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August 1, 2024
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Skardu
Skardu
3:42 pm, Apr 23, 2024
temperature icon 11°C
broken clouds
Humidity 72 %
Pressure 1023 mb
Wind 14 mph
Wind Gust Wind Gust: 0 mph
Clouds Clouds: 75%
Visibility Visibility: 0 km
Sunrise Sunrise: 5:47 am
Sunset Sunset: 8:10 pm

K2 Basecamp Trek – Throne Room of The Mountain Gods

0
  • Group : 2-10 pepole
  • Max Elevation 4500 m / 14760 ft (more)
  • Trip Style: Basecamp / Hard / Trekking
  • Walking Distance: 149 km/92miles
  • Difficulty Level: 9/10 (more)
  • Join in Islamabad
  • Hotel (Nights)06
  • Hiking Mileage
    Camps (Night) 12
  • MealsFull Board
  • Trip Length: 19 days

Trip Highlights

  • Spectacular views of K2, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum Laila peak and many more massive peaks
  • Trek past the dramatic towers of Trango, Cathedral and Lobsang
  • Option to trek to the Gilkey Memorial at K2 Basecamp
  • Stunning wild and remote scenery
  • Experience an expedition–style trek
  • Get to know Balti people and Balti culture
  • Accommodation in comfortable tents under a blanket of shining stars
  • Learn about mountaineering history in the Karakoram, particularly in the K2 region
  • Explore the natural beauty, magnificent glacial & alpine landscapes

Description

An exciting 12-day trek to possibly the most spectacular mountain vistas on Earth. Situated at the confluence of the Baltoro and Godwin Austen glaciers, it is an extraordinary place dominated by K2, the world’s second highest mountain. Broad Peak, Gasherbrums, Masherbrum, Mitre Peak, Chogolisa and the Trango Towers from the rest of a great circle of mountain giants called ‘THE THRONE ROOM OF THE GODS’. This stunning trek follows the Braldu gorge to the snout of the Baltoro glacier, which we then follow to Concordia.

 

The town of Skardu is our point of access for the Karakoram Mountains, and from here, we drive in rugged 4WD vehicles to the village of Askole and then on a new section of jeep road to Jhola Camp and our first night under canvas.

 

Nowhere else on Earth can you stand so close to so many of the world’s highest peaks, including Broad Peak (8047m), Gasherbrum (8080m) and the breathtaking south face of K2 (8611m). We have allowed two nights at Concordia, with the option to visit the climbers’ basecamps for Broad Peak and K2. Escorted by a qualified local guide and trek crew drawn from the local Baltistan people, this is adventure trekking at its finest. This universally acclaimed Karakoram trek is well within the capabilities of keen hill-walkers

Photos - K2 Basecamp Trek

Trip Itinerary

Day 1Islamabad Arrival

Upon arrival at Islamabad International Airport, our guide will greet you and transfer you to the hotel for check-in. Participants can use free time to relax and recover from the journey. Following lunch at the hotel, a tour briefing will be conducted. Later in the day, there will be a visit to the market for essential shopping and currency exchange. The itinerary also includes visits to the Lok Virsa Museum and the Shah Faisal Mosque.

 

Margalla Islamabad - K2 Basecamp Trek
Islamabad Airport - K2 Basecamp Trek

Islamabad City - K2 Basecamp Trek

 

 

Accommodation
Hotel

Altitude
540m/1770ft

Meals Included
Lunch & Dinner

Driving Duration - Beyond The Valley

Driving Duration
1-2 hours

Day 2Islamabad – Skardu

Today, our journey begins with an exciting o 01 scenic flight, where you can enjoy amazing views of the mighty Nanga Parbat and other mountain peaks. Once we land, we’ll be transferred into a local vehicle, travel to Skardu, and check into the hotel. Our exploration continues with a visit to Skardu bazaar for essential shopping and a trip to Mathal Rock Budha. A 50-minute walk leads us to Nansoq village, Baltistan’s first organic village, steeped in history with visits from King Charles and Prince Aga Khan IV. This tranquil settlement, boasting 11 homes and 92 inhabitants, creates a serene atmosphere. Explore the area, enjoy time with a host family, and hike back to Skardu (50 minutes). The evening unfolds with leisure time and an overnight stay.

 

OR

 

In case of flight cancellation due to weather, drive from Islamabad to Chilas (10 – 12 hours) via Karakoram Highway with short stops.

 

Skardu Airport - K2 Basecamp Trek
Skardu Mountain - K2 Basecamp Trek

Sadpara Lake - K2 Basecamp Trek

 

 

Accommodation
Hotel

Altitude
2250m / 7380ft

Driving Duration
02 hours

Meals Included
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 3Skardu

Today, we’ll start by visiting the tourism office for a briefing, and then you’ll have free time for acclimatization, shopping, and local visits. The BTV team will be occupied with tasks such as obtaining necessary permits, grocery shopping, packing, and making all other arrangements.

