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Karakoram Grand Base Camps


hatp Description

The opening of the 5650m high Gondogoro LA adds a new dimension to the magnificent K2 Trek, making it possible to return via beautiful Hushe valley. Given a little luck with weather the view from this pass is just incomparable, anywhere in the world. From no other place on earth can one see such incredible views of K2 (8616m) the second highest peak in the world, and world's most beautiful high pyramid, Broad Peak (8048m), Gashabrum I to 6, Golden Throne (7240m), Chogolisa (7665m, and the entire upper Baltoro Massif. This trek requires a good degree of physical fitness, as the variable weather conditions make the crossing of pass quite challenging, but more rewarding too. Starting from Askole group can reach up to Concordia  and Cross Gondogoro La or return the same route in case of extreme snow conditions and unkind weather situations.

Highlights

  1. A spectacular trek up the Baltoro glacier, K2 BC, Trango Tower BC, Gashabrum I & II BC and over the challenging Ghondogoro la pass and down the beautiful Hushe valley.
  2.  Views of K2, Broad Peak, Mashabrum, GI & II, Trango Towers and Laila peak among many others!
  3. Guided by highly experienced professionals with the help of the best supporting staff available in Baltistan, having undergone on the job training over many seasons with us. They are highly experienced at catering to the needs of our members, and do a tremendous amount to contribute to the overall success and satisfaction of our groups.
  4. Dream trip can be.......Itinerary can be customized... Leaves any day you desire. Shorten or lengthen trip, if you like. Swap hotels and activities, to meet your exact needs.
  5. Lowest Price and best value of money --Save 40-50 % vs. comparable tours of this same quality.
  6. Group Discounts Available

Karakoram Grand Base CampKarakoram Grand Base CampKarakoram Grand Base Camp Trek


hatp Itinerary 24 Days

Day 01

ARRIVAL ISLAMABAD:

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 will 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 will then stop at the 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.

Day 02

 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 rocks carving 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 drive through the Indus Gorge is guaranteed to knock your socks off! 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.

Flight: 45 Minutes’ Drive: 10-12 hrs.

Day 03

 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.

Drive: 10-12 hrs.

Day 04

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 road 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.


Distance: 135 Km Drive: 07-08 hrs. Altitude: 3050 M
Day 05

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 treks 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. Walk: 06-07 hrs., Grade: Moderate, Altitude: 3150 M

Day 06

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. Walk: 05-06 hrs, Grade: Moderate, Altitude: 3480 M

Day 07

PAIU – TRANGO TOWER BASE CAMP:

Today we left Baltoro glacier and turns left on Trango glacier and trek up to base camp below Uli Biaho and Trango Towers. Quite a place with huge granite rock towers reaching thousands of feet high, dropping down to the churning moraine of the Dunge and Trango glaciers. The route is mixed snow/ice climbing at a relatively moderate grade. You can see Trango Tower from both side i.e Dunge glacier and Trango glacier. You can watch Trango Tower's Donge glacier face also from Urdukas camp site.

Walk: 04-05 hrs, Grade: Moderate, Altitude: 4200 M 

Day 08

 TRANGO TOWER BASE CAMP - URDUKAS:

Today morning we left Trango Base camp and start trekking towards Urdukas. This camp has superb views across the Baltoro Glacier to the Trango peaks, and is our last 'green grass' campsite. To reach Urdukas we have to cross again Baltoro glacier.

Walk: 05-06 hrs., Grade: Moderate, Altitude: 4130 M

Day 09

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. Walk: 06-07 hrs, Grade : Strenuous, Altitude : 4500 M

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 Earth.
Walk: 04-05 hrs, Grade: strenuous, Altitude: 4720 M.

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. . From here, Gasherbrum IV, K-2, Broad peak, Mitre, Crystal peak, Marble Peak and Baltoro Kangri are visible.
Walk: 05-10 hrs, Grade: strenuous, Altitude: 5000 M.
Day 12
CONCORDIA –  K 2 BASE CAMP:

Hike over snow , rock and ice. As we start hiking from Concordia, we cross the crevasses of the Baltoro Glacier, then walk on the Medial moraine of the Godwin-Austin Glacier to Broad Peak base camp. When we look back towards Concordia,  we can see the zebra -striped Glaciers sweeping around
the corner and disappearing into the Baltoro Glacier.
Walk: 05-06 hrs, Strenuous, Altitude: 5700 M
Day 13
K-2 BASE CAMP  - CONCORDIA:

Today you are fee to explore K2 base camp and having a little climbing towards Abruzzi ridge and return back to K-2 base camp.

Start late noon trek and return back to Concordia. Overnight at Concordia.

Walk: 05-06 hrs, Grade: Strenuous, Altitude: 5000 M
Day 14
CONCORDIA - SHAGHRING:

From Concordia it is another two hour hike to our campsite on the glacier moraine.

Today we walk on upper Baltoro glacier and to reach Shaghring. From here you can see Baltoro Kangri, Chogolisa and Snow dome peaks and lot of other peaks.
Walk: 04-05 hrs, Grade: moderate, Altitude: 5000 M
Day 15
SHAGHRING – GASHERBRUM  I & II  BASE CAMP:

Today we arrive at G-II base camp and establish our camp. We will have the opportunity to explore our beautiful and pristine alpine surroundings and relax with the climbing team as they prepare to move up the mountain. We then wish the climbers good luck and farewell and set out for our return
trek back to civilization.
Walk: 03-04 hrs, Grade: moderate, Altitude: 5100 M
Day 16
G.B. BASE CAMP  -  ALI CAMP:

After an early breakfast leave the GashaBrum Base camp and we will cross several side glacier to reach our right path.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. 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.

Walk: 06-07 hrs, Grade: moderate, Altitude: 4800 M
Day 17
ALI CAMP -CROSS GHONDOGORO PASS- KHUSPANG:

Today our trek start as early as 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning to cross the Ghondogoro la to reach Khuspang. The basic theme behind the early walk to reach the top of the Ghondogoro 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 gest 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 ascent and descent for both the porters and clients. On the top to Ghondogoro la you will find the most spectacular  view on earth. From here you can see the K2, Broad peak, G1, G2, Muztagh Tower and from Hushe side you will find Laila peak, Ninchi peak  and a lot of more.
Walk: 07-08 hrs, Grade: Strenuous, Altitude: 5650 M
Day 18 KHUSPANG  Rest Day:

Rest day for area excursion.
Day 19
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.
Walk: 07-08 hrs, Grade: Strenuous, Altitude: 3450 M
Day 20
SAICHO - HUSHE;
Early morning start 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.
Walk: 04 -05 hrs, Grade: Moderate, Altitude: 3450 M
Day 21 HUSHE – SKARDU:

A jeep journey along narrow mountain roads passing small farming settlements leads first to Khapolu and then to Skardu (6-7hrs).

Upon arrival transfer to hotel.

Drive: 07-08 hrs.
Day 22
SKARDU - ISLAMABAD / 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 several members 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.
Day 23
ISLAMABAD / 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 Skardu to Islamabad by road.
Day 24 ISLAMABAD / RAWALPINDI   - ONWARDS:

De-briefing at Ministry of Tourism Islamabad. Private transfer to Islamabad International Airport for your departure flight.



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