Concordia & K2 Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
Destinations:
Pakistan
Programmes:
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
THC
Activity Rating - Tough
Tough

You have a good level of fitness and are looking for a physically challenging holiday.  Previous experience is essential for activity based trips.

22 Days Flight Inclusive
21 Days Land only
Ages: 18+

Trip Overview

Concordia has possibly some of the most spectacular mountain vistas. Situated at the confluence of the Baltoro and Godwin Austen glaciers, it is an extraordinary place, dominated by K2, the world's second highest mountain. Gasherbrum 4, Broad Peak, Mitre Peak and Chogolisa form the rest of an astounding circle of mountain giants which has been called 'the throne room of the Gods'. This stunning trek starts in Askole and follows the Braldu gorge to the snout of the Baltoro glacier, which we then follow to Concordia. We have an optional day walk to Gilkey Memorial (just below K2 Base Camp) and Broad Peak Base Camp. This is one of the world’s most stunning mountain treks and is wild and remote with a scenery of unmatched grandeur.

At a Glance

  • 6 nights hotels and 14 nights full-service camping
  • 13 days point-to-point walking with full porterage
  • Optional base camp treks
  • Previous altitude experience necessary
  • Group normally 6 to 16, plus UK leader, local guide and other appropriate local staff. Min age 18 yrs

Trip Highlights

  • Stunning wild and remote scenery
  • Trek Broad Peak and Gilkey Memorial (just below K2 Base Camp)
  • Spectacular mountain vistas

Is This Trip for You?

The trek is graded 'Tough' (Activity Level 7) with 13 days walking to a maximum altitude of 4,500m at Concordia (5,120m Gilkey Memorial just below K2 Base Camp - optional) and an average of 3,650m.

Previous altitude experience is necessary and you must be prepared physically (see fitness guide below). The walking on the Baltoro glacier is fairly tough and is definitely not recommended for those who have not previously been walking at a strenuous level in high mountain regions in recent years. It can also be extremely hot in the early stages of the trek and on the glacier during the day, so please also bear this in mind. There are river crossings, and if the rivers are too high we may have to use alternative trails.

Although there is a trail on the glacier nowadays, the moraine is constantly moving and sometimes new crevasses open up, so we often have to find an alternative route. Given this, the walk distances and hours given in the Trip Notes will not always be accurate and sometimes you will walk considerably further than is stated. What makes this trip particularly hard, is the often rocky and uneven terrain underfoot, which requires great concentration and balance - you must be sure-footed and wear walking boots with ankle support. There is a lot of walking on glacial moraine (rocky, boulder-strewn terrain) and at the upper reaches of the trek around Concordia and Gilkey Memorial, there is usually considerable time walking on snow or ice. 

We do not advise inexperienced walkers to attempt this trek. There is no habitation, except a couple of military posts, after leaving Askole, so conditions are more basic and remote than elsewhere. It also means that it is extremely difficult to leave the trek should you be struggling with this level of activity. 

We highly recommend that you work on your fitness to prepare yourself for this trek. You may find our Fitness Training Guide a useful reference.

As this trip spends considerable time at altitude, we ask you to refer to the altitude warning in the trip notes.

Skardu Flight Delays

Due to the mountainous conditions, it is not uncommon for flights between Skardu and Islamabad to be delayed or cancelled at the last minute. In this event, we will endeavour to get the group on the next available flight. If bad weather persists and flights are not scheduled to operate in the following day or two, or if the flights are fully booked, Exodus may (as a last resort only) consider going by road along the Karakorum Highway (KKH) to get our passengers to Skardu to begin the trek, or to get passengers back to Islamabad after the trek to meet onward international flights. However, this is only an option so long as the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice remains okay for travel along the KKH, and (with your safety in mind) if we are able to hire transport with working seatbelts for all passengers at short notice (sourcing vehicles with seatbelts in Skardu for travel back to Islamabad is particularly difficult). It is a 24-hour journey (with an overnight stay in Chilas) and the last 270km of road from Jaglot to Skardu is in poor condition. 

