“The world’s greatest museum of shape and form” is how Italian mountaineer/author Fosco Maraini described Concordia in his book, Karakoram. In Concordia, six peaks over 7925m rise to touch the heavens, including K2 (8611m) the second highest mountain on earth.
After visiting Islamabad, we fly to Skardu and then drive to the trail head and meet our colourful 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 melting ice, rolling rocks, the creaking and groaning of the glacier as it rearranges its icy rivers.
When we reach Concordia we will be
rewarded with the most incredible mountain views in the world as we are virtually surrounded by K2, Broad Peak (8,051m), Gasherbrum IV (7925m), and razor- edged Mitre Peak.
This is an exciting, challenging trek, geared for hikers with previous high altitude mountain trekking experience
Day 1 Arrive Islamabad:
We will spend the day in Islamabad finalizing trekking permits with the Ministry of Tourism and visiting the deputy chief of operations for a briefing on the trek. Evening free.
Day 2 Travel To Skardu/ Chilas/ Narran:
In the morning you will be taken to Islamabad airport for the PIA Boeing flight to Skardu (2287m). This flight is subject to clear conditions in Skardu and if the flight is cancelled we make the two-day drive to Skardu along the Karakoram Highway (KKH), which is sometimes known as the eighth wonder of the world. If we drive we will stay overnight at Chilas on the banks of the Indus - the Lion River. ( One-hour flight or a 12-hour drive on KKH).
DAY 3 Explore Skardu:
A free day in Skardu, the capital of Baltistan, which is sometimes called little Tibet due to its geographic closeness and historic links with Tibet and Laddakh. Stroll through the narrow bazaar, climb up the cliff to visit the historic Kharpocho Fort, visit the turquoise blue Satpara Lake that is just a few kilometres outside the town. Meals and overnight at motel/resort.
Day 4 Towards Trek Head:
We head east from Skardu, soon crossing a small pass leading to Shigar, the valley of orchards. We leave our jeeps at Thongol for a short walk to our camping site. Meals and overnight at camp, 6-7 hour jeep ride.
Day 5 Our trek beings:
After the staff distribute 25kg loads to each of our porters we start our trek in the soft morning light. After walking along the Braldu River we will arrive at Askole , the last permanent settlement along the trek route. Askole is often mentioned by early explorers as the last settlement on the Indian subcontinent. Another three hours’ walk across barren wasteland brings us to the Biafo Glacier, a tortured sea of ice and rocks two kilometres wide at our crossing point. It takes around two hours to cross the glacier on a established trail, walking most of the time on moraine and occasionally on ice. Once across the glacier it is 20 minutes to Korofan (3110m) Six to seven hours’ trekking.
Day 6 Paiju:
The day starts with a tough walk along a cliff face to arrive at the new wooden bridge which has replaced the cable bridge over the Dumordo River. Near Paiju we will get our first glimpse of Gashabrum 4 and later we will reach the point where waters from the Paiju Peak divide themselves into four rushing streams, which we cross by jumping from boulder to boulder and then wading through the meltwater. In the east, and dominating the horizon, are the towering summits of Gashabrum 4, Cathedral Towers and Broad Peak. After negotiating scree and sand beside the river we arrive at Paiju (3600m), a picturesque campsite situated in a grove of willows and poplar trees through which runs a stream. Four to five hours’ trekking.
Day 7 On Baltoro:
We spend the first hour making the gradual climb towards 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 glacier can be difficult as we must dodge small crevasses but there are magnificent views all around us - the Cathedral Range and the Trango Towers, which rise to 6000m. Now we begin to feel the pulse of creation – melting ice, rolling rocks, the groaning of the glacier as it rearranges its icy rivers. We spend about three hours walking across boulder-strewn ice, gaining height gradually until we reach a flat, sandy area of lateral moraine - our campsite Khobursay at 4000m. Five to six hours’ trekking.
