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Trip Name: K 2 Gondogoro La Circuit
     

This classic adventure trek to "The Throne Room of the Mountain Gods", one of the world's most challenging, offers the adventure trekker one of the most rewarding mountain experiences in the world and takes one to the center of the Karakoram range along the Baltoro glacier to Concordia - the meeting point of four of the highest mountains in the world: K2, the nearby Broad Peak (8,047-m), Gasherbrum II (8,035-m) and Gasherbrum I, the Hidden Peak (8,068-m) and 41 peaks over 6500m within the radius

Price: US$ 0
 Days: 21 Days
Destinations: Islamabad,Skardu,Shigar,Braldo
,Baltoro Glacier,Concordia,K2,Broad Peak,Gondogoro La,Khapulo,Karakoram Highway,Baltistan
 Activities: Trekking, sightseeing, Cultural Exploration
 Difficulty: Strenuous
 Departures: June 1, June 10, June 20
July 1, July 10, July 20
August 1, August 10, August 20
September 1, September 10, September 20

 

 

 

Day: 1
Arrival
Arrival Islamabad today. A member of the Vertical Explorers staff will meet you at the airport and escort you to the hotel. Today either you can relax or you can enjoy an exploratory walk in the old part of Rawalpindi; wander past the vegetable and spice markets, beautifully carved old houses and trucks, cows pestering the vegetable vendors, catch traditional craftsmen at work in silver and gold bazaars .You can then continue on the main street linking the Twin cities - Murree Road - before arriving at the gleaming new capital, Islamabad. You pass shining new buildings and thousands of park areas - a full 50 percent of the 350 square mile site is set aside for parks. You can stop at Shakar Parian to catch a bird's eye view of Islamabad. Our next stop will be Shah Faisal Mosque which is the landmark of Islamabad. This evening you will enjoy a welcome dinner with other trekkers.
Activities: Sightseeing, Cultural Exploration
Meals provided: Welcome Dinner

Accommodation:

Pak Continental, Civic Hotel, Regency Hotel

Day: 2
SKARDU OR CHILAS
We rise early to be at the airport in time for our flight to Skardu. If the weather is good, we'll be treated to one of the finest views available in the world of aviation, as we thread our way up the largest congregation of mountains of Karakoram, Hindukush, Himalaya and Indus River gorges, third longest in Asia and one of the deepest in the world. To our east is K2 (2nd highest in the world and Nanga Parbat (killer mountain) and countless peaks and glaciers. It is sometime possible to catch a glimpse of K2 in the distant before our dramatic landing at Skardu. On arrival we are met by our local staff with jeeps and make the short transfer to the hotel. SKARDU is the administrative capital of Baltistan and gateway to the high peaks of Northern Pakistan. We have some time to explore the town and enjoy the hustle and bustle in peak season of tourists here. Sightseeing in Skardu and surrounding areas during the day. For those seeking a good overview of Skardu, or a place from which to photograph the sunset, Kharfocho Fort is an ideal spot. If the flight is unable to operate because of bad weather, we will resort to travel by road on Karakoram Highway (KKH) to Chilas. The drive is compensated by the beautiful scenery along the Karakoram highway and Indus gorges. The journey on the Karakoram Highway is most exciting and thrilling. It is a monument to the engineering feast and one of the most spectacular roads and the world’s highest metalled border crossing. It connects Pakistan and China stretching over a distance of 1300km between Islamabad and Kashgar, winding through three mountain ranges and following the ancient Silk route along the Indus Valley to the Chinese border at Khunjerab Pass. We pass through the historical town of Taxila, beautiful hill station of Abbottabad, quake affected lush green towns of Mansehra, Shinkiari and finally meet the great Indus on Thakot Bridge. From there onward the road snails along the bank of the Indus with contrasting landscape after every two kilometers. We pass through Besham, Dassu, Komila and Shatial to arrive at Chilas with many rock carvings and inscriptions along the way left by Chinese pilgrims and ancient travelers of 5th century A.D. Chilas was on the ancient caravan trail over the Babusar Pass into India. The view after crossing the Rai kot Bridge of Nanga Parbat is without any parallel. Standing at around 1,000 m. you see a mountain which rises to above 8,000 m! This is the largest land escarpment in the world. This is also where the three greatest mountain ranges meet; Himalaya, Hindukush and Karakoram.
Activities: Driving, Cultural Exploration
Meals provided: Breakfast

Accommodation:

Chilas Inn Hotel (Chilas), Mashabrum Hotel, PTDC (Skardu) Baltistan Continental (Skardu)

Day: 3
SKARDU / CHILAS – SKARDU
This day may be needed to complete the KKH road journey from Chilas to Skardu. Alternatively, leaving Skardu today will enable us to enjoy an extra day of trekking.
Activities: Cultural exploration , Sightseeing, Hiking,Jeep Safari
Meals provided: Breakfast

Accommodation:

Mashabrum Hotel, PTDC (Skardu), Baltistan Continental (Skardu)

