Muztagh Ata Expedition
- Crossing Khunjerab Pass 4733m
- Climbing- Sking on Muztagh Ata 7545m
- View of Karakorum- Himalaya and Hindukush Mountain Ranges
- Views of peaks between 5,000m to above 8000m Peaks
- View of Muztagh Ata from Karakul Lake
Muztagh Ata lies just south of Kongur Tagh, the highest peak of the Kunlun Shan, together they form a somewhat isolated group, separated from the main chain of the Kunlun, and also separate from the Pamir Mountains to the west. (Both peaks are sometimes regarded as being in the “Chinese Pamir”, and are more closely connected to the main Pamir group than the main Kunlun group.) Not far to the north and east of this group are the lowlands of the Tarim Basin and the Taklamakan Desert. The Karakorum Highway passes very close to both peaks.
The Swedish explorer and geographer Sven Hedin made the first recorded attempt to climb Muztagh Ata, in 1894. Additional attempts were made in 1900, 1904 and 1947, the last by the strong team of Eric Shipton and Bill Tilman who came very close to the summit but were turned back due to cold and deep snow.
The first ascent of the peak was in 1956 by a large party of Chinese and Russian climbers, via the west ridge, which is now the standard route.
Since the first ascent, many ascents of Muztagh Ata have been made. In 1980, a party led by Ned Gillette made a ski ascent/descent of the standard route, the first ski ascent of a mountain over 7,500 m (24,600 ft). An ascent of the much harder south-east ridge was made in 2000. and led by Ned Gillette made a ski ascent/descent of the standard route, the first ski ascent of a mountain over 7,500 m (24,600 ft). An ascent of the much harder south-east ridge was made in 2000.
Overview Muztagh Ata
Day-01 Arrive Islamabad airport and transfer to hotel,
Day-02 Drive to Chilas via Babusar Pass 4137m 12-14hrs
Day-03 Drive to Karimabad 6-7hrs. 220 km, overnight at hotel
Day-04 Drive to Sost and transfer to hotel
Day-05 Drive over the Khunjerab Pass to China
Day-06 Drive to Karakul Lake, overnight in tents
Day-07 Drive 10kms to Subashi and trek to base camp
Day-08-24 [17 Days in base camp for climbing]
Day-25 Base Camp/Subash/ Karakol Lake- Tashkurgan
Day-26 Drive to Sost- Karimabad (Hunza)
Day-27 Free day in Hunza, local visits
Day-28 Drive to Naran via Babusar Pass
Day-29 Drive to Islamabad 6-7hrs
Day-30 Transfer to Islamabad airport for international flight
Map and Itinerary for Muztagh Ata
Arrive at Islamabad airport transfer to hotel, afternoon sightseeing of twin cities. Overnight at hotel
Islamabad: is new capital and well-planned city of Pakistan, is lush green at the footsteps of potowar hills. Visit biggest Shah Faisal Mosque; also an interesting round trip combines a tour of the Shakespearean park with visits to Damen-e-Koh, Lok Versa museum (to enjoy aerial views of Islamabad) and the Shrine of Syed Meher Ali Shah.
Rawalpindi: is a lively, bustling city with the crowded streets and colorful bazaars, though it lacks the grand monuments: nonetheless, the bazaar should appeal to anyone with the desire to see the real Pakistan. Visit Raja Bazaar, Sarafa Bazaar, and Moti Bazaar.
Day-02 Islamabad- Naran- Chilas: Drive to Naran 5/6 hrs (239.2 km) after lunch continue drive to Chilas 3-4 hrs (113.3 km) via Babusar Pass 4173m),
Naran valley is the most beautiful & picturesque valley. That’s why it is called virtual paradise, unbelievably in pristine state and still unspoiled by the human. You’ll find the Himalayan peaks hidden with clouds or snow, somewhere you’ll find the beautiful fairy tale lakes, which will attract you toward them, and you might decide not to leave this at any cost. Where Kaghan is full of scenic beauty there it is full of thrill and excitement for the Mountaineers and treks.