 

Manthal Rock - K2 Basecamp Trek
Upper Kachura Lake - K2 Basecamp Trek

Kharpocho - K2 Basecamp Trek

 

 

Accommodation
Hotel

Altitude
2250 m/7380 ft

Meals Included
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Driving Duration
Local Visits

Day 4Skardu – Jhola

Making a reasonably early start, we leave Skardu by jeep for the long drive to the beginning of our trek. The road mainly surfaces as we pass through the relatively fertile Shigar Valley but deteriorates after 3 hours as we turn eastwards to follow the Braldu River. By mid-afternoon, we reach Askole, a single street of wood and mud-brick houses backed by irrigated fields of corn and potatoes and groves of apricot trees. Leaving this, the highest village in the valley, we continue our drive through a wild landscape, crossing the Braldu twice as we pass the snout of the mighty Biafo Glacier. We cross this tributary on a suspension bridge and set up our camp a little way beyond the bridge at the place known as Jhola Camp (3100m).

 

Shigar Road - K2 Basecamp Trek
Askole Road - K2 Basecamp Trek

Askole - K2 Basecamp Trek

 

 

Accommodation
Full Service Camping

Altitude
3100m / 10170ft

Meals Included
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Driving Duration
06 Hours

Day 5Jhola – Paiju

We make an early start today for our first proper day of trekking. The trail takes us out of the tributary Panma Valley and turns east to follow the Braldu River again. We continue on a good path, passing a couple of old camping places at Chowblok and Bardomal, which are now rarely used as much of the level ground has been eroded by the shifting river. Beyond these old camping places, the path runs at the very edge of the river before climbing to higher ground, allowing us excellent views of the impressive Paiju Peak. We have to negotiate a couple of streams today, and depending on the melting of the glaciers above, we may have to ford these (sports sandals or old trainers). At our high point today, we have views ahead to the snout of the Baltoro Glacier and the granite peaks of the Trango and Cathedral groups. On a clear day, it is possible to see K2, partially obscured by the shark’s fin of the Lobsang Spire. After dropping down to the main Braldu River again, we reach the expedition staging camp at Paiju (3420m).

 

Towards Paiju - K2 Basecamp Trek
jhola to paiju - K2 Basecamp Trek

jhola - K2 Basecamp Trek

 

 

Accommodation
Full-service camping

Altitude
3420m / 11220ft

Meals Included
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Activity Duration
07 Hours

Hiking Mileage
21 km / 13 miles

Hiking Elevation Gain
580 m / 1900 ft

Hiking Elevation Loss
260 m / 850 ft

Day 6Paiju

Paiju is the traditional stopping point for all groups headed for Concordia, located at a widening of the Braldu Valley and within sight of the snout of the mighty Baltoro Glacier. This is a key staging point for climbing expeditions and trekking groups due to spring water and a sparse population of trees originally used for cooking fires. Today there are several levelled pitches for tents, and the site is equipped with ‘long-drop’ toilets and wash basins – a ‘bathroom’ with one of the best views in the world! We spend a whole day at Paiju, which is good for our acclimatization and a good time for our porters to bake as much bread as they can for the trek before we climb onto the glacier. For those with energy to spare, there is the opportunity to hike up the hill above camp for extensive views of the granite towers of Trango and Cathedral peaks and potentially another glimpse of K2, still many miles distant. We spend a second night at Paiju.

 

paiju - K2 Basecamp Trek
Camp Food- K2 Basecamp Trek

paiju - K2 Basecamp Trek

 

 

Accommodation
Full-service camping

Altitude
3420m / 11220ft

Meals Included
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 7Paiju – Khoburtse

Another early start today. After about an hour’s walk, we will enter the Baltoro Glacier. After viewing the outpouring of meltwater from the ice, we now climb up onto the back of this great beast. The trail undulates as we climb over the swells of the flowing glacier, and it is fascinating to think that the stones underfoot could have come from the summit of Broad Peak, Gasherbrum or K2. Gradually we work our way across the glacier to its south side, where we can use a path along the lateral moraine. At this point, it may be possible to continue more or less directly by climbing up onto the glacier. Or, if the glacier is not easily accessible, we will turn off into the valley for approximately half an hour to reach a point where we can cross the meltwater stream (sandals or old trainers required). Finally, reaching the camping place at Khoburtse (3795m), we have sensational views of the Cathedral Towers, the Trango Group and the striking rock tower of Uli Biaho. A great day of trekking over rugged and mixed terrain.

