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Treks / The Great Karakoram Traverse

tgkt Description

A combination of our established Gondogoro La, K2 and Snow Lake treks, this 5-week expedition must rank as the ultimate Karakoram challenge which starts from the south-east at Hushe and ends in Nagar/Hunza to the north-west. Starting out from the Hushe Valley, we cross the Gondogoro pass (5585 M) into Concordia, where we allow time to visit K2 Base camp before set ting off down the Baltoro Glacier to the snout of the Biafo Glacier. From where we follow the excellent Snow Lake route over the Hispar La (5151 M) into Nagar/Hunza. This is a sustained and strenuous high level adventure in a remote location, with more of the feeling and logistics of an expedition than a trek. The trek is tough though but the reward is greater. 


Karakoram Great TranverseKarakoram Great Tranverse TrekThe Karakoram Great Tranverse

tgkt Itinerary

Day 01
Upon arrival met and transfer to your hotel in Rawalpindi. After a short rest drive to Islamabad for trek briefing at Ministry of Tourism and obtain trekking permit. Overnight hotel.
Day 02
Fly to Skardu, If unable to fly, same day we will drive to Skardu, spending a night in Chilas.
Day 03
Emergency day in case, flight does not operate on day 02 this day will be use to transfer the members by road from Chilas to Skardu. Total drive time from Islamabad to Skardu is 22-24 hours. Overnight hotel.
Day 04
Free day for rest, shopping or sightseeing. while staff will make final arrangement for the trek. Overnight at your choosen hotel. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included.
Day 05

Embark jeeps for a full day ride on a winding jeep trail to Hushey - The last inhabitance on our way to the Great Glaciers. Overnight in tents. All meals served by camp staff.

Note :-The road to Hushey also comes under rapid erosion and gets closed quite oftenly. If unable to jeep, the group will disembark & walk to Hushey on the same day or camp for overnight (subject to distance). Distance 140 Km, Drive 07-08 Hrs. Altitude  M.

Day 06
Today we leave the last inhabited village. For the remaining portion of our journey we rely on our porters who carry our food and equipments and sustain our expedition. Follow the east bank of the Hushey River along on a flat, easy path through fields of barley and peas, then turn east to follow the Charaksa River through scrubland and sparse willow woods to Odongstan, which is two hours from Hushey. This is a shepherds summer camp. A further hour takes you past the junction of the Gondogoro and Charaksa rivers, across a good wooden bridge to Shaitcho a large shepherds settlement with its won mosque, now here you can find a hotel and mountaineering equipment shop. This is the traditional first camp, where we will spent our first night among the forest of juniper, cedar and willow trees with giant bushes of wild roses and a good water supply. Overnight in tents All meals served by camp staff. 
Walk : 03 - 04 hrs, Grade : Easy, Altitude :  M
Day 07
The path follows the highest ridge of the lateral moraine through roses, gooseberries, cedar and tamarisk bushes, with views left leading down across the glacier and back to sheer rock walls and jagged crags. The trek is dusty and stony a steady, but not too steep. We will pass to the main summer settlement. Walk : 04-06  hrs, Grade : Easy, Altitude :  M
Day 08
Resume trek along the path continues towards north, outside of the lateral moraine, crossing several side streams. The trekking path turns down the lateral moraine to the edge of the glacier, 300 to 400 metres beyond the last stream. The next hour is an unpleasant scramble along the stony, sliding glacier edge, with huge boulders poised above, ready to fall. The ordeal ends with a steep climp up a gully in the lateral moraine, into a grassy field filled with flowers and wild rhubarb. Dalsangpa, meaning 'field of flowers', lives up to its name. It is a beautiful campsite at about 4,150 metres, set between two lakes, with Masherbrum Mountain and the white glacier cascading down from Masherbrum Pass reflected in the still water.  . 
The path follows the ridge of the lateral moraine for a short while before dropping onto the glacier. You pick your way across moving boulders and ice, finally crossing the glacier to reach Khuspang/Gondogoro Base Camp, a grassy field at about 4600 metres.  Overnight in tents. All meals served by camp staff.
Day 09
Rest day for the members to explore the valley and walk around. Staff will distribute the ration among the porters and will preparation themself for next hard days.  Overnight in tents. All meals included. Walk : 05-06 hrs, Grade : moderate, Altitude : 4600 M
Day 10

A very early start as early as 2 or 3 Oclock in the morning to cross the Gondogoro la to reach Ali camp. The basic theme behind the early walk to reach the top of the Gondogoro Pass 5700 metres is that in the morning snow will be soft and you will not get tired quickly as the sun is not strong, but as sun get strong snow get soft, snow going to be melt and bring water and stones,  also the chance of ice falls or averlanches. Overnight in tents. All meals served by camp staff. 
Walk : 10 - 11 hrs,  Grade : Strenous,  Altitude : 5700 M

Note: During the climb of Gondogoro pass, we will hire local porters who camp their during all the summer season to provide assistance to trekker, mountaineers and porters to cross the Gondogoro La without  any major difficulty.