Day 8 Biango:
The first two hours of the trek are spent walking across the glacier’s lateral moraine until we arrive at the green pasture of Urdukas, from where we cross side crevasses to traverse the medial moraine. This middle part of the glacier holds surprises for us - small streams of water rushing over clear blue ice, and huge ice towers jutting up from the glacier. As we proceed Gashabrum 2 (8035m, the 14th highest peak of the world) peeps from the right shoulder of G4 in the east. Biango at 4350m is our campsite and is dominated by the thrilling view of Mashabrum (7821m) to the south. We are camping on a thin layer of moraine over glacial ice so be prepared, the night could be cold. Seven to eight hours’ trek.
Day 9 To Concordia:
Yes Concordia ! We walk along the medial moraine to the incredible sanctuary of Concordia. As we make our approach Gashabrum 4 stands guard in the east and there are magnificent views of Muztagh Tower (7250m) on the border between Pakistan and China. Excitement mounts and our pace quickens as we arrive at Concordia, lured by the classic views of K2 (8611m), the second highest mountain of the world. Concordia - the meeting place of five glaciers – is named after the Place de la Concorde in Pairs. Within a radius of 15km are 41 peaks above 6500m, almost half of them still unclimbed and unnamed. Also visible from Concordia, clockwise from K-2 are: Broad Peak (8051m), Gashabrum 4 (7925m), Baltoro Kangri (7315m), Kondus (6760m), Mitre (6060m), Paiju (6660m), Crystal (6260m), Marble (6175m) and Angle Peak (6860m). Four to five hours trek.
Day 10 K2 Base Camp:
Full-day excursion to the K2 base camp involving a strenuous 10- hour round-trip trek over snow, rock and ice. As we start our trek, we cross the crevasses of the Baltoro Glacier, then walk on the lateral moraine of the Godwin Austin glacier to the base camp of Broad Peak. Chogolisa (7660m) now appears on the scene, standing guard in the south and hinting at the new crossing from Concordia to the Hushe Valley. We move on to the medial moraine of the glacier, walking here is much more easier than first two hours’ stretch spent on rocks. When we arrive at K2 base camp at 5030m, which is normally occupied by five mountaineering expeditions during the climbing season each year, we will be overwhelmed by the sheer size of K2. Return to Concordia for overnight.
Day 11 Concordia – Gore:
Today we will say goodbye to the mountains and turn back by the same route to Skardu. The trek is downhill now and as we will be well acclimatized we will cover the ground quickly and in five to six hours we will reach Gore. Here there are many tall icebergs on the Baltoro Glacier and there are also outstanding views of Meshabrum Peak (7821m)
Day 12 Gore Urdukas:
From Gore it is five to six hours’ trek to Urdukas, which is opposite the great Trango towers. This is a beautiful camping site among large boulders and pasture. There are also graves of porters here, men who died during mountaineering expeditions.
Day 13 Urdukas - Khoburzay
Day 14 Khoburzay - Paiju
Day 15 Paiju – Jola:
The Jola camping site is on the banks of the Baltoro and Dumurdo rivers. Last year the government constructed a wooden bridge here so unlike in the past we do not have to cross the Dumurdo River over the swinging pulley.
Day 16 Jola – Askole:
Early moning start to reach the trek head. First we will corss Dumurdo River then climb Pari rock and arrive Korophone. At Korophone we meet the Biafo Glacier which flows from Snow Lake, and cross a plateau to reach Askole. From here we will try to take a jeep to Skardu but if road conditions are not suitable we will walk another hour to Thongal to find transport.
Day 17 _ Back To Civilization – Skardu:
Enjoy your last breakfast in camp on this trek and say Khuda Hafiz to your camping staff who pitched tents and prepared meals for you during the trek. Board soft-top 4x4 jeeps for a bumpy ride through Karakoram. This part of Baltistan is greener and more prosperous. We arrive at Skardu - shall we call it civilization ? You must be the judge. Meals, the enjoyment of a shower and overnight at resort/motel. 5-6 hour jeep ride.
