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25 Days$7490USD

Activities
  • 15 day trek
Accommodation
  • 8 nights hotels / basic guesthouse
  • 16 nights camping
Meals
  • 21 Dinners
  • 21 Lunches
  • 24 Breakfasts
8
Entry level Mountaineering or Exploratory Treks
Technical Grading: Intermediate
 
 

Trip highlights


  • Trek the famous Biafo & Hispar Glaciers
  • Trek beneath the Ogre (7285m) and Latok peaks
  • Explore Snow Lake, a high altitude glacial basin covering an area 700 square kilometres, surrounded by the distinctive granite towers of the Karakoram
  • Cross the Hispar La
  • Venture beyond the well trodden routes
  • Trek through one of the most heavily glaciated parts of the world outside the polar regions
  • Visit the fabled Hunza region and the hub for mountaineering expeditions to the Karakoram - Skardu
  • Enjoy the services of a top notch trekking crew including specialist high altitude porters

This stunning trek is a complete traverse of the Biafo and Hispar Glaciers taking in the picturesque Snow Lake along the way and ending in the beautiful Hunza region. From Askole we trace the first few stages of the K2 trek before veering off into the truly remote wilderness of the Biafo Glacier to Snow Lake and a crossing of the Hispar La (5151m). Whilst crossing the glacier the views of the Ogre (7285m) and Latok peaks are breathtaking. On some stages of our trek it will be necessary to employ the use of ropes to safely negotiate the many crevasses encountered, and some nights will be spent camping on snow and ice. Participants on this trek will need a high level of fitness and a love of the high mountains and absolute remote wilderness. Our trek will be led by world class Australian mountaineer Andrew Lock. Andrew has summited all of the 8000 metre peaks of the Karakoram including K2, and will have more than a few stories to tell! Join Andrew as he shares his special passion for Pakistan on this once in a lifetime journey.

Trip Code: K2A

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 a trip briefing and gear check. If you are arriving on a late flight your briefing will take place tomorrow. 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. Afternoon sightseeing in Skardu. (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 are free to explre the city. 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 from Chilas today will be around 7-8 hrs to Skardu (275km). On route are spectacular views of Nanga Parbat (8125m). Overnight Basic Hotel/guesthouse.

Meals:  B,L,D

We drive around 1.5 hours to Deosai Plains where we may be lucky enough to spot some Himalayan brown bears, who live in the sanctuary here. A picnic lunch at around 3850m is followed by a walk to our high point of around 4000m. From here on a clear day we will be rewarded with views of Nanga Parbat. We're likely to feel the altitude today, however the ascent will stand us in good stead for our ongoing acclimatisation and we will sleep at 2200m in Skardu. 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 wilderness campsite.

Meals:  B,L,D

After considerable organisation of equipment, supplies and porter loads for the journey ahead, we commence trekking towards Namla. The valley opens out to reveal the Biafo Glacier flowing for more than fifty kilometres from the Hispar La pass to the Braldu. Our walk today provides panoramic views down on to the boulder strewn Biafo Glacier stretching out to the northwest. Our campsite tonight is beside a side stream surrounded with willow bushes. Overnight in tent.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today's trek involves a gentle climb over a couple of hours on unstable boulders from which we are rewarded with views of the Latok Peaks ahead. The cluster of large and dramatic peaks vary in height with Latok I, (7,145m) Latok II, (7,108m) and Latok III, (6,949 m). Later in the day we cross the crevasse to arrive at our grassy campsite located at the side of a stream. Overnight in tent.

Meals:  B,L,D

This mornings walk takes us out along the valley before we head out across the lateral crevasse to the reach the smooth white center of the Biafo glacier. Our camp tonight is at Baintha, also known as Conway’s camp, after Sir. William Martin Conway who set camp here in 1892. Baintha is located in a lovely grassy area with a stream flowing through it. Overnight in tent.

Meals:  B,L,D

Baintha is the traditional first rest and acclimatisation day of the trek. The porters take this opportunity to bake bread for the coming trek days. As on most extended treks in the Karakoram, tradition dictates a feast for the porters. This includes the 'cutting of the goat' ceremony, usually followed by singing and dancing in the evening.

Meals:  B,L,D

Our walk today begins with a gentle ascent along the valley before crossing over crevasses to make it out to the easy to navigate white ice. Our camp tonight at Napina, also known as Marpogoro, is again located in a grassy valley with fresh water nearby. Overnight in tent.

Meals:  B,L,D

As we climb to higher altitudes the temperatures begin to drop and this is most notable today. The glacier broadens as the Sim and Biafo glaciers meet and our ascent is gradual. Measurements here show the ice to be almost 1.5-km in depth. Therefore, gaiters are needed and we will also employ the use of ropes to safely navigate our way. Our camp is at the eastern margin of the glacier, where the Sim and Biafo glaciers meet. It is guarded by a crevasse field and we will approach our camp carefully. Overnight in tent.

Meals:  B,L,D

Todays walk involves traversing on snow (covered ice) and we do so with great care to avoid the danger of crevasses. We will reach the intersection of the Sim Gang Glacier and Snow Lake (Lukpe Lawo) where we find the glacier to be around one and half km thick and ice flowing at about 300m a year. Camp at Snow Lake. Overnight in tent.

