TREKKING PEAK GONDOGORO (5650m)
20 days, 12 days strenuous hiking at high elevation (maximum 5,650m) – 11 nights camping & 8 nights hotels.
Experience your first summit in Karakorum’s. Gondogoro Peak is an easy nontechnical peak and it took about seven to eight hours from base camp to base camp.
In Skardu, we will leave our Air Conditioned transport and board on 4×4 soft top jeeps to the trek head, Hushe. Hushe Valley East of Skardu will be our real kick-off point towards our goal. Hushe is a place from where many big treks for big mountains start. After three days trek, we will arrive at the base camp of our peak. At the base, we`ll stay for two days climbing. We will have some outstanding views of K2, Broad Peak, G1 & 2, and some other big mountains from the top. Drive or fly back to Islamabad to finish the expedition.
Day in Islamabad to finalize the formalities with the Ministry of Tourism for procurement of trekking and climbing permits. Also briefing of the trek. Evening free.
In the morning you will be picked up from the hotel to transfer to Islamabad airport for flight to Skardu. Flight depends on weather conditions. This flight of PIA (using Boeing aircraft) is subject to clear weather at Skardu. Alternately, we may take two-day drive to Skardu, traveling on Karakoram Highway, sometimes refereed as the eight wonder of the world. We shall stay for overnight at Chilas on the bank of Indus river. ( One hour flight OR 12 hours drive to Chilas on KKH).
Free day at Skardu, the capital of Baltistan, sometimes called as little Tibet due to its geographic location and historic links with Tibet and Laddakh. Stroll down the narrow bazaar, climb up the cliff to visit the historic “Kharpocho” fort, visit the turquoise-blue Satpara Lake just 4 miles from the town. Meals and overnight at Motel/Resort. If driving from Chilas then its 6/7 hours drive, again along the Lion river Indus. Today the gorge will be much narrower than of the main Karakoram Highway. Arrive and transfer to hotel. Evening free.
We leave Skardu driving on metal road to Khaplu. Khaplu the largest kingdom in old Baltistan valley, Stretches in a wide fan from the base of a semicircular wall of mountains, dropping some 300 meters to the river level. The scattered houses set amid terraced, fields are connected by paths and irrigation channels and the friendly villagers welcome visitors. We shall visit the historic wood-carved mosque, dominating the valley from the top end of alluvial fan and the historic Khaplu Fort. Overnight at Motel.
Hushe at the descend to the Gondogoro River. Drive on a typical jeep track. Arrive at Hushe, a green irrigated village at 3,200m the land of spectacular views of K-6 (7280m), K-7 (6,950m), and Link Sar (7,050m) and enjoy a different atmosphere here, because this is an embarkation and disembarkation point of all the big expeditions. 4/5 hours drive.
Start the trek, as the staff makes loads of 25 Kg. each to distribute among the porters, we start our trek in the soft morning light. As we continue, we gradually leave the icy landscapes and ascend to the meadows and pasture at Saitcho (3,750m). Although we’ve left the icy wilds, we still have tremendous views, including Namika Peak (6,325m), and Defokhar (6,550m). Arrive Saitcho and transfer to camps for overnight stay. 4/5 hours hiking.
As we leave Saitcho, 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 wildflowers, with commanding views of the Gondogoro Glacier, Yermandu Kangri (7,165m), Mashabrum South (7,806m), and the Mashabrum La (5,500m). Arrive Dalsangpa and camp at 4,265m by a small Lake. 4/5 hours hiking.
Today we will again cross the Gondogoro glacier to reach the plateau of Khuispan (5,030m), base camp for Gondogoro Peak. A rest day after few days trekking and also for acclimatization. We can take time to explore the area or just relax and admire view of Laila Peak (6,100m), Drangra (6,325), and Tasa Peak (6,615m). Overnight camping at Kuispan.
At the base of Gondogoro Peak, Khuispan.
We shall take an early start from Kuispan for the summit. The peak is not that technical it involves some steep walks on the snow, and the use of fixed ropes, as well as crampons and ice axe, is a must. It will take about 6 to 7 hours to reach the summit and 3 to 4 hours to come back to the base camp at Khuispan. From the top of Gondogoro Peak the views are unparalleled, with K2, Broad Peak, Gashabrum 1 to 4, Mashabrum, and many mountains appearing at our level. 9/10 hours hiking.
At the base camp in case if we miss the summit on day one we can have another try to the summit.
After finishing our expedition we will trek back to Dalsangpa and say goodbye to our peak and base camp. As descending on normal paths is always easier than ascending, we will cover the distance quickly. After crossing some part of Gondogoro Glacier and then walking on the lateral moraine of Gondogoro Glacier we will arrive at the Dalsangpa camping site for overnight camping.
Walking back on the Gondogoro glacier, first, we will cross the plateau of the Gondogoro settlement and then arrive at Saitcho. Most of the expeditions rest and celebrate here in Saitcho so we will have good company here. We also have a chance of getting a hot shower here. Overnight camping in Saitcho.
This will be our last trekking day, as today we will arrive at Hushe the kickoff point of our trek. Today’s trek is also quite normal and in 4 to 5 hours’ time, we will arrive in Hushe, for overnight camping.
We will drive back by the same route crossing Khaplu & Machlu villages to reach 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 4×4 jeeps for a bumpy ride through the Karakoram. Arrive at Skardu – shall we call it civilization? Well, we suppose you are a better judge. Transfer to resort/motel – and enjoy the hot shower. Meals and overnight at resort/motel. 5/6 hours jeep ride.
Towards Pindi * (Pindi/Chilas) We booked the flight to Islamabad, with good luck the flight might operate, enabling us to arrive at Pindi in just one hour (miracle of science!). In case of cancellation of flight, we shall drive by road to Islamabad – spend overnight at Chilas KKH.
Once at Rawalpindi, we shall proceed to the office of the Ministry of Tourism for the de-briefing of the trek. Day free to explore the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad
Day 19 _ In Islamabad
Full-day city tour of the twin cities Rawalpindi and Islamabad the capital of Pakistan
Transfer to the airport for international departure flight.