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- Map & Itinerary
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Shigar Thale La Trek
(For detail itinerary click Map & Itinerary tab)
Day 1, Arrival Day in Islamabad (635m), Welcome Meeting. Islamabad Airport transfers are provided.
Day 2, Fly to Skardu (2500m) in the morning, afternoon free for sightseeing/ Drive on Karakorum Highway to Chilas (1280m), 12 hour
Day 3, Skardu Sightseeing & Briefing /Drive to Skardu 10 hours
Day 4, Drive to Thale village (3000m) via the scenic Thale Valley, 4-5 hour
Day 5, Trek to Brangsa 3500
Day 6, Cross Thale Pass (4572m) to Shaqyul
Day 7, Trek down to Brangma Haral and Shigar, Drive to Skardu
Day 8, Fly to Islamabad/Drive to Chilas
Day 9, Islamabad Sightseeing /Drive on KKH to Islamabad
Pricing NameMin Group SizeMax Group SizePrice
Pricing Name: 1st JuneMin Group Size: No size limitMax Group Size: 20 paxprice: /Person
Pricing Name: 10th JuneMin Group Size: No size limitMax Group Size: 20 paxprice: /Person
Pricing Name: 20th JuneMin Group Size: No size limitMax Group Size: 20 paxprice: /Person
Pricing Name: 1st JulyMin Group Size: No size limitMax Group Size: 20 paxprice: /Person
Pricing Name: 10th JulyMin Group Size: No size limitMax Group Size: 20 paxprice: /Person
Pricing Name: 20th JulyMin Group Size: No size limitMax Group Size: 20 paxprice: /Person
Pricing Name: 1st AugustMin Group Size: No size limitMax Group Size: 20 paxprice: /Person
Pricing Name: 10th AugustMin Group Size: No size limitMax Group Size: 20 paxprice: /Person
Pricing Name: 20th AugustMin Group Size: No size limitMax Group Size: 20 paxprice: /Person
Pricing Name: 1st SeptemberMin Group Size: No size limitMax Group Size: 20 paxprice: /Person
Pricing Name: 10th SeptemberMin Group Size: No size limitMax Group Size: 20 paxprice: /Person
Pricing Name: 20th SeptemberMin Group Size: No size limitMax Group Size: 20 paxprice: /Person
Pricing Name: 25th SeptemberMin Group Size: No size limitMax Group Size: 20 paxprice: /Person
Pricing Name: 5th OctoberMin Group Size: No size limitMax Group Size: 20 paxprice: /Person
Shigar Thale La Trek Detail Itinerary
Arrival Day in Islamabad (635m), Welcome Meeting. Islamabad Airport transfers are provided.Arrive at any time. The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you’re back in time to meet the group. After introductions, your tour leader will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early. Meals provided: Welcome Dinner Accommodation: Hotel
Fly to Skardu (2500m) in the morning, afternoon free for sightseeing/ Drive on Karakorum Highway to Chilas (1280m), 12 hourCatch the scenic mountain flight to Skardu. The sights from the plane are amazing, providing dramatic views of hills and the distant Himalayan giants.Meet the crew and check the gears. The mountain flight into Skardu is spectacular and flight duration is generally around 50 – 55 minutes. Once in Skardu, Spend the next day trekking in the area and acclimatizing in preparation for heading to base camp. This is a challenging trip but the whole experience is simply awe-inspiring! In case flight cancelled or by choice drive to scenic Naran valleys to Chilas over the 4000 m Babusar pass to Chilas. enroute passing beautiful hamlets, lakes and villages.
Skardu Sightseeing & Briefing /Drive to Skardu 10 hoursWhile we wrap up last minute paperwork with the government, we arrange for you to enjoy a city tour - or you can just relax at the hotel. The guide will make sure that your equipment is in place and might recommend any gear that needs to be rented. If we are Traveling by road, we will drive through the narrow gorge of the Indus River to Skardu.
