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Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

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8 Reviews

  • Reviewed September 2019
    Julie Jones-Boult

    Concordia & K2

    This truly was a trip of a lifetime. Having travelled to Everest Base Camp and Kilimanjaro (with Exodus) we thought we had a pretty good idea of what to expect on this trip. We were so wrong! This was so much tougher and in many different ways. Firstly, whilst there's an itinerary, it quickly became apparent that there's a lot that's outside the control of Exodus and the on-the-ground operator. We were held up in Islamabad for longer than expected (due to leave on Saturday, left on Wednesday). Our flight to Skardu was cancelled as a result of bad weather and with just one flight a day, it wasn't possible to get re-booked until Wednesday. Once in Skardu, although visa and permits have been granted, there's still a step to complete on the ground and it can't be started until you arrive in Skardu. Here you're at the very of the Authorities and 'it takes as long as it takes'. We weren't granted permission to enter the national park until around 9pm on the day we arrived in Skardu. Sara, our tour guide, kept us informed at every step and went over and beyond, using the local operator and 'connections' to try to get us back on track. She discussed the options with us and as a group, we decided on a plan to try to keep the overall tour intact. This meant combining 2 days of itinerary into 1, twice! The terrain is hard and unpredictable, this is where Sara and the local team were invaluable in their knowledge and expertise. We really were in their hands, finding safe passage and negotiating an ever-changing landscape. This made it feel really natural and exciting. It was one of the most breathtaking places on earth, with a real sense of pure and raw beauty. We worked hard to get to Concordia and even harder to get K2 base camp. The team were unbelievably amazing, we simply could not have completed this trek without their encouragement, support, humour and importantly expertise. This isn't a well trodden path and you need to know the environment. It was obvious from day 1, Sara had an incredible relationship with the local team, she knew the country and local environment well. She had a wonderful nature and approach to the people, the country and the environment, all of which she shared so generously, with true enthusiasm and passion. She's such a modest person, someone that would shy away from the attention or thanks, instead passing it on to others. However, she was at the centre of everyday, every step and for that we are very grateful. An incredible trip and one we'd highly recommend.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The scenery - it's magical and it starts the moment you disembark in Islamabad. We'll never forget it.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Amazing, inspirational, knowledgeable, enthusiastic, kind, generous, passionate and honestly someone who leaves a lasting mark on everyone she touches. Thank you Sara!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This isn't a prescriptive tour, be patient and prepared for unforeseen and unavoidable issues. It's a wonderful country, which ever way the tour plays out, it will be memorable - just enjoy it!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Given the nature of the trail and the environment, we wouldn't have taken this tour with anyone other than Exodus. We value and trust their expertise and at all times this made us feel that we were in safe hands, even when we were so far from home.
  • Reviewed September 2019
    John Mitchell

    Concordia and K2

    A great trip that I am very proud to have completed. The remoteness has a unique beauty all of its own. A very good level of fitness is required to enjoy this trek. We were helped by a great team of guides, cooks and general helpers. There dedication to helping us and looking after us was second to none. This trip is a challenge, but a very worthwhile one. You will not regret attempting it. The first look of K2 makes all the hardships of the trek worthwhile.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the base camp at K2. Looking out of my tent at 5am on a snowy morning and seeing K2 looming large, totally clear of cloud in the morning light.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sarah was excellent throughout. She has vast experience and is able to use that experience to help people through what was a tough trip. She makes time for each person giving them confidence and encouragement. Her team obviously adore her and will do anything to help. We had an issue when our flight back from Skardu was cancelled. Somehow Sarah was able to secure us all seats on the plane leaving the next day, when initially none were available. We all had total confidence that she would try everything possible for us. It took her 4 hours to do it and we all flew out the next day. I have been lucky enough to have enjoyed some fabulous team leaders. Sarah tops the lot. Credit also to the Exodus team back in London who were a great help looking at all the possibilities when our flight was cancelled.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do not miss this adventure. But beware. The trip notes do not give an accurate idea of how tough this trip is. The terrain after the first few days is rocks, rocks and more rocks with little or no clear path. Do not underestimate this trip. Our group was full of experienced trekkers who have been on trips all over the world, yet everyone found this a very tough trip. But, the experience is second to none. If your fit enough and have a positive attitude you will have one of the greatest trekking experiences of your life. Not to be missed.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I know hotels in Skardu are few and far between. But one that had hot water and more than one towel between 2 would have been nice. The much vaunted after trek shower is not quite the same in cold water. Food though was very good. More detailed trip notes would give a more accurate idea of what to expect from the terrain. Once again Exodus proved what a great company they are. Good communication throughout the lead up and a true feeling that they will look after you no matter what happens.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Jan Novak

    K2 Base Camp

    The trip brings people into amazing environment by its remotenes and natural beauty and is a huge discovery experience. The difficulties of the trip in terms of the experienced heat and extremely difficult walking terrain catch people slightly unprepared (and the trip notes do not help here).

