K-2 Gondogoro Trek

K-2

The Throne Room of  the Mountain Gods, Concordia, the meeting place of Baltoro and Godwin Austin glaciers. Nowhere else has the queen of mountains has exposed her charms as in this small piece of glaciered area where four eight thousand meters stand shoulder to shoulder in addition to numerous seven thousand meter peaks.

Flight from Islamabad to Skardu is subject to weather. In case of flight cancellation you will make the journey in two days by road.Seven hours drive from Skardu will take you to the last inhabited settlement, Askole. Eight days walk on Baltoro glacier will bring you to Concordia. En-route you cross snouts of numerous tributary glaciers, will see Trango Towers, vertical rock faces 7000 meters high and will negotiate glacier crevasses. After spending two days for exploration or a visit to the k-2 Base Camp, you will trek to Hushe, crossing Gondogoro pass in six days. You are required to report back to the Ministry of Tourism in Islamabad after the completion of the trek. In addition to one of the most spectacular scenery you come across, during the trek this journey will also offer you an opportunity to experience the colours of Balti culture.

For Spectacular Mountain panorama there is no any other option than to a trek to K-2 8611 meters, a wonder that has mystified and lured mountain lover form time memorable. This is one of the world’s most popular trek adventures. Get a new perspective on this scenic glacier way, a romantic land-replete with unseen nature and unheard delights of solitude. The mind gropes for wonder enough and prays for memory to hold with defies expressions of these unspoiled paradise. Geographical impetus seems here incredible that are beyond the wildest dreams. 

Briefing session at ministry of tourism. embark flight to skardu,a spectacular forty minute flight to skardu, passing close to nanga parbat, is the memorable introduction to the trip. in case of flight cancellation you will make the journey in two days by road. this is followed by an exciting jeep ride through the apricot orchards and fields of the shigar valley to the road end at askole, where the trekking begins.

We commence our trek at askole and three days traverse bring us to paiju, crossing the snout of the baifo glacier, walking on the wide sand and boulder flats of the braldu gorge, we have a thrilling ride of wire and pulley bridge. we rove along exposed rocky trail of this rugged terrain, along the rushing braldu river. at paiju the first views of the series of famous rocky spires come in the sight. today is the beginning of our traverse on the baltoro glacier negotiating the steep paths some times descending we reach urdukas. the campsite provides a spectacular view described in superlatives as the greatest rock walls in the world: the trango and nameless towers, the lob sang, cathedral and uli biafo spires and paiju peak, which together form a staggering north wall to the valley of the baltoro glacier. walkingin the last two days march will be rewarded with the alluring views and a spell of ecstasy prevails the region overwhelmed by the stunning glory of masherbrum appears to be an imposing aurora to the south looms the gasherbrum iv and broad peak culminating at the mighty giant. of karakoram k-2 which superseses all our previous experience in the entire range. from our campsite concordia 4700 meters named by martin Conway in 1892 after the place de la concorde in paris “concordia” is the amphitheater of superb spectacles described by gallan rowel in his book "the thrown room of mountain  gods”.one is dazzled by the superstructures of towering peaks all exposed on turning 360 degrees k-2 8611 meters, the queen of mountains, to the right Broad peak 8060 htrs, Gasherbrum iv 7925 meters, golden throne7312 meters,chogoliza 7654 thousand Muztag tower 7284 meters. there are numerous peaks over 60000 meters still nameless and un-climbed.

We trace back our steps descending to askole by the same route in 5/6 days. there are two spare days to availincaseof forced haltage/bad weather.although wetraverse in reverse direction but we view diverse mountainscapes.

Itinerary

Day 01   Arrive in Islamabad

A member of the Karakorum Explorer staff will meet you outside the customs and immigration area at the airport. This representative will answer questions. Brief you on the immediate arrangements, and escort you to the hotel in Rawalpindi. After meeting with the trip leader for a trek briefing, the afternoon is free to rest, relax or explore on your own.