 

Urdukas to khoburtse - K2 Basecamp Trek
Baltoro Glacier - K2 Basecamp Trek

Baltoro - K2 Basecamp Trek

 

 

Accommodation
Full-service camping

Altitude
3795m / 12450ft

Meals Included
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Hiking Mileage
15 km / 9.3 miles

Hiking Elevation Gain
640 m / 2100 ft

Hiking Elevation Loss
265 m / 870 ft

Activity Duration
7-8 hours

Day 8Khoburtse – Urdukas

We have a shorter day today, mindful of the need to increase our sleeping altitude slowly. We continue east beside the Baltoro Glacier either along the lateral moraine or sometimes on the glacier itself, passing the ship-like prow of Great Trango and the isolated pillar of the ‘Nameless Tower’ to our next camp at Urdukas (3900m). This campsite is perched a hundred metres above the glacier on terraces hacked initially out of the hillside by the Duke of Abruzzi’s K2 expedition of 1909. It has sensational views of the Trango Towers to the west and directly opposite. Almost a mile away across the valley, the vast rock walls of Cathedral Peak and Lobsang rise like ramparts above the glacier. We should reach here in time for a late lunch, and the rest of the afternoon is free to tend to camp chores or to soak up the extraordinary landscape.

 

urdukas - K2 Basecamp Trek
urdukas - K2 Basecamp Trek

urdukas campsite - K2 Basecamp Trek

 

 

Accommodation
Full-service Camping

Altitude
3900m / 12800ft

Meals Included
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Hiking Mileage
06 km / 3.7 miles

Hiking Elevation Gain
250 m / 820 ft

Hiking Elevation Loss
145 m / 475 ft

Activity Duration
4-5 hours

Day 9Urdukas – Goro

Leaving Urdukas behind, we follow the moraine edge eastwards until it is possible to climb up onto the broad back of the glacier. We now cross to the centre ground, where the ‘flow’ is generally smoother, and soon we come within sight of the spectacular Masherbrum (7821m) on our right-hand side. Ascending and descending the mountains of rubble strewn over the ice, we also have glimpses ahead to the peaks surrounding Concordia. Especially prominent is the stunning Gasherbrum IV (7925m) at the head of the glacier. There are good views back towards the Trango and Cathedral peaks as we approach our camp at the pl ace known as ‘Goro’ (4295m). We are high now and camping on one of the largest pieces of ice outside the polar regions. Will wrap up warmly for the cooler nights ahead.

 

urdukas - K2 Basecamp Trek
Goro - K2 Basecamp Trek

urdukas to goro - K2 Basecamp Trek

 

 

Accommodation
Full-service camping

Altitude
4295m / 14090ft

Meals Included
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Hiking Mileage
12 km / 7.45 miles

Hiking Elevation Gain
485 m / 1590 ft

Hiking Elevation Loss
90 m / 295 ft

Activity Duration
06 hours

Day 10Goro – Concordia

Our approach to Concordia continues along the heaving swells of the Baltoro Glacier as we pass Mustagh Tower (7284m), an imposing monolith of rock first climbed by Joe Brown and Ian McNaught-Davis in 1956. Ahead of us, Gasherbrum IV (7925m) acts like a beacon drawing us on, whilst at some points on today’s walk; we can also see Gasherbrum ll (8035m), which peeks out to the right of Gasherbrum lV. As we make our way up the Baltoro, the aptly named Broad Peak (8051m) comes into view above the ridge connecting Marble Peak and Crystal Peak on our left. K2 keeps itself hidden until we reach Concordia, whose full face is suddenly revealed in sweeping lines that climb almost 4000 metres from the valley floor to the summit – a sight that will never be forgotten. Concordia is a vast area where glaciers coming down from K2 meet those from the Gasherbrums and Chogolisa. It is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular places on the planet, and here you can stand within 24 kilometres of no fewer than four eight-thousanders and ten of the world’s thirty highest peaks! We camp at approximately 4500 metres on a moraine ridge surrounded by jagged peaks, including Gasherbrum IV, Mitre Peak, Chogolisa, Crystal Peak, Marble Peak, Baltoro Kangri, Broad Peak and K2.

 

Goro Campsite - K2 Basecamp Trek
goro to concordia - K2 Basecamp Trek

K2 - K2 Basecamp Trek

 

 

Accommodation
Full-service camping

Altitude
4500m / 14760ft

Meals Included
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Hiking Elevation Loss
85 m / 275 ft