Day: 3
SKARDU / CHILAS – SKARDU
This day may be needed to complete the KKH road journey from Chilas to Skardu. Alternatively, leaving Skardu today will enable us to enjoy an extra day of trekking.
Activities: Cultural exploration , Sightseeing, Hiking,Jeep Safari
Meals provided: Breakfast

Accommodation:

Mashabrum Hotel, PTDC (Skardu), Baltistan Continental (Skardu)

Day: 4
SKARDU - ASKOLE
Today we rise early and view the beautiful sunrise against the backdrop of the Karakoram. After breakfast drive to Shigar, a history-soaked medieval town. There is also a heritage Palace cum Fort (Fong khar ). Completely renovated by the AKCSP a few years back, the Palace and its suburbs reflects a medieval look. Here we will pay a brief visit to the Garden House, Royal room, museum handicraft shop and The Khanqah Moalla, famous for its uniquely carved wooden windows and meditation cells. Shigar retains a mystical, medieval aura that may leave you feeling like you have stepped through the looking glass.

Then an exciting jeep journey takes us through the fields of the Shigar valley before the road narrows to a mountain track leading to the trail head at Askole, the last inhabitancy on our way to the great glaciers. Highest in the region, the stone & timber abodes contain dark & narrow stairwells raven by gloomy, unlit alleys cluster within the embrace of the fertile terraces.

Activities: Jeep Safari, Cultural Exploration
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 5
ASKOLE – JULA
Today we leave the last inhabited village Askole. Porters are assembled to carry our luggage for the next section of the journey. For the remaining portion of our journey we rely on our porters who carry our food and equipment and sustain our expedition. After scrambling over a ridge we come across what legend says an old polo field. Passing through a rock gap we cross the Biafo glacier. The Biafo Glacier is a huge river of ice 63 km long which descends from the central peaks of the Karakoram and flows east into the Braldu valley at a point about 10 km east of Askole. After two and a half hour trek a long and uphill walk over a steep ridge along the Dumordo river. descend at Jula, (wire rope bridge supported by a wooden basket) cross it and camp beside a torrent facing the Bakhordas peak.
Activities: Trekking
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 6
JULA -- PAIU
Resume trek along the Braldu River to a green oasis under the shadows of Paiu Peak, the last grove of trees before the trail moves onto the glacier, 6611 M. Paiu - is a Balti dialect word that means "SALT". Since there are some rock salt deposits at the base of this peak, the locals believe that the snow on the summit of Paiu Peak is not snow but a huge deposit of salt which drips down to the base. From this camp we have the first views of the impressive Baltoro Glacier.
Activities: Trekking
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 7
PAIU – KHO-BURSE
Today we resume trek with a gradual climb up Baltoro Glacier on the southern edge. After about two hours the path divides at the snout of Baltoro glacier where the left branch goes to the base camp of Trango Tower and the Serpo Lgo pass. Continue to the right climbing up on to the glacier that stretches up the valley, 62 km long and 2 km wide. Further 2-3 hours steady climb on a long diagonal to the other side. Follow the southern edge to Liliwa and onward to Khuburse, a lovely walk for about 90 minutes to the campsite with clear water.
Activities: Trekking
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 8
KHO-BURSE - URDUKAS
Today morning we leave Kho-burse camp and walk mostly along the crest of lateral moraine towards Urdukas. This camp has superb views across the Baltoro Glacier to the Trango peaks, having view of Paiu Peak, Chorichi, Uli Biaho, Trango Tower and so on and is our last 'green grass' campsite.
Activities: Trekking
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 9
URDUKAS - GORO II
A long walk on the icy Baltoro Glacier, Traveling on the glacier all the time now, it is an all day walk over the boulder-strewn glacier to the campsite at Goro. Traverse the Yermanandu Glacier which flows down from Masherbrum & joins the Baltoro. Masherbrum is visible on the right side of the glacier, and Mustagh Tower on the left. Gasherbrum IV and Broad Peak can be seen directly ahead, as they catch the evening sunlight.
Activities: Trekking
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 10
GORO II - CONCORDIA
Trekking to the campsite at Concordia, we pass through some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in the world; a huge junction of Baltoro, Abruzzi & Godwin Austin Glaciers at 4000 meters. Within a short radius of 15 Kilometers, stand 41 peaks over 6500 meters including 04 peaks above 8000 M. The 360 view offers a panorama of peaks nowhere to be found on this planet.
Activities: Trekking
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 11
CONCORDIA - Free Day
There is plenty of time to admire the scenery and find the best vantage points from which to take photographs of the surrounding peaks. Concordia, the confluence of five glaciers, offers unprecedented views of the Karakoram peaks. Within a radius of nine miles rise 41 peaks above 21,000 feet, almost half of them still unnamed and unclimbed. Some team members may wish to make the return journey to K2 Base Camp in a single day (10 hrs round trip). Others may choose to explore base camps or just sit and watch K2 all day long and sip tea; or go to the other way towards the Gasherbrum peaks. The choice is yours! Overnight at Concordia in tents.
Activities: Trekking
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 12
CONCORDIA – ALI CAMP
After an early breakfast, we traverse the upper Baltoro Glacier and its crevasses. It is also possible to walk on the Vigne glacier which is fairly easy then walking on the stony path on the right side of the glacier but it depends on the snow condition. It's a comparatively easy and gradual walk over snow and ice, Looking back gives an unusual view of the great Karakoram peaks: K2, Broad Peak and the Gasherbrums. The trail continues to 'Ali Camp' situated on a rocky site overlooking the long ridge running from Masherbrum to Chogolisa.We turn in early, as we have a midnight wake-up call for the departure over the Gondogoro La.
Activities: Trekking
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 13
ALI CAMP -CROSS GONDOGORO PASS- KHUSPANG
Today our trek starts as early as 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning to cross the Gondogoro la to reach Khuspang. The basic theme behind the early walk to reach the top of the Gondogoro Pass 5700 meters is that in the morning snow will be soft and we will not get tired quickly as the sun is not strong, but as sun gets strong snow get soft, snow going to be melt and bring water and stones, also the chance of ice falls or avalanches.Today is one of the toughest and most challenging days of the trek, and although it is a long and tiring day, we are now well-acclimatized to the altitude. Our guides will fix ropes to safeguard this ascend and descend for both the porters and clients. Depending upon the snow and trail condition it may be necessary to rope up for the crossing of the glacier before getting to the base camp of pass. There are several sections with fixed ropes in place which can be used as a handrail. It is also best practice to clip a karabiner and sling onto the rope for safety.On the top to Gondogoro la you will find the most spectacular view on earth. From here you can see the K2, Broad Peak, G1, G2, Muztagh Tower and towards Hushe side you will find Laila peak, Ninchi peak and a lot more.