Drive to Thale village (3000m) via the scenic Thale Valley, 4-5 hourA jeep journey along narrow mountain roads passing small farming settlements leads first to Khapolu and then towards Thalle Valley from Doghoni and drive up through the small shepherd's settlements, we arrive in Tabssa for overnight in camp.
Trek to Brangsa 3500Trekking through the small shepherd's settlements, we arrive in Brangsa for overnight in camp.
Cross Thale Pass (4572m) to ShaqyulToday we will cross the Thale Pass at 4572m and descent into Shigar Valley and camp at Shaqiall.
Trek down to Brangma Haral and Shigar, Drive to SkarduWe start trekking with steep descent to Bangma Haral, shepherded cattles with a gradual descend up to Shigar, beautiful and the widest valley in Northern area, famous for its variety of fruits and farms.
Fly to Islamabad/Drive to ChilasFly from Skardu to Islamabad, conditions permitting or make a two-day drive on the Karakoram Highway. Afternoon debriefing in Ministry of Tourism Islamabad, The rest of the day is at leisure to explore the markets of carpets, rugs, handicrafts etc. Return to Islamabad. Transfer to hotel.
Islamabad Sightseeing /Drive on KKH to IslamabadAfter breakfast at hotel transfer to airport for your onward journey. Assistance at departure. If we cannot fly we will travel down to Islamabad by road along the Karakoram Highway. If we flew up to Skardu this will be an added bonus as it is a fantastic travel experience in its own right. The drive down the Indus River to Islamabad takes two days so this is an important contingency day to allow for this. If we have flown to Islamabad this will be a further day for sightseeing in the capital and your leader will advise the group on the options available for today..
The trek will include three nights in a hotel in Skardu, the last city of trail head, and two nights in Chilas(mid way on KKH) and two nights in Islamabad and camping nights according to itinerary.
Accommodation will be provided based on following hotels sharing twin/double occupancy in.
Islamabad – Margalla hotel or similar category – Breakfast.
Chilas – Midway Shangri-La or similar category – Breakfast.
Skardu – PTDC Motel or Mountain Lodge hotel – Breakfast.
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
All of our guides speak English and authorized by the tourism ministry, having over 10 years of experience of proven track record on this trail. They all grew up in this region and have a true passion to teach others about their heritage. They are fun yet experienced professional, and will ensure you are safe and happy.
Assistant Guide as per group size
All your transportation is included in this trek. You will be picked up from airport or directly from your hotel on arrival date. (unless you are staying in Northern Areas and brought to Skardu, to begin your trek.
Your round-trip flight ticket from Islamabad to Skardu is also included.
Gilgit Baltistan fights are subject to weather, in case of flight cancellation road transfer will be provided.
All transfers and sightseeing by an air-conditioned vehicle with a courteous experienced driver so you can easily sit back, relax and enjoy the tour in complete privacy. Drivers of our private vehicles are experienced with good knowledge of the road conditions and well trained.
The type of vehicles provided are as follows for Islamabad – Skardu are section:
Passenger Vehicle type
1-3 persons Air-conditioned medium car such as Toyota Corolla or similar
4-5 persons Air-conditioned large car such as Toyota MPV or similar
6-10 persons Air-conditioned mini-van such as Toyota Hiace or similar
11-15 persons Air-conditioned mini-van such as Toyota Coaster or similar
4 WD Jeeps/Land Cruisers
4×4 Jeeps/Purpose built Land cruiser from Skardu to Askole village
4×4 Jeeps/Purpose built Land cruiser from Hushe village to Skardu
The night before your trek, you will have a briefing by your tour Leader. There will be a mandatory pre and post trek briefing and debriefing at tourism ministry office in Skardu/Islamabad. .
All your luggage will stay with your porters, while you trek. This bag should not exceed 15 kg and does need to include your sleeping bag and air mattress.
Required low altitude porter from Askoli to Concordia- Hushe village.
We include a personal porter, who is responsible for carrying your duffel bag. There is no additional fee for this. You will not have access to your duffel bag until your evening campsite.