Hiking Elevation Gain
290 m / 950 ft

Activity Duration
05-06 hours

Hiking Mileage
11.7 km / 7.2 miles

Day 11 Concordia – K2 Base Camp – Concordia

Getting an early start, we make our way out of the immediate area of our camp and are soon in a maze of crevasses and meltwater rivers. During the climbing season, this is a trade route for the porters who supply expeditions up at the Broad Peak and K2 basecamps, so there will be an established trail, but a guide is essential here. After negotiating the diffcult ground where two glaciers meet, we eventually reach easy terrain and follow the medial moraine of the Godwin Austen Glacier, named after the surveyor who first established the height of K2 in 1860. Coming first to Broad Peak Basecamp after approximately 3 hours of trekking, we can stop and admire the sensational view of K2 in one direction and look back to Concordia framed by Mitre Peak, the bulk of Chogolisa, also known as ‘Bride Peak’. Beyond Broad Peak Basecamp, the going gets a little more challenging as we negotiate the swells of the glacier and more glacial streams. After 3 hours, we reach the moraine ‘island’ known as ‘the strip’, the traditional basecamp area for attempts on the Abruzzi Ridge, the usual route on K2. If time permits, we can also visit the Gilkey Memorial, where the names of those who have died climbing K2 are inscribed on a collection of plaques and plates. For those taking the option to visit K2 Basecamp, this is a strenuous but rewarding day of approximately 10 – 12 hours of walking on rough glacial terrain with at least 600 metres of ascent and descent. Anyone who does not wish to make this excursion can trek to Broad Peak Basecamp and get all of the truly fantastic views back towards Concordia, plus the best views of K2 within a 5 – 6 hour round trip. It is also possible to take today as a rest day if you wish, enjoying the marvellous situation of Concordia.

 

Mitre Peak - K2 Basecamp Trek
Gilkey Memorial - K2 Basecamp Trek

K2 - K2 Basecamp Trek

 

 

Accommodation
Full-service camping

Altitude
4500m / 14760ft

Meals Included
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Hiking Mileage
11.7 km / 7.2 miles

Hiking Elevation Gain
650 m / 2130 ft

Hiking Elevation Loss
650 m / 2130 ft

Activity Duration
10-12 hours

Day 12 Concordia – Shachspong

This morning we can take a last look at K2 before packing the gear and heading back down the Baltoro. In descent, we can make longer stages, and today we go past Goro to a campsite of our approach route at a place known simply as Shachspong (4100m). The word Shachspong is Balti for a big pile of stones which seems ironic considering the landscape through which we are trekking. Still, this is a reasonably elevated part of the stone-covered glacier, making for a perfect viewing platform. Down the valley, the serried ranks of granite towers and spires of the Lobsang, Cathedral and Trango move into the distance, beyond which lie the peaks of Uli Biaho and Paiju. Directly opposite to the south is the snow-capped red granite spire of Masherbrum. This is an atmospheric place, and now that they are headed for home, our crew may want to have a party. Almost anything can be a musical or percussion instrument and if you have the chance, listening to the voices of the Baltis in full song is quite a fantastic experience.

 

Trekker - K2 Basecamp Trek
Mitre Goro - K2 Basecamp Trek

Towards Goro - K2 Basecamp Trek

 

 

Accommodation
Full-service camping

Altitude
4100m / 13450ft

Meals Included
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Hiking Mileage
16 km / 10 miles

Hiking Elevation Gain
30 m / 100 ft

Hiking Elevation Loss
400 m / 1300 ft

Activity Duration
06-07 hours

Day 13 Shachspong – Khoburtse

We continue our descent of the Baltoro Glacier. The drop in altitude becomes more noticeable as the granite walls and spires lining the glacier, which yesterday looked almost lower than us, now tower to lofty heights above. It is also a little warmer, with more oxygen in the air. Passing through the campsite of the Duke of Abruzzi at Urdukas, we can marvel at the tenacity of those early pioneers who endured untold hardship to get to their base camps. After taking lunch on the Duke’s terrace, with sensational views across the glacier to Biale Peak, which remains hidden except from this vantage point, we continue trekking down this huge valley, sometimes on the glacier and sometimes along the moraine or the valley sides until we reach Khoburtse, our first off-glacier camp for some days. Now we can make out the end of the glacier and the start of the valley of the Braldu. We can even see the patches of green on the lower slopes of Paiju Peak, which mark the location of the spring water camp.

 

Goro - K2 Basecamp Trek
Trango Towers - K2 Basecamp Trek

Way Down - K2 Basecamp Trek

 

 

 

Accommodation
Full-service camping

Altitude
3795m / 12450ft

Meals Included
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Hiking Mileage
14 km / 8.7 miles

