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Karakoram Himalaya Experience

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Karakoram Himalaya Experience
Quick Fact
Starting Price $   See All Prices
Departure Dates June-September    See All Dates
Trip Length 27 Days
Activities mountaineering, cultural exploration, sightseeing
Difficulty Level Strenuous
Destinations Islamabad, Skardu,  Shigar, Hunza, Hispar La, Snow Lake, Fairy Meadows, Nanga Parbat Base Camp
 
Fairy Meadows (Photo credit: Jerry Dunn)
Snow Lake (Photo credit: Ben Tubby)
Snow Crossing (Photo credit: Jerry Dunn)

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This adventure begins with a spectacular one-hour flight from Islamabad to Skardu, the capital of Baltistan. While acclimatizing in Skardu you will have an opportunity to visit some of the ancient Buddhist sites or tranquil lakes of the Baltistan Valley. This is a classic trek through the enchanting valleys of Shigar, Nagar Hunza and Fairy Meadows in Baltistan and Gilgit, passing through the largest glacier outside polar region and  stunning crossing of Hispar La. It takes at leisure days to explore fabled Hunza valley and fairy tale teller Fairy meadows to explore around there. As you cross mountain passes and climb to the summit you will experience breathtaking vistas across the Baltoro glacier to the peaks of the Karakoram and Himalayan Mountains

Highlights.

  • A spectacular trek up the Biafo glacier, Trango Tower BC, Snow lake & Simgang and over the challenging Hispar La pass and down the beautiful Nagar valley.
  • Views of K2, Broad Peak, Mashabrum, GI & II, Trango Tower and Laila peak among many others!
  • Guided by highly experienced professionals with the help of the best supporting staff available in Baltistan, having undergone on the job training over many seasons with us. They are highly experienced at catering to the needs of our members, and do a tremendous amount to contribute to the overall success and satisfaction of our groups
  • Dream trip can be.......Itinerary can be customized... 
    Leaves any day you desire..... Shorten or lengthen trip, if you like. Swap hotels and activities, to meet your exact needs
  • Lowest Price and best value of money --Save 40-50 % vs. comparable  tours of this same quality.
  • Group Discounts Available. Details

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Itinerary

 

27 DAYS  ITINERARY (Day by Day)

DAY 01: 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 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 will 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. You will then stop at the Shakar Parian, " Sweet Hills" 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.

Meals provided: Welcome Dinner
Accommodation: Green Palace Hotel, Civic Hotel, Regency Hotel

DAY 02:   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 rocks carving 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 drive through the Indus Gorge is guaranteed to knock your socks off! 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.

Flight: 45 Minutes Drive: 10-12 hrs

Meals provided: Breakfast
Accommodation:Chilas In Hotel (Chilas), Mashabrum Hotel, Baltistan Continental (Skardu)                           

DAY 03:   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. 

Meals provided: Breakfast
Accommodation: Masha Brum Hotel, Baltistan Continental Hotel

DAY 04:  SKARDU  - ASKOLE

Today we rise early and view the beautiful sunrise against the backdrop of the Karakorm. After breakfast drive to Shigar, a history-soaked medieval town. There  is also a heritage Palace cum Fort ( Fong khar ). Completely renovated by the AKCSP a few years back, the Palace and its suburbs reflects a medieval look. Here we will pay a brief visit to the Garden House, Royal room, museum handicraft shop and The Khanqah Moalla, famous for its uniquely carved wooden windows and meditation cells. Shigar retains a mystical, medieval aura that may leave you feeling like you have stepped through the looking glass.

Then an exciting jeep journey takes us through the fields of the Shigar Valley before the road narrows to a mountain track leading to the road head at Askole, the last inhabitancy on our way to the great glaciers. Highest in the region, the stone & timber abodes contain dark & narrow stairwells raven by gloomy, unlit alleys cluster within the embrace of the fertile terraces.

 

Distance: 96 Km Drive: 07-08 hrs. Altitude: 3050 M

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Mobile Camp

DAY 05:  ASKOLE – JULA

Today we leave the last inhabited village Askole. 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 expedition. After scrambling over a ridge we come across what legend says an old polo field. Passing through a rock gap we cross the Biafo glacier. The Biafo Glacier is a huge river of ice 63 Km long which descends from the central peaks of the Karakoram and flows East into the Braldu Valley at a point about 10 Km east of Askole. After two and a half hour trek a long and uphill walk over a steep ridge along the Dumordo river. Descend at Jula, (wire rope bridge supported by a wooden basket) cross it and camp beside a torrent facing the Bakhordas peak.

 

Walk: 06-07 hrs, Grade: Moderate, Altitude: 3150 M 

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Mobile Camp

DAY 06:     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.

 

Walk: 06-07 hrs, Grade: moderate, Altitude: 3390 M 

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Mobile Camp 

DAY 07:   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.

 

Walk: 05-06 hrs, Grade: Strenuous, Altitude: 3626 M   

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Mobile Camp 

DAY 08:    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.

