“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 assembling in Islamabad, we fly to Skardu and then drive to the trailhead and meet the expedition porters who are rugged mountain men. As we trek up to this amazing place we enter a remarkable wilderness of rock, ice, and sky.
As soon as we would reach Paiju Camp at the foot of the Baltoro Glacier, we will 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.
On reaching 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. There is no other place like this anywhere in the world. It is the proverbial roof of the world. It’s like shaking hands with the heavens.
K2 Base-Camp & Concordia Trek is an exciting and challenging trek that is meant for trekkers with previous high altitude mountain trekking experience. Not meant for the faint-hearted and the novices.
For more information on the K2 Base-Camp & Concordia Trek and the treks that we run there, contact us via:
WhatsApp: +92 347 4598096 | +92 345 4354348
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.
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 canceled 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).
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 kilometers outside the town. Meals and overnight at motel/resort.
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.
After the staff distributes 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 kilometers wide at our crossing point. It takes around two hours to cross the glacier on an 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.
The day starts with a tough walk along a cliff face to arrive at the new wooden bridge that 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.
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.
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.
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), Gasherbrum 4 (7925m), Baltoro Kangri (7315m), Kondus (6760m), Mitre (6060m), Paiju (6660m), Crystal (6260m), Marble (6175m) and Angle Peak (6860m). Four to five hours trek.
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 easier than the 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.
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)
From Goro, 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.
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.
Early morning start to reach the trek head. First, we will cross the Dumurdo River then climb the Part Rock and arrive at Korophone. At Korophone we meet the Biafo Glacier which flows from Snow Lake and crosses 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.
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 4×4 jeeps for a bumpy ride through the 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.
A flight is booked to Islamabad, if weather conditions are suitable we will be in Islamabad in just one hour – a miracle of modern technology. But, if the flight is canceled we will drive back, with an overnight stop at Chilas on the Karakoram Highway.
Once at Rawalpindi, Islamabad’s twin city, we shall proceed to the office of the Ministry of Tourism for a trek debriefing. The rest of the day is free to explore the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.