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Group

There will be a UK leader plus a local guide provided as well as camp helpers, a cook and porters on the treks. This is a full-service trek. As Concordia is remote, with little human habitation, it is necessary to carry all our supplies with us, so there is usually a very large staff made up of local Balti porters. On trek your kit bag is carried for you; in the interest of porter welfare, there is a weight limit per person of 12kg - each porter will carry no more than 25kg. Camp chores, such as putting the tents up and the cooking, are all done by the staff but not always with the same slickness found in Nepal. A mess tent is provided with stools and tables. All the baggage is carried from campsite to campsite by the porters, leaving only a daypack to be carried by you.

Adult min age:
18
Min group size:
6
Max group size:
16

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Islamabad
End City:
Islamabad

Flight Inclusive

Start City:
London
End City:
London

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Islamabad

    The group flight arrives in Islamabad very early in the morning and we transfer straight to our hotel where rooms will be waiting for you; the rest of the day is free to recover from your journey. Those not flying with the group from London will join us at the hotel in Islamabad during the day. Later in the day, when everyone has arrived, we will have a group briefing. We may also have to visit the Ministry of Tourism for an official briefing.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 2

    Spectacular flight to Skardu

    This morning we travel to the airport and take the spectacular flight (weather permitting) across the mountains to Skardu. The rest of the day is free.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 3

    Free day in Skardu

    In the morning we will have a walk up to the remains of Skardu fort, which overlooks the town and has great views of the Indus Valley. We will then walk to a small village, which grows all its crops organically. The afternoon is free to explore. You may like to take an optional jeep tour to Satpara Lake (US$65 per person) or explore the bazaar. We may have to visit the Ministry of Tourism for an official briefing later in the day and to have our official documents cleared to start the trek.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 4

    Drive through spectacular mountain scenery to Askole

    We set off northwards by jeep up the Shigar valley to Dassu, which used to be the end of the road. The spectacular jeep road which mostly follows the raging Braldu River now extends to Askole, the last village on our route and where we leave the jeeps and start walking. It may sometimes be necessary to start walking before Askole depending on the conditions of the jeep road. The journey may take anywhere from six to twelve hours.
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 5

    Trek from Askole and cross the snout of the Biafo Glacier to Jhola

    After organising all the equipment and supplies our porters load up for the journey ahead to Jhola. The valley opens out to reveal the Biafo Glacier which flows for more than fifty kilometres from the Hispar La pass to the Braldu. We have our first taste of moraine walking as we cross the snout of the glacier and descend to our lunch spot beside the river at Korofon. Our route takes us to the confluence of the Braldu and Dumordo Rivers, where the trail used to involve scrambling over a cliff and then crossing the river in a flying fox or box bridge (called a 'jola'). Nowadays there is a newer trail and we go upstream to cross the river by bridge. Once across we descend to the edge of the River Braldu and follow its banks to our camp at Jhola. (Max. altitude: approx. 3150m).

    Full-service Camping

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 19 km / 11.8 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    469
    Total descent (m):
    364
    Activity (hours):
    7-8
  • Day 6

    Trek from Jhola and follow the Braldu gorge along the river bank to Paiju

    Today our route mainly follows the Braldu gorge along the riverbank, moving up and down according to the level of erosion and water levels. We start to get views of the fantastic granite rock shapes of Trango Towers and Cathedral. Walking conditions can be very hot and dry, and care must be taken to prevent sunburn. As we approach camp several glacially-fed rivulets flow down into the main valley and we may have to use our river crossing shoes depending on water levels. On a clear day we may be able to spot K2 in the far distance and the vast snout of the Baltoro glacier, the fourth-longest in Pakistan, is also visible but it's hard to gather a sense of scale from here. The day ends with a climb away from the river to our camp at Paiju, set in a clump of trees – the last ones we will see for a while! (Max. altitude: approx. 3400m).