 

Day 02    Discover Islamabad 

Free day in Islamabad to discover the delights of the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Rawalpindi is an old British-era settlement and Islamabad is the capital city and administrative enter built some time after the partition of India in elevation in 1947. The cities are Located at about 1,500 feet in elevation in the hot and steamy plains of Pakistan’s upper Punjab. You may wish to explore Rawalpindi by wandering among its many and varied bazaars, or visit the imposing Shah Fail Mosque superbly situated at the foot of the Margalla hills. This mosque is one of the largest in the world, with room for 15,000 worshippers inside and 85,000 in the courtyard. In the afternoon we will attend a briefing at the Ministry of Tourism.

 

Day 03    Travel to Skardu

Transfer to the airport and fly to Skardu, (7,000), the starting point for some of the world’s best mountaineering.If weather conditions warrant or if there are flight delays, we may have to make a two-day drive to Skardu via Chilas and the frontier town of Gilgit on the Karakorum Highway (see note on flight delays at en of itinerary).If we do make this drive. We will overnight at the Shangri La Midway House in Chilas.

 

Day 04      Explore Skardu

 Free day in Skardu, the capital of Baltistan. Tradition says that the town was once called Iskandaria and that it was one of the cities Fronded by Alexander the great. We’ll explore its narrow bazaars and Turquoise blue Sadpara Lake about four miles south of the town. (If we are Traveling by road, we will drive through the narrow gorge of the Indus River to Skardu.)

Day 05    To Askole

 We board jeeps for the adventurous ride to the trail head (about six to seven hours). As we leave Skardu we cross a suspension bridge over the Indus River and enter Shigar Valley, known for its numerous fruit orchards. We’ll enjoy views of Mango Gusor (20,362) and Bakhor Das (19,054) As we drive along the roaring Braldu River. Arrive at Askole, where we camp. Overnight at 9,750.here we also meet our expedition porters.

 

Day 06     Begin Trek Korofan

 The early morning light finds us beginning our trek as the Loads are distributed among the porters. Walking along the Braldu River We pass the town of Askole after about an hour. Another three hours walk Brings us to the Biafo Glacier, a tortured mile-wide sea of ice. Continue another half-hour to Korofan(10,170’) on the other side of the glacier. Six to seven hours hiking.

Day 07      Khrobrakk

 A tough day as we climb along a cliff face to the cable bridge spanning the Dumordo River (the manual cable bridge over the rushing river is one of the many adventures of this trek!). The last two hours are comparatively easy as we hike on a level trail along the Braldu River to Our campsite at khrobrakk (10,700) seven to eight hours hiking.

 

Day 08  First views of the Baltoro Glacier Paiju

This is an undulating walk, with Occasional scrambles across the rock. Excitement mounts as we prepare to have the first views of the great mountains ahead. The trail climbs to advantage point from where we can see the snout of the Baltoro Glacier. Visible in the east is the magnificent panorama of Cathedral Towers and of Cathedral Towers and Broad peak (26,400,). Paiju camp (11,750) is situated in a grove of willow and poplar trees and has a freshwater stream running through it. A sacrificial goat will be provided for the porters, and we’ll be able to listen and watch as they sing and dance throughout the evening. Four to five hours hiking.

Day 09    Khobursay

A little over an hour after we leave camp, we step on the snout of the Baltoro Glacier, a vast, turbulent sea of rocks and gravel more than a mile wide and nearly 40 miles long. We begin to feel the pulse of creation: the ice melts, the rocks roll, the glacier creaks and groans while rearranging its icy rivers. We walk across the boulder-strewn ice, gaining height steadily for three hours on a long diagonal to the south side of the glacier. A long the way we have spectacular views of Paiju Peak”921,648” the jagged granite needles and blocks of the Trango Towers series, with Nameless Towers rising straight to 20,464. Camp at khobursay (13,000) a flat and sandy area of lateral moraine. Five to six hours hiking.

 

Day 10      Biango

For the first two hours we walk along the rest of the lateral moraine. Across the Baltoro glacier we have exciting views of Paiju Peak, Choricho (22,160) Uli Biaho, Trango Towers, Cathedrals, and Biale (22,160). After crossing the green pastures of Urdukas (approximately 13,550 feet), we cross the side crevasses, then walk on the medial moraine of the Baltoro to Biango campsite. Biango, at 14,200, is part of the Yermanadu Glacier flowing down from Masherbrum Pass (17,594). From here we have a spectacular view of the snowy triangle of Masherbrum (25,660) the 24th highest peak in the world. Seven to eight hours hiking.