Naran Valley is a 155 Kms long scenic wonderland. Lofty peaks crown the mountains ranges on either side like turrets, ranging in height from 12,000 to 17,000 ft and more, with the eastern range higher than the western. The bed of valley slopes up from 3,000 ft at Balakot, which, as it were, the gateway of the valley, to 12,000 ft at Gittdas beyond which the valley crosses at Babusar Pass 14,000 ft. The first ten miles or so are largely barren, but when the valley raises to about 5,000 ft forests of pine and fir appear, densely overgrown with a variety of plants, which has won for Kaghan the epithets of ‘the botanists paradise’. The forests continue till about Naran 8,000 ft.
Babusar Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 4.173 m (13,691 ft) above the sea level. The pass is the highest point in the Kaghan Valley, Pakistan. The pass connects the Kaghan Valley via the Thak Nala with Chilas on the Karakoram Highway. It’s one of the famous hair pinned roads in the world
Day-03 Chilas- Karimabad: Drive to Karimabad 6-7hrs. 220 km, overnight at hotel
The Hunza Valley is a mountainous valley, situated north/west of the Hunza River, at an elevation of around 2,500 m. The territory of Hunza is about 7,900 square km (3,100 sq mi). Aliabad is the main town, while Baltit and Altit are popular tourist destination because of the spectacular scenery of the surrounding mountains.
The people are cheerful, friendly, fair-skinned and blue or green eyes. Almost all speak Burushaski and in upper Hunza, they speak Wakhi.
The miracle of the Hunzakuts longevity, supposedly resulting from their mostly vegetarian diet of cereals and fruits From Hunza Valley, Panoramic views of Rakaposhi 7788m, Diran Peak 7266m, Spantik Peak 7027m, Ultar 7388 Lady Finger 6000m.
Day-04 Karimabad- Sost: Drive to Sost via Attaabad Lake and upper Hunza valleys, 2-3 hrs, 87KM, enjoys the magnificent views of snowcapped mountains.
Day-05 Sost- Tashkorgan: After custom formalities, we drive over the Khunjerab Pass to China on the Karakorum highway. Today we’ll journey through the Khunjerab Pass at 4733 M the highest border crossing on a paved road in the world. The Pakistani side is marked with barren deserted gorges with no sign of human life. The Chinese side, however, is an open, grassy, high altitude plateau, with herds of yaks, sheep & low-humped Bactrian camels tended by the Tadjik people. That evening we’ll meet our Chinese hosts (Incl: Dinner) O/N Pamir Hotel (2 Star)
Day-06 Tashkorgan/Karakul Lake: (Bus 100kms)In the morning, free time, in the afternoon we drive to Karakul Lake. Then, we will have time to take a walk along the lake and take photos to the lake and the massive Muztagata Mountain, the “Father of the Ice Mountains”. Here the glaciers and snowfields are overwhelming. The high wind swept the plateaus between the parallel ranges that constitute the Pamirs, the “Roof of the World”(called the Onion Mountains in early Chinese records), are the home of a branch of the nomadic Kirghiz people known as the KaraKirghiz. Pack-camels amble between their encampments of round ad-lib (yurts covered in thick felts of goat or camel hair.) We’ll photograph the great rolling grasslands and the mountains beyond. And visit with the local nomadic people and spend the night in a yurt, the round tent-like homes common to central Asia.Incl: B.L.D (O/N Yurt)
Day-07 Karakul Lake-Muztagh Ata BC: In the morning we drive 10kms to Subashi and meet our camels and start the walk to base camp. With the camels carrying the team’s equipment, we trek over a level plane and then climb steadily through barren hills to base camp, approximately a 4-hour walk. Drifts of alpine flowers clothe the slopes as base camp is approached and screeching marmots call a welcome (Incl: B.L.D O/N Camping)
Day-08-24 [17 Days in Base camp for climbing]
Day-25 Base Camp/Subash/ Karakol Lake (Trekking and Bus) After breakfast in the early morning remove base camp and after loading the camels trek back to Shubash. After arrival there in early afternoon pick up by bus and Drive along the China-PK highway to Kashgar, upon arrival, resting and free time. In the evening XGTC (Abbreviation of our company) will treat you on a lavish banquet, hopefully in celebration of many a summit ascent! (Incl: B+L+D) O/N Semen Hotel (3 star) or same class.
