Concordia, K2 Base Camp, Gondogoro-La

About Concordia, K2 Base Camp, Gondogoro-La

Himalayan Holidays (Pvt) Ltd Islamabad Pakistan

Recipient of the World Responsible Tourism Award WTM London 2011

General Information

SEASON:                  June to September (Proposed dates: 25June – 15 September)

GRADE:                    Strenuous

ALTITUDE:               3000M to 5650M

No of Days:             22 days

No of Persons:    (TBC)

Per head cost:        Per person cost: TBC

This challenging trek gives great views of four 8,000m peaks and is thought by many to be one of the best high mountain treks in the world.

Some of the wildest and most dramatic landscapes on earth are found in the vast, rugged Karakoram Range situated in Northern Pakistan. Remote and spectacular, the icy peaks and vast glaciers of the Karakoram offer unparalleled opportunities for adventurous trekking. The 62km long Baltoro Glacier is Pakistan’s number one trekking destination. Seven of the world’s twenty-five highest peaks rise above this glacier, while the lower reaches are surrounded by some of the world’s highest granite walls and spires.

The Baltoro Glacier meets the Vigne and Godwin-Austen glaciers at the huge natural amphitheater of Concordia. This is one of the most spectacular mountain campsites in the world. The huge pyramid of K2 only 10km distant dominates the view and creates a breathtaking atmosphere.

The highest point reached on this trek is the 5,150 meter. This is a challenging and technical route, which links the high glacial basin of the upper Baltoro The view is one of the most overwhelming mountain panoramas in the world, with four of the Karakoram 8,000m peaks close at hand.

The trekking in the Karakoram calls for a spirit of adventure, strength, determination and a sense of humour. In return you will be rewarded with some of the most spectacular mountain sceneries in the world, along with the warm, generous welcome of the local people.

We take the spectacular flight to Skardu passing close to Nanga Parbat. This flight is often cancelled because of bad weather. In this case we will drive to Skardu by road along the Karakoram Highway (KKH). This is a two day journey requiring 24-28 hours driving and we will spend a night in either Besham or Chilas.

Skardu is the administrative capital of Baltistan and the base for expeditions visiting this region of the Karakoram. We have some time to explore the town and enjoy the hustle and bustle of the many travellers purchasing supplies and hiring porters. The journey to the mountains starts with an exciting jeep ride through the fields of Shigar before entering the rocky gorge of the Braldu Valley. The trekking route follows the Baltoro glacier to the heart of the Karakoram Range, passing the dramatic rock spires of the Trango and Cathedral groups. As we gain altitude the soaring peaks of snow and ice become visible and the trail passes close to the North face of Masherbrum (7,821m).

Three huge glaciers converge at Concordia where we spend a few days visiting the Base Camps of K2 and Broad Peak. From here we return back to Urdukas and Jula.

Climate and Terrain

The months of July and August are generally thought to be the best times for trekking in the Karakoram. The weather is usually quite settled. Sunshine and clear blue skies can be expected on 60-70% of days. The temperature during the day should be pleasant for walking at altitudes between 3,500 and 5,000m. Below 3,500m it can be quite hot during the day, while night temperatures above 4,500m can dip below 0°C. A few days of precipitation can be expected. At lower altitudes this will take the form of mist or rain. Higher up this will fall as snow. During the trek there is a variety of conditions underfoot. For several days we will be walking on good paths. Some days will involve crossing sections of glacial moraine and scree although there is usually an adequate path for much of the way. Most of the glacier walking will be on ‘dry’ sections of fairly level ground. This will usually be covered with stones although short sections of bare ice will be encountered. The large numbers of people using this route ensures that there is almost always a distinct path.


