Trek to K2 Base Camp on this Gondogoro La Pass trekking trip in Pakistan. Descibed as“The world’s greatest museum of shape and form” by Fosco Maraini.
Trek to K2 Base Camp on this Gondogoro La Pass trekking trip in Pakistan: “The world’s greatest museum of shape and form” is how Italian mountaineer/author Fosco Maraini described Concordia in his book, Karakorum. In Concordia, six peaks over 7,925 meters rise to touch the heavens, including K2 (8,611 m) the 2nd highest mountain on earth. After visiting Islamabad, we fly to Skardu and then drive to the trailhead and meet our colorful expedition porters, sturdy mountain men. As we trek up to this other-worldly place we enter a remarkable wilderness of ice, rock, and sky.
By the time we reach Paiju Camp at the foot of the Baltoro Glacier, we begin to feel the pulse of creation: the ice melts the rocks roll, and the glacier creaks and groans, rearranging its icy rivers. When we reach Concordia we are rewarded with the most incredible mountain views in the world, virtually surrounded by K2, Broad Peak (8,051 m), Gasherbrum IV (7,925 m), and razor-edged Mitre Peak. Our return trek is by way of the Gondogoro La (5,600 m), a challenging hike skirting the Gondogoro Glacier, and down to the green irrigated fields of the Hushe Valley. This is an exciting, challenging trek, geared for hikers with previous high altitude mountain trekking experience.
Itinerary for trek to K2 Base Camp and Gondogoro La Pass trekking trip in Pakistan
Departure Departure For Pakistan.
Arrive in Islamabad Spend the day in Islamabad finalizing permit details with the Ministry of Tourism. Evening free. Overnight at the hotel.
Travel To Skardu In the morning you will be transferred to Islamabad airport for the flight to Skardu (2272m). This flight is subject to clear weather. Alternately, we take a two-day drive to Skardu, along the Karakorum Highway, sometimes referred to as the eighth wonder of the world. We stay overnight at Chilas on the banks of the Indus, the lion river.
Explore Skardu Free day at Skardu, the capital of Baltistan, sometimes called little Tibet due to its geographic location and historic links with Tibet and Ladakh. Stroll down the narrow bazaar, climb up the cliff to visit the historic Kharpocho fort, visit the turquoise blue Satpara Lake which is just a few kilometers from the town. Meals and overnight at Motel/Resort.
Towards Trek Head Jeep from Skardu to Askoli We leave Skardu on the metal road heading east, drive over a small pass and enter Shigar, a valley of orchards. Arrive at Juhla Campsite, Meals and overnight at camp. 9-10, hour jeep ride.
Start The Trek: Juhla nala – As the staff distributes 25kg each among the porters, we start our trek in the soft morning light. Walking along the Baltoro river, we trek, often mentioned by early explorers as the last human inhabitation of the Indian subcontinent.Lunch on the way.Arrive at Paiju campsite.
G 4 Greets You Near Paiju The trek starts in easy fashion with an occasional scramble over rock. Three hours’ walk brings us to the point where waters from the Paiju peak divide themselves into four rushing streams, that can be crossed by jumping over the stones and then walking through the meltwater. In the east dominating, the horizon is the towering summits of Gashabrum 4, Cathedral Towers and Broad Peak. After negotiating scree and sand, we walk along the river, arrive at Paiju (3560m), a refreshing campsite situated in a grove of willows and poplars through which flows a stream of fresh water. 4-5 hours trek.
On Baltoro Urdukas We begin our day’s trek with a walk for about an hour across gradually ascending barren territory to arrive at the snout of the Baltoro Glacier, a vast, turbulent sea of rocks and ice more than two miles wide and nearly forty miles long. The first stretch of the walk on the undulating glacier can be a little challenging as we dodge small crevasses. The view is magnificent with the Cathedral and Trango Towers, rising to 6000metre -plus on our left. We begin to feel the pulse of creation: the melting ice, the shifting rocks, and the groans of the glacier as it rearranges its icy rivers. As we walk across boulder-strewn ice, we gradually gain height over three hours to the south side of the glacier. We arrive at a flat, sandy area of lateral moraine, our campsite Khobursay at 4000m. 5-6hrs trek.
Biango/ Goro 02 We walk on the lateral moraine of the glacier for the first two hours. After arriving at the green pastures of Urdukas, we cross crevasses and then walk on the medial moraine of the glacier. The middle part of the glacier has its own surprises for us, small streams of water rushing over clear blue ice, and huge mushroom-like ice towers erupting from the glacier. As we proceed Gasherbrum 2 (8035m), the 14th highest peak in the world) peeps from the right shoulder of G-4 in the east. Biango, at 4030m, is our campsite, dominated by a stunning view of Mashabrum (7900m) due south. As we are camping on a thin layer of moraine over glacial ice the night can be cold. 7-8hrs trek.
