K2 expedition by Duke of Abruzzi in 1909. The team will climb around hundred meters higher than the glacier to the terraces where the campsite is located. It offers a mesmerizing view of the Lobsang, Trango Towers, cathedral group etc. We will reach here to have delayed lunch and spend the day resting. Gondogoro La Trek begins to pay off, providing grand views from Urdukas camp.

Feature:
Accommodation: Camping
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
GPS Data
Distance: 6.2 km
Time: 4-5 hours
Average Pace: 40 min/km
Elevation Gain/Loss: 249m/39m
Min/Max Elevation: 3,819m/4,039m

Day 10 : Baltoro Glacier Trek .Trek to Goro Camp (4295m) sights of Mashbrum Peaks

Having enough rest at Urdukas we move eastward along the moraine till the point where we climb on the mighty glacier. We will go the glacier’s centre through a smooth flow and we will be able to view Masherbrum (7821m). Going over and around the rubble on the mighty glacier, continuously descending and ascending, we will eventually reach to witness peaks surrounding Concordia and the great Gasherbrum IV (7925 m) staring down at us and behind us still visible are the Trango tower and the Cathedral peaks while we move towards camp ‘Goro’ (4,295 m). Sleeping at high altitude on the mighty Baltoro, it is essential to stay warm especially at nights.

Feature:
Accommodation: Camping
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
GPS Data
Distance: 12.2 km
Time: 7-8 hours
Average Pace: 36 min/km
Elevation Gain/Loss: 329m/89m
Min/Max Elevation: 4,009m/4,279m

Day 11 : Baltoro Glacier Trek to Concordia(4500m)

Baltoro glacier trek to Concordia offers the greatest spectacles of the Gondogoro La Trek. We continue our walk on the mighty Baltoro while participants pass by Mustagh Tower (7,284 m) and Gasherbrum IV, partially obscuring behind it the Gasherbrum I (8,080 m), thus called “Hidden Peak”. We can spot it on the right side of Gasherbrum IV with fin like ridges. Making our route up on Baltoro, views of Broad Peak (8051 m) appear while Marble and Crystal Peaks appear on the left. We will be surrounded by 4 eight-thousanders, 10 out of 30 highest peaks of the world. Camp will be set at 4,500 m in Concordia on the moraine.

Feature:
Accommodation: Camping
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
GPS Data
Distance: 11.8 km
Time: 4-5 hours
Average Pace: 24 min/km
Elevation Gain/Loss: 289m/3m
Min/Max Elevation: 4,279m/4,570m

Day 12: K2 Base camp (5100m) and Broad Peak Base camp (4800m)

We can start early through crevasses and small rivers created by melting ice. We follow on the glacier that is named after Godwin Austin who first declared K2’s height. After three hours we will be at Broad Peak base camp where we will have a great sight of the astonishing Karakoram 2nd (K2), Mitre Peak behind us and the Bride Peak. We walk on the moraine which is mostly boulders. However we do walk on ice occasionally. After another 3 hours trek, we shall complete one way journey of the K2 Base Camp reaching a moraine safe zone, a traditional base camp area for K2 climbers.

Feature:
Accommodation: Camping
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
GPS Data
Time (Return) K2 BC: 9-11 hours
Time (Return) Broad BC: 5-6 hours
Min/Max Elevation: 4,500m/5,100m

Day 13: Trek Towards Ali Camp (4800m) Chasing Baltoro’s uppar Part

We set out journey on a less explored route today. The nature and difficulty of trekking depends on snow which is not common between the months of June to late August. Normally we would walk on non-slippery ice which is in fact easy to hike on. In case of large crevasses, we would take short detours only to make progress. However in case of snow conditions at Baltoro, participants and porters would walk together (all hooked to a rope) and use their crampons for safety.

After walking for more than 5 hours, we should reach the junction point of Baltoro with West Vigne Glacier that is linked to Gondogoro La’s base. We set camp for tonight on the high moraine near the junction. Our campsite is known as “Ali Camp” as Ali (a porter belonging to nearby village) had first been recorded to cross Gondogoro La while returning as a porter from a climbing expedition to Gasherbrum.