Day 11
Walk on the left side of Vigne glacier, it is also possible to walk on the Vigne glacier which is fairly easy then walking on the stony bath but it depend on the snow condition. Concordia - a huge junction of Baltoro, Abruzzi & Godwin Austin Glaciers at 4720 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 no where to be found on this Earth. Overnight in tents. All meals served by camp staff. Walk : 06-07 hrs, Grade : Moderate,  Altitude : 4500 M.
Day 12
After an early breakfast, resume a moderate walk on the Godwin Austin Glacier to K2 Base Camp 4 hours up and 2 hours down. Overnight in tents. All meals served by camp staff. Walk : 05 - 06 hrs,  Grade : moderate,  Altitude : 4500 M.
Day 13 - 17
Begin outbound trek to Askole via Concordia, Goro, Urdukas, Khuburse, Paiju, & Korophone. End of Trek # 1. Overnight in tents. All meals served by camp staff.
Day 18
Normal route to Baltoro glacier start?s from Askole village and it takes about 4-6 hours to reach Askole from here. We will turn west onto the Biafo Glacier - a huge river of ice 63 Km long which descends from the central peaks of the Karakoram & flows East into the Braldu Valley at a point about 10 Kms east of Askole. The glacier is dominated on either side by magnificent granite peaks. A short ascent over the left moraine to descend onto a camping site called Namla. Overnight & all meals in camp. 
Walk : 03 - 04 Hrs, Grade : Easy, Altitude : 3374 M,
Day 19
A short & moderate trek on the glacier to Mango. Overnight & all meals in camp. 
Walk : 03- 04 Hrs, Grade : Moderate, Altitude : 3235 - 3639 M.
Day 20
A comparatively longer walk on somewhat difficult trail. Overnight near the junction of Biafo-Baintha Glaciers. Overnight & all meals in camp. 
Walk : 05-06 hrs, Grade : Strenuous, Altitude : 4428 M.
Day 21
Trek on the crevassed Biafo to the Simgang-Biafo Junction. A hard & long day rewarded with breathtaking views of dozens of nameless peaks from 5060 m to Sosbun Brakk 6413 m. Overnight & all meals in camp. Walk : 06-07 Hrs, Grade : Strenuous, Altitude : 4472 M.
Day 23
Depending on the physical ability & interests of the group we have allowed one day for exploration & minor climbs around the Snow lake. Meanwhile our porters will ferry the excess equipment & food across the Hispar Pass. Overnight & all meals in camp.
Day 24
Today we begin our outbound trek. A moderate descend to the Hispar Base Camp. 
Overnight & all meals in camp. Walk : 4-5 Hrs, Grade : Strenuous, Altitude : 4875 M.
Day 25
An early rise to undertake an "Alpine Ramble" across the Hispar Pass 5151 M. Members must posses the basics & some experience of using ice axe, crampons & self arresting techniques. Good physique is mandatory. Descend to the base of the pass for overnight. All meals in camp. Climb : 07 - 08 hrs, Grade : Alpine, Altitude : 5151 to 4880 M.
Day 26
Trekking under the shadows of Tah Rutum & Balchish Groups 5952 M to 6651 M, we descend the crevassed Hispar to Khani Basha Glacier and camp for the night. All meals in camp. Walk : 03-04 Hrs, Grade : Moderate, Altitude : 4650 M.
Day 27
Walk to the base of Hargtum Peak and camp near Shirin Chush opposite to the Pumari Chush Glacier. Overnight in tents. All meals included. 
Walk : 03-04 Hrs, Grade : Moderate, Altitude : Approx 4575 M,
Day 28
Traversing the Pumari Chush Glacier we camp at Turman. All meals in camp. 
Walk : 03-04 Hrs, Grade : Moderate, Altitude : 3860 M.
Day 29
Trek to the newly made jeep trail of the Hispar village. This spectacular village is the last village of the Nagar. Inhabited by the colorful & peaceful followers of Prince Karim Agha Khan, this spectacular valley domains blossoming fruit orchards & multi terraced fields irrigated by the rich mineral laden waters of the Hispar, Trivor, Barpu, Bualtar & the Silkiang Glaciers. Walk : 05-06 Hrs, Grade : Moderate, Altitude : 2300 M.
Day 30

Frequent halts at many small hamlets of Nagar on our way to Karimabad - the capital of Hunza famous around the world for its fruit orchards & longevity of its people.