Hiking Elevation Gain
165 m / 540 ft

Hiking Elevation Loss
470 m / 1540 ft

Activity Duration
06-07 hours

Day 14Khoburtse – Paiju

As on our approach, we must first detour to the south to cross the Liligo Glacier. This glacier defies world trends in that it is steadily growing. Twenty years ago, its snout was half a mile up the valley, and now it has collided with the main Baltoro Glacier, resulting in the churning forces making it impossible to cross without the detour. We have a superb view of Trango’s Nameless Tower (6239m), first climbed by Joe Brown and Mo Anthoine in 1976. To the left of the Tower, a smaller pinnacle is known as ‘The Monk’, and to the right is the graceful prow of Great Trango (6286m), first climbed in 1977 by John Roskelly and Galen Rowell. In August of 1992, two Australians, Nic Feteris and Glenn Singleman, climbed to a ledge on Great Trango at 5955m and then BASE jumped, falling hundreds of metres close to the rock walls before opening their chutes and landing on the glacier. At the time, this was the highest BASE jump on record. Having made the detour and returned to the main Baltoro Glacier, we now cross to its north side, climbing over the huge swells of the glacier towards the ramparts of Uli Biaho. On the other side, we then work our way down to the valley, where we pick up the main trail and pass by the snout, where the underground river, which flows through the length of the glacier, erupts out in a cascade to become the Braldu. The last hour of the day is an easy walk on a good path, although there is a final uphill pull to reach the campsite at Paiju. On our first arrival here, we relished the prospect of a cooler climate ahead.

 

Towards Paiju - K2 Basecamp Trek
Trekking - K2 Basecamp Trek

khoburtse - K2 Basecamp Trek

 

 

Accommodation
Full-service camping

Altitude
3420m / 11217ft

Meals Included
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Hiking Mileage
15 km / 9.3 miles

Hiking Elevation Gain
256 m / 869 ft

Hiking Elevation Loss
640m / 2100 ft

Activity Duration
06-07 hours

Day 15Paiju – Jhola

Now we are off the glacier, and at a lower elevation, it is considerably warmer, and we may make an early start to use the cool of the morning. Leaving Paiju, we walk on a good trail down the valley. Once again, it is surprising how different the experience is compared to our ascent. The trail rises and falls as we cross several alluvial fans. We have to cross some side streams today, mainly using makeshift bridges or stepping stones, but it may be necessary also to wade across, especially later in the day. All these streams are a source of meltwater, so they grow more prominent as the day gets warmer. At one point, the trail passes close to the river beside the walls of the conglomerate, and it is possible to feel its tremendous power. We follow the main Braldu River downstream to its confluence with the Panma River, where we turn northeast to reach a camping place beside the toll bridge at the site known as Jhola.

 

Paiju - K2 Basecamp Trek
jhola Campsite - K2 Basecamp Trek

jhula to paiju - K2 Basecamp Trek

 

 

Accommodation
Full-service camping

Altitude
3100m / 10170ft

Meals Included
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Hiking Mileage
21 km / 13 miles

Hiking Elevation Gain
450 m / 1475 ft

Hiking Elevation Loss
770 m / 2525 ft

Activity Duration
07 hours

Day 16Jhola – Askole – Skardu

Taking advantage of the recently constructed jeep track above Askole, we set off the long drive back to civilization after almost two weeks in the wilderness. We pass the traditional camping place at Korofon beside the Biafo Glacier, cross the Braldu twice and drive through the level area known locally as the ‘King’s Polo Ground’ to reach the green fields, stone walls and houses of Askole. Continuing, we follow the remarkable jeep road through the Braldu Gorge and then travel down the fertile Shigar Valley to its confluence with the Indus. Arriving in Skardu, we check in at our Hotel, and there will be time for a welcome shower and clean-up before sitting down to dinner. Tonight we will enjoy the comfort of a real bed!

 

Askole - K2 Basecamp Trek
Askole - K2 Basecamp Trek

Askole Road - K2 Basecamp Trek

 

 

Accommodation
Hotel

Altitude
2250m / 7380ft

Meals Included
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Driving Duration
06 hours

Day 17Skardu – Islamabad

Drive from Shigar to Skardu airport in the morning and take a scenic 1-hour flight to Islamabad. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel and enjoy some leisure time. Explore notable attractions such as the Pakistan Monument and Saipur village after lunch. Conclude the day with a delightful dinner at Monal. Drive back to the hotel for an overnight stay.

 

Skardu Mountain - K2 Basecamp Trek
Skardu Airport - K2 Basecamp Trek

Skardu Departure - K2 Basecamp Trek

 

 

Accommodation
Hotel

Altitude
540m

Meals Included
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Driving Duration
2-3 Hours

Day 18Contingency day in case of delays.

In the event that flying is not possible due to weather conditions, we will opt for a road journey from Gilgit to Islamabad. However, if we proceed with the flight, we plan to visit Taxila. We will explore the renowned Taxila Museum and various archaeological sites there, including Dharmarajika and Sirkab. With its rich historical significance, Taxila provides a captivating experience as we delve into these archaeological sites, making the most of our time there.

 

Taxilla - K2 Basecamp Trek
Islamabad Mall - K2 Basecamp Trek

Pakistan monument - K2 Basecamp Trek

 

 

Accommodation
Hotel

Altitude
540m / 1770ft

Meals Included
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Driving Duration
2-3 Hours

Day 19Departure day

After breakfast, transfer from the hotel to the airport for international flights.