Walk: 05-06 hrs, Grade: Strenuous, Altitude: 4020 M

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Mobile Camp 

DAY 09:   BAINTHA – FREE DAY

     Rest day for acclimatization and contingency preparations.

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Mobile Camp 

DAY 10:   :     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.

 

Walk: 04 -05 hrs, Grade: Moderate, Altitude: 4400 M 

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Mobile Camp 

DAY 11:   NAPINA – SIMGANG

This is a steady walk on snow covered ice to the Sim Gang Basecamp, 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.

 

Walk: 04 -05 hrs, Grade: Moderate, Altitude: 4780 M 

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Mobile Camp 

DAY 12:   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.

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Mobile Camp

   DAY 13:    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.

Walk: 05 -07 hrs, Grade: Strenuous, Altitude: 5151 M 

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Mobile Camp

DAY 14:   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.

 

Walk: 05 -06 hrs, Grade: Strenuous, Altitude: 4580 M

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Mobile Camp

     DAY 15:     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.

 

Walk: 05 -06 hrs, Grade: Moderate, Altitude: 4200

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Mobile Camp 

DAY 16:   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.

 

Walk: 05 -06 hrs, Grade: Moderate, Altitude: 4100 M

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Mobile Camp 

      DAY 17:    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.

 

Walk: 04-05 hrs, Grade: Moderate, Altitude: 3800 M

Meals provided: Breakfast
Accommodation: Masha Brum Hotel, Baltistan Continental Hotel

DAY 18:     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

 

Walk: 05-06 hrs, Grade: Moderate, Altitude: 3250 M

Meals provided: Breakfast
Accommodation: Chilas In Hotel in Chilas/ Regency Hotel or Green Palace Hotel 

      DAY 19:     HISPAR VILLAGE – HURU

Resume trek after breakfast and cross some small dwellings to reach Huru.

 

Walk: 05-06 hrs, Grade: easy, Altitude: 2800 M

Meals provided: Breakfast
Accommodation: Regency or Green Palace Hotel

     DAY 20:     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 Highway. Towering over the green and fertile oasis of the Hunza valley are the ice ridges and peaks of one of the giants of Karakoram, Rakaposhi (7788m). In the evening we will watch sun set panorama at Duikar.

Meals provided: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hunza View Hotel, Eagle’s Nest Hotel 

  DAY 21:    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.

Meals provided: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hunza View Hotel, Eagle’s Nest Hotel 

DAY 22:   HUNZA  – CHILAS / FAIRY MEADOWS

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 by jeep to Tato & hike to Fairy Meadows.

Tato: The steep and difficult ascent on a rocky trail will lead the group to a small hamlet of Tato which is comprised of few clay lofts scattered around. This village is inhabited by the upright and fierce yet very hospitable Chilasi people whose origin is Kohistan.

     Fairy Meadows: The traditional base camp of Nanga Parbat, known as Fairy Meadows. The local people believe that this beautiful place is an abode of fairies and ghosts. The lush green plateau presents some of the most spectacular sights one can ever witness. One forgets the tiring walk up to this magnificent site when one beholds a landscape of rushing torrents with a panoramic back - drop of the mighty Nanga Parbat.

 

Walk: 02-03 hrs, Grade : Moderate, Altitude : 2900 M

Meals provided: Breakfast,
Accommodation: Fairy Meadows Cottages 

DAY 23:     FAIRY MEADOWS  - NANGAPARBAT BASE CAMP

After breakfast trek to Nanga Parbat Base Camp.This huge mountain is not a single peak but a series of ridges culminating in an ice crest 8,125 meters high - ranked ninth highest in the world and second in Pakistan after K-2. Early disasters on Nanga Parbat gave it the nick name Killer Mountain. Twelve climbers and 18 porters had died there by 1937. The monster was finally conquered in 1953 by the German Expedition.

 

Walk: 05-06 hrs, Grade: Moderate, Altitude: 3650 M

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Mobile Camp 

DAY 24:      NANGA PARBAT  B.CAMP – FAIRY MEADOWS 

Resume trek after breakfast back to Fairy Meadows.

 

Walk: 06-07 hrs, Grade: Moderate, Altitude: 3400 M.

Meals provided: Breakfast
Accommodation:  Fairy Meadows Cottages 

DAY 25:    FAIRY MEADOWS  –  BESHAM

After breakfast descend Tato and Raikot bridge by the same route all the way then drive to Besham on Karakoram Highway(KKH).

 

Meals provided: Breakfast

Accommodation: Besham Continental Hotel, Midway Hotel

    DAY 26:    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 alpine meadows are carpeted by colorful wildflowers and dazzling apple blossoms. Terraced villages dot this monumental terrain, supported by traditional farming methods and lifestyles that have changed little over the centuries.

Meals provided: Breakfast

Accommodation: Regency Hotel, Green Palace Hotel

DAY 27:  ISLAMABAD  - FREE DAY

Private transfer to Islamabad International Airport for your departure flight.

Meals provided: Breakfast
Accommodation: None

End of Services

 

2012 Group Departure Dates from Islamabad:

June 5,                   June 15

July  5,                   July 25 

August 5,               August 15    

September 5          September  15  

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