Meals:  B,L,D

Situated at the head of the Biafo and Hispar glaciers, 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. Today we have a full day to explore the surrounds. Overnight in tent.

Meals:  B,L,D

A very early start today is essential. A steady but gentle climb of 4-5 hours will see us reach the top of the Hispar La where we gain spectacular 360 degree views. The top is a wide flat area, set high in the Karakoram. The Hispar side of the pass is more crevassed and care must be taken. Once we reach to lower Hispar Glacier (5040m), the ground eventually becomes less crevassed. At the head of the Khani Basa Glacier sits Kanjut Sar (7760m). Our campsite for the night is by a side stream with wildflowers and porter shelters. The views of the Bal Chhish peaks are stunning and Baintha Brak is still visible over the Hispar La. Overnight in tent.

Meals:  B,L,D

Contingency days incase of poor weather or snow conditions which may impede our progress. These may be used at any stage throughout the itinerary and may be at any of our campsites.

Meals:  B,L,D

Traversing Khani Basa glacier is relatively easy going. Camp near Yutmaru glacier in a flat sheltered field. Overnight in tent.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we will have our last views of the Hispar La from the middle of the Hispar Glacier. The trekking involves some hard boulder hopping as we continue to the north where the ablation valley widens. Our Overnight camp is in a grassy meadow.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we are walking through pastures in the ablation valley past willow and cedar shrubs. We reach the deserted shepherds summer settlement of Bitanmal (meaning ‘shaman’s field’ bitan is Brushaski for ‘shaman’ or ‘witch doctor. Bitanmal is another lies on the edge of Kunyang Glacier. It is possible to climb a nearby ridge for views of the giant mountains to the north. Overnight in tent.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we will cross the Kunyang glacier and continue on a gentle walk to Hispar Village. To finally reach the village we must cross the Hispar River on a wire pulley. Hispar is a small village of about 120 houses with a school, small clinic and a wooden mosque. Overnight in tent.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we farewell our trekking crew as we undertake the drive to Hunza. On arrival we check in to our hotel and have some time at leisure to explore the town. The picturesque Hunza region is home to some 48,000 inhabitants and lies on a branch of the Silk Road. The summit of Ultar (7388m) rises above Hunza, and folklore has it that a fairy queen once lived here in a crystal palace. Hunza has many orchards of apricots, peaches, plums, apples, grapes, cherries and walnuts, and fields of wheat and corn lined with Poplar trees. These crops and orchards are irrigated by Hunza's impressive man made channels which snake across the slopes of the valley, bringing water from the many canyons to the fields and orchards. Hunza is, for westerners, steeped in mythology and known for its isolation and Shangri La purity, brought about by James Hilton's 1933 novel, Lost Horizon. The evening may be spent at your leisure, strolling through the Karimabad Bazaar whilst enjoying the views of Rakaposhi (7788m), Diran (7266m), Golden Peak (Spantik) (7027m), Ultar (7388m), Distaghill (7885m). Overnight hotel.

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we will do some sightseeing in Hunza before commencing the drive to Gilgit. Touched by various invading cultures, Gilgit is the capital city of the Northern Areas and was an important staging point on the Silk Route and remained a part of the Buddhist Kingdom from the 3rd to 11th century. In ancient times Gilgit was known as Sargin and it is still often referred to by the local people as Sargin-Gilit.

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 Islamabad which takes approximately 10-12 hours. 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 to Islamabad. The road is good for most of the journey but is occasionally subject to landslide breaks which can delay us. Overnight hotel.

Meals:  B

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.

Meals:  B

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

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 24 breakfasts, 21 lunches and 21 dinners
  • good quality accommodation in Islamabad
  • basic hotel/guesthouse in Skardu, Hunza & Gilgit
  • accommodation in our fully serviced wilderness campsites
  • led by Andrew Lock accompanied by an expert local high altitude guide and experienced local crew
  • airport transfers regardless of arrival and departure timing
  • flights Islamabad/Skardu & Gilgit/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$60
  • 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

Specify Alternate Text

Andrew Lock (OAM) has climbed the world's 14 highest peaks above 8000 metres making him unarguably Australia's and the Commonwealth's most accomplished high-altitude mountaineer. His achievements encompass 18 summits of those 8000 metre peaks, including Mt Everest (twice), placing him in a select group of the world’s best alpinists. His impressive mountaineering resume includes six Australian first ascents and the establishment of many new routes. Andrew was an Australian of the Year nominee in 2010 and the Australian Geographic's Adventurer of the Year in 2009 and 2010. His professionalism, depth of experience and clear minded nature are assets in the mountains and he is an ideal choice to lead Biafo Glacier, Snow Lake and Hispar La Trek.


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Priceper person from

$7490USD

Your trip price includes:

  • Internal flight valued at 300
  • Park Fees valued at 100
Options & Supplements*
  • Tent only Single SupplementUSD$380
  • Single SupplementUSD$570
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Biafo Glacier, Snow Lake and Hispar La Trek with Andrew Lock 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.


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