Important Note: Gondogoro La crossing is dependent on favorable weather and conditions on the trail to the pass. If it is not possible to safely ascend the pass the group will retrace steps back down the Baltoro glacier to Askole.

Activities: Trekking
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 14
KHUSPANG Rest Day
If bad weather hampers the crossing of pass on day13, this will give us another chance to cross the pass. Rest day or area excursion.
Activities: Rest Day
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 15
KHUSPANG - SAICHO
After an easy walk we will come onto the glacier. You pick your way across moving boulders and ice, finally crossing the glacier up to the camping site to reach Dalsangpa, meaning 'field of flowers', lives up to its name. It is a beautiful campsite at about 4,150 meters, set between two lakes, with Masherbrum Mountain and the white glacier cascading down from Masherbrum Pass reflected in the still water. Resume trek along the path, Keep yourself on the left side of the lateral moraine, crossing several side streams. The next hour is an unpleasant scramble along the stony, sliding glacier edge, with huge boulders poised above, ready to fall. Continue your trek along the path goes down hill to the summer settlement called Saicho, a large shepherds settlement with its own mosque, now here you can find a hotel and a shop. This is the traditional camp among the forest of juniper, cedar and willow trees with giant bushes of wild roses and a good water supply.
Activities: Trekking
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 16
SAICHO - HUSHE
Early morning walk towards Hushe river on an easy path. Upon arrival camp near the fields in Hushe, with the huge peak of Masherbrum dominating the view to the north. At an altitude of over 3000 metres, Hushe is the highest village in the area and is the first habitation we will see when we reach the Hushe Valley.
Activities: Trekking
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 17
HUSHE - SKARDU
A jeep journey along narrow mountain roads passing small farming settlements leads first to Khapulo and then to Skardu (6-7hrs).
Activities: jeep safari
Meals provided: Breakfast

Accommodation:

Mashabrum Hotel, PTDC, Baltistan Continental

Day: 18
SKARDU - RAWALPINDI OR CHILAS
Early in the morning fly to Islamabad,. With clear skies we will be able to board a plane and be back at our hotel in Islamabad in 45 minutes. If the weather is not so favorable and the flight doesn’t come, then we will have to drive the Karakoram Highway to Rawalpindi through the narrow gorge of the Indus River . The outcome is in the lap of the Gods, so we will be praying that they’re on our side! If we are able to fly down, for those who want to escape the heat of the city a very pleasant excursion is up to the former British hill station at Murree. The faded remnants of the town’s colonial past can be seen in its gable-roofed buildings and small Anglican churchyard. This excursion is not included in the trip price but if any member of the group wish to make this journey a private vehicle and driver can be hired locally for a very modest sum. Back in Rawalpindi we enjoy a final evening meal usually taken at one of traditional food streets either in Islamabad or in Rawalpindi.
Activities: jeep safari
Meals provided: Breakfast

Accommodation:

Chilas In Hotel in Chilas/ Regency Hotel or Green Palace Hotel

Day: 19
RAWALPINDI
Upon arrival transfer to your hotel in Rawalpindi. Evening sightseeing. If unable to fly on day 18th, this day will be use to transfer from Chilas to Islamabad by road.
Activities: Cultural exploration , Sightseeing, Hiking,Jeep Safari
Meals provided: Breakfast

Accommodation:

Pak Continental, Civic, Green Palace Hotel

Day: 20
RAWALPINDI - ONWARDS
De-briefing at Ministry of Tourism Islamabad. Private transfer to Islamabad International Airport for your departure flight
Activities:
Meals provided: Breakfast

Accommodation:

None
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