Q. Who are your typical clients?
Our clients are mostly professionals or families who are looking to enrich
their lives and they know their limitations well enough to appreciate our
relaxed hiking pace, our focus on safety and our comfortable camp setup.
We discuss the group setup with each client. Families with kids walk mostly
in private. Singles are normally paired with other singles to form small
groups. Couples are normally paired with other couples. For our clients, the
experience is just as important as reaching the destination. It may be about
challenging themselves to do something hard, it may be about doing something
with their teenage kids, it may be about spending time away from it all, it
may be about reconnecting with a loved one or a group of friends. The
learning aspect is also very important - learning about themselves, about
their loved ones, about the mountain and about the wonderful cultures. For
everybody, it is about doing something positive on a mountain that will soon
lose its mystique as the glaciers melt away.
We work hard to ensure that our clients are satisfied, along the way, we do
something very unique - we approach each trip with unmatched enthusiasm and
take great care to draw our clients into our world - filled with song,
dance, happiness and an appreciation for life despite the hardships we
We teach them our songs, our languages, and our ways of life in the shadows
of peaks. When our clients get tired, we take their hands and encourage them
At the end of the trip, it is hard to say goodbye. Most of our clients
remain in contact with our team - encouraging our porters to save their
money, get educated, learn better English and to improve their lives for
themselves and their families. The students become the teachers - and they
(our clients) have forever a small group of friends in Pakistan!
Q. Am I suited to group travel?
A. We recognize that many of our travelers have not been on a ‘group trip’
before. You can rest assured that our trips are flexible and allow you to do
your thing within the framework of the itinerary. We do not attempt to
instill a ‘group ethos’ and fully recognize your needs as an individual. Our
maximum group size is 12 – an ideal size to ensure minimum impact travel to
the areas in which we operate.
Q. Can I organize my own group?
A. If the specified departure dates are not suitable, or you would like to
vary the itinerary, we would be happy to devise a program to suit your
travel interests. This service is available to any individual or group.
However, as a general rule, for a quote to match the brochure price we need
a minimum of four people. For larger groups there may be a price reduction.
We regularly organize tailor-made holidays for families, groups of friends,
schools, clubs and special interest groups and we’d be happy to advise you
on your plans.
Q. How fit do I have to be?
A. Our adventures are first and foremost holidays and can be undertaken by
anyone in a reasonable state of health and fitness. All our trips are
graded, allowing you to choose a suitable trip. Please refer to our grading
system on the ‘Types of Adventure’ section on this website. We recommend
that you familiarize yourself with our grading system by reading our
detailed trip notes (which you can order from this site) and to speak with
our expert staff on the physical requirements of your trip.
Q. What level of comfort can I expect?
A. On all our trekking adventures we camp in style and comfort, using the
best equipment. All your gear is carried (except where specified) and meals
are cooked for you while our staff prepare the camp. As you would expect we
provide the same level of comfort on our cycling and adventure sports
adventures. On our journeys our accompanying leader and staff take care of
your day to day needs while you stay in local hotels and travel in
comfortable private vehicles.
Q. How safe is it?
A. On all our trips your well-being is our first priority. Our staff
constantly review every aspect of your adventure and our expert guides are
fully conversant with the demands of traveling in remote regions.
Q. Where do we stay?
A. To capture the essence of your journey we have wherever possible selected
accommodation with local character. In the cities our hotel rooms are on a
twin share basis with private facilities. In remote localities you can
expect simple, clean but more basic facilities.
Q. What about environmental impact?
A. We believe that adventure travel evolves around establishing a sound
working relationship with the people and environments in which we operate.
We believe that you can also make a positive contribution.
Q. Are there any hidden extras or surcharges?
A. Owning all our operations allows us to include all transport, most meals,
accommodation and much of the equipment you will need for your adventure.
Once you leave home there is little to spend. Compare our quality,
inclusions and daily rates and we think you will agree our holidays
represent the best value around.
Q. How often is a trip cancelled?
A. As we travel in small groups 95% of our trips operate – so you can be
confident of going on the trip of your choice.
Q. How can I get more information?
A. We can send you comprehensive notes on all of our trips by post, fax or
email, or you can download them from this website. We hold regular slide
shows on our major destinations and our office staff are pleased to help you
or your travel agent select your holiday. Our staff have a wide experience
of the trips we offer and can provide first-hand advice and travel tips.
This is a reason why over 75% of our participants join us through personal
referrals or have traveled with us before.
Q. Can I use my Visa Card and/or Travelers Cheques in Pakistan?
Credit cards are widely accepted in all major cities of Pakistan and stores.