    Full-service Camping

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 22 km / 13.7 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    652
    Total descent (m):
    424
    Activity (hours):
    7-8
  • Day 7

    Trek from Paiju to Khobursay

    The walking gets a bit harder today, but the scenery becomes even more spectacular and wild as we climb onto the snout of the Baltoro Glacier, and cross to the south side. The route climbs up and down the glacial moraine and although there is a trail, care needs to be taken at all times. Stunning views are gradually emerging of granite peaks on the north side of the glacier - from Paiju, Uli Biaho, and Trango Towers round to Grand Cathedral. It will take a few hours to cross the glacier to Liligo. From here we follow a rocky trail along the edge of the Baltoro, where shortly before arriving at Khobursay, we will make a decision whether we can safely negotiate the glacier or continue along the side valley before crossing the meltwater stream into camp. (Max. altitude: approx. 3800m).

    Full-service Camping

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 13 km / 8.1 miles
    Total descent (m):
    381
    Activity (hours):
    7-8
  • Day 8

    Cross two small side glaciers to Urdukus

    We cross two small side glaciers and eventually, we can see the Trango Towers soaring up on the north side of the valley. We stop for the night near the army camp at Urdukus, which is perched 100m above the glacier on terraces which were hewn out of the hillside for the Duke of Abruzzi’s K2 expedition in1909. The afternoon aids our acclimatization and gives us time to enjoy the views and catch up on some rest. (Max. altitude: approx. 4050m).

    Full-service Camping

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 6 km / 3.7 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    414
    Total descent (m):
    165
    Activity (hours):
    4-5
  • Day 9

    Trek to Goro II

    We strike out into the middle of the glacier and follow the medial moraine, getting our first views of Masherbrum (7821m) to the south. The trail becomes more even and as we get higher, we start to walk past the huge ice seracs which stick out of the glacier-like ice cream cones. Tonight, we spend our first night camping on the Baltoro Glacier at Goro II, where the nighttime temperature will drop quite dramatically. From camp, we have superb views of Masherbrum and up the Younghusband Glacier, named after Sir Francis Edward Younghusband, the well-known explorer and spiritual writer to the impressive Muztagh Tower. (Max. altitude: approx. 4300m).

    Full-service Camping

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 14 km / 8.7 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    574
    Total descent (m):
    309
    Activity (hours):
    7-8
  • Day 10

    Climb the rocky moraine to Concordia

    Our final approach day, and our goal is in sight - Concordia! We continue up the rocky moraine as more and more of the big peaks come into view, culminating in the appearance of K2’s summit, rising more than 4,000m above the valley bottom. The views all around our campsite at Concordia are tremendous: K2, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum, Chogolisa and Sia Kangri are all prominent, as well as dozens of smaller peaks such as Marble Peak, Crystal Peak and Mitre Peak. (Max. altitude: approx. 4600m).

    Full-service Camping

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 11 km / 6.8 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    521
    Total descent (m):
    201
    Activity (hours):
    7-8
  • Day 11

    Walk to Broad Peak Base Camp; optional trek to Gilkey Memorial (near K2 Base Camp)

    Today there is the opportunity to walk up the Godwin-Austen Glacier to the Art Gilkey Memorial (an American geologist and mountaineer) just before K2 Base Camp. This is a very long but a spectacular day. We will leave early morning, crossing the glaciers onto the faint trail heading towards K2 (there is a faint rocky trail all the way). As we follow the glacier towards K2 the mountain seems to grow bigger and bigger. Broad Peak rears up to our right and after about 3 hours we pass Broad Peak Base Camp (there is the option to turn back here). We usually have our lunch break here and then those who are continuing carry on with K2 towering above us as we get closer and closer. Just before Base Camp, amongst the boulder and ice strewn landscape is the Art Gilkey Memorial. A short scramble brings us to the place where those whose lives K2 claimed are remembered. Plaques and engraved tin plates are attached to a small rocky outcrop at the foot of this great mountain. There are great views directly above us of K2 and we may see some climbing expeditions. After lunch, we retrace our steps back to Broad Peak Base Camp. (Max. altitude: approx. 5100m. The distances may vary from those given, depending on how the moraine has moved and which trail we can follow)

    Full-service Camping

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 17 km / 10.6 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    500
    Total descent (m):
    300
    Activity (hours):
    8-10
  • Day 12

    Retrace steps to Concordia

    After a night’s rest at Broad Peak Base Camp, we continue our descent over the Godwin Austin Glacier towards Concordia. We will need to cross back onto the Baltoro Glacier (which might be slightly more challenging due to the rising level of melt water coming from Gasherbrum) before arriving at camp. After enjoying lunch at the “Throne Room of the Gods” you will have time to reflect on this magnificent environment whilst you recharge and prepare for your return journey.

