This is one of the greatest treks in the world, unbeatable in terms of close-up mountain views and proximity to many of the world’s highest peaks. However this is a tough but rewarding trek, with many days being spent on the rugged, tumbled glacier as you head up to ‘Concordia’ where the Baltoro and the Godwin-Austen glaciers converge in a beauty and simplicity of ice and rock. Many trekking operators only include a trek up to BC on a day return but Adventure Peaks takes you on up past Broad Peak to K2 Base Camp where we spend a night, allowing you time to absorb the unique atmosphere and environment surrounding this unforgettable mountain. Conditions permitting, we return via the spectacular Gondogoro La (5600m), a dramatic high col that affords further stunning views of not only the Gasherbrum peaks but also Broad Peak, K2 and the Muztagh Tower. The return to civilisation is down the Hushe valley, passing the extremely photogenic and arrow-like Leila Peak.
This is a trek that requires physical and mental fitness but boy, it is worth it!
Previous experience in using ice axe and crampons is a pre-requisite for all clients wishing to cross the Gondogoro La.
PLEASE REFER TO ‘WHAT’S EXCLUDED’ SECTION TO SEE INFORMATION ABOUT EXTRA COSTS THAT WERE APPLICABLE IN 2018 AND ARE STILL LIKELY TO BE IMPOSED IN 2019. THESE COSTS ARE IMPOSED BEYOND OUR CONTROL.
TRAVEL BETWEEN ISLAMABAD AND SKARDU WILL BE BY AIR AND NOT BY ROAD, EVEN IF THIS CAUSES DELAYS IN OUR ITINERARY
Read a detailed client report about this Trek
Days 1/3 Depart UK, arriving Islamabad the next day and transfer to the hotel for a few hours’ sleep. After an early breakfast we return to the airport for the flight to Skardu, which usually departs mid-morning. Given good weather this is perhaps the most spectacular commercial flight in the world, with magnificent views of Nanga Parbat the ninth highest mountain in the world. The flight however will not operate in poor weather, and you must be prepared for a wait in Islamabad if the flight is cancelled.
Day 4/5 After a free day in Skardu,we travel by Jeep to Askole, the last village between us and K2, This journey takes about 7 hours and is on very rough narrow tracks often blocked / damaged by landslides.
Day 6 We set off early to avoid the heat of the day. We follow the Braldu river valley through green pastures and after crossing the Biafo River we skirt around the base of the terminal moraines of the Glacier for lunch at Korophon. Beyond here a new path has been cut through the cliffs making the walk to camp straightforward. 7 to 8 hours walking.
Days 7/8 We continue up the Braldo River, sometimes close to the raging water, sometimes taking a higher path used by pack animals. If the weather is clear we get our first glimpse of Broad Peak today. Despite the stories in old guide books and journals, much has been done in recent years to remove rubbish and human waste to leave an much cleaner environment with well managed camps.7 to 8 hours walking.
An important resting day follows when the porters will prepare their food for the trek ahead. We will make a side excursion to gain some altitude from where we can get superb views up the Baltoro Glacier.
Day 9 After one hour we climb up onto the rocky moraines of the Baltoro Glacier. From here on the glacier will be our highway – sometimes icy, sometimes moraine covered, with lots of ups and downs as we cross moraine ridges. The sight of PaiyuPeak and the Trango Towers are truly astounding. 6 to 7 hours walking.
Day 10 Today we should get our first distant sight of Broad Peak and the Gasherbrums. A shorter day of walking up the glacier to the campsite which is located on a grassy slope high above the Baltoro and commands one of the most dramatic mountain views in the world, dominated by ‘Nameless Tower’. 4 hours walking.
Day 11 We continue gently upwards, passing the Yermanandu glacier which flows down from Masherbrum (7821m), while the Muztagh Tower pierces the sky on the north side. At the head of the glacier Gasherbrum 4 looms large. Tonight we camp on the glacier. 7 to 8 hours walking.
Day 12/13 A shorter day takes us on up to ‘Concordia’, where we spend 2 nights with a day’s rest to aid acclimatisation. Here we are at the junction of the Baltoro, the Goodwin Austen and the Broad Peak glaciers. Within sight to the north and east are four of the world’s 8000m peaks, and a further 37 peaks in excess of 6500m! Where else in the world would a mountain lover dream to be? 5 to 6 hours walking.
Day 14 We continue up to the K2 base camp, passing Broad Peak camp on the way. 5 to 6 hours walking.
Day 15 We spend the morning at K2 base camp before returning to Concordia where we will have time to sort out and practice with the gear that we may need to cross the Gondogoro La in a couple of days’ time. 3 to 4 hours walking.
Day 16 Heading south we cross several moraine ridges on the Baltoro glacier before turning up the Vigne glacier which is flatter and less crevassed. Early to bed for an early start tomorrow. 6 to 7 hours walking.
Days 17/18 Starting in the early hours to minimise the risk of stone fall as we descend from the Gondogoro La later. The ascent is normally all on snow, and we may need to rope up to cross the glacier to the base of the pass. On the steeper sections ropes are in place to use as a handrail and for safety. From the top the ‘big four’ are clear to the northeast, and to the south we look down the Hushe valley dominated by the arrow-like Leila peak. The descent is initially a 45o snow slope, with the angle easing and the snow changing to scree as we descend. Our exact campsite for the night will be determined by our pace and whether or not we have been delayed. 10 to 12 hours walking.
Days 19/20 We continue on down the Gondogoro glacier, passing a camp at Dalsan and once off the glacier pleasant trekking through yak pastures and passing trees (the first we have seen since Paiju) take us to the village of Shaisho and on to the road head at Hushe. 7 to 9 hours walking total.(Note: days 18 to 20 will be condensed into two days if needed, giving us an extra day to cross the Gondogoro pass in case of bad weather).
Days 21/23 A 7-hour jeep drive back to Skardu, followed by flight or 2-day drive via the Barbusar Pass to Islamabad. Free day in Islamabad if flying.
Days 24/25 Depart Islamabad, arriving home the following day.
It is vitally important that you have adequate travel insurance for your trip with Adventure Peaks. We recognise the complexity and variety of choice in the insurance market and know that many of you either have your own preferred insurer or have annual multi trip cover in place already. If this is the case, please ensure that your insurer is aware of your Adventure Peaks itinerary and can agree to cover the activities being undertaken.
Adventure Peaks do not provide any advice on travel insurance, although it is a requirement of our booking conditions that you have travel insurance which covers the activities which you are likely to be undertaking on your holiday. Cover must include emergency medical, helicopter evacuation, repatriation and rescue expenses.
It is strongly recommended that suitable cancellation insurance is purchased at the time of booking as all deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable.
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