Day-26 Karakul Lake- Sost- Gulmit: In the morning driving back the border town of Tashkurgan inhabited predominantly by Tadjik people.
Then Traverse the 4733-meter Khunjreab Pass to Sost, It’s a long day and you should have your passports ready for the numerous inspections on our way from Tashkurgan to Sost- Karimabad (Incl: B+L)
Day-27 Karimabad: Local visits in Kariambad: The Hunza Valley is a mountainous valley, situated north/west of the Hunza River, at an elevation of around 2,500 m. The territory of Hunza is about 7,900 square km (3,100sq mi). Aliabad is the main town, while Baltit and Altit are popular tourist destination because of the spectacular scenery of the surrounding mountains.
The people are cheerful, friendly, fair-skinned and blue or green eyes. Almost all speak Burushaski and in upper Hunza, they speak Wakhi.
The miracle of the Hunzakuts longevity, supposedly resulting from their mostly vegetarian diet of cereals and fruits From Hunza valley, Panoramic views of Rakaposhi 7788m, Diran Peak 7266m, Spantik Peak 7027m, Ultar 7388 Lady Finger 6000m.
Day-28 Karimabad- Chilas-Naran
Drive to Chilas 220km, 5-6 hrs, after lunch continue drive to Naran via Babusar Pass 115 km 3-4 hrs
Day-29 Naran- Islamabad
Drive to Islamabad 5-6 hrs 29.28km km via Taxila, overnight at Royal Crown Guest house
Taxila, situated 35 miles from Rawalpindi, was once the seat of Oriental culture. It was first mentioned as a satrapy of the Archemenian Empire in 6th century B.C. it was invaded by Alexander the Great and passed along to other rulers un till finally reaching the hands of Ashoka the Great, who moulded the city into a center of learning.
The creative Gandhara period followed shortly thereafter and Taxila remained the center of learning, philosophy and art. It came to a disastrous and pathetic end when sacked by the White Huns. Today, Taxila is an archaeologist’s paradise: there is a well- maintained museum here and eight sites scattered around a very short radius. Amongst the best preserved are Sirkap, Jaulian (the University) and Mohara.
Transfer to Islamabad airport for international flight
Service details for Muztagh Ata
- Accommodation and Meals
Accommodation will be provided based on following hotels sharing twin/double occupancy.
Islamabad– Hill View hotel or similar category – Bed & Breakfast only.
Chilas– Midway Shangri-La or similar category – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
China- Tourist class hotel in China – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Hunza– Hunza Embassy/Hill Top hotel – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Naran– PTDC Motel or Guesthouse Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Note: Alternate accommodation will be provided if rooms in above-mentioned hotels are not available. Check in before 12:00 pm is subject to previous night charges
Air-condition transportation for sightseeing
Air-condition transportation for airport pick and drop
Air-condition transportation from Islamabad to Hunza- China back to Islamabad
- Porterage (Low Altitude Porters)
Required porters/Camels from Karakul Lake to Muztagh Ata and back to Karakul Lake
Free baggage allowance for members personal gear and collective equipment is 30 kilograms per person
- Taxes and Fees
Bridge crossing fee
Climbing permit for Muztagh Ata
- Camping Food & Equipment & Accessories
Cam food from Karakul Lake to Muztahgt BC- Karakul Lake including 17 days at base camp
D3V sleeping tent.