Day ONE : Islamabad- fly to Skardu-Shigar (2500M)
If the weather condition permits, we will take a 50-minute scenic flight from Islamabad to Skardu. Pick from airport and drive to Skardu Bazar for visit permit documentation and briefing at Ministry of Tourism, Skardu.   Afternoon drive to Shigar, sightseeing of Sarfarangha desert, Blind lake, Shigar Fort .Overnight stay at Serena Shigar fort residence. This flight is prone to cancellation often to due adverse weather conditions. In this case, we will make the long road journey up the Karakoram Highway (KKH).
Day TWO: Rest day in Skardu-Shigar(2500M) Day at leisure. In case flight does not operate on day 02 this day will be used to transfer the members by road from Chilas to Skardu. Total drive time from Islamabad to Skardu is 22-24 hours. Overnight at hotel.
Day THREE: Shigar (2230M)
Preparation / Documentation day.        
Day FOUR: Drive to Askole 7-8 hrs drive (3,040M)
An exciting jeep journey takes us through the fields of the Shigar Valley and the last two hours’ drive through Braldu Gorge. In few places, the road is intersected by some streams thus only off-road vehicles are considered for this journey. 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. At Askole porters are assembled to carry our luggage for the next section of the journey.      
Day FIVE: Trek to Jhola 6-7 hrs  (3,200M)  After considerable organization of equipment, supplies and porter loads for the journey ahead, we commence trekking towards Jhola. The walk from Askole to Jhola is on an easy gentle plain and can be done in 6 to 7 hours. Overnight in tents  
Day SIX : Trek to Paiju 7-8 hrs (3450M)
We leave Jhola early for Paiju follow the Braldu and the Biafo rivers to a river’s edge campsite. On the way we have to cross the Domurda River coming out of Choktoi and Panmah Glaciers. The walk can take 7-8 hours or more. The Masherbrum Group may be glimpsed to our right via the Xiangang Valley. The range is a vast array of peaks that extend almost the full length of the southern side of Baltoro. Walking conditions are hot and dry. Dinner and overnight stay in tents.
Day SEVEN: Paiju (3,450M) Rest Day. Meals and overnight stay in tents.
Day EIGHT: Trek from Paiju to Khoburtse 6-7 hrs (3930M)
Trek on Baltoro Glacier. It consist of 7 to 8 hours of walking. A tough day as we climb on the rocky moraines of the Baltoro, but the sight of the Baltoro pinnacles and Paiju Peak is astounding! An earlier alternative campsite is Liligo, but there is no water there. We will cross some gushing streams on the way. Dinner and overnight stay in tents.
Day NINE: Trek to Urdukas 4-5 hrs (4,200M)
A short walk, approximately 4 hours on the rocky moraines and ablation valley of the Baltoro. We will cross a couple of icy side glaciers on the way and may have our first sight of Broad Peak and the Gasherbrums. The historical campsite is located on a grassy slope high above the Baltoro and commands one of the most intense mountain views in this world. Dinner and overnight stay in tents.
Day TEN: Trek to Goro2, 6-7 hrs (4,300M)
Travelling on the glacier all the time now, it is an all-day walk over the boulder-strewn glacier to the campsite at Goro 2. Masherbrum is visible on the right side of the glacier, and Muztagh Tower on the left. Gasherbrum IV and Broad Peak can be seen directly ahead, as they catch the evening sunlight. It takes about 6-7hrs to get the Goro2. Dinner and overnight stay in tents.
Day ELEVEN: Trek to Concordia 4-5 hrs (4,650M)
Trekking to the campsite at Concordia, we pass through some of the most spectacular mountain sceneries in the world. The trail is surrounded on all sides by several of the world’s highest mountains: K-2, Broad Peak, Baltoro Kangri, Chogolisa and Gasherbrum IV (4-5hrs). Dinner and overnight stay in tents.
Day TWELVE: Trek to  Broad Peak BC 3-4 hrs  (4,900M) Trekking to the campsite at Broad Peak BC is about a 3hrs hike. Dinner and overnight stay at camp.
Day THIRTEEN: Trek to K-2 BC and Back to Concordia 6-7 hrs (5,150M) Full day trip from Broad Peak BC camp. The most exciting aspect of this is arriving at the strip which is the most popular camping area for nearly all the expeditions to K-2. Here, some of the top climbers of the world can be seen busy in preparations for the challenges ahead. We visit the Art Gilkey memorial of those who lost their lives on K2 and their names are mentioned on tin plates and placed on a small rock there as a tribute. After lunch, we move back to Concordia campsite from the same route.
Day FOURTEENConcordia Rest Day (4650M)  Rest day at Concordia (Rest and relax for the big day coming ahead). Dinner and overnight in tents.  
Day FIFTEEN: Concordia to Ali Camp 5-6 hrs (5010M) After breakfast at Concordia, we will go on a five-hour trek to Ali Camp, situated at approximately 5000m above the Vigne Glacier. The fluted and icy-white slopes of Chogolisa tower in front of us. During our early afternoon arrival at Ali Camp, the kitchen staff will be present to serve us and keep us hydrated. An early dinner is recommended and sleep for few hours before starting at 2 am. Dinner and overnight stay in tents.  