 

Islamabad Road - K2 Basecamp Trek
Airport Departure - K2 Basecamp Trek

Airport Longuet - K2 Basecamp Trek

 

 

Altitude
540m / 1770ft

Meals Included
Breakfast

Driving Duration
40 minutes

Map - K2 Basecamp Trek

Holiday Information

What's Included

  • Airport transfers (on the first day and last day in Islamabad)
  • All land transport involved in the itinerary
  • Internal flights and associated airport transfers
  • All hotel accommodations (twin/double sharing)
  • All meals throughout the holidays (18 breakfasts, 18 lunches, 18 dinners)
  • Licensed professional local guide
  • Sightseeing and all activities mentioned in the itinerary
  • NOC/Trekking Permits/National Park permit fees
  • All entry tickets (forts, parks)
  • Up to 15 kgs of porter services per person
  • Access to the group satellite communication

What's not Included

  • Travel Insurance
  • Pakistan Visa (supporting documents will be offered)
  • International airfare
  • Personal equipment (clothes, boots, etc.)
  • Tips for guiding and supporting staff
  • Activities other than those mentioned in the trip itinerary
  • Miscellaneous expenses – drinks, refreshments/food other than meals, souvenirs, etc.

Joining Arrangements & Transfers

All clients arriving on day one will be met at Islamabad airport by the trip leader, who will arrange the transfer to the group hotel. Similarly, transfers will be provided back to Islamabad Airport on the final day of the holidays

Meal Plan

All meals are included in the holiday price from arrival on day 1 to departure on the last day.

Food & Water

Food is a mixture of local/traditional and Pakistani dishes available in the area. We will provide clean drinking water. We do not encourage the purchasing of single-use plastic bottles. On the trek, the food is a mixture of local and international dishes made from ingredients mostly locally purchased and cooked by our highly trained local trek cooks. Breakfasts include cereal, muesli or porridge, eggs, bread or chapatti, tea, and coffee. Lunches will be fresh and may include hot soup/noodles, rice, a curry, and chapati, or sometimes a picnic from a choice of meats, cheese, pickles, crackers, or chapattis, and finished with tea or coffee. Dinner is a three-course meal in a group ‘mess’ tent. We do routinely cater to vegetarians, but you must inform us if you wish your diet to be exclusively vegetarian. The trek kitchen provides drinking water during breakfast, at the lunch stop, and while in camp. While trekking, trail mixes and snacks will also be provided.

Special Diets

We regularly accommodate vegetarian, vegan, non-gluten, and other specialty diets. We customize our menus depending on the group’s preferences. We never use pre-packaged meals – you can expect hearty, delicious meals that will optimally fuel and inspire you during your trip! If you have specific dietary requirements, please speak to our sales team.

Accommodation

During the holiday, the group will spend three nights in Islamabad at the Ramada Hotel or similar. The group will also spend three nights in Skardu (Concordia Motel or similar). Accommodation at each of these hotels is twin-sharing with en-suite facilities. While on the trek, 12 nights will be spent camping in a comfy two-person alpine tent. If you travel alone, you will be paired with another client of the same sex. Hiring a single tent while on a trek is possible for an additional cost. Additional hotel nights in Islamabad are also available at an additional cost. In case of flight cancellation, the group will be accommodated in a tourist-class hotel (the best available option) on the way. Rooms will be shared, and a single room will be available at a supplementary cost.

Internal flights

Skardu Airport is weather-dependent. Since high mountains surround the valley, the plans only land here in good visibility. The plans do fly more than not, but cancellations can occur, and in these circumstances, we will travel by road.

 

Group Leader & Support Staff

The group leader will be a certified professional local guide. During the trek, the group will be accompanied by an entire support crew, including a cook and kitchen crew, and porters to carry all equipment and personal trek bags. This crew is drawn from local villagers who depend on working for trekking groups to supplement their subsistence income. Traveling with these friendly and hardy people is a significant part of the experience of Karakoram trekking.

Altitude

This holiday involves going to high altitudes. You will spend at least one night above 4000 meters during your trip. You should not worry about this; the human body can adapt to various altitudes, but we follow some simple rules to acclimatize successfully.

Spending Money

Approximately USD200 (or equivalent in Euros, etc.) changed into local currency should be enough for miscellaneous expenses. It is not necessary to purchase local currency (Pakistan rupees) before your trip. Money can be changed reasonably at the airport or with authorized money changers. Since you will be changing most of your spending money into local currency soon after your arrival, we recommend you take it in cash. US dollars, Sterling, and Euros can readily be exchanged at the airport. US dollars will give you more flexibility to exchange in smaller towns or emergencies. Credit cards can be used to purchase many goods in Islamabad or Skardu and are particularly useful for more expensive items such as carpets. It is possible to withdraw cash (rupees only) from cash machines in Islamabad/Skardu using credit and debit cards.