    Full-service Camping

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 7 km / 4.3 miles
    Total descent (m):
    300
    Activity (hours):
    4-5
  • Day 13

    Retrace our steps down the glacier to Biango/Goro I

    Unfortunately, we have to leave this magnificent place with some of the best mountain views on earth. However, we have an easy start today as we retrace our steps down the glacier. Today is a fairly easy walk back down to Goro I. (Max. altitude: approx. 4600m).

    Full-service Camping

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 17 km / 10.6 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    327
    Total descent (m):
    742
    Activity (hours):
    6-7
  • Day 14

    Trek back to Khobursay with views across to Trango Towers

    We follow the same trail down through the glacier to Goro 1 and on down to the spectacular campsite at Urdukas with great views across to Trango Towers before reaching Khobursay. Although we are retracing our steps down the glacier the views are completely different seen on the way back. (Max. altitude: approx. 4150m).

    Full-service Camping

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 12 km / 7.5 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    243
    Total descent (m):
    582
    Activity (hours):
    6-7
  • Day 15

    Trek down the side of the glacier back to Paiju

    We continue our walk down the side of the glacier through Liligo, from where we cross the glacier for one more time before stepping off the moraine onto more stable ground. We head back down to the trees and the relative comforts of Paiju campsite. (Max. altitude: approx. 3800m).

    Full-service Camping

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 13 km / 8.1 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    381
    Total descent (m):
    778
    Activity (hours):
    6-7
  • Day 16

    Trek back to the campsite at Jhola

    We retrace our steps along the Braldu Gorge. There may be a couple of river crossings today. We stop tonight at the campsite at Jhola. (Max. altitude: approx. 3400m).

    Full-service Camping

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 22 km / 13.7 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    365
    Total descent (m):
    574
    Activity (hours):
    7-8
  • Day 17

    Trek back to the main valley and follow the river to Askole

    We start the day with a walk up the side river to the bridge. After crossing the bridge we head back to the main valley and continue following the river all day through Korofon and back finally to the village of Askole. (Max. altitude: approx. 3150m).

    Full-service Camping

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 19 km / 11.8 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    418
    Total descent (m):
    458
    Activity (hours):
    7-8
  • Day 18

    Drive to Skardu in our jeeps for a rewarding hot shower

    We pick up our jeeps for the long but spectacular day’s drive back to Skardu and the luxury of a hot shower.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 19

    Morning flight to Islamabad; afternoon to relax

    We take the early morning flight to Islamabad and the rest of the day is free to relax and unwind after the trek.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 20

    Free day in Islamabad

    A free day in Islamabad or an extra day to fly to Islamabad if the flight is cancelled for any reason on the previous day.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 21

    End Islamabad

    Very early this morning we depart Islamabad for the flight to London arriving in the early evening. Those not flying with us to London will leave the hotel after breakfast.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotels & Campsites

6 nights hotels, 14 nights camping. In Islamabad, we use a standard hotel, which has air-conditioned rooms with en suite bathrooms. In Skardu, we stay in a simple hotel. The trek itself is on a full-service camping basis, meaning that our camp staff will erect and dismantle the tents for you, cook, and do all of the camp chores for you. You need only carry your daypack. Most of the camping on this trek is wild camping amidst the mountains. We stay in two-person tents which have enough room inside for your kitbags. Sleeping mats and bags are not provided – please see the packing section. We also have a dining tent complete with table and stools. For the most part, no running water is available whilst camping however, at Jhula and Paiju there is usually running water.

 

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Single supplement from £345.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts, 17 lunches and 17 dinners included.