Feature:
Accommodation: Camping
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
GPS Data
Distance: 12.1 km
Time: 5-6 hours
Elevation Gain/Loss: 376m/13m
Min/Max Elevation: 4,500m/4,800m

Day 14: Gondogoro La Trek-Crossing the Gondogro La/Pass (5585m) towards Khuspang

On this day of Gondogoro La Trek, team members are woken up sooner than first light. After a good breakfast, harnesses and crampons are put on and we hit the incredible West Vigne Glacier, all roped as one unit until we make to Gondogoro La’s base. Depending on weather and snow conditions on the lower slope of the high pass, we may possibly continue as one unit attached to the rope or we might be in a position to ascend the slope un-roped. Normally there would be at least one steep part to cross on the higher slopes. During these parts of the climb, our support crew will fix ropes. It normally takes around three hours to reach the top of Gondogoro La Pass. One can have a splendid view of four of the 8,000 meter peaks, specifically Gasherbrum 1 and 2, Broad Peak and the mighty K2.

Participants will need to watch their every step while descending to avoid jolting stones into their team members. Once the gradient eases, we get to a trail running along the beautiful Gondogoro valley above Trinity Glacier that we meet soon. Gondogoro La Trek eventually becomes easy as we reach and move on the moraine and arrive at a valley with small pools and grass near the junction point of Gondogoro and Trinity glaciers. This pleasant campsite is called Khuispang (4,600 m).

Feature:
Accommodation: Camping
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
GPS Data
Distance: 8.1 km
Time: 9-12 hours
Elevation Gain/Loss: 798m/901m
Max Elevation(Pass): 5,585m

Day 15:Walk to Dalsmpa (4150m) Via Gondogoro Glacier

Today we pursue the Gondogoro glacier downwards and it will comparatively be an easy day on the Gondogoro La Trek. Normally we would pack our climbing equipments while descending towards Hushey valley and witness fresh landscapes. Participants trek on Gondogoro glacier’s moraine, walk below and cross Laila Peak. We continue and reach an edge of Gondogoro Glacier and find a trail into a beautiful valley of rhubarb and grass. We set camp at a gorgeous location known as Dalsampa (4,150 m).

Feature:
Accommodation: Camping
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
GPS Data
Distance: 6.1 km
Time: 4 hours
Elevation Gain/Loss: 102m/548m
Camp Elevation: 4,149m

Day 16: Trek to Saicho (3350m) through Gondogoro Valley

The team starts off trekking through this amazing valley where participants camped last night. They valley soon comes to a sudden end where we are left with two options of trail. The first option is to trek down between cliffs and the glacier. The second option is to move forward on the cliffs. Our guide will make a decision based on discussion with local porters who trek more frequently and are aware of recent conditions on at least one of these routes.

Gondogoro La Trek becomes easy once both these trails meet. We continue trekking and pass through the pastures of Gondogoro. One can see temporary shelters made of stones by herders. Soon a little stream requires to be crossed before reaching the lateral moraine. One can observe big trees while walking on this moraine that goes down until the bottom of Gondogoro valley where camp is setup. Our campsite Saicho (3,350 m) is a sandy part with thin grasses along the glacial river at junction point of the Charakusa and Gondogoro valleys. After almost one week below 4,000 m altitude, “oxygen rich” supply of air will be available to breathe and team members can sleep better to the running water’s sound.

Feature:
Accommodation: Camping
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
GPS Data
Distance: 11.9 km
Time: 5-6 hours
Elevation Loss: 798m
Camp Elevation: 3,350m

Day 17: Contingency day in case of Possible delays.

There can always be a chance for delays at some point during Gondogoro La Trek. It’s always a good idea to keep time for this. Otherwise normally this day would be used for rest at Saicho which is a good camping site to get some sun bath, fill in your diary or do some laundry. Those who still want to explore can trek to Charakusa valley. If anyone opts for this option, we shall make an early morning start and pursue a trail upstream on moraine (lateral) of Charakusa Glacier, a habitat for snow leopard. On a lucky day someone from the team may spot an animal or at least see signs of the big cat which our guides can guide you to.

After crossing some ice and rubble, moraine and glacier, we make it to major Charakusa glacier. How far to go depends on when we start, glacier conditions and participant’s energy level. Although if every factor is favorable, we can walk far enough to get views of K7 and K6. It will approximately take 6-8 hrs to make this round trip which is another great extra on the Gondogoro La Trek.