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Gore II to Concordia day walk.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Try to mentally prepare for the heat and extraordinarily difficult terain to walk on.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Olivia Ainsley

    Concordia & K2

    Excellent trek in a magnificent landscape. I rated "very good" only because hotel accommodation was disappointing but hopefully this is being addressed for future trips

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many, but reaching Concordia - I didn't go to k2 basecamp but still think Concordia would be the highlight

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sara was brilliant - fun to be with, and gave excellent suppport and advice to trekkers and staff alike

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get as fit as you can possibly be in preparation for the terrain you will be walking on - it's tough, but well worth effort and concentration needed
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Cathy Doyle

    Memorable trek to the legendary Savage Mountain

    It takes a large team to support 14 trekkers in their ambition to walk to K2 base camp over the 58km Baltoro glacier. With no habitation and unforgiving terrain everything must be carried in by mule or on the backs of porters. This trek makes it possible for ordinary people to walk in the footsteps of the great mountaineers and experience the magnificence of K2 close up.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting the historic Art Gilkey memorial at the foot of K2 after a long and challenging walk in was unforgettable. So many plaques to fallen mountaineers, in a peaceful yet hostile setting. How many non climbers get to experience this special place?

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We were in safe hands with Sara who led from the back in more ways than one. She invisibly managed logistics, liaised with our local team and supported us through illness to help us all achieve our best trek. Her respect for our porters and the environment was also very evident.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is accurately described as a tough trek. Most walking days are long and the glacier terrain is difficult with potential river crossings. You might find it to be the most challenging trek you have ever done so previous similar experience will help. Keep hydrated and take it steady to help acclimatisation.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Pakistan has been off limits to trekking groups for many years. This is one of the world’s great treks and it is presently uncrowded and reasonably pristine. Now is the time to go!
  • Reviewed September 2018
    André Lopes

    The trek of a lifetime

    It's absolutely amazing that you can walk for 2 weeks in such an unique place without seeing any other groups (there one just another one). Beautiful scenery, tough terrain, good food and amazing local staff.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Urdukus and Concordia

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sara is fantastic. She's always on top of things, which is essential for a tour leader on this trip. Her medical knowledge came really handy for a few people on our group. Her relationship with the locals, and her involvement in local projects is very inspirational.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book this trip!
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Alan Taylor

    Tough but worth the effort.

    This trek is rated as tough and don't under-estimate it. The nature of walking on the glacier makes estimating the route and hence timings difficult so expect long days with tough terrain. Having said that the views are magnificent and the sense of achievement will make it all worthwhile.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Arriving at Concordia and looking down the valley at K2 was awe inspiring and emotional. The weather was very kind to us and K2 was revealed in all it's glory. The welcome we received from the people of Islamabad was also inspirational . People were so pleased to welcome western tourists and went out of their way to do so.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sara Bull worked tirelessly to ensure we all had a safe and enjoyable trip. She nursed us through 'stomach upsets', encouraged us when self doubt crept in and got us safely across rivers and landslips. The rest of the team deserve mention as well, with excellent food, well managed camping sites and a happy and industrious band of porters.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes carefully. You will need stout footwear, the ground underfoot is hard on the feet. You might need warm clothing at some point but take cool loose clothing for most of the walk - it is hot and the trek is strenuous.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    In my opinion this trek is tougher than Everest Base Camp and the Annapurna Circuit but well worth the effort. It's dirty, dusty, hot and tiring, and you might well get an upset stomach. But embrace all of this and enjoy the trek of a lifetime with views that will take your breath away.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Robert Parkes

    Hard walks bring great rewards

    This is a hard but doable walk that rewards you with enough views for a life time. The fitter you are the more you can enjoy. K2 and Concordia are unbelievable. Sara Bull and the guides are professional and as well as ensuring you are safe give lots of encouragement. A trek of a lifetime.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing Gilkey memorial and meeting climbers who reached the summit of K2

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sara Bull and her team are top guides and all work,from cooks upwards, to make it happen for you.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get as fit as you can. Buy the biggest hand gel you can. Much of the water you will drink is warm. Most streams are full of mica can clog filters. Think about a filter bottle and watertogo bottle. Bring a bottle of coke from Skardu for the first few days. Tummy bugs are usual...try and avoid.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Enbrace any problems and enjoy