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Trip Name: Grand Karakoram Traverse
     

Combine two of the world's greatest treks, both offering incredible scenery and highlighting the unique physical and cultural diversity of this incredible country. This trek covers Ghondogoro La, Concordia, K2 base camp, Baltoro Glacier, Biafo and Hispar Glaciers .It is by far one of the most rewarding glacial traverses in the Karakoram. Encounter friendly locals and stop to absorb the beauty of all that surrounds you in this once in a lifetime journey. This unique and little-traveled itinerary

Price: US$ 0
 Days: 34 Days
Destinations: Islamabad,Skardu,Shigar,Braldo valley,Baltoro Glacier,Concordia,K2,Broad Peak,Gondogoro La,Khapulo,Biafo Glacier,Hispar La,Snow Lake,Hunza,Gilgit,Rakaposhi,Karakoram Highway,Baltistan
 Activities: Trekking
 Difficulty: Strenuous
 Departures: July 5, July 15, July 25
August 1, August 10, August 20,

 

 

 

Day: 1
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 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: Cultural exploration , Sightseeing, Hiking,Jeep Safari
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 , Baltistan Continental

Day: 4
SKARDU - HUSHE
Today after breakfast drive alongside the Indus River to the beautiful valley of Khaplu, which lies at the banks of Shyok river. After a small break at Khapolu we continue our four hour journey through several small villages towards Hushe, highest village in the area at an altitude of 3000 meters.
Activities: Jeep Safari, Sightseeing
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 5
HUSHE – SAITCHO
Today we leave the last inhabited village Hushe. 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 grand trek.After a short trek of about 4 hours, we will reach a beautiful campsite named Saitcho, located among shady trees on a sandy plain beside the river at the junction of the Charakusa and the Gondogooro valleys. Before the camp there is a wonderful view of the impressive Charakusa Spire and from the camp we get excellent views of the peak of Nameka and the rock pillars of K7.
Activities: Trekking
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 6
SAICHO -- DALSANGPA
Resume trek from Saicho alongside the Gondogoro Glacier following a path on a wooded moraine crest which ascends to the summer pasture of Gondogoro Village. After lunch here we will scramble down onto the glacier and trek along the edge of the glacier for a short distance to bypass a steep rock section before finally scrambling up a rocky gully to reach our spectacular campsite at Dalsangpa, an amazing place having spectacular views of a range of snowy peaks including the spectacular summit of Mashabrum. Along with two small tranquil lakes.
Activities: Trekking
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 7
DALSANGPA - KHUSSPANG
Today morning we will drop back down onto the glacier walking on snow and icc, following the central section, for Gondogoro La base camp namely Khuspang. Crevasses on this section of the glacier are small and easy to see. This trek route has impressive views as we move along the glacier, most particularly the beautiful spire of the Laila peak and Ninchi peak. We will camp at Khuspang(4800m),a grassy field beside a small lake and towering spires.
Activities: Trekking
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 8
KHUSSPANG - ACCLIMATIZATION DAY
Today is a rest and acclimatization day learning some skills and safety procedures for ascending on the pass using fixed ropes and moving rope.
Activities: Free day
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 9
KHUSSPANG – GONDOGORO LA –ALI CAMP
A long and tiring ascend early morning marks the toughest and most challenging days of the trek. 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 gets strong snow get soft. Snow going to be melt and bring water and stones, also the chance of ice falls or avalanches. Our guides will fix ropes to safeguard this ascent and descent on the other side for both the porters and clients.On the top of Ghondogoro La you will find the most spectacular view on earth. From here you can see the K2, Broad peak, G1, G2, Muztagh Tower, Chogolingsa. Our descend is slightly trickier and we will need to move roped together as precaution against the crevasses which are found on the descent of an hour to the Vigne Glacier. After a three and half hour of trekking we will reach to Ali Camp, situated on a rocky site overlooking the long ridge running from Masherbrum to Chogolingsa.
Activities: Trekking
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 10
ALI CAMP - CONCORDIA
Trekking to the campsite at Concordia, we trek onto the Vigne Glacier ,mostly walking on moraine. Concordia, 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 degree 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 Karakorum 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.
Activities: Free day
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 12
CONCORDIA – GORO
From Concordia we commence the descend down 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. Today 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.
Activities: Trekking
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 13
GORO - KHOBURSEY
Today continuing down the Baltoro Glacier we trek across increasingly rough piles of glacial moraine where in places the path is quite indistinct. To make up for this we have the spectacular backdrop of Cathedral Peak and Lobsang Spires opposite of us. Our first campsite situated off glacier for many days is at Khoborssey, 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.
Activities: Trekking
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 14
KHOBURSEY - PAIU
Today we resume trek with a gradual descend up to Paiu. We are now trekking off the glacier following fairly good paths. In some places they are cut spectacularly into the steep rock walls which rise above us. We regain the glacier for a short distance in order to cross the snout, and so reach the green grass campsite at Paiu, the last grove of trees before the trail moves onto the glacier, Paiu 6611 M.
Activities: Trekking
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 15
PAIU – JULA