Complete Mess tent/table/chairs.
- Kitchen Equipment
All necessary kitchen utensils.
Lamps for light.
Professional English Speaking Guide
Assistant Guide as per group size
What's not Included
- International air ticket & airport taxes.
- Visa fee for Pakistan & personal insurance of the clients.
- Tips for drivers, porters and staff
- Single Supplement
- Hotel meals in Islamabad (lunch & dinner)
- Helicopter charges in case of use for rescue
- Transfers to and from airports for participants making individual air arrangements
- Optional excursions or deviations from the scheduled tour
- Sleeping bag and all personal expenses such as telephone, fax, email charges, liquor or soft drinks,
- Room service, gratuities for personal services, items of a purely
- Any other service that is not mentioned in the list above.
Joining Arrangements & Transfers
- All clients arriving on Day 1 will be met at Islamabad Airport by our representative who will arrange the transfer to the group hotel. Similarly, transfers will be provided back to Islamabad Airport on the final day of the itinerary. Full joining instructions together with hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.
While in Islamabad accommodation is on Bed and breakfast basis and our guide will guide you to different restaurants nearby for lunch and dinner, while at the camps you will get breakfast with porridge and cereal, toast or chapattis/parathas, omelettes and a range of hot drinks. Normally a hot lunch is served during the trek, In the afternoon you will be given tea and biscuits and a three-course meal will follow with soup, a main meal, and dessert. We bring along fresh vegetables and meat for the main meals. We can cater for those with special dietary requirements, so long as we are informed of these at the time of booking.
The accommodation arrangement in Islamabad is of standard hotels. Rooms at our provided hotels will be on twin sharing basis. At the time of camping, the participants will be sharing a tent fit for two persons. If any participant is coming alone on this trek he/she will be accommodated with one of the other member for tent and room sharing. For strangers and solo trekkers, first preference will be given to same gender stays. Nevertheless, a participant can opt for separate tent of hotel rooms as he/she likes, however additional cost will be incurred for making separate arrangement. Any participants seeking separate accommodation must inform our office in advance.
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The best time for climbing Muztagh Ata is from June - August. The start and end dates in the table above are your dates of arrival and departure from Pakistan/China. We have at least one guaranteed departure every year. Our dates for the expedition to Muztagh Ata are given above. We can organize solo expedition if your dates do not match our dates of fixed departures.
How the trip will operate?
Upon arrival in Islamabad, one of our representatives will pick you up from the airport and transfer to hotel. We then fly to Skardu capital of Baltistan region, or if the weather is inclement we travel by road through the Indus gorge. Skardu is the parting point from civilization, where we will be accommodated in a Hotel. Jeeps take us to the road end at Askole, the last village in the valley. Askole is the beginning of the trek and each night we camp out as we travel up the valley with our Balti porters providing entertainment and color to the otherwise stark and barren countryside. Our cooks provide wholesome and high-quality food during the trek. The guide and porters will coordinate all the movements of equipment and people up and down the mountain and are there to assist and facilitate you. At the end of the trip the group retraces its steps to Islamabad.
What is a typical day on trek?
The day starts with an early morning mug of tea brought to your tent by one of the cook’s helpers. Before heading over to the mess tent for breakfast it is best to pack your overnight gear into your duffel bag. During breakfast the tents will be packed away and, after the porters have arranged their loads, they will set off on the trail in the cool of the morning. After breakfast, probably between 7 am and 8 am, we start walking. The pace of the trek is leisurely with plenty of time to enjoy the scenery, take photos and explore the local villages. Lunch will be around 11 am at a spot by the side of the trail and is prepared for us by the cooks. There is more walking after lunch and normally you will get into camp by mid-afternoon with the tents already put up by the local staff. In the evening a three-course meal is served in the mess tent around 7 pm. After evening meal the guide will discuss the plan for the next day with the group. People might stay in the mess tent chatting about the day’s events for a while before retiring to their tent for the night.