Permits & Fees
All park entrance fees and trekking permit. As soon as we receive all trekkers details and a deposit, we apply for permit. These permits are for a specific date and in your name. They can’t be changed, once confirmed. Only your passport number is allowed to be updated. The permit allows entrance to specified Restricted Zones.
Trekking permit fee 50 U$ per person.
Central Karakoram National Park Fee 50 U$ per person
Gondogoro La crossing fee
Bridge crossing fees.
Road Taxes- Camp Fees
We use 4 seasons sleeping tents that are shared by only two people. You will have a spacious dining tent with chairs to enjoy your meals.
Camping food- Equipment & Accessories
Camp food from Askole village to K2 BC- Hushe village
D3v Tent on twin sharing basis. (Dome 3 person sleeping tent.
Mess Tent- Kitchen Tent- Table- Chairs.
All necessary kitchen utensils.
Lamps for light.
The Expert Treks & Tours chefs cook delicious meals that many previous trekkers have raved about. We honor all food restrictions. Be sure to remind your tour guide of any food restrictions at the beginning of your trek. Food is typically served family-style.
You will enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner each day of the trek, along with a happy hour of tea and snacks. You will also be provided a snack each morning for you to enjoy along the hike.
Beginning from your first lunch until your last breakfast, Expert Treks & Tours will supply all the water needed. This water will be boiled, filtered and then cooled, before distributing. You must supply your own water bottles or camel back. We recommend carrying about 3L worth. We will refill our waters at each meal.
Every ETT guide has received training in first aid from a physician. We conduct mandatory training sessions each year, which every single ETT tour guide must attend. Your tour guide will always have a first-aid kit for basic medical problems (traveler’s diarrhea, cuts, scrapes, etc.) and oxygen. We will get you off the trail as quickly and comfortably as possible, if needed, and ensure you get directly to a clinic for treatment.
We believe it’s the attention to small details that separates us from other tour companies. Every trekker receives a small pillow to sleep with, a foam mat for insulation, a day pack cover to protect their things while hiking. We will work hard to create your best vacation.
Satellite Phones, Oxygen Tank and safety Meassures
Our top priority will always be the safety of our clients and our team. While we are prepared and all our guides are trained for most of the issues clients have on the mountain, being a phone call away from any doctor, hospital or friend helps everyone feel assured that they are safe. Radios, which all our guides have, are limited in how far they can reach, so ETT has added Satellite Phones to every trek. Every guide will have a fully charged phone that can be used anywhere on the mountain to connect us anywhere in the world. And they can be used by our clients for non-emergencies as well. While they are not cheap to use, they are available with an additional units actual cost.
- Breakfast in hotels and all meals while trekking (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
- Daily activities and excursions as indicated in the itinerary
- Trekking meals in Pakistan (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
- All camping site fees and bridge fees
- Trekking logistics ( non-personal equipment and tools)
- Support staff (porters, assistant(s), fuel, etc)
- Porters for trekking equipment, kitchen (supplies, tools, equipment, crockery, gas) and personal luggage
- Transfers upon arrival and departure
International flight tickets have to be booked on your own, once you book your flight tickets, please share with us your schedule so that we can arrange your smooth pick-up and drop off from airport to hotel on your arrival day and hotel to the airport on the departure day.
Passports and Visas :
All travelers listed on the Participant Information form must be in possession of a valid passport and all relevant visas. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have valid travel documentation, including but not limited to passports and visas, which meet the requirements of immigration and other Government authorities at every destination. If your itinerary includes travel to any other country besides Pakistan, please check on visa requirements for each country that you will visit. Any fines, penalties, payments or expenditures incurred as a result of such documents not meeting the requirements of those authorities will be your sole responsibility.
Travel insurance is not covered in the tour price. You can organize travel insurance with your preferred insurance company. We recommend World Nomads, a company recommended by Lonely Planet.