Feature:
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 18: Walk to Hushey’s main village,Last Trekking day

Since we are below 3,500 m, it is wise to start trekking early to stay away from heat that can go above 35 degree Celsius. This day will comparatively be an easy trekking day of between 3 to 4 hrs. We will follow the river that brings the glacier melt of Charakusa, Gondogoro, Ailling and Masherbrum glaciers. The valley eventually turns south and gradually participants start to see signs of shelters, homes, fields etc and we finally ascend to a plateau where the central village is located. It will be the last day of camping on Gondogoro La Trek.

Feature:
Accommodation: Camping
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
GPS Data
Distance: 7.2 km
Time: 3-4 hours
Elevation Loss: 302m
Camping Elevation: 3,050m

Day 19: Drive to Skardu Following the rivers of Hushey Shyok and the Grand Indus

The return road journey offers amazing sightseeing starting with passage through other villages of Hushey valley displaying small agricultural lands and mountain farming activities as we move downstream. We eventually come to the confluence where Shyok river (flowing from Ladakh) meets Hushey river. We will cross a bridge (suspension) above Shyok river to get to the other end. Our drive to Skardu from Khaplu becomes smoother and we gain pace on the paved road driving along the Shyok which leads us to the confluence with Indus River that we follow until we reach Skardu. We arrive at one of our partner hotels and get our first warm shower after more than two weeks, followed by a good meal. Some team members might have dreams about Gondogoro La Trek.

Feature:
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 20: Fly to Islamabad, Sightseeing during the after noon

The drive from hotel to airport is 40 minutes and it’s a metal road. We board the plane for a thrilling flight towards Islamabad. We once again fly by the Nanga Parbat. Reaching Islamabad airport after a great adventure is very different experience and takes getting used to. Our vehicle will be at Islamabad airport to take us straight to the hotel. We will settle in and have lunch if there isn’t any unusual delay. After a good meal participants can take the day for rest or sightseeing around the city or shopping for popular options like artifacts or rugs. In the evening we will be together to enjoy special meal at local restaurant or at our hotel and share experiences of Gondogoro La Trek.

Feature:
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 21: Contingency day for Delays in fly schedule

Skardu is weather dependent area to fly as planes only operate when there is visibility for the pilot to land. The weather in summer is mostly good for the pilots to fly but mountain weather conditions may change to bring rain. Alternative way is to go by road through the Karakorum Highway which is a great experience for many foreigners. If we fly to Islamabad, the day can be used to rest and for sightseeing. The leaders of the trekking party will guide participants on this day with available options.

Feature:
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 22: Departure from Islamabad,Airport Transfer from Hotel

Our land package for Gondogoro La Trek ends only with breakfast and transfer to airport.

On this Day
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast

Day 23-24

We will  have two extra days for proper Acclimatization

Important

The trek up to Concordia is comparatively simple even though the trail is fairly rugged. The extended Gondogoro La Trek towards Gondogoro Pass however means walking on glacier, rubble, stones and snow at different stages for the coming three days. The walk on glacier and snow climb requires crampons and axe. We will trek between 6 miles to 8 miles every day that can take between 5 hrs to 6 hours during the extended stage. During times when the glacier is concealed with snow, the participants will walk roped together as a team.

For crossing the Gondogoro Pass, we will need mountaineering gear including crampons, ice axe, harness and helmet at different stages. We will also use fixed ropes/lines at steep slopes on the pass for the safety of our participants and crew. Our guide/assistant will teach all participants a few basic techniques before making the ascent on the mountain pass. Experience of walking on high altitude is a precondition for the Gondogoro La Trek and a little familiarity with using crampons on snow slopes is highly advantageous.

What does Package include ?

► Government licensed professional guide/leader (pre-requisite for Gondogoro La Trek)
► Airport transfers on first and last day from/to Benazir International Airport, Islamabad
► All domestic flights and transfers (according to itinerary)
► All road transport in Pakistan (according to itinerary above)
► All accommodation in Pakistan (hotels and camps) according to itinerary
► All meals in Pakistan (breakfast, lunch and dinner) at hotels and camps
► All trekking requirements on ground (including cook, support staff, porters, gears (excluding personal) etc
► Government trekking permit fees/paperwork for Gondogoro La Trek

What does Packages not Include?