Guidance on Tipping

It is usual to tip the supporting staff (guide/drivers/support staff) if you are happy with the services provided. We estimate that USD 80 –100 (in local currency equivalent) will cover this tipping aspect. Toward the end of the trek, the trip leader will help the group determine an appropriate tipping level for each crew member. Usually, this is done as a group’ thank-you’ ceremony on the final day of trekking.

Equipment List

The following checklist should help you with your packing. You do not have to bring everything on the list and should use your experience and judgment, but we ask you to ensure you have the items on the mandatory list. When selecting clothing for this holiday, please be culturally sensitive. Tight-fitting or revealing clothing is not appropriate. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum. The packed weight of your bag while trekking, including your sleeping bag and mattress, should be no more than 15 kg. The porters’ limit is strictly enforced, and bags will be weighed before setting off on the trek. Anything not required on the trek can be left at the group hotel in Islamabad and Skardu.

 

You must bring the following items;

 

  1. 1 x backpack (50l+)
  2. Sturdy Hiking boots
  3. Waterproof over trousers
  4. Fleece jacket or warm jumper
  5. Waterproof jacket
  6. Warm jacket (e.g. down)
  7. Scarf or buff
  8. Sunhat
  9. Warm hat
  10. Sunglasses
  11. Gloves or mittens
  12. Headtorch and spare batteries
  13. Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose, etc.)
  14. Water bottles (we encourage re-filling water bottles rather than single-use plastic)
  15. Sleeping bag (comfort rated -5°C)
  16. Thermarest or similar sleeping mat
  17. Waterproof backpack cover
  18. Sun protection & lip balm
  19. Toothbrush and toothpaste
  20. Antibacterial wipes (biodegradable)

Packing Check List:

 

  1. Socks
  2. Trainers for camp use
  3. Trekking trousers
  4. Underwear
  5. Base layer shirts
  6. Shirts or T-shirts
  7. Thermal underwear
  8. Long-sleeve mid-layers
  9. Light down jacket
  10. Waterproof jacket/shell
  11. One pair of  gloves
  12. Small towel
  13. Trekking poles (recommended)
  14. Insect repellant
  15. Wash bags and toiletries
  16. Travel clothes
  17. Repair kit – (e.g. needle, thread, duct tape)
  18. Camera
  19. Travel documents:
    1. Passport with a valid visa
    2. Travel insurance (if available)

 

Travel Insurance

It is recommended that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment during your trip. When taking out insurance, please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

Health & Vaccinations

Severe Allergies

 

Please inform our office before you travel if you have a severe allergy. We will do all we can to help, but we cannot guarantee an allergy-free environment on the trip. You will need to carry your treatment for the allergy with you, as ‘adrenaline auto-injectors’ are not carried as standard by leaders and staff. You should inform your leader on arrival of your allergy and let them know where you keep your adrenaline pen.

 

Vaccinations

 

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require vaccinations or other medical preparation before your holiday. It would help if you were up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended, e.g., diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella, along with hepatitis A and typhoid. Malarial prophylaxis is discretionary for this trip. Malaria exists in the area around Islamabad. However, incidences of urban transmission of malaria are extremely low. In Hunza or Skardu and the mountains, there is no malaria risk.

Passports and Visas

  • It is important to remember that you will need a passport for any BTV Adventure holiday (generally with six months remaining validity after the trip). If you don’t have a passport, apply for one soon. If you do have a passport, check the expiry date.
  • You have to apply online for your Pakistani visa; this can be done via the official NADRA website. We provide visa guidelines, visa invitation letters & required supporting documents to all clients who book a tour with us.
  • NADRA website: https://visa.nadra.gov.pk/

Difficulty

Our most challenging holidays involve many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of tness and previous wilderness experience is essential. Examples include the K2 base camp & K7 base camp treks, excit ing journeys to possibly the most spectacular mountain vistas on Earth. Our team will share the required gear list, recommended fitness level, campsites/terrain details, and other important information before, during & after your booking. You must be able to hike for 6-7 hours daily. Hotel nights exceed camp nights. For those familiar with regular exercise, consider increasing your routine by adding extra laps or taking longer walks, preferably with a day pack. If you’re not exercising regularly (2-3 times a week), starting in the weeks leading up to your departure, ideally 4-6 weeks prior is advisable. Begin with regular walks 2-3 times a week, incorporating at least one extended walk of up to 15 km. If hilly terrain is inaccessible, walking on uneven surfaces and up and down stairs is essential. Enhance your routine with general tness exercises and other cardio-related classes, and you’ll notice signicant progress in your tness levels.

Electricity Supply & Plug

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

 

https://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plug-voltage-by-country/

Recommended Reads

  • Where the Indus is Young by Dervla Murphy
  • Beyond The Mountain by Steve House
  • Three Cup of Teas by Greg Mortenson
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Max elevation

HYDRATION

There is a correlation between daily fluid intake and successful acclimatization and you must pay particular attention to hydration during trekking at high altitudes. On treks to 3000 meters and above most people will need to drink between 4 and 6 liters each day to achieve suitable hydration levels and you must adopt a responsible approach to achieving this target.