Single room supplement is applicable when there are other travellers booked on the tour and you want your own single room and do not want to share the room with other travellers)
- Any airfare (International)
- Monument entry fees
- Any mandatory Gala Dinner on Christmas and New Year Eve
- Any item of personal nature viz. Laundry, phone calls
- Charges, telephone bills, drinks, shopping, etc
- Any items that is not mentioned under Inclusions
Tipping is a common custom and we always suggest our travelers to comply. No tip is compulsory, however in case of good services rendered, it is advisable to pay by a few rupees (driver / guide). For example, between US$ 3 and 5 per day per person for a good driver.
The trekking season for this Base Camp runs from mid June to September. July and August is traditionally the most popular time for this trek, when the views are good and the temperatures are not too extreme. But we also get many travelers enjoying the colder season (May/Sep) when numbers on the trail are lower, and views can be crystal clear.
No. But purchase travel insurance and make sure it will cover you at high altitudes. If you need to be airlifted down you will want to be covered by your insurance.
It is a moderate level hike. There are easy afternoons of rolling flats and difficult steep climbs but overall it is manageable for someone with little or no trekking experience. With proper training you should be able to complete the trek to K2BC as well as Gondogro La. However, even with proper training you can get altitude sickness which means you must return to a lower elevation.
Unless you live at a high altitude it is impossible to truly train for the altitude. Altitude sickness (AMS) can strike anyone no matter your fitness lever. The key is to take your time and walk slow. A good rule of thumb is to climb high and sleep low to help with acclimatization. In groups of trekkers there are people who do not make it but my group of 6 all made it. Our most impressive trekker, Bob, was 70 years old and often leading the way. Anyone can make it but take your time on the way up.
You should consult your doctor at home before you leave to go over the benefits. Many people chose to take it as a preventive measure against altitude sickness. One side effect is it does make you urinate more than usual. This means there will be some cold wake up calls in the middle of the night to use the restroom.
During the peak seasons the trails can get a little congested in some stretches. Many guided groups are around 10-15 people. You will pass animals, porters, and locals along the way as well. However, there are plenty of stretches where it will feel like it is just you and the Karakorum.
Altitude can kill but it isn’t likely. If you take your time and acclimatize properly you should be fine.
If you are traveling with a group like I did you will not need as much money as those trekking solo. Your group should handle paying for meals. You will need to budget for snacks, water (bottled), WiFi and charging devices.
Also, bring cash to tip your porters and guide at the end of the trek.
You can save money (and plastic bottles) by packing iodine pills to purify your water. This was my method of choice every morning before the trek.
Water is very important while trekking and at high altitudes. Getting out of your warm sleeping bag isn’t fun. recommend drinking at least 4 liters a day.
Training should start well before you make the trek.
The best way to train for a trek is to do some trekking. If you are fortunate enough to live in a place with hiking trails nearby there is no better way to train. Lace up your boots, strap on your pack, and hit the trails. Mix these hikes in with your strength and conditioning routines and fully prepare yourself for the trek.
Unless you live at altitude there is no way to truly train for this. You can use the altitude mask to simulate your lung capacity and stamina but there you can’t properly train your body at sea level for high altitude trekking.
The best thing you can do is get in top physical shape. Your body will adjust as you trek to Base Camp. The key is to walk slowly even when your body can push you further. The strongest athletes are often the ones who race too quickly each day and feel the symptoms of altitude sickness. Train hard. Trek slow.
Here is a list.
The sun is brutal at that altitude thake plenty of strong sunscreen.
Short sleeve shirts
Long sleeve shirts
Big zip lock bag for dirty socks/clothes
Sleeping Bag –
Sleeping Bag Liner -
Zip-off hiking pants
Wool sweater or Warm Jacket
Gore-Tex shell or some form of waterproof jacket
Winter Hat and Gloves
Wet ones wipes (bring lots of these!)