Today we trek along the Braldu River skirting around the impressive Paiu Peak to Jula (wire rope bridge supported by a wooden basket). The water is often not good here so we may chose to walk off the main route for approximately 30 minutes to another campsite with clear water beside a torrent facing the Bakhordas peak.
Activities: Trekking
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 16
JULA - NAMLA
After breakfast at campsite we start our trek into an incredible wilderness of ice and rocks along the Biafo glacier by an easy route. The Biafo glacier is a huge river of ice, 63 Km long, which descends from the central Karakoram peaks and flows east, into the Braldo valley.
Activities: Trekking
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 17
NAMLA - MANGO
Today our trek follows a series of moraine ridges which run along the centre of the glacier. We trek along 3 or 4 hours until we reach a point where the glacier becomes contorted, at which point the route finding becomes quite tricky as we work our way off the glacier and up to another pleasant meadow in a green ablation valley named Mango, giving us a fantastic views down the valley and where yak herders from Askole live in summer.
Activities: Trekking
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 18
MANGO - BAINTHA
We continue along the glacier on a somehow more difficult trail by working our way through a maze of jumbled boulders to reach the central moraines which provide an easier route along the centre of the glacier. Hispar pass can be viewed while walking on trail. We will establish our campsite in a grassy area dotted with bushes, very near the junction of Biafo and Baintha glaciers. May be lucky enough to spot mountain ibex at nearby crags.
Activities: Trekking
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 19
BAINTHA – FREE DAY
Rest day for acclimatization and contingency preparations.
Activities: Trekking
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 20
BAINTHA - NAPINA
Today walk through a crevassed iced field, by roping up to safe-guard against hidden crevasses towards the junction of Biafo and Simgang glaciers to Napina, a grassy campsite in an ablation valley with fresh water and wild flowers.
Activities: Trekking
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 21
NAPINA – SIMGANG
This is a steady walk on snow covered ice to the Simgang Base camp, closer to Hispar La. Today we get incredible views on our way, most impressive is the Sosbun Brak and Snow Lake, marking out the intersection of Biafo and Hispar glacier. The name snow lake was given in 1892 by W Martin Conway the first foreign visitors. This huge basin of snow and ice (about 9.5 Km) circled with snow-capped granite peaks, offers a breathtaking panorama.
Activities: Trekking
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 22
SIMGANG (SNOW LAKE) FREE DAY
Rest day to explore the snow lake and acclimatization. Snow Lake, a vast basin of ice at 16,000 feet ringed by saw tooth peaks that explorer Martin Conway described as "beyond all comparison the finest view of mountains it has ever been my lot to behold, nor do I believe the world can hold a finer." From here treks lead to Shimshal valley as well.
Activities: Free day
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 23
SIMGANG – HISPAR-LA
Today we have an early start, climbing steadily towards the vast pass plateau. Today we will use our crampons and ice axe and need to travel roped together to negotiate the central section of the Hispar Glacier, where several giant crevasses exists. Then a fairly gentle climb to the crest of the pass rewards us with one of the most incredible views at campsites with stunning views straight down the Hispar Glacier to the mountains of the Nagar region. Great expanse of the Sim Gang basin and the mighty peak of the Ogre are the mesmerizing views on Shigar side.
Activities: Trekking
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 24
HISPAR-LA – KHANI-BASA
Today descending to Khanibasa again requires to be roped up from the crest of the pass. After about one hour or two the glacier flattens out and soon we leave the snow and can un-rope. The trail carries on through scree and moraines, flanked with iced-falls to reach our campsite Khani Basa, situated in an ablation valley by the Khani Basa glacier.
Activities: Trekking
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 25
KHANI-BASA - JUTMAL
Today we cross the Khani Basa glacier and get superb views of smooth white dome Kanjut Sar at 7760 m. There are some awkward moraines to cross, and several small streams which are best crossed as early in the morning as possible before the glacial waters begin to flow. Our campsite is at Jutmal, on a flat sheltered field in the ablation valley with running water, with bushes and wild flowers in surrounding.
Activities: Trekking
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 26
JUTMAL - PUMARI
We cross some ice walls and crevasses along the way to Yutmaru glacier, a tributary of Hispar glacie having views of Kanjut Sar, Pumari Chish and Kunjang Chish after some walk from Yutmaru glacier. Beyond Yutmaru path follows a series of pleasant meadows with streams flowing through them. Water is needed to be filled in bottles as there is no water along the trail.
Activities: Trekking
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 27
PUMARI – DACHIGAN
Today after breakfast trek begins by crossing an awkward moraine, before we reach the confluence of the Hispar and Pumari Chish Glaciers. We cross the glacier on moraines and follow a steep path on the west side of the glacier, finally reaching our campsite at Dachigan.
Activities: Trekking
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 28
DACHIGAN – HISPAR VILLAGE
This is an easy day of walking through pastures crossing a number of streams, whose water swell considerably once the afternoon snow melt has flowed into them. We cross the Kiang Glacier and have a steep climb to join the path which leads through the pastures of Daltanas and Falolingkish. Crossing several deserted dwellings we reach at Hispar Village, highest village of Nagar valley with blossoming orchards and terraced fields.
Activities: Trekking
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 29
HISPAR VILLAGE – HURU
Resume trek after breakfast and cross some small dwellings to reach Huru.
Activities: Trekking
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camp

