trip
Book with confidence – $0 depositSee Terms & Conditions
8
Entry level Mountaineering or Exploratory Treks

Traveller Rating

 

Activities
  • 19 day trek
Accommodation
  • 8 nights hotel/guesthouse
  • 19 nights camping
Meals
  • 24 Dinners
  • 24 Lunches
  • 27 Breakfasts

SPECIAL OFFER

28 Days$8230USD

Hit the trails with confidence

COVID-19 safety measures
Read our Covid-19 travel policy and what we're doing to keep you safe

Remote adventures
means social distancing comes naturally

Small groups only
Guided group sizes are strictly limited to maximum 16 people, average of 8-10


 
 
Trip Code: K2T

Trip highlights


  • Undertake a remote and unique trek in the Karakoram range under guidance of renowned mountaineer Tim Macartney-Snape
  • View K2 from the West Mustagh pass
  • Explore Snow Lake, a high altitude glacial basin covering an area 700 square kilometres, surrounded by the distinctive granite towers of the Karakoram
  • Venture beyond the well trodden routes
  • Traverse the Nobande Sobande glacier and climb a 6000m peak (conditions permitting)
  • Trek through one of the most heavily glaciated parts of the world outside the polar regions
  • Cross the Lupke La to Snow Lake at the head of the Biafo Glacier
  • Be part of an expedition which is exploratory in the truest sense of the word, with conditions and possible objectives being the catalyst for our itinerary
  • Enjoy the services of a top notch trekking crew including specialist high altitude porters

The Karakoram mountain range needs little introduction, home as it is to one of most spectacular realms of high mountains the world over. Our trip, led by mountaineering legend Tim Macartney-Snape, is designed to go beyond the well trodden routes in the vicinity of K2 and instead forges an exploratory route into the depths of the range. Entering the Indus Gorge at the capital of Baltistan, Skardu, we will complete the necessary formalities before a drive to the village of Askole. After considerable organisation of equipment, supplies and porter loads for the journey ahead, we commence trekking towards Jhola. The valley opens out to reveal the Biafo Glacier flowing 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 experience the harsh, stark environment that forms the base of these great mountains. Our route takes us to the confluence of the Braldu and Dumordo Rivers. It is this valley, fed by the Panmah Glacier, that was once a passage between Baltistan and Yarkhand across the West Mustagh Pass (approx 5400m) into China. We now turn up the valley of the Dumordo river to our camp in a grove of ancient willows and tamarisk. Continuing towards Panmah via Shingrasa, we enter a world rarely travelled and then only by expeditions to the Latok group. We follow the expedition track up the valley of the Panmah Glacier through varied terrain - mostly in the ablation zone of the Glacier, crossing a few side valleys and their turbulent streams. Negotiating the complex terrain of moraine ridge, ice valleys and a wide basin of meadow at the confluence of the Chiring and Nobande Sobande glaciers brings us to deeper into the realm of the high mountains and the most heavily glaciated part of the world outside the polar regions. We plan to explore the Chiring Glacier and West Muztagh Pass, climbing a small peak on border where we be able to look across the giant west face of K2. Conditions permitting, we will traverse the Nobande Sobande glacier, explore the upper basin and attempt a 6000m peak before crossing an unnamed pass to the upper Braldu Glacier. Another pass crossing, this time of the Lupke La (approx 5600m) brings us to Snow Lake at the head of the Biafo glacier. Few people venture here and we will be rewarded with one of the finest mountain vistas the world has to offer. Our journey is exploratory in the truest sense of the word, with conditions and possible objectives being the catalyst for our itinerary; an open mind and a very high level of fitness will see travellers gain the most from this unique expedition.


On arrival transfer to the centrally located group hotel in Islamabad (the airport is situated mid-way between Islamabad and Rawalpindi). You will meet your group leader in the afternoon at the hotel for an initial trip briefing and gear check - a more in depth briefing on the trip will occur in Skardu. Overnight hotel.

Meals:  Nil

a) Weather permitting, we take a spectacular flight to the high mountain region of Baltistan in the north east. On a clear day we should be able to see Nanga Parbat (8124m) and K2 (8611m) towering above all other mountains. (It is quite possible adverse weather in Islamabad or Skardu may affect our flight plans and make it necessary to drive by the Karakoram Highway to Skardu, a journey of approx two days). b) In case of cancellation of flight drive 10-12hrs by air conditioned coach to Chilas (480km) on the Karakoram highway. Overnight Basic Hotel/guesthouse.

Meals:  B,L,D

a)We will undertake preparations for our expedition and depending on our time of arrival into Skardu, there may be time to visit the town and possibly an excursion to Kachura Lake situated at the edge of the valley. Skardu is the provincial capital of Baltistan, lying at the edge of a broad floodplain that is the confluence of the Shyok, Indus and Basha Rivers. b)If we are driving the road journey today will be 7-8 hrs to Skardu (275km). On route are spectacular views of Nanga Parbat (8125m). Overnight Basic Hotel/guesthouse.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today our briefing with the tourism department will be held, a formality which is required for expeditions to this area. We'll then have some free time for final gear check and perhaps for a walk to the Skardu fort. Built in the 8th century, the fort's design bears a resemblance to that of the Potala Palace in Tibet and Leh Palace in Ladakh. The view from it is breathtaking, with Skardu and the Indus River framed by the formidable Karakoram Range. Overnight Basic Hotel/guesthouse.