To Concordia Finally Yes Concordia! Start your trek walking on the medial moraine of the glacier to the incredible sanctuary of Concordia. As we make our approach, Gashabrum - 4 stands guard in the east. On our left, we have magnificent views of Muztagh Tower (7200m) on the border between Pakistan and China. Excitement mounts and paces quicken as we arrive at Concordia, lured by the classic views of K2 (8612m), The second highest mountain in the world. Concordia - the meeting place of five glaciers, is named after “Place de la Concorde” in Paris. Within a radius of 15km are 41 peaks above 6500 meters, almost half of them still virgin and unnamed. Also visible from Concordia, clockwise from K-2 are Broad Peak (8068m), Gasherbrum 4 (7900m), Baltoro Kangri (7245m), Kondus (7000m), Mitre (6000m), Paiju (6610m), Crystal (6300m), Marble (6200m) and Angel Peak (6800m). 4-5 hour trek.
K2 Base Camp Full day excursion to the base camp of K2. A strenuous 10-hour round-trip trek over snow, rock, and ice. As we start our trek, we cross crevasses of the Baltoro Glacier, then walk on the lateral moraine of the Godwin Austin glacier to the base camp of Broad Peak. Chogolisa (7586m) now appears on the scene, standing guard in the south and hinting at the new crossing from Concordia to the Hushe valley. As we proceed towards base camp, we walk on the moraine of Godwin Austin glacier. Walking here is much easier than the first two hours’ stretch on rocks. When we arrive at K2 base camp at 5000m, which is normally occupied by five mountaineering expeditions during the climbing season each year, we are overwhelmed by the sheer size of K2. Return to Concordia for overnight.
To Ali Camp The first two hours of the trek are difficult as we leave Concordia and traverse the Baltoro Glacier and its crevasses. Once on the Vigne Glacier, it is a comparatively easy and gradual walk over snow and ice. Mighty Chogolisa (7600m) stands guard in the south. Camp overnight at Ali Camp (5030m), a combination of small rocky platforms 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. 5-6hrs hiking.
Over Gondogoro La We leave camp at about 1 am to climb the Gondogoro La (5566m). For the first two hours, we walk on the lateral moraine to avoid crevasses. As we get closer to the pass, we walk on snow to the base of the pass. The final ascent involves a steep walk on the snow and the use of fixed ropes as well as crampons and ice axes. The view from the top of the pass is unparalleled, with K2, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum 1 to 4, Mashabrum, and many mountains other appearing at our level. The descent on the Hushe side is steeper, requiring good balancing on the rocks. Camp at Khuispan (4629m), a level green spot that has wildflowers in July and August. 9-10hrs treks.
Khuispan A rest day after the ascent of the pass. We can take time to explore the area or just relax and admire the view of Laila Peak (6063m), Drangra (6230m, and Tasa Peak (6514m).
Dalsangpa As we leave Khuispan, 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 wild flowers, with commanding views of the Gondogoro Glacier, Yermandu Kangri (7555m), Mashabrum South (7688m), and the Mashabrum La. Camp at 4198m by a small Lake. Three to four hours hiking.
Saicho As we continue, we gradually leave the icy landscapes and descend to the meadows and pasture land at Saicho (3727m). Although we’ve left the icy wilds, we still have tremendous views, including Namika Peak (6230m), and Defokhar (6445m). Four to five hours hiking.
Hushe Valley Descend to the Gondogoro River, enjoying spectacular views of K-6 (7171m, K-7 (6839m), and Link Sar (6935m). We continue descending, passing through small summer settlements en route to the green irrigated fields at Hushe (3153m). Four to five hours hiking.
Back To Civilization * Skardu Enjoy your last breakfast at the camp for this trek, and say Khuda Hafiz to your camping staff who had been pitching tents for you and preparing meals for you during the trek. Board soft top 4x4 jeeps for a bumpy ride through the Karakoram. Arrive at Skardu. Transfer to the motel - and enjoy the hot shower. Meals and overnight at resort/motel. 5/6 hours jeep ride. End of rock Valley Tours Services.
Towards Pindi * (Pindi/Chilas) We book the flight to Islamabad, with good luck the flight might operate, enabling us to arrive Pindi in just one hour (miracle of science!). In case of cancellation of flight, we shall drive by road to Islamabad - spending overnight at Chilas KKH.
Finally Back! * Pindi Once at Rawalpindi, we shall proceed to the office of Ministry of Tourism for de-briefing of the Trek to K2 Base Camp and Gondogoro La Pass trekking trip in Pakistan. Day free to explore the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
Fly Home Transfer to airport for international departure flight.