Day: 30
HURU – KARIMABAD
After breakfast descend in jeep along a bumpy road for about 2 hours until we reach the Karakoram Highway (KKH). We then turn north and drive along this great road for a while until we come to the town of Karimabad on Karakoram.
Activities: Jeep Safari, Sightseeing
Meals provided: Breakfast

Accommodation:

Darbar Hotel, Eagle’s Nest Hotel, Hill Top Hotel

Day: 31
HUNZA – FREE DAY
After breakfast full day tour of Hunza including Baltit Fort & Hoper. Karimabad is the delightful old capital of the Hunza Kingdom. From Karimabad, with its souvenir shop, post office and tea shop, you can obtain a magnificent view of the valley laid out below you and of the peaks behind. The Aliabad / Karimabad area is sprinkled with wild flowers and blossoming fruit orchards. We will spend half our day in these two towns enjoying the greenery and delighting in the sound of babbling brooks. We also visit Altit, Baltit and Ganish village. Baltit fort was the old palace of the Mirs of Hunza and was inhabited until 1960. It is about 400 years old. Baltit is a curious rambling old place, four storey high, sturdily built of stones, sun - dried mud and timber. Baltit is built on a cliff edge behind it is a ravine and then the Ultar glacier glinting in the sunshine. The architecture here reflects a Tibetan influence. The view from the top of the fort is well worth the climb.
Activities: Cultural Exploration
Meals provided: Breakfast

Accommodation:

Darbar Hotel, Eagle’s Nest Hotel, Hill Top Hotel

Day: 32
HUNZA -BEHSHAM
After breakfast drive to Riakot on Karakoram Highway as it carves a swathe through the meeting points of world three largest congregation of mountains at Shigarpa before Juglot, is an adventure in itself. Then further drive to Besham.
Activities: Jeep Safari
Meals provided: Breakfast

Accommodation:

Besham Continental, PTDC Motel

Day: 33
BESHAM - ISLAMABAD
Today travel on the Karakoram Highway to Islamabad through captivating and enthralling landscape. In places, sheer, snowcapped mountains ascending from deep valleys while elsewhere lush green meadows are carpeted by colorful wild flowers and dazzling blossoms. Terraced villages dot this monumental terrain, supporting by traditional farming methods and lifestyles that have changed little over the centuries.
Activities: Jeep Safari
Meals provided: Breakfast

Accommodation:

Marriott Hotel, Regency, Civic Hotel

Day: 34
ISLAMABAD -FREE DAY - DEPARTURE
De-briefing at the ministry of tourism. Private departure to Islamabad International Airport for your departure flight.
Activities: Sightseeing
Meals provided: Breakfast

Accommodation:

None
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