What you Carry?
In your daypack, you will need to carry extra warm clothing (depending on the altitude, location, and weather), a rain jacket, water bottle, film and camera gear, valuables and personal items such as sunscreen, lip-Eze etc. Porters carry all group gear and your trek pack. A daypack of approx. 45litres is ideal for this trek.
How internal flights operate?
Skardu is a weather-dependent airport. Since the valley is completely surrounded by high mountains, planes can only land here in good visibility and this means flights to and from Skardu are never guaranteed. The planes do fly more often than not, but cancellations can and do occur and in these circumstances, we will travel by road. If we did not do this groups would risk being stranded in Islamabad and you should beware of companies that say they will only fly to Skardu as this may mean you have no possibility of trekking.
What is participation statement and acknowledgment?
Participants should be aware trekking, mountaineering and travelling in a developing country are activities that involve a risk of personal injury or death. As a condition of booking, you must accept these risks and be responsible for your own actions and involvement.
Adventure travel requires an open and flexible attitude. You may Experience extreme conditions, unpredictable weather and last minute changes to the itinerary beyond our control. Lack of acclimatization to high altitudes could also be a risk factor. Our itineraries allow optimum time for acclimatizing although it is possible that some individuals might be slow acclimatizers.
The majority of our trips visit remote areas where you are away from normal emergency services and medical facilities. In case of a serious injury requiring hospitalization, it has to be accepted by you, evacuation could take up to several days and may impede your ensuing recovery. Helicopters are the most usual means of evacuation, however they are not always available or they may be hindered by poor weather and flying conditions.
What will be the camp food?
While in Islamabad accommodation is on Bed and breakfast basis and our guide will guide you to different restaurants nearby for lunch and dinner, while at the camps you will get breakfast with porridge and cereal, toast or chapattis/parathas, omelettes and a range of hot drinks. Normally a hot lunch is prepared by the trek, In the afternoon you will be given tea and biscuits and a three-course meal will follow with soup, a main meal, and dessert. We bring along fresh vegetables and meat for the main meals. We can cater for those with special dietary requirements, so long as we are informed of these at the time of booking.
How about hygiene & sanitation?
All our cooks and support staff are thoroughly trained in kitchen and table hygiene & observe strict hygienic code. You may give your personal water bottles to our kitchen staff every night & they’ll fill them up with boiling water, which will not only warm you up in your sleeping bags for a sound sleep but also provide you with safe boiled drinking water for the following day’s walk.
Guidance on tipping?
It is usual to tip the members of your trek crew, including your local guide, if you are happy with the services provided. We estimate that $100 – $150 (in local currency equivalent) will cover this aspect of your trip expenditure.
Towards the end of the trek, the trip leader will help the group to determine an appropriate level of tipping for each crew member, and this is most usually done as a group ‘thank-you’ with a ceremony on the final day of trekking.
What will be the weather?
The traditional trekking season in Pakistan is from June to September. The K2 Base Camp and Gondogoro la trek will have a wide range of temperatures depending on the altitude and the time of day. In the mountains between 1,000m and 3,500m, the nights will be cool normally around 5°C. During the day temperatures can be very hot even as high as 40°C in the lower elevations. Bring lots of water, sunhat and sunscreen! At higher altitudes temperatures range from about 20°C to -10°C. The mornings are generally clear with clouds building up during the afternoon and often disappearing at night to reveal beautiful starry nights. Rawalpindi will be hot and humid at this time of year; temperatures typically range from 30°C to 46°C with high humidity, whereas the temperatures in Skardu at 2,340m will be cooler.
What will be the weather?
Vaccinations and medical?
You should obtain professional advice from a travel clinic or your local GP from your home country about which vaccinations to have before you arrive in Pakistan. A dental check-up is a good idea as there will be no dental facilities while on the trek.
What will be the weather?