Meals:  B,L,D

We will travel by jeep with our crew and supplies along the Shigar and Braldu valleys to Askole. Villages in Shigar have changed little in over five hundred years; farms with fields of barley, wheat and vegetables surrounded by stone walls and stands of poplar, willow and apricot trees. The apricot is a very important crop in the north, having a multitude of uses to the Balti and Hunzakut people. Villagers greet us as we pass through on the rugged dirt and stone road that leads to Baltoro. As we approach, the landscapes become desert like and once within the sheer valley of the Braldu, it is necessary to cross the river several times by suspension bridges. At various points the road may have collapsed due to erosion and we will transfer the gear across on foot to a vehicle on the other side. The journey may take anywhere from six to twelve hours, or possibly two days as a result! With patience, we will arrive at our first camp of the trek and the expedition will begin in earnest. In Askole the villagers grow their own cereals, vegetables and fruit and own large herds of sheep, goats and dzos. Overnight in our fully serviced wilderness campsite.

Meals:  B,L,D

After considerable organisation of equipment, supplies and porter loads for the journey ahead, we commence trekking towards Jhola. The valley opens out to reveal the Biafo Glacier flowing 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. We also experience the harsh, stark environment that forms the base of these great mountains. Our route takes us to the confluence of the Braldu and Dumordo Rivers where the infamous flying fox or 'jola' is located. It is still there, however a footbridge has now been built making the passage much easier by every perspective - consider individual passage of 50 to 70 people with loads, compared with walking straight across a steel bridge. In past years it was necessary to make a high traverse across a rocky face and descend steeply to the riverside of the Dumordo to gain the flying fox. There is now a safe and pleasant pathway above the river. It is this valley, fed by the Panmah Glacier, that was once a passage between Baltistan and Yarkhand across the West Mustagh Pass (5370m) into China. Once across, we descend beside the river to the Braldu and then follow along it's banks to our camp. Overnight in our fully serviced wilderness campsite.

Meals:  B,L,D

From here we leave the main trekking and expedition route behind and enter a world rarely travelled and then only by expeditions to the Latok group. We follow the valley of the Panmah through varied terrain - gravel and sand beds, scree slopes, the occasional meadow and crossing a few side valleys, only later in the day do we get an inkling that we are entering the realm of high mountains. Walking conditions are hot and dry, care must be taken to prevent sunburn, and plenty of water should be carried (3-4 litres). Overnight in our fully serviced wilderness campsite.

Meals:  B,L,D

The following days are exploratory trekking, as a guide we may trek to Moribima, the Chiring Glacier and West Muztagh Pass (approx 5500m) before returning to Skinmag (Japanese BC). Participants will need to be flexible we may or may not reach these points, depending on conditions and the group as a whole. Overnight in our fully serviced wilderness campsites.

Meals:  B,L,D

Four days of exploratory trekking and climbing will see us traverse up the Nobande Obande glacier and cross over to the Braldu Glacier. Overnight in our fully serviced wilderness campsites.

Meals:  B,L,D

We will continue towards the Lukpe La where we will rope up for our crossing, before descending to Snow Lake. Situated at the head of the Biafo and Hispar glacier, Snow Lake or Lukpe Lawo (4870m) is a high altitude glacial basin that covers an area of approx 700 square kilometres. It is said that fewer than 200 people a year reach this area so it is well beyond the reach of the masses. Surrounded by the distinctive granite towers of the Karakoram, this area is simply spectacular. The first western explorer to travel the Biafo glacier was British mountaineer and explorer Martin Conway. Conway named Snow Lake and many of the surrounding peaks including the Ogre. We will continue down the Biafo Glacier to finish our trek in Askole. Overnight in our fully serviced wilderness campsites.

Meals:  B,L,D

We will return to Skardu and celebrate the successes of the expedition. Overnight Basic Hotel/guesthouse.

Meals:  B,L,D

a) Weather permitting we will fly to Islamabad today, on arrival transfer to our hotel. b) In case of flight cancellation it is necessary to drive to Chilas and overnight at a hotel on the banks of the Indus. We cannot guarantee air travel at any time between the north and south and we expect members to be as reasonable and flexible as possible on this matter. Should we travel by surface, we will have a private minibus that will take us via Chilas which is a day's drive from Islamabad. The road is good for most of the journey but occasionally subject to landslide breaks which can delay us. We follow right beside the Indus from Skardu and view the incredible force of the river by the deep gorges it has carved out. We then join the Karakoram Highway (KKH) which was built by the Chinese over twenty years and runs from Kashgar to 'Pindi. As we wind our way southwards down to the plains, we cross several passes thickly forested in pine and birch. The hills open out to the vast plains and deltas of Punjab province. The traffic becomes more chaotic as we approach Rawalpindi and one feels the temperatures of the plains once again. Should we be able to fly, the additional time will be well spent in 'Pindi; shopping and sightseeing. The Bazaars have endless numbers of streets to explore and traders to bargain with. Overnight hotel.