ACUTE MOUNTAIN SICKNESS

Before embarking on a trek to high altitude it is important that you familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) and that you report any illness to your tip leader straight away. See the links at the bottom of this page for further reading on AMS.

DIAMOX

There are a number of untested herbal remedies which claim to prevent mountain sickness. However, only one drug is currently known to have a useful role in preventing AMS and to be safe for this purpose: acetazolamide (Diamox). We recommend that you carry Diamox in your first aid kit for treks where you spend an extended period above 4000m. Diamox can only be obtained from a medical professional on prescription and it is important that you first consult your own doctor so that you know there are no contra indications with other medicines you may be taking and that you do not have an allergy to acetazolamide. Diamox commonly causes some minor side effects, such as tingling fingers and toes, or a metallic taste in the mouth, but more severe reactions are rare. On trek, the decision whether or not and when, you should take Diamox as with any drug, will rest solely with you. If you intend to take Diamox, you must familiarize yourself with the appropriate dosage and regime prior to coming on the trip. The links at the bottom of this page will provide further information on the use of Diamox as an aid to acclimatization.

Travelling to high altitudes is not something you need to be scared of. Every year thousands of people enjoy the most amazing experiences in the world's greatest mountain ranges. Altitude sickness is entirely preventable if you follow very simple rules and procedures. Please make sure you are aware of these before you travel.

SUMMARY OF DIFFICULTY
The hike up to our campsite is a moderate 6 miles and 1400ft of elevation gain. The scramble up to Pyramid Ridge can be steep and difficult, but very adventurous and with just light day packs.Hiking

Distances
6-10 miBackpack Weight
25-35 lbsTerrain
Moderately RuggedMax Daily Elev. Gain
1950 ftHeights Exposure
Moderate

Please Note: Terrain, Elevation Gain and Heights Exposure ratings reflect the section or day of the trip with the maximum difficulty of each. Much of the trip is at easier levels. See the trip itinerary for more detailed information. Backpack Weight ratings are estimates that account for Wildland-provided gear, guest clothing, personal items and a share of group food. By packing light it’s often possible to stay on the lower end of the weight range. Pack weights also decrease during the trip.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS

  • Hiking uphill or downhill with a 25-35 lb backpack for 5-7 hours
  • Hiking uphill off trail with a 8-12 lb backpack for 6-8 hours
  • Maintaining balance and footing on moderately rugged terrain
  • Hiking with moderate heights exposure

To show the relative difficulty of our adventure holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most challenging. Our simple, colour-coded grade symbol provides an indication of the difficulty of each trip.

Clearly, there are many different factors that contribute to the difficulty of a particular holiday, including, length of day, terrain, type of accommodation, altitude and weather conditions. Since some of these factors are necessarily changeable, any system of grades can only provide a general indication. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the detailed Trip Notes and if you are still unsure, please do not hesitate to contact us

GREEN 1 - 4 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

YELLOW 5 - 7 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

RED 08 - 10 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involve many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness experience is essential.

SUMMARY OF DIFFICULTY
The hike up to our campsite is a moderate 6 miles and 1400ft of elevation gain. The scramble up to Pyramid Ridge can be steep and difficult, but very adventurous and with just light day packs.Hiking

Distances
6-10 miBackpack Weight
25-35 lbsTerrain
Moderately RuggedMax Daily Elev. Gain
1950 ftHeights Exposure
Moderate

Please Note: Terrain, Elevation Gain and Heights Exposure ratings reflect the section or day of the trip with the maximum difficulty of each. Much of the trip is at easier levels. See the trip itinerary for more detailed information. Backpack Weight ratings are estimates that account for Wildland-provided gear, guest clothing, personal items and a share of group food. By packing light it’s often possible to stay on the lower end of the weight range. Pack weights also decrease during the trip.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS

  • Hiking uphill or downhill with a 25-35 lb backpack for 5-7 hours
  • Hiking uphill off trail with a 8-12 lb backpack for 6-8 hours
  • Maintaining balance and footing on moderately rugged terrain
  • Hiking with moderate heights exposure
DIFFICULTY LEVEL

To show the relative difficulty of our adventure holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most challenging. Our simple, colour-coded grade symbol provides an indication of the difficulty of each trip.

Clearly, there are many different factors that contribute to the difficulty of a particular holiday, including, length of day, terrain, type of accommodation, altitude and weather conditions. Since some of these factors are necessarily changeable, any system of grades can only provide a general indication. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the detailed Trip Notes and if you are still unsure, please do not hesitate to contact us

GREEN 1 - 4 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

YELLOW 5 - 7 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

RED 08 - 10 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involve many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness experience is essential.