All food is provided throughout apart from lunches and dinners in Islamabad, we suggest you allow around £50 for these meals. Food on trek is simple but wholesome. Breakfasts will consist of porridge and cereal, eggs and chapatti or toast. Lunches are a picnic usually with soup, tinned meat and fish, sweets and nuts, cheese and crackers or chapattis. Dinner is 3 courses; soup, main course which is rice, dhal, vegetables, meat or pasta based. Dessert is usually jelly, cold custard, fruit, rice pudding or trifle. Snacks are provided upon arrival at camp; samosas, pakhora, tea and coffee. If you have any special dietary requirements we recommend you take along some of your own snacks or food. Pakistan is a meat-eating country (mainly goat and chicken) and does not cater as well as India for vegetarians, vegans or gluten free diets.

Drinking Water

Staying hydrated is important when undertaking any physical activity but particularly so at altitude where it is generally recommended to drink at least 3-4 litres per person per day. Drinking water will be provided on the trek but you need to treat it with purification tablets or another form of treatment. 

Handheld UV filters such as a ‘SteriPEN’ are very effective, can treat 1 litre of water in a couple of minutes and the water is ready immediately – look for lightweight lithium battery models and remember that you will need to bring a wide-mouthed bottle (e.g. Nalgene) for use with these devices.

There are also an array of water filter and purifier bottles on the market but be wary of their weight, bottles with a small capacity and the product's performance in freezing conditions. Exodus has partnered with Water-to-Go, a filtration system that eliminates over 99.99% of all microbiological contaminants from any non-salt water source – please visit Water-to-Go for more information. Exodus customers can claim 15% off your first order, and better still, 15% of the purchase value will be donated to the Exodus Travels Foundation. Please note that if the water freezes it will clog up the filter – in this event, defrost before use by sitting the filter in lukewarm water for 10-15 minutes.

Transportation

In Islamabad we will use a private bus; from Skardu to the trek start point and back we use 4WD jeeps. Please note: The flight to and from Skardu is weather dependent - please refer to the 'Is this trip for you?' section for further details about this eventuality.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

The weather in northern Pakistan is very hot during the summer. Maximum daytime temperatures will depend on the altitude, but will mainly lie in the range 25 to 40°C. Most days will be hot and sunny, although the occasional severe storm and bad weather cannot be ruled out. If the days are sunny on trek with no cloud cover it can be extremely hot and make the walking quite hard as there is often no shade at all, especially on the glacier. The nights will be cooler and the night time temperatures can drop to well below freezing when higher than 3500m. Islamabad and the lower Indus valley will be very hot and humid, while Skardu, although hot, will be less oppressive.

Weather Charts

Skardu, Pakistan

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 22 days

The group flight from London is an overnight flight departing the day before Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London

We normally use the scheduled services of Turkish Airlines (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure. Internal flights during the trip are normally with Pakistan International Airlines.

Travelling land only: 21 days starting and ending in Islamabad

Your trip normally starts at our hotel in Islamabad in the morning of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Airport transfers are included for those on the group flights. Please note that transfers are not included for clients arriving on any other flight, even if Exodus has booked it. 

If you require airport transfers, you may (by prior arrangement only) be able to join the group transfer. Transfers are arranged to coincide with the arrival time of the group flight ‐ please check the group flight details 2 weeks before departure. If you do not take this transfer, or miss it, you must make your own way to the joining point at your own expense.

Location start:
Islamabad
Location end:
Islamabad

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Please take a couple of hard copies of your travel insurance certificate with you - keep one copy on your person during the trek and store a second copy elsewhere.