Day 18 Towards Pindi:
A flight is booked to Islamabad, which if weather conditions mean are suitable we will be in Islamabad in just one hour - a miracle of modern technology. But, if the flight is cancelled we will drive back, with an overnight stop at Chilas on the Karakoram Highway.
Day 19 Back, Finally:
Once at Rawalpindi, Islamabad’s twin city, we shall proceed to the office of Ministry of Tourism for a trek debriefing. The rest of the day is free to explore the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
Day 20 Fly Home Transfer to airport for international departure flight.
Cost & Condition Sheet.
Following is our quote for the above mentioned tour in US$
15 & Above Pax + 1 FOC : $ Half Twin. Per Person
08 - 14 Pax : $ Half Twin. Per Person
06 - 07 Pax : $ Half Twin. Per Person
04 - 05 Pax : $ Half Twin. Per Person
02 – 03 Pax : $ Half Twin. Per Person
Single room/tent Supplement : $ Per Single.
Domestic Airfare in Y Class.
Islamabad- Skardu : $ Per person.
* Islamabad - Skardu flight is subject to suitable weather, in case of cancellation of this flight, road transfer shall be arranged with an overnight stay at Chilas on the way to Skardu.
Accommodation: on a twin-share basis at standard category hotels in towns;
Meals: half board at hotels, full board during trek;
Transport: Air conditioned transport in Islamabad, soft-top 4x4 jeeps from Skardu to trek head and back;
Camping facilities: 2-person dome tent with mattresses, dining tent with folding table & chairs, kitchen tent and Staff, toilet tent; Portage of 15kg, of personal luggage during the trek;
Trek Permits, Processing & payment to the Ministry of Tourism;
English-speaking qualified Mountain Guide.
Any domestic/international air fares; personal trekking equipment, medicines and any other expense of a personal nature; any expense due to cancellation of flights, landslides, other acts of God, evacuation or accident or delay beyond the control of land operator.
GEAR & Clothing:
While on an organized trek, it is best to pack all items for your trip in one large piece and one carry on. The large piece must be a duffel bag (weighing not more than 12.5 Kg.) because duffels are easier for porters to carry. A small day pack is suggested as carry-on to keep items that you will use during while on the trek, bus or jeep.
Packing list for your Duffel.
With your knowledge of Pakistani culture you are well aware of precautions to be taken while traveling through remote areas. Cloths for the trek should be durable, comfortable and easy to wash and dry. In good weather you will spend much of your time in a T-shirt or medium shirt and outdoor trousers. You will need warmer clothes for evening in the camps. Temperature falls rapidly as soon the sun goes down.
Men could wear shorts once we are through the populated areas, that means from the third day of trek. Women are advise to use cotton shalwar kameez (loose long shirts and baggy trousers) the traditional Pakistani dress, as these are comfortable during warm conditions, and also appreciated & respected by the locals.
Village Shimshal Hunza Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan
Office E-158-C Street # 11، Rifle Range Rd, New Iqbal Park، Lahore, Punjab 54750
3 BOUNDARY HOUSE TURNER ROAD
EDGWARE MIDDLESEX United Kingdom.
Rock Valley Tours Pvt. Ltd locally based company with an expert team is passionate and extremely knowledgeable about the region having lived or travelled widely there. The Management team of Rock Valley tours is highly professional and works very hard to earn all important reputation and recognition.
Born in the Karakorum Mountainous regions of Pakistan, our team members have spent their childhoods traversing the endless trails of these parts of the country. They have all trained and been certified to ensure that your experience is unparalleled and that safety remains paramount. Our guides have respect for the natural environment in which they work and live and they have intimate knowledge of the terrain, the people and the cultures that you will encounter on your trek. With these years of experience and knowledge, it is our goal to provide a memorable experience to you.