How to avoid altitude sickness?
The below notes on altitude sickness is to point out what it is and to note the symptoms. Problems with altitude sickness can usually be avoided if care is taken to prepare properly. Ensure good physical fitness, chose a trip suitable to your level, staged ascents to allow time for acclimatization, drink plenty of liquid and avoid alcohol, be aware of the symptoms of altitude sickness and do not ignore symptoms of altitude sickness if they occur. Normal physiologic changes occur in every person who goes to altitude: hyperventilation (breathing faster, deeper, or both), shortness of breath during exertion, changed breathing pattern at night, awakening frequently at night and increased urination.
By slowly gaining height we reap the benefits of a gradual gain in fitness and acclimatization. We offer advice based on our experience and with the sensible approach we take on all of our treks, anyone who is well prepared, fit and healthy should have few problems, as we are very careful to allow time to acclimatize to the altitude. Even with these precautions, it is still possible for altitude sickness to occur. It is difficult to predict who is likely to suffer from altitude sickness. Sex is not a determinant, nor is age. Your physical condition is important to good altitude adjustment, but sometimes people who are fit ascend too rapidly for their systems to adjust.
Please also note that individuals vary widely in both their physical response to high altitude and the ability to acclimatize and since physical fitness does not confer any protection or facilitate acclimatization, it is impossible to predict how you will adapt to the altitude. The greatest protection is avoiding rapid ascents and allowing time for acclimatization. Your body can adapt to altitude if given time. We feel this itinerary specifically provides that option, but you must individually pace yourself to go slowly and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Do not push too hard regardless of how physically fit you may be or feel.
Early symptoms of high altitude sickness include a headache, nausea, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, vomiting, dry cough, irregular breathing, shortness of breath, fatigue, swelling of ankles and eyelids. It is not uncommon to experience some of these symptoms when you first arrive at high altitude and then to have them decrease in severity within a few days. It is important that you inform your Trip Leader immediately of any symptoms or discomfort, however minor so that they can help you monitor the situation. Please be aware that remaining at high altitude in spite of alarm signals from your body may result in serious illness or even death.
Medical conditions that are aggravated or complicated by high altitude include heart diseases, lung diseases, pregnancy, anemia, and sickle cell disease. It is imperative that anyone with any of these conditions consult their physician in detail before attempting this trekking expedition.
Personal Medical Kit
It is very important to have your own personal medical kit and it is wise to bring all the essentials with you from the home country. As time is limited and it will save you having to go searching for medical supplies in an unfamiliar city. Most medicines are available from chemists in main cities. The following suggestions are based on our experience of travelling, trekking and on the most common medical problems encountered. It is important to check with your doctor in case of allergies to any medications.
We suggest that you bring the following:
Plasters: Elastoplasts or adhesive tape.
Antiseptic cream: Germalene, Savlon etc
Crepe or Elasticated Bandage: For knee and ankle support, if you strain in these joints.
Blister dressings: Moleskin, compead, spenco dressings etc. Stop at the first sign of a blister forming and use a plaster or moleskin.
Cold and Flu Medication: Beechams powders, Lemsip, nasal decongestant, and throat lozenges. On treks that stay above 3000 meters for any length of time or on treks with dry conditions, it is quite common due to breathing dry, cold air through the mouth to get a sore throat or a cough (it may become productive due to irritation not necessarily infection).
Treatment For Diarrhoea: Oral rehydration salts, which contain a variety of salts (electrolytes) and sugar. The combination of electrolytes and sugar stimulates water and electrolyte absorption from the gut. It, therefore, prevents or reverses dehydration and replaces lost salts in conditions such as diarrhea and vomiting. Preparations such as Imodium or Lomotil are anti-motility drugs, which do not treat diarrhea but slows the gut. They should only be used when the condition is causing dehydration, much distress or is impossible to deal with on transport. The aim in using them is to take just enough to control the complaint (see section on diarrhea).