Meals:  B

a)Day at leisure in Islamabad. There is time to explore the many bazaars and features of interest in the old city of Rawalpindi. Overnight hotel. b)In the case that we are driving we will complete the road journey from Chilas to Islamabad. Overnight hotel.

Meals:  B

After breakfast we will transfer to the airport for our return flights.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 27 breakfasts, 24 lunches and 24 dinners
  • good quality accommodation in Islamabad
  • basic hotel/guesthouse in Skardu
  • accommodation in our fully serviced wilderness campsites
  • led by Tim Macartney-Snape accompanied by an expert local high altitude guide and experienced local crew
  • airport transfers on Day 1 and Day 28
  • flights Islamabad/Skardu/Islamabad approx US$300
  • internal transport by air or private vehicle as described
  • safety equipment including portable high altitude chamber, satellite phone and expedition medical kit
  • all group camping equipment and expedition services including guides, cooks, porters, two person tents, insulated mats, cooking and eating utensils, mess tent with table and stools
  • 20kgs porterage of personal gear on trek
  • all trekking and permit fees valued at US$100
  • porter's insurance
  • visa support letter

  • Sleeping bag or personal climbing equipment
  • Lunch & dinner in Islamabad
  • Bottled water, aerated & alcoholic drinks
  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, etc
  • Tips
  • International flights
  • Airport and departure taxes, excess baggage
  • Visa
  • Travel insurance

About Your Leader

Tim Macartney-Snape&#160;-&#160;<i>Photo:&#160;Tim Macartney-Snape</i>

Tim is Australia's best known mountaineer and an inspiring World Expeditions leader. He has climbed Everest twice, firstly via a new route on the North Face and secondly by a world first walk and climb from sea level to the summit. His expeditions span countless other peaks in the Himalaya including Ama Dablam, Yangma and Gasherbrum 4, exploratory treks in Pakistan and beyond, including a new route up the southwest face of Mt Sarmiento in the Tierra del Fuego. Tim's mountaineering success stems from his passion and talent for exploration. He combines this with his deep interest and knowledge of the natural history of the Himalaya, Pakistan and its people, to give participants on his treks the ultimate mountain travel experience.


Departure dates


Dates or itinerary don't fit?

Create a custom made itinerary for the perfect adventure. Choose when you travel, what you see and where you go.

Total Priceper person from

$8230USD

Your trip price includes:

  • Internal flight valued at 300
  • Park Fees valued at 100
Options & Supplements*
    *Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Karakoram Exploratory with Tim Macartney-Snape trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Award Winning Adventures

Enhancing your journey with authentic experiences, genuine cultural exchange and real exploration are the focal points on all of our adventures. In 2019, we were crowned by our peers as the best in adventure travel at The Travel Awards in Sydney.

Thoughtful Travel

Responsible travel is at the heart of every program we offer as a fundamental and long held philosophy. When you book one of our 100% carbon offset adventures you’re supporting true sustainability in the protection of local communities, natural environments and wildlife.

Ultimate Value

 When you book one of our adventures, you will receive quality services at the best prices with plenty of inclusions. There are no hidden costs, single travellers don’t pay more and you’ll enjoy many ‘extra touches’ that ensure your holiday is excellent value for money.

Videos

Exploratory Trekking with Tim Macartney-Snape | World Expeditions

Positive Impact Travel

By joining this trip you are directly supporting positive impact projects in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We’ve offset the carbon emitted by this trip by purchasing credits that support important projects that address the UN’s seventeen SDGs, like reducing poverty, affordable and clean energy, reducing hunger, clean water and climate action.

Proceeds from this adventure purchase carbon credits through the world’s largest and most awarded carbon project developer, South Pole, which are invested into projects accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources in developing countries.

Supported projects are based on internationally recognised standards and are third-party audited. They entail a series of positive impacts on the ground, which benefit local communities and ecosystems, that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Adventures South"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Walking Holidays"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Canadian Trails"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Humac Challenge"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Tasmania Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX-new.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Utracks"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Youth Adventures"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Youth Adventures</div>
World Youth Adventures is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Yomads"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ACT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Cycle Tours"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Cycle Tours</div>
Australian Cycle Tours specialises in high quality self guided and guided cycling experiences in a selection of the most beautiful regions in Australia.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WEX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions</div>
The pioneers of original, worldwide adventure travel holidays since 1975
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TJX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Trail Journeys"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Trail Journeys</div>
Self-guided cycling experts on New Zealand's Otago Rail Trail and more
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/BMAC.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Blue Mountains Adventure Company"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Blue Mountains Adventure Company</div>
The original Blue Mountains canyoning, hiking, climbing and abseiling experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GWNZ.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Walks of New Zealand"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Walks of New Zealand</div>
Explore New Zealand's most spectacular wilderness regions with the self-guided hiking experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/NAA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="North America Active"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>North America Active</div>
USA Canada hiking & cycling tour specialists, choose from self-guided or guided trips