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Gashabrum III Expedition

Overview

Gashabrum, comprises of six Peaks, means Shining Wall in Balti language, discovered by captain Younghusband and his associates in 1889. These peaks are surrounded by Baltoro Kangari /Golden Throne, 7422m and Sherpi Kangari 7380m.  Gashabrum I, also known as Hidden Peak (8,068m/26,470ft), is the highest peak among them. Gashabrum II is the second highest Peak in the Gashabrum Peaks with an altitude of 8,035 Meters. Gashabrum III, 7,952m/26,089ft, is situated between Gashabrum II and IV.

Climbing History: The climb on these Peaks is both on rock and ice. A high level of technical skill, physical fitness and acclimatization is required. The approach route to Base camps starts from Skardu through enchanting Shigar Valley and trek trail starts from Askole via Baltoro glacier in Shigar Baltistan.

Gashabrum IV,7925m / 26,000 feet was  summitted by an Italian expedition led by Riccardo Cassin  through north ridge.

Quick Fact
Starting Price $    See All Prices
Departure Dates June-July     See All Dates
Trip Length 46 Days
Activities mountaineering, cultural exploration
Difficulty Level Strenuous
Destinations Islamabad, Skardu,  Shigar, Khapulo Concordia, Ghondogoro La, Gashabrum BC 

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Itinerary

46 DAYS  ITINERARY (Day by Day)

DAY 01: ARRIVAL ISLAMABAD          

Arrival Islamabad today. A member of the Vertical Explorers staff will meet you at the airport and escort you to the hotel. Today either you can relax or you can enjoy an exploratory walk in the old part of Rawalpindi; wander past the vegetable and spice markets, beautifully carved old houses and trucks, cows pestering the vegetable vendors, catch traditional craftsmen at work in silver and gold bazaars .You will then continue on the main street linking the Twin cities - Murree Road - before arriving at the gleaming new capital, Islamabad. You pass shining new buildings and thousands of park areas - a full 50 percent of the 350 square mile site is set aside for parks. You will then stop at the Shakar Parian to catch a bird's eye view of Islamabad. Our next stop will be Shah Faisal Mosque which is the landmark of Islamabad. This evening   you will enjoy a welcome dinner with other trekkers.

Meals provided: Welcome Dinner
Accommodation: Crown In Plaza, Civic Hotel, Regency Hotel

DAY 02:   SKARDU OR CHILAS

We rise early to be at the airport in time for our flight to Skardu. If the weather is good, we'll be treated to one of the finest views available in the world of aviation, as we thread our way up the largest congregation of mountains of Karakoram, Hindukush, Himalaya and Indus River gorges, third longest in Asia  and one of the deepest in the world. To our east is K2 (2nd highest in the world and Nanga Parbat (killer mountain) and countless peaks and glaciers. It is sometime possible to catch a glimpse of K2 in the distant before our dramatic landing at Skardu. On arrival we are met by our local staff with jeeps and make the short transfer to the hotel. SKARDU is the administrative capital of Baltistan and gateway to the high peaks of Northern Pakistan. We have some time to explore the town and enjoy the hustle and bustle in peak season of tourists here. Sightseeing in Skardu and surrounding areas during the day. For those seeking a good overview of Skardu, or a place from which to photograph the sunset, Kharfocho Fort is an ideal spot.If the flight is unable to operate because of bad weather, we will resort to travel by road on Karakoram Highway (KKH) to Chilas. The drive is compensated by the beautiful scenery along the Karakoram highway and Indus gorges. The journey on the Karakoram Highway is most exciting and thrilling. It is a monument to the engineering feast and one of the most spectacular roads and the world’s highest metalled border crossing. It connects Pakistan and China stretching over a distance of 1300km between Islamabad and Kashgar, winding through three mountain ranges and following the ancient Silk route along the Indus Valley to the Chinese border at Khunjerab Pass. We pass through the historical town of Taxila, beautiful hill station of Abbottabad, quake affected lush green towns of Mansehra, Shinkiari and finally meet the great Indus on Thakot Bridge. From there onward the road snails along the bank of the Indus with contrasting landscape after every two kilometers. We pass through Besham, Dassu, Komila and Shatial to arrive at Chilas with many rocks carving and inscriptions along the way left by Chinese pilgrims and ancient travelers of 5th century A.D. CHILAS was on the ancient caravan trail over the Babusar Pass into India. The drive through the Indus Gorge is guaranteed to knock your socks off! The view after crossing the Rai kot Bridge of Nanga Parbat is without any parallel. Standing at around 1,000 m. you see a mountain which rises to above 8,000 m! This is the largest land escarpment in the world. This is also where the three greatest mountain ranges meet; Himalaya, Hindukush and Karakoram.

Flight: 45 Minutes Drive: 10-12 hrs

Meals provided:   Breakfast
Accommodation: Explorers Inn, Chilas In Hotel (Chilas), Mashabrum Hotel, Baltistan  Continental (Skardu)                        

DAY 03:   SKARDU / CHILAS