Day SIXTEEN:  Ali Camp to Khuspang via Gandogoro Pass 8-10hrs  (5650 M)   Gondogoro La requires basic technical experience and a good degree of fitness is essential for this trek as it has to be done with fixed ropes. We will begin the journey at 2 am while snow is still hard (easy to walk and climb with crampons) to cross the Gondogoro la.   An early start is a must. If delayed, the snow will be soft with sunshine and will require lot of energy to walk up on the rope with ice axe and Jumar in each hand. All the trekkers must have their gadgets and gear, ice axe, crampons, adjustable harness, descender, helmet and a Jumar as they are required for the ascent of Gondogoro la. A highly trained high-altitudemountaineerGL Rescue Team will meet us at Ali camp to accompany us to the top of the Gondogoro Pass and descend into Gandogoro valley on a fixed rope. On reaching the top, we will be met with arguably one of the best and most spectacular views of the K2, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum and other Karakoram giants. From the top of the Gandogoro pass, you will also see Laila Peak across the Karakoram Range and on the Hushe side. Descending the Gondogoro la is probably the toughest part, 3 pitch rappels are utilized at the angle of 40 to 45 degrees. The route usually varies from year to year, but the crevasses are moderate. The rope is fixed for two sections on the both. Dinner and overnight stay at Khuspang camp site.  
Day SEVENTEEN:  Khuspang to Dilzampa Lake 6-7 hrs (4150M) After an early breakfast, trek to Dilzampa. On the way, one can witness the wild flowers and magnificent views of Laila Peak with surrounding unclimbed small peaks with beautiful flowers on the way on arrival at Dilzampa camp. Overnight stay in camps.  
Day EIGHTEEN: Dilzampa to Shaisho 5-6 hrs  (3330M) After breakfast, descend to Shaisho which takes 5-6 hours. There are views up to the Charakusa Valley towards k-7.  The first settlement on the Hushe side. Dinner and overnight stay at camp.  
Day NINTEEN:  Siyacho to Hushe(3050M) 4-5 hrs trek  &  Khaplu  2-3 hrs Drive   (2600M) Today is our final day of trekking. 4-5 hours of easy descend bring us to the village of Hushe. Nestled in the Hushe Valley, is the gateway for many expeditions travelling to Masherbrum, the Charakusa and Nangma valleys. On arrival at Hushe, a 3-4 hours jeep ride will take us to Khaplu along the Shyok Rivers. Dinner and overnight stay at Serena Khaplu Palace.  
Day TWENTY: Khaplu (2600M) Day excursion to Khaplu. Spend the day exploring the historical and cultural beauty of Khaplu. Take a guided historical tour of the beautifully restored Khaplu Palace Residence. Visit a traditional village at Khaplu. You will witness the real life of the local people. .
Day TWENTYONE: Drive Khaplu to Skardu 2-3 hrs drive & fly Islamabad After early breakfast drive to Skardu along the Shyok and Indus Rivers. On arrival at Skardu de-briefing at Ministry of Tourism, Skardu. After de-briefing, transfer to airport for flight to Islamabad if the flight is operational. Otherwise drive (9 hours) to Chilas along the Karakorum Highway. Meals and overnight stay at hotel.  
Day TWENTYTWO: Islamabad (507M) Free day in Islamabad or drive to Islamabad from Chilas for 12 hours.  
Rest and Contingency Days
These are included in the program to allow for transport delays etc. If the conditions require, these extra days will be added to the trekking program.
GUIDES: Our experienced, qualified and licensed mountain trekking guides lead all our K2 Base Camp treks. We not only look to ensure that they have the relevant qualifications but also a good track record of mountaineering and trekking at high altitudes. Whilst qualifications and experience are essential requirements, we also make sure that our guides have the right temperament to lead a group comprised of individuals who have a range of previous experiences and expectations. To that end, we aim to provide a guide who will make the trek both successful and enjoyable throughout.
Experience Required K2 Base Camp: A few decades ago the route along the Baltoro Glacier to K2 Base camp was thought to be one of the most difficult treks in the world. It is still described so in some of the recent trekking books. However, the reality is somewhat different. The infrastructure of Northern Pakistan has improved greatly in recent years: existing roads have been widened and improved, the road network has expanded further into previously remote valleys and new bridges have replaced old ones. Similarly, the path up the Baltoro Glacier has been improved in several places, removing some of the previously hazardous sections and reducing journey times. Despite this, trekking in the Karakoram remains a more challenging experience than trekking in the popular regions of Nepal. Trekking in the Karakoram takes place in the high mountain beyond the last human settlements. Vegetation is sparse, the terrain rugged and the trails are often rocky and difficult underfoot. This is more than compensated for by the spectacular scenery, but the walking can rarely be described as ‘easy’. This trek is suitable for people with a good standard of fitness who enjoy regular hill walking or other aerobic exercise. Experience of trekking at altitudes over 4,000m is strongly recommended. The daily program usually requires 5-7 hours walking and is designed to allow gradual acclimatization to the increasing altitude. While few individual days can be described as ‘difficult’, the cumulative effects of trekking at high altitudes through a harsh mountain environment for many days should not be underestimated. Many people who have never traveled outside Europe join this type of trek and have a great time. However, people with more experience of high altitude environments, multi-day treks, hot climates, third world travel, multi-day camping trips, will be better equipped for the challenges of this trek.