General Painkillers: Aspirin, paracetamol and/or ibuprofen etc
Insect repellent and after bite cream:
Small Pair of Scissors
Any Special Medicines: Those you take regularly or will require on your trip.
Optional – Treatment for Giardia: A common infection caused by a protozoan in the upper bowel. It develops one to three weeks after exposure and can result in a sudden acute illness or a more long-lasting condition. The symptoms are usually explosive and gassy diarrhea along with burping and wind that tastes and smells like rotten eggs. There may be abdominal pain after eating. Treatment is a course of Metronidazole; this is a prescription drug. Under the advice given by your GP, you may consider carrying a course of wide spectrum antibiotic in your personal medical kit.
Optional – A Broad-Spectrum Antibiotic: These are prescription drugs and should be used in consultation with a GP. A broad-spectrum antibiotic e.g. Ciprofloxacin may be useful if traveling to remote areas or for long periods. A broad-spectrum antibiotic can be used to treat bacterial infectious diarrhea, dysentery, respiratory, skin and urinary infections. However, antibiotics used without proper medical advise can cause or predispose other medical complications and bacterial resistance e.g. Clostridium or MRSA. Under the advice given by your GP, you may consider carrying a course of broad-spectrum antibiotic in your personal medical kit.
Optional – Use of Acetazolamide (Diamox): For those trekking above 3000 meters, Diamox has been described as an aid to acclimatization and the prevention of altitude sickness
Equipment & Accessories
Rucksack or Day Sack: This is what you carry containing any items you will need during the day, e.g. camera, water bottle, jumper, waterproofs, personal first aid kit (or part of it), toilet paper & lighter etc. A rucksack of around 35 to 40 litres capacity should be large enough, lined with one large plastic bag to
ensure contents remain dry. Padded hip belts are recommended for trekkers.
Sleeping Bag & Liner: A good quality 4-season down or synthetic bag and cotton, thermal or silk liner. Suggested manufacturers RAB, Mountain Equipment, North Face, Ajungilak, Vango.
Scarf/Bandana: Silk, cotton or nylon for keeping the sun off the back of your neck or dust out of your mouth.
Water Bottle: 1x 1 Litre (Platypus, Sigg or Nalgene bottles are recommended). Sigg bottles also makes great hot water bottle!
Water Purification: Biox Aqua Tablets are the safest and most effective form of emergency water disinfection in outdoor environments. Biox Aqua Tablets are more effective than either chlorine or iodine tablets (working against both cryptosporidium and giardia), and leaves no bad tastes or colours behind. Biox Aqua does not react with contaminants in the water to form hazardous byproducts. Each application will take between 10-30 mins to take effect, dependant on the condition of the water source. Puritabs are not advised as they have no effect on the amoebas and will not protect you from hepatitis.
Sun Screen: High protection factor 20-30 or higher
Lip Screen: High protection factor 20-30 or higher
Toilet Items: Soap, travel towel, flannel (or J-cloth), toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, comb, sanitary protection, toilet paper is provided but bring a roll for personal use and at airports!
Sewing Kit: Needle, cotton and a few safety pins for emergency repairs.
Small Knife: Swiss army style – has many uses (do not carry this in hand luggage when taking international or internal flights it will be confiscated).
Small Padlocks: Essential for locking your kit bag and bags left at the hotel.
Passport & Spare Passport Photographs: (3-4 plus any required for permits)
A Copy of Your Insurance Certificate: This is very important and useful.
Money Belt: To carry valuables (passport, money, air ticket) this should be worn at all times when travelling.
High Energy Trek Snacks: Sweets, chocolate bars, dried fruit, glucose sweets, Kendal mint cake. These can make all the difference in unfamiliar surroundings.
Personal Medical Kit: (see list above).
Compression Bags, Stuff Sacs, Pillow Cases or Small Plastic Bags: To separate the gear in your kit bag and kept dry.