4-season sleeping mat or Thermarest
4-season sleeping bag
3/4-season jacket (preferably down construction or similar)
Good quality leather or synthetic boots with ankle support
Waterproof jacket and trousers
Trekking pole(s) with tips suitable for rocky terrain
Mini-crampons or micro-spikes for icy terrain from Concordia to Gilkey Memorial
Sunhat, sunglasses and sunscreen
2/3-litre water bottle or hydration system Daypack (approx. 30/40 litre)
Fleece
Mid-layers
Base layers/shirts/t-shirts
Lightweight trousers for the trek
Thermals/tracksuit for evenings
Warm gloves
Socks
Buff/scarf
Water purification treatment: tablets, SteriPEN, or other
Toilet paper
Wash kit (biodegradable soap/detergent/shampoo)
Biodegradable detergent (for washing clothes if needed)
Wet wipes (these can also be bought from a shop close to the hotel in Islamabad)
Talcum powder
Personal first aid
Sandals/trainers for camp (please avoid flip-flops)
Waterproof non-open toe shoes for river crossings
Padlock for kitbag
Dry bags (to pack things inside the kitbag)
Head torch
Hand gel
Umbrella (both for sun and rain)
Sarong (useful for washing in the open and as a scarf)

Please note that Pakistan is a very conservative country. For Islamabad, Skardu and Askole all clients should dress in light loose baggy clothing with legs and arms covered. Women should also wear a headscarf.

On trek, ALL clients need to have legs covered. For men full or three quarter length trousers are suitable and for women full or three quarter length trousers or a longish skirt. T-shirts which cover the shoulders are acceptable but sleeveless/strappy vests are not. Tight-fitting clothes (such as leggings) should not be worn on the trek or in the towns.

On trek your kit bag is carried for you, there is a weight limit per person of 12kg. You only need to carry a daypack with whatever you require for that day's trek.

We believe in reducing our negative environmental impacts wherever possible, this goes for when you need to spend a penny in the great outdoors! If no facilities are available there may come a time when you need to go to the loo behind a tree/bush/rock. To avoid leaving toilet paper behind we recommend taking biodegradable dog poo/sandwich bags with you. Once you have done your business you can pop the used toilet roll in here and take it off the mountain or trail at the end of the day and dispose of it when there are appropriate facilities available.

Optional Equipment

Gaiters
Earplugs

Internal Flights Weight Limit

20kg

Reading List

No Way Down: Life and Death on K2 by Graham Bowley
Ghosts of K2 by Mick Conefrey
Savage Summit: True Stories of 5 Women Who Climbed K2
K2 Triumph and Tragedy by Jim Curran
Two and Two Halves to K2 by Jim Ballard

Karakorum Mountain Map Sheet 3 (Leomann Maps) - K2, Baltoro, Gasherbrum, Masherbrum and Saltoro groups

Practical Information

Passport

Pakistan

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Pakistan

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects. All nationalities require a visa for Pakistan. For UK residents the cost will be approximately £134, please refer to our Pakistan visa information sheet for further details.

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

Pakistan

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements for this trip.

Recommended vaccinations for this trip are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

The risk of malaria on this trip is slight, but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. Dengue fever and/or Chikungunya are known risks in places visited on this trip. Both are tropical viral diseases spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for either, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Travellers who intend to visit Pakistan for four weeks or more should be aware that proof of vaccination (an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis - ICVP), given four weeks to twelve months before departure, may be required on exit. Failure to produce this documentation may result in vaccination on departure, most likely with oral polio vaccine.  

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

Dengue fever and/or Chikungunya are known risks in places visited on this trip. Both are tropical viral diseases spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for either, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

As we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

The risk of malaria on this trip is slight, but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice.

Altitude warning

This trip includes one or more nights over 3500m above sea level, where there is a genuine risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). If left untreated AMS can be life-threatening. We expect most clients to experience some mild symptoms of altitude sickness, such as headaches and shortness of breath while walking or sleeplessness. Our leaders are trained to identify symptoms of severe AMS and if a client requires extra care, arrangements such as rapid descent will be made immediately.

On some days this trip climbs faster than commonly published ascent rate recommendations. Based upon an assessment by our external safety and medical advisors and our risk assessment process, we consider the ascent rate is acceptable due to the additional safety measures that are in place for our customers. All our trips operating at high altitude meet our internal altitude safety standards that minimise the risk of serious incidents occurring whilst travelling at altitude.