► Travel insurance
► Visa to Pakistan (Letter of Invitation and other supporting documents will be offered by us for visa application)
► International flights (return tickets)
► Tips for guides, porters, staff etc
► Miscellaneous (drinks, telephone calls, laundry etc at hotels)
► Souvenirs

Food and Meal Plan

During Gondogoro La Trek, participants will be served all three meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner). The food will include combination of Pakistani and foreign meals made of ingredients bought in Pakistan. Breakfasts will include coffee, tea, cereals, eggs, porridge/muesli, chappatti/bread. During trekking, lunches will be eaten during lunch breaks with options from tinned/canned meals (fish, meat), crackers, pickles, cheese, chapatti, pate etc. Depending on the weather, the lunches start with or sometimes end with soup, coffee or tea, juices etc. Dinner is always eaten in mess tent which is freshly prepared by our cooks travelling with us. During the initial days of trekking, fresh vegetables are also cooked until they remain fresh. Vegetarians must inform our office in advance if they want their entire meals to be vegetarian.

Iodine treated drinking water will be made available in the mornings, during breaks and while camping. Everyone will be drinking spring water when available but at other times, we do not have options other than consuming glacial melt water that might consist of silt. Our kitchen uses a large container for water supply that helps in settling down the silt at the bottom. If you do not like the odor of iodine, you might want to bring your own supply of bi-carbonate of soda. Conventional methods work well for everyone but we keep on experimenting new methods.

Arrival in Islamabad Pakistan and Airport Transfer

All our guests must arrive on day 1 at Benazir International Airport, Islamabad (Pakistan’s capital). Our guide/staff will be waiting for you outside the international arrivals gate in the airport premises who will take you to the hotel. All guests must notify us if they do not need transfers from airport. Guests must also submit their inbound and outbound flight details to our office two days before their arrival in Pakistan. Once you confirm your registration and make payment, more details including names and contacts numbers will be sent to you. Airport transfers will also be provided on the last day.

Accommodation

This holiday consists of 22 days and 21 nights. A total of 03 nights will be spent at a hotel in the capital city of Islamabad, 2 nights at one of the hotels in Skardu town, and 16 nights camping in tents in the beautiful mountains. We arrange stays at standard hotels in Islamabad and our hotel picks in Skardu are always one of the best in town. Rooms at our selected hotels will be provided on twin-sharing basis and will have en-suite amenities. During camping days, you will also be sharing a two-person tent. If you are traveling alone, you will be teamed with one of the other participants (of the same sex) for room and tent sharing. However you can get separate hotel rooms and separate tents for additional cost but both require booking in advance. Extended hotel reservations in Islamabad are possible.

A typical Day

On all trekking days, your guide will wake you up for warm tea or coffee followed by a good breakfast inside the mess tent(s). You will have time before breakfast to pack your bags again. Camp will be closed after breakfast and porters will get to work carrying supplies and luggage ahead of guests to arrive at the lunch site and prepare meals. Porters will repeat the same “trek-earlier” approach for dinner preparations. We will generally hike for 3-4 hours before lunch. Lunch normally takes at least one hour so it is a good time to gain your strength back, read, write etc.

Trekking after lunch break in the afternoon will generally be shorter than first half of the day. Once you reach the next camp, camps will either be setup or in the process and kitchen crew would serve a hot beverage first and dinner will be served when its ready. One can rest, socialize, read, write, and photograph etc upon reaching a camp. Temperature normally decreases at night and participants can get cozy in their personal sleeping bags before getting enough sleep for the next day.

Domestic Flights

In order to reach Skardu (northern areas), we will be taking a flight which is subject to weather as the valley is surround by mountains and requires high visibility for any flight to operate. Due to the weather factor, no flights are guaranteed to operate. Flights to Skardu do operate often but there are always chances for cancellations and in that case we keep road transport as backup and on standby. We cannot take the risk of waiting for another day in Islamabad for another flight for good reasons including complex airline booking system, tourist traffic flow in flights etc. Please beware of other trekking companies offering Gondogoro La Trek that might keep you waiting in Islamabad in hopes of flights and end up not completing your long-awaited trek on time.