Cigarette Lighter/Matches: For burning toilet paper and rubbish.
Wet Wipes: One pack very useful for wiping hands, face and other parts of body.
Antibacterial Hand Cleansing Gel: Small bottle.
General Equipment List
This is a suggested kit list of some items needed when trekking. It is best to pack several thinner layers rather than one thick layer. There is a weight limit on trek (13-20kg depending on the package). It is best not to pack more items than what you actually need on any holiday.
Lightweight Thermal Underwear: Tops (2), bottoms or long johns (1). Made from polypropylene, Coolmax, Capilene etc, as cotton does not provide adequate warmth.
T-Shirts or Polo Shirts: (3) Capilene, DryFlo or Coolmax are preferred for their quick drying/high wicking ability.
Long Sleeved Shirt or Blouse: (1-2)
Trekking Trousers (2) e.g. polycotton trousers or zip off trousers.
Lightweight Wool or Fleece Jumper: (1)
Fleece or Pile Jacket: (1)
Duvet Jacket: Medium weight down or synthetic, it needs to fit overall insulation layers.
Waterproof Jacket: Good storm proof mountain jacket with attached hood.
Waterproof Trousers: Good storm proof trousers with side zips to the knee.
Travel Clothes: Lightweight cotton, preferably only for travelling in, e.g. separate to trekking gear.
Mitts & Gloves
Synthetic Gloves: 1 pair lightweight fleece/wool/pile.
Mitts: To fit over gloves
Boots: It is most important that you have well-fitting, comfortable boots, lightweight boots (Gore-Tex or leather). Boots are to be preferred rather than training shoes for the actual trekking, giving your ankles and feet much better support on the rough and stony ground and providing better grip. Boots protect the feet from bruising or damage caused by protruding stones or boulders. Boots should be sturdy enough to take flexible crampons.
Training Shoes/Sandals: For travelling in and around the cities, hotels and at camp. Also for wearing when crossing streams to protect feet.
Socks: 2-3 pairs of thin liner socks (polypropylene or Coolmax) to be worn next to the skin.
Harness: You need it while crossing Gondogoro La
Gaiters: Useful if we encounter snow.
Crampons: You only need it for Gondogoro Crossing. It is important to have the correct crampons for your boots.
Sun Hat: Baseball cap or wide-brimmed sun hat.
Wool or Fleece Hat
Head Torch: e.g. Petzl Tikka, Zipka or Black Diamond Moonlight and spare batteries.
Sunglasses: Essential to get a pair, which cuts out 100% UV rays. It is a good idea to also have a spare pair of good sunglasses. Glacier glasse
General Considerations When Packing
- Keep the weight and bulk down to a minimum.
- Baggage allowance on most international flights is around 23kg. Most people tend to bring more clothes than they actually need.
- You only need one change of clothes for time spent in towns/cities.
- On treks, your kit bag weight should be kept to below 15kg.
- For all trips but especially trekking it is important to dress in layers. When it is hot you will only be wearing light trousers and a T-shirt, when it gets colder you can add to this until you are wearing most of your clothes!
- Fragile and valuable items should be carried in your hand baggage.
- Most people take their daysack or rucksack on the plane as hand luggage but many airlines only allow one item of hand baggage, which should not be more than the airlines specified size.
- Camera gear should be carried as hand luggage in a padded or protective bag, discreet bags are ideal as they do not advertise the expensive contents and attract unwanted attention.
- On internal flights, there is an allowed baggage allowance of 15kg per person. When flying internally we suggest trekkers wear all your heavy clothes and boots to keep your baggage to a minimum.
- Any excess baggage charges will have to be borne by you.
- Pack all batteries, knives, sharp object and lighters into your main luggage to avoid confiscation by security personnel.
- Take a small sealable clear plastic bag if you wish to take liquid items such as toothpaste onboard the aircraft.
- Do not leave bags unattended at airports.
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