A number of medical conditions or medications can reduce your body's ability to acclimatise. This may affect your performance and make you more susceptible to AMS. If you are worried about any pre-existing conditions, such as heart conditions, or your overall physical ability, you must seek medical advice prior to booking. The drug Diamox (also known as acetazolamide and normally only available on prescription) has been shown to aid acclimatisation in some individuals, and therefore may reduce the risk of AMS. Clients considering using Diamox should speak to their doctor about the drug, its side-effects and a prescription. Please note that while we endeavour to assist all our clients in achieving their goals, there may be times when your leader decides to delay or stop your ascent based on your overall condition, or the onset of AMS.

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Pakistan's Timezone:
Asia/Karachi PKT (GMT +05:00)

Electricity

Pakistan's Electricity:

230 Volts. Plug types C,D,G & M; establishments can often take two round pin plugs and/or UK type plugs.

Money

Pakistan's Currency

The national currency of Pakistan is the Pakastani Rupee (PKR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (June 2017) of approximately 133 to the GBP,  105 to the USD, 79 to the CAD, 117 to the EUR, 80 to the AUD and 76 to the NZD.

ATM Availability

It is better to take your money in cash as Travellers cheques can be hard to change. There are ATM’s in Islamabad only, but please note that some machines don't accept UK credit/debit cards, so please do not fully rely on ATMs.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

You can obtain local currency at hotels, banks and exchange bureaus; exchange bureaus offer the best rates. We advise that you change money at the airport, which is quick and easy. You should budget about £300-350 (US$380-450) total spend for the tour to cover meals, miscellaneous drinks, shopping and tipping . If you plan to do some of the optional extras, or do a lot of shopping then you may want to change more than this. 

On trek there is hardly anything to spend money on. In Skardu there are a few souvenir shops and you can buy soft drinks and mineral water.

An optional full-day sightseeing tour of Islamabad can be arranged for the group (paid for locally), which costs US$50 per person. If done at the end of the tour, this can be followed by a farewell dinner (US$80 per person for both the tour and farewell dinner).

The optional jeep tour to Satpara Lake on Day 3 costs $65 per person (a group of 10+ is required).

Departure Tax

In June 2018 a new departure tax of Pakistani Rupees 683 (approx. £4.50/US$5.5) was implemented. If this is not included in your airfare, you will need to pay it in cash at Islamabad airport on departure, so you will need to keep some change for this. 

Tipping

The following suggested tipping amounts are included in the total spend amount given above, not on top.

Tipping is a tradition in Pakistan and you should allow about £120-140 (US$155-$180) for this. Your leader will advise you on how this is divided up amongst your staff including local guides, cook, assistants and porters on trek plus drivers and hotel porters.

Tipping of leaders is not included in the above and is at your own discretion. If you wish to show your appreciation, a tip of around £2-£3 (or US$3-$4) per person per day would be appreciated (x21 days: £42-63 / US$54-80). By definition, gratuities are not something that can be included in the tour price.

Responsible Tourism

Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a 'total approach' to responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company. 

In March 2019, Exodus Travels launched the Exodus Travels Foundation where we support initiatives all around the world. But it cannot exist without travellers who care. Get involved or learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus here

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

 

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

Important Notes

In line with our ‘book and travel with confidence’ promise which allows you to cancel free of charge up to 42 days prior to departure, or transfer to another trip free of charge up to 21 days prior to your trip starting in country, please be aware that this excludes ‘irrecoverable costs’. Details can be found here: https://www.exodus.co.uk/about-exodus/exodus-booking-conditions.

For this trip, the irrecoverable costs related to in-country operations are outlined below, if booking flight inclusive your sales agent will confirm the terms related to your international flights at the time of booking.

Domestic flights x 2: GBP50 / USD65 / EUR55 / CAD95 / AUD95 per person.
Trekking Permit and National Park fee GBP102 / USD133 / EUR112 / CAD194 / AUD194 per person.
For cancellations made 14 days or less prior to the tour start date in country, there is an additional charge for trekking food (and the shipment of the food) of up to GBP250 / USD325 / EUR275 / CAD475 / AUD475) per person.

Costs are accurate at the time of writing in September 2020.

If you need to cancel your trip because you or a member of your party is diagnosed with COVID-19 or has received a request from the Government to self-isolate, you will receive a full refund less these irrecoverable costs.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.