However, there are an abundance of bank machines in major cities where you
may withdraw money from your credit or debit card with your PIN number. You
may use the following Travelers Cheques in Pakistan: VISA, American Express.
The bank commission on these cheques is 3%. In any case you should have some
ready cash on hand in US Dollars when you come to Pakistan.
Q. What type of food is served on a trip / trek?
Normally hot meals are served all along the trip, though at times packed
lunches may be given when distances between stops do not permit cooking. We
are fully aware of the healthy appetites that build up when trekking,
cycling or touring and provide tasty and varied meals with plenty of fresh
ingredients. Our excellent cooks serve a sensible combination of local and
European dishes while at the same time ensuring high standards of hygiene.
On all our trips your good health is our highest priority. We also cater for
vegetarians. Please let us know if you have any special dietary
Q. How much money should I bring for the trip?
A: The amount of money you bring on a trek depends on you. Tips money,
personal phone calls, souvenirs and film are personal expenses. We have a
safe in our office where plane tickets and money can be kept.
Q. What happens if there is an emergency?
A: Vertical Explorers prides itself on being prepared for any emergency
situation. Our guides are trained in first aid and can deal with most of the
basic ailments that occur during a trek. But if a serious emergency occurs,
then outside help is needed. Every client should have their own insurance
before coming to Pakistan. If an emergency occurs, Vertical Explorers will
initially cover the cost of an evacuation until your insurance company can
deliver payment. All trekking services are included from here till the end
of the trek.
Q. How about an insurance?
A: To protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances we strongly
recommend you take out a ‘Trip cancellation and medical insurance policy’ in
your home country. The medical policy should include coverage of
transportation costs in the event of emergency helicopter or surface
evacuation being required. We regret that such insurance policies are not
available in Pakistan.
Q. How can I make a booking?
A. You can download our Booking Form here. When completed, this can be
posted or faxed to V E office or your travel agent together with your
deposit. We will confirm your booking and forward comprehensive trip
departure booklets and other information regarding visas, vaccinations,
personal clothing, equipment and the like, to ensure you are fully prepared
for your adventure.
If you are trekking for the first time around you will have many questions
and even more doubts. What will be some of the requirements on your trek,
what would be the essentials you should check on before you go ahead and
confirm with your tour operator for your dream trek in Pakistan. This
section is a pointer to what facilities an ideal agency should be offering
you on your trek and answers to some of the Frequently Asked Questions
before starting the trek.
Q. What sort of experience do your guides have?
A: Vertical Explorers has some of the most dependable and experienced guides
in Pakistan. All of our guides have spent years exploring The mountains and
countryside of Pakistan. All guides speak English and have a deep knowledge
of the various trekking routes. Our guides are trained in first aid and know
how to react in any situation. And most importantly our guides are friendly
and enjoyable and want to share with you the true beauty of Pakistan.
Q. What should I carry on my day packed ?
Packed for yourself and carry during the day:
camera and films that you need during the day
medicines (if you are taking any medicine)
anti-sun burn lotion
rain coat/ umbrella
Q. Can you just tell me types of trekking you are running?
A: Currently we are running two type of trekking:
Tea House Trek: this is very budget oriented trip that just provides the
essentials for trekking. We provide a guide and porter who show you the way
and carry the gear. You stay and eat in local tea houses along the way.
(only at few locations)
Camping Treks: All of our off the beaten path treks require us to bring our
own camping and kitchen facilities. We provide a guide, porters, a cook and
a deep knowledge of all these unique areas. This is not a backpacking trip
because we cook all meals, carry all the gear and pitch every camp. All
camping spots have the best view possible of your surrounding environment.
Q. What is the routine on the trek?
A: Trekkers normally start their walk early, after a hot breakfast, to enjoy
the morning sun bathing the peaks. Carry a light sack for your camera, lunch
box and your wind cheater. Ask the manager to arrange for porters before
hand, who can carry your other baggage and all equipment - leaving you free
to enjoy the peace and beauty of the mountains and valleys. By late
afternoon you could reach your new destination where a camp and the food is
set up by the trek staff.
On a camping trek with group evenings generally tend to be lively with some
porter entertaining you with his tribal song while his friends improvise
musical instruments or just having a lively camp fire discussion of your
Early morning, a hand stretches out with a hot mug of tea followed by warm
water for a wash. Cooked breakfast and off you go again to your new
Q. Are the trails crowded?
A: On a off the beaten treks, you may find no other foreigners apart from
your group for days on end. At the peak season, you may probably see some
other trekkers. Even on traditional treks there will be far less people than
you would see on a normal walking trail at home.