Sandals/comfortable shoes to wear around the campground
Long sleeve/long pants fleece pajamas or something else to sleep in if gets cold
Hat for sun
Flashlight or Headlamp (extra batteries)
Camera and batteries
Hand Sanitizer Gel
Band-Aids in case get blisters
Small Packets to flavor water (I saw these in EMS)
Power Bars or other energy snacks that travel well
Extra Money (crew tips)
If you have international cell service you will have service upto Skardu. There are two main cell companies and you find 2G and 3G service along the way. But not beyond Skardu or trailhead at Askole.
Only up to Skardu. Some will have free WiFi in Shigar. The WiFi prices go up with the altitude.
Few Camps have charging stations and they charge by the hour for the most part. This price goes up with the altitude just like everything else on the trail.
These will vary a lot depending on your budget for accommodation. As you go up you will encounter everything from a hole in a shack to a frozen squat toilet. Be prepared for it all and bring your own toilet paper and hand sanitizer.
Most people go when they have to go on the trail and it is a very common sight.
There are no nights at Everest Base Camp on this trek. Instead you will stay at Concordia from where you walk to Base Camp.
Our groups are between 6 to 12 fellow travelers. The K2 Base Camp & Gondogoro La trek is a popular trip so most of our groups go fully booked. The groups comprise of people from all nationalities.Our groups typically are a mix of individuals, couples or friends travelling together. The ages differ and trekkers can be in their 20’s to 70’s.
We don’t specify detailed training programs, as it is difficult to recommend one general programme that applies to each individual. We suggest that you exercise a minimum of 5 times per week for one hour each time doing activities such as hill walking, cycling, running and strength work. The training you should do to prepare for your this Base Camp trek depends on your current level of fitness and any medical conditions.
You will spend three nights in total in Skardu, two at the beginning of your trek and one upon your return. If you’d like to spend more time in Northern Areas, we can help arrange this.
If a fellow trekker in your group has to descend, then an assistant guide would go with them. We have lots of support staff on the trek, so the person descending would be well looked after and it wouldn’t impact on the rest of the group’s experience. Emergencies are dealt with by the guide, and depending on the severity, in a serious case evacuation would be by helicopter.
No, there is no age limit for K2 Gondogoro La and K2 Base Camp trekking but, you need to be in good physical shape and have positive attitude. We also suggest you to prior to the excursion though we suggest you to please see your doctor and obtain necessary permission and advice, as well as medications for travelling in extreme altitude prior to the excursion.
Our unique style of off the beaten track, face-to-face travel is the only way to really experience a destination, but it also serves to keep the costs down. We spend your money providing an authentic experience, instead of on lavish hotels and expensive western-style meals. We pass these savings on to you with our low prices. Another thing you'll notice are the inclusions. While we don't include everything, we do throw in the major highlights of a destination, the things that everyone goes to see. On every trip page we show you the 'Included Highlights' of your trip, things that many other companies charge locally for. We leave many other activities as options, to provide you the freedom and flexibility to choose what you want to do on a daily basis.
Most of our trips do not have a single supplement. This means that the accommodation is on a twin share basis and, if you are travelling on your own, you will be sharing a room with another Expert Treks & Tours traveller of the same sex. Some tours have an optional single supplement
Basically taking snaps of some scenario won’t reward any problem but when taking photos of anyone or any places, especially of women it is advised to take permission prior actually taking. Always grant for request before taking photos at a religious site or ceremony, or of people bathing on the river banks. It is prohibited to photograph military installations, which can include some the train stations, bridges and airports also.
Pakistani cuisine has several variations, with each region famous for its own techniques, ingredients and spices. In northern regions, meat dishes are very popular, which are usually made with chicken, mutton or lamb whereas in southern part vegetarian cuisine is most favored. In addition, seafood is also readily available, particularly at the coast. While Pakistani cuisine tends to be spicy, most restaurants will gladly prepare a milder variation of the meals on the request of their customer. Almost all restaurants offer the western dishes in most towns and cities and large centres serve a wide selection of cuisine from Pakistani to Mediterranean and Chinese.