Porter Protection Any trek or expedition to the Karakorum’s relies on the hard work of local porters. It is their carrying of our supplies and baggage that make a journey into the mountains possible. Himalayan Holidays is therefore careful to ensure that they are well treated and not exploited.  
1. Hotels and Hotel Meals: Hotels with bed and breakfast only.
2. During trekking hot meals, the course of meals changes on daily basis to give more variety. 3. Meals Menu
Coffee, Milk, Tea, Hot water, Paratha / Chapatti, eggs – Cornflakes, Porridge ,Honey, Jam, Marmalade, Butter, Peanut butter , Ovaltine
LUNCH:  Pack lunch (Paratha, Chapatti, Cheese, Mix biscuits, Baked potatoes, Eggs, Energize, Tang, Chocolate, Juices, Drinks, and Tea/Green tea etc.
DINNER: Starting with different kinds of soup , varied options of food such as rice, pasta / spaghetti, Noodles, Corned beef, Sausages, Baked bean, Peas, Meat  (chicken or goat), different kinds of lentils (Daal), Mixed vegetables, Chapatti, Dessert (Custard / Jelly), Sweet corn, Fruit, Cocktail, Pudding and Green tea and Coffee  
4. Transport by air:   All passengers with 20 kg baggage from Islamabad to Skardu to Islamabad. If the flight cancelled transport from Islamabad to Chilas / Skardu for all Trekkers and their cargo and at the time of return transport from Skardu to Islamabad for all Trekkers and their cargo either by air or by road. A fully booked van will be provided From/To Islamabad.  
5. Porters:  Porters rest days, wages, meat money, equipment, bridge fee and insurance. Porters Sardar For each trekker 2 Porter (each porter carry 25kg) personnel 20 kg per person is allowed.  
6. Insurance: Insurance for guide, cook and porters.  
7. Camping equipment and Food:  Complete kitchen equipment for member’s camp tents, mess tent, kitchen tent, camping fee, tarpaulins for porter’s shelter, drums to carry food, mattress and member’s food and separate food plan during the trekking.
8. Staff:  English speaking Guide, Cook, Kitchen helper boy (their wages, food, and equipment).
9. Trekking Fee:  Trekking fee, CKNP fee, Bridge Fee, Camping Fee, and Road Fee.  
10. Miscellaneous Services:  Airport transfers on arrival and at the time of return.  
ITEMS NOT INCLUDED: Travel insurance, international airfare and airport departure taxes or excess baggage charges more than 20kg per person, transport or items not mentioned in itinerary or Terms and Conditions, special diet, drinks, medication, laundry, telephone calls, personnel gear more than 20 kg, clothing, services above base camp, and all other things which are not mentioned in our terms or included in our program.  
Delays: If the trip has to be delayed due to canceled or delayed flights, sickness, accidents, bad weather, road washouts, Govt. restrictions, the resulting extra cost for such delays will be charged separately.
Northern Area Flight; since:  All flights to Northern Areas Skardu are subject to clear weather and clearance of backlog, Himalayan Holidays does not guarantee confirmation on all such flights. If the seats are not confirmed or the flights are canceled, the group will be transferred by road with air-conditioned van or car without any additional charges.  
3. Reservations and Advance Payment: All provisional reservation must reach us in writing at well in advance before your arrival in Pakistan with 500 US dollars per person deposits are necessary for making any provisional reservations.
For provisional reservation we need your
All provisional reservations are subject to confirmation on deposit of US Dollars 500/= advance payment into our account before arrival of the group/client in Pakistan. The balance amount must be paid on arrival in Pakistan OR two weeks before departure from your homeland, a bank transfer receipt is necessary for such arrangement.  

4. Cancellations: All cancellations must be notified in writing to Himalayan Holidays. Cancellation charges will be levied as follows:- Whenever canceled, the bank charges for both sides from the advance will be paid by the clients.If canceled any time after the confirmation of the trip, or after deposit of advance due to any reason whatsoever, no refund will be given on any unutilized services other than hotels, meals and air tickets which are subject to cancellation charges accordingly.If the trekking expedition is cancelled, government rules will be applied for the refund of the Trekking Fee.

For advance payment bank account details:  
Ø  Account Title Name                            Himalayan Holidays Pvt(Ltd)
Ø   Account number                                 0100229464
Ø   Bank Name                                           Meezan Bank Limited
Ø  Bank Address                                       Unit 14 ,Block no.12-B  Jinnah Super Market, F-7 markaz  Islamabad Pakistan
Ø  Phone no                                                92-51-2655001-04
Ø  Postal Code                                            44000
Ø  IBAN number                                         PK85MEZN0003030100229464
Ø  SWIFT Code                                            MEZNPKKA
Ø  Branch Code                                          0303           
Najeeb Ahmed Khan

Himalayan Holidays (Pvt) Ltd
04 Hassan Plaza Sector G-7/1 Zero Point

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