Hunza's 35000 inhabitants have been ruled by the same family since the 11th century. A legend relates that the Hunzakuts, (as the people of Hunza are known) are the descendants of the 05 lost soldiers of the Alexander's Army. Brushuski, an aboriginal language is spoken in the central Hunza & Wakhi, related to Chinese Turkistan is spoken in the upper Gojal. Hunzakuts lived off the fruits of caravan- raiding, slave trading & attacking their neighbors. The kingdom retained isolated independence until the British took over in 1891 and became part of Pakistan in 1974. The society is co-operative rather than competitive. Each family grows enough food for its own use. As the Hunzakuts lived aloof from the outer world, each citizen was self sufficient in making his own shoes, clothes & bowls, until, the Karakoram Highway linked them with the world. The people are cheerful & friendly. Almost the entire population belongs to the Ismaili Shias sect headed by the Prince Kareem Agha Khan. The women wear bright clothes, long shirts over baggy trousers and little embroided pillbox hats over which they drape their shawls. Hunza's extreme isolation thus imposed by the unbelievably steep gorges of the Karakoram, rise to a long standing, wholly indigenous & pure diet consisting almost entirely of apricots, wheat and "Hunza Water", a locally brewed wine, & hence the long living inhabitants. On arrival transfer to Hotel in Karimabad. PM : Rest & leisure Breakfast in camp, Lunch, Dinner & Overnight at your Hotel in Karimabad. Distance : 48 Kms, Drive : 2 Hrs. Altitude : 2440 M.

Day 31
Sightseeing Excursion of Karimabad & Aliabad towns on Jeep visiting several hamlets, streets & bazaars. We will taste delicious apricots & discover the secrets of the longevity of the people. At noon return to your Hotel for Lunch. 
PM : Proceed for a sightseeing excursion of the 400 years old forts of Altit & Baltit. Below the Ultar Glacier, this 400 year old sentinel is said to be made by a princess who married to a reigning MIR & brought with her from Baltistan, a few masons, carpenters & craftsmen to build Baltit Fort as part of her Dowry. It stands on a cliff edge; behind the fort is the deep ravine of the Ultar stream. Its a curious rambling old palace with 53 rooms scattered on three stories. It contains guest rooms, prisons, storerooms, kitchens & dowager Queen's Apartments. The museum room has a collection of weapons & drums. Altit Fort is even more impressive than Baltit & is perhaps 100 years older than Baltit.  Perched on a sheer rocky cliff of 1000 ft, it overlooks the Hunza River & renders a picturesque view of the entire valley. Evening return to Hotel. All meals at the Hotel.
Day 32
Drive to Gilgit. Transfer to Hotel. 
Gilgit is the Capital of Northern Pakistan is a thriving frontier town that has expanded rapidly to include over 40,000 inhabitants since the Karakoram Highway was opened in 1978. It sits in a wide irrigated bowl 1500 meters above sea level at the Eastern end of the Gilgit Valley. The quaint little town of Gilgit has a cluster of interesting places in it short radius, including a beautiful rock carving of Buddha, a victory monument of Taj Mughal, built 700 years ago and the longest suspension bridge in Asia ( 600 ft long ) The favorite sport in Gilgit is Polo, which the locals claim originated here. It is a more rugged style than the sedate variety known in the plains. The polo tournament held in the 1st two weeks of November is a festive occasion and attracts a large number of spectators.

Proceed for sightseeing excursion of Gilgit. 
The Kargah Nulla is famous for its huge rock carving. This sculpture was carved in seventh century. A monastery, 03 stupas and Gilgit manuscripts were also found in the vicinity between 1931-39. They are now housed in London, Delhi, Rome and Karachi. The interesting legend behind this sculpture narrates - the villagers asked a passing saint to help them get rid of a man- eater ogress called Yakhshini who lived at Kargah. The saint succeeded in pinning her to the rock and declared she won,t bother them for as long as he was alive, however, if they buried him at the foot of the rock, she would never be free. So the villagers killed the saint and buried him below the rock. The Yakhshini is still slave and villagers are now safe.

The Gilgit bazaar is famous for its handicrafts such as woolen gowns known as chughas, waist coats, shoes, musical instruments, silver jewelry, caps, woolen rugs and embroideries. The Gilgit town has also become a major dry port for trade between Pakistan and China through Khunjerab Pass. Due to this dramatic reform one can easily purchase China wares, paintings, silk clothes, glass and various other Chinese products of excellent quality.

Later, proceed to Chinar Bagh, where trees as much as 300 years old haughtily overlook the Gilgit river. This beautiful park is adorned with a bronze ibex mounted on a tall marble pillar. The monument was built to pay tribute to the local soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the liberation of their motherland. 
On our way back to hotel, we will drive across the Asia's longest suspension bridge (600 ft long 6 ft wide). Overnight at Hotel. All meals included. 
Distance : 120 Kms, Drive : 03 Hrs, Altitude 1500 M

Day 33
Drive to Islamabad for about 16 hours from Gilgit. Transfer to Hotel.
Day 34
Debriefing at Ministry of Tourism. PM, Transfer to airport to embark departing for YOUR DESTINATION at hrs.

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