It’s best to avoid drinking the tap water. Bottled water is easily available, but it’s a good idea to check that the seal on the bottle is undamaged or not before you purchase it. In every area for the tourists packed bottled water is recommended. Though, local brands are also available but it's recommended to use the some popular and major brands like Nestle, Murree Sparklet and Kinley to save you from the unwelcomed problem.
Remember to dress on a little more conservatively while planning to visit religious sites. Also, you may need to take off your shoes and wear scarf while entering any Mosque, temples and monasteries. But you need not to worry as our guide will alert you when such situation arises. Moreover, confirm that photography is allowed or not before taking any snaps. Keep in mind that some sites might not admit women or might be reserved for followers of that faith
The electricity supply is 230 – 240 volt, with three round pin plugs. Most western visitors will require an adaptor. If you plan to travel a lot in the future, it is better to get a combination voltage converter and a plug adapter.
In brief a customized itinerary is an itinerary prepared according to your personal needs. After all, you would have requested this to us as part of the process of customization. Your specific interest, preferences and needs are weighted with our knowledge of logistics and highlights of the area.
Pakistan is generally considered safe country for travelers for any corner of world. We will always be there to take care of you every step of your tour. In addition to this there are certain basic precautions to be taken during tour like it is a good idea to lock away your spare currency, travellers cheques, passports and precious jewelry in the hotel safe. Try not to walk around alone late at night, particularly in deserted areas or small towns, where everything closes early. To the possible extent, avoid travelling on the roads after dark. As anywhere else, never leave your luggage unattended or in custody of unknown person at an airport, train station, bus stands etc. Do not disclose your travel plans to strangers. Keep pretty cash in separate to meet frequent small expenses, tips etc.
In Pakistan, scope for tourism activities prevails through out the year. The best time to visit Pakistan depends on your tour theme or purpose of visit. Winter (Nov-Dec-Jan-Feb) is the most preferred time for Heritage tourism, cultural tourism. The Central Pakistan & Southern regions are good destinations in the winter months (November to March), as temperatures are mild. Winter temperatures in the north can be harsh, but this is an excellent time for bird watching, as migrant species arrive.
Summers are good for adventure tourism and hill station visits of North Pakistan and North East areas. For trekking it is the ideal time.
There is no need of any vaccination except for travellers coming from Africa, South America need yellow fever vaccinations.
Yes. It is advisable that you buy a comprehensive medical / travel insurance in advance from your country before travelling to Pakistan.
We shall do our best to make changes as per your request and shall not charge you anything unless there is penalty charged by principal suppliers for making these changes.
Currently, it is recommended that visitors to Pakistan are injected against typhoid, paratyphoid, tetanus, polio and hepatitis A. During the dry season, few mosquitoes are seen north-west Pakistan, and malaria is rare, nevertheless, many may wish to take precautions. Seek advice on the current situations some weeks before leaving from a pharmacy or a general practitioner. Drugs such as chloroquine and proquanil offer 70 percent protection, but take insect repellent -and use it. If visiting the remote areas, insect repellent coils may prove useful. The majority of visitors to Pakistan return home with perfect health having had no problems at all.
The most common complaint is a stomach upset for a day or two-usually the result of a change of diet, different Beer, or simply the change of lifestyle, most case are rarely serious and recovery is swift. Most stomach upsets in Pakistan are caused by an excess of chillies, and quickly disposed of by proprietary medicines, such as Immodium. It is best that these are brought by the visitors so that action can be taken as soon as discomfort is experienced. Tap water should be rigorously avoided outside the luxury hotels, as should any fresh fruit and salad vegetables that many have been rinsed in it. Check with the establishment to ensure that the water that they provided has been purified. Ice made from unpurified tap water can also be dangerous, as the freezing process does not kill the microbes which caused the problems. Pakistanese have developed the immunity to them and can drink most water without fear. Bottled mineral water is readily available in tourist area, but should be brought in advance if travelling elsewhere. It is recommended that teeth are brushed in purified or mineral water whenever possible. Purification tablets should be brought for use in an emergency.