Karakorum HIghWay (Incase of Flight Cancellation)

We advise all our guests to read foreign travel advises on their respective country’s foreign office websites. Travel advice for EU residents from their home country to your destination country (Pakistan) can be found on the European Commission website . Participants from other countries can look up on relevant websites or search “foreign office travel advice”. Most websites advice against travelling by road in Pakistan and some websites don’t seem updated. Please take note that incase one or both internal flights cancel, we will drive on Karakoram Highway and then via Gilgit-Skardu road to Skardu. This route is available on Google maps

Journey on Karakoram Highway is one of the best experiences in Pakistan for any foreign or domestic tourist, providing views of amazing natural environment and indigenous people throughout the road trip and never has any of our guest openly regretted traveling by KKH. We strongly advise that you contact and gain more information from your travel insurance company regarding road traveling coverage.

Guide (Leader) and Group Assistance Staff

All participants will be managed by our professional guide for the whole trekking holiday. They will be licensed and recognized from Pakistan’s Ministry of Tourism. Our guide will be the focal person for communication, assistance, help and complaints during Gondogoro La Trek. Our guides have vast experience with foreign clients and can communicate in English. They have been trained to interact with participants in a professional manner and we will appreciate if you keep the relationship friendly and yet professional. If you are a big private group from one country speaking a different language (for example Spanish), we can try rescheduling our guides speaking your language (if available). You will also be accompanied by kitchen crew, assistant(s) depending on the group size and last but not the least, porters.

These tough local porters belong to different villages of the surrounding areas and are mostly small subsistence farmers. They wait for foreign tourists to arrive so that they can earn and compliment to their existing income while their kids look after their small farms. Naturally they are tourist-friendly people who also have fun during trekking by having laughs and dancing to local songs when they get a chance. These porters and their elders have been doing it for decades and watching the porters at work with such energy is another vital offering of this holiday.

Miscellaneous Expenses and Budgeting

For expenses other than your holiday cost, you can carry approximately 240 EUR/250 USD/200 GBP/1700 CNY (or equivalent in your own currency). This can be used for other expenses including tips for porters and supporting staff. You can purchase Pakistani Rupees (PKR) upon arrival at the airport at good rates. US Dollars, Euros and Pound Sterling can quickly be converted into the local currency at the airport.

The porters are paid in Pakistani Rupees, not to mention everything else you may want to purchase in Pakistan. US Dollars will have an advantage of being easily exchanged at even smaller towns but we recommend one-time exchange. Credit cards can come handy for shopping in Islamabad for souvenirs/gift items including rugs. Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) will be available in Islamabad and Skardu but using your debit/credit cards, you will only be able to withdraw Pakistani Rupees from ATMs.

Managing Tips

It is common that our participants at least tip the porters for their hard work carrying participant luggage and supplies. If you feel satisfied with the services of the guide, assistant(s), kitchen crew, you can contribute to the total tip. 95-120 Euros (or equivalent in your currency) would cover this element of the total expenses. The tour leader/guide helps all participants in deciding a tip for all crew members of Gondogoro La Trek. These tips are then handed over as a group in a “thank you” ceremony organized at the conclusion of the trek.

Baggage Allowance

Porters discussed above will be carrying your baggage/luggage apart from supplies, equipments etc. The maximum weight limit for your packed trekking bag is 12.5 kilograms (20 pounds). The load of your sleeping mattress and sleeping bag is included in the maximum limit. Please only bring required items on the trek. It will be possible for you to leave parts of your luggage at the hotel in Skardu. The maximum limit (12.5 kgs) strictly followed is assigned by the local porters organization. Your baggage allowance will not include equipments for mountaineering that you will bring along for Gondogoro La Trek. We will collect from you the mountaineering equipments in Skardu that shall be carried separately by our porters.

Altitude

All our potential guests are advised to read carefully and know the different elevations mentioned above for each trekking day. This is a strenuous trek at very high altitudes. Although this should not worry you as humans are reasonably gifted to become accustomed to high elevations, we must acclimatize according to our well-planned itinerary.
Gondogoro La Height/Elevation: 5,585 meters

Equipment List

We are providing you with three lists for Gondogoro La Trek. List 1 and 2 contain items and equipments that you must bring. The third list contains optional items you might need on your trekking holiday. Based on your own judgment you can select things that you might need from the third list.