Q. Should I purchase a lot of expensive gear to go on a trek?
A: If necessary you can hire the most expensive items - a sleeping bag, warm
jacket and sleeping mat. You have to provide the other personal clothing
items you need. This will involve some expense, although you will be amazed,
by how much use you will be able to make out of clothing you already own.
Q. What photographic equipment should I take?
A: Most trekkers would like to record their trip on film. Treks in Pakistan
offer a wealth of photographic possibilities and carrying a little extra
photography equipment can be worth its weight. Single reflex cameras with
interchangeable lenses are most suitable for the situations that you will
encounter. Lenses should include a wide angle (28-35 mm) for buildings and
landscapes, a tele-photo (70-200 mm) for un-obtrusive portraits and
close-ups of mountain peaks. A macro lens will help you photograph flowers.
Carry plenty of film as you will probably end up taking more photographs
than you planned (a roll a day should suffice). Make sure you have
waterproof covering for your camera, equipment and extra batteries. You will
need an ultra violet and polarizing filter for high altitudes.
Q. What about overnight accommodation?
A: Where possible most operators prefer to organize the stay in country side
hotels or rest houses. For the major part of the trek, the accommodation
would however be tend to be in tents on twin sharing basis. Bathroom and
sanitation facilities are improvised and made as comfortable as possible.
Q. How long a trek goes?
A: Generally the trek duration depends on your interest and location of
trek. Your trek can last anywhere from 2-3 days to an entire month or longer
if you wish. We can accommodate day hikes, cultural visits to local
villages, and relaxing rest days on your trek. The decision is up to you.
Q. How difficult are the treks ?
A: The difficulty of our treks depends on where you want to trek and how
long you want to go. The shorter Treks tend to be easier while the longer
ones require some physical fitness. Be prepared for some steep trails
leading to amazing views. The pace at which you hike is up to you. We have
friendly and dependable porters to assist you with your personal gear.
Q. Where do we get water during the trek ?
A: Your guide will provide you with all the water you need during your trek.
We discourage the purchase of bottled water while on the trail. The plastic
bottles are difficult to dispose off and have become an environmental
Q. Is the water safe to drink?
A: Your guide will be in charge of all your water needs. He will make sure
all water is boiled and treat it with iodine. Iodine is 100% effective in
killing the bacteria in water.
Q. What clothes should I bring?
A: Choosing the right clothing is very important. You want to have enough
clothes to stay warm or cool yet not over pack. Usually you will have warm
days and cold nights. A warm jacket either fleece or down can be nice for
the evening . Long under wear and wool socks are good for warmth too. We
encourage people to bring a light pair of pants and shorts for hiking.
Sunscreen and glasses are a must . Rain and hail can appear on a trek so we
suggest a Gore-Tex jacket. Most gear can be rented by us as well.
Q. What type of shoes or boots should I wear?
A: The proper foot wear depends on the trek. Shorter treks can be done in
comfortable running shoes while longer ones require sturdy but light weight
hiking boots. Shoes and boots are best purchased before arriving in
Pakistan. Proper fit is a must for boots. And we encourage wearing your
boots before the trek to wear them in.
Q. What will the weather be like?
A: Weather effects everything in Pakistan and trekking is no exception.
Sudden rain storms or snow flurries are always a possibility. The weather
during the trekking season is somewhat more stable. We pay close attention
to weather reports during the trekking season.
Q. Will I get altitude sickness?
It depends from person to person, while one may get sick at a lower
altitude, the other might not get affected even at a much higher altitude.
Altitude sickness can be a worry for many people coming from sea level.
Which is why Vertical Explorers trips give our customers extra days to
acclimate to the higher altitudes. Our guides are trained to spot any signs
of altitude sickness and know how to react.
Q. How can we respect your culture during our trek?
A: With its diverse ethnic groups and traditional beliefs, Pakistan has
numerous cultural practices that may appear unusual to a person on his/her
first visit to the country. However, to enjoy your stay in this remarkable
country of spectacular Pakistan and sparkling rivers it is important to take
into consideration the different cultural aspects of the country. Here is a
list of things which may be helpful to you.
The form of greeting in Pakistan is "Assalam o Alaikum " followed by shaking
Before entering a Pakistanis home, mosque, and religious places remember to
remove your shoes.
Never touch anything with your feet. This is considered an offence among
While traveling dress appropriately. Women should especially avoid dressing
in skimpy outfits.
Seek permission first before entering a house, mosque or sacred place.
Take photographs only after receiving permission for the object or person
Public displays of affection between man and woman are frowned upon. Do not
do something that is totally alien to our environment.
Develop a genuine interest to meet and talk to Pakistani people and respect
their local customs.