 

Day 11     To the incredible sanctuary of Concordia 

Trek six to seven hours to Concordia (14,500). As we make our approach, Gasherbrum IV (26,180) stand guard in the east, with Gasherbrum II (26,360) peering from its right shoulder, More extraordinary mountain views await us at Concordia, where we see K2 (28,741), Broad Peak (26,400), Golden Throne (23,989) Mitre Peak (19,718) and a vast array of other peaks.

 

Day 12     Rest Day At Concordia,

A good time to take lots of photos and revel in our surroundings. 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. D

Day 13      K-2 Base Camp

 Day hike to K2 Base Camp (16,500), as strenuous, 10-hours round-trip 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-stripe Glaciers sweeping around the corner and disappearing into the Baltoro Glacier. K-2 Base Camp normally accommodates five to six mountaineering expeditions during the climbing season. Return to Concordia camp for overnight.

Day 14   A free day          

A free day back at camp to rest after our K2 excursion and to adjust our crampons for climbing the Gondogoro La.

Day 15     Ali camp

 The first two hours of the trek are difficult as we leave Concordia and traverse the Baltoro Glacier and its crevasses. One on the Vigne Glacier. It’s a comparatively easy and gradual walk over snow and ice, Mighty Chogolisa (25,110) stand’s guard in the south. Camp overnight at Ali camp (16,600), a combination of small rocky platform between the cliff Face and crevasse. We turn in early, as we have a midnight wake-up call for the departure over the Gondogoro La. Five to six hours hiking.

 

Day 16     Gondogoro La Khuispan

 We leave comp at about 1:00am to climb the Gondogoro La (18,368). For the first two hours we walk on the lateral moraine to avoid crevasses. As we get closer to the pass we shift on snow until the base of the pass. The final ascent involves a steep walk on snow and, depending on conditions, the use of fixed ropes as well as crampons and ice axe. The views from the top of the pass are unparalleled with K2 Broad Peak. Gasherbrum I to IV, Masherbrum, and many other mountains appearing at our level. The descent on the Hushe side is Steeper, requiring God bsiance on the rocks. Camp at khuispan (15,416), a level green spot that has wildflowers in July and August Nine to then hours hiking.

 

Day 17       Khuispan

 A rest day after the ascent of the pass. We can take time to explore the area or just relax and admire views of Lailal Peak (920,00). Drangra (20,746) and Tasa Peak (21,694).

Day 18       Dalsangpa 

As we leave Xuspang, we make a long traverse of the Gondogoro Glacier, first encountering small crevasses, then hiking over the soft ice of the Glacier. The last half hour is a pleasant stroll through wildflowers with commanding views of the Gondogoro Glacier, Yermanad Kangri, Masherbrum South and the Masherbrum La Camp by two small lakes. Three to four hours walking.

Day 19        Saischo 

At we continue, we gradually leave the icy landscapes and a descend to the meadow and pasturland at Saischo. Althou we have left the icy wilds, we still have tremendous views of the mountains including Namika Peak and Defo Khar. Three to four hours hiking.

Day 20      Hushe

Descend to the Gondogoro River, enjoying spectacular views of K-6 (23,881ft), K-7 (22,744ft) and Link Sar (23094ft). We continue to descend passing through small summer settlements enroute to the green irrigated fields at Hushe (10,500ft). Four to five hours hiking.

Day 21       By Jeep To Skardu

 Meet with jeeps and drive six to eight hours to Skardu, passing through many picturesque villages perched on vertical rocks. This part of Baltistan appears greener and more prosperous than on our drive to Askole.

Day 22      Return To Islamabad

Fly from Skardu to Islamabad, conditions permitting or make a two-day drive via Gilgit on the Karakorum Highway. Transfer to hotel.

Day 23       Explore Islamabad

A free day in Islamabad follows a short debriefing at the Ministry of Tourism, optional excursion to Taxila, an archaeological site located about 20 miles from Islamabad. Here lie the remains of three great cities and many Buddhist monasteries dating from linking China, India, Central Asia and the West and thus became the cultural cross-roads of the ancient world.

Day 24       Flight To Onward Destination

                                                                                                              

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