List 1 – Must Bring Items:
► First Aid Pack (Diamox (Altitude), Dioralite (re-hydration salts), antiseptic cream, blister treatment, throat lozenges, plasters, Imodium (diarrhea treatment), painkillers)
► Hiking Backpack (Day Pack) 32-42 Litres
► Fleece jacket with hood or a warm jumper
► Mittens or gloves
► Gloves (Thermal)
► Headtorch with spare batteries
► Hiking boots
► Sleeping bag (-16°C comfort rated)
► Sandals (sports) or old shoes (to cross rivers)
► Sun protection cream (including total block for nose, lips etc.)
► Sunglasses
► Sunhat
► Thermarest or any similar mat/pad for sleeping
► Warm hat
► Warm jacket (down)
► Water bottles 1litre (x2)
► Waterproof jacket
► Waterproof over-trousers
► Antibacterial hand wash
► Shirts/T-shirts
► Small towel
► Socks
► Spare laces
► Underwear (normal and thermal)
► Trekking poles (highly recommended)
► Wash-bag and toiletries
► Walking socks (2/3 pairs)
► Baselayer – leggings (Thermal)
► Trekking Trousers
► Baselayer thermal shirts (2 long sleeves, 2 short sleeves)
► Mountaineering equipments (See “List 2” below)

List 2 – Mountaineering Equipments:
► Crampons
► Mountaineering boots that must be compatible with your crampons. Minimum Grade B2.
► Ice axe
► Climbing harness
► Karabiner/Carabiner (screwgate type x 2)
► Climbing helmet
► Prusik loops X two (2) – (4 meters of 6 mm cord makes up 2)
► Sling (120 cm)

List 3 – Optional:
► Buff or scarf
► Small padlock (for locking your bag)
► Camera
► Insect repellant
► Pen-knife (important: pack sharp tools in hold luggage)
► Repair kit (e.g. thread, needle, duct tape)
► Liner (for sleeping bag)
► Travel clothes
► Bottle for Pee

Minimum Group Participants and holiday Status

The required number of participant bookings i.e. six (6) registrations are required to conduct the “Fixed departures”. Although we receive several guests for each fixed departure, we feel that it is important to mention it. You can make sure of the trip status on this page. Status “available” means we are registering guests and “guaranteed” means we have crossed the required number of participants and the trip will commence on the given dates. We will constantly be in touch with all our guests who register. We will timely guide you step by step regarding visa applications and flight reservations to Pakistan etc.

Travel Documents & Visa

In order to apply for visas to Pakistan, you generally need a passport expiring later than (6) months. For more reliable and updated information, we suggest you to contact the nearest Pakistani consulate or embassy in your country. We expect that you will take full responsibility for ensuring you have the right travel documents. Normally if you are visiting non-EU countries, you must check for 2 vacant pages in your travel document (passport) for every country you plan to travel.

A tourist visa (visit visa) is required to come to Pakistan for trekking. People on work visas (already in Pakistan/abroad) require a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) which normally takes up to 6 weeks. The requirements and fee for tourist visas to Pakistan is normally around 200 USD but for accurate information you should consult Pakistani consulates nearby. To apply for a tourist visa, you will need a Letter of Invitation from our company and sometimes a duplicate (copy) of the “government trekking permit” for the group, processed by us. We will help you with all necessary documents to obtain the visa once you register with us.

Weather

During your holiday, you can experience maximum temperatures of up to 45 °C in Islamabad, 30 °C in Skardu and 26 °C in Askoli. The days will be warm (unless clouds take over) until we arrive at camp in Concordia where temperatures during the day will decrease to less than 10 °C. Slopes leading towards Gondogoro La Pass will be covered in snow until early July.

We might walk on snow on Baltoro glacier’s higher part in June and this snow normally melts by mid July. In August and September, you might experience snowfall depending on how the weather turns out. Temperatures in the Karakoram Range are unpredictable. Temperature might decrease down to -10 °C during any time of all trekking periods while camping anywhere between Paiju and Concordia. Fixed departures in September can go even lower than -10 °C. Monsoon does not fully affect the Karakoram Range making summers the best time for Gondogoro La Trek, providing bright skies. However due to past experience with unpredictable weather, we must be prepared for unfavorable weather conditions.

Fixed Departures

15th June         2018

20th July          2018

10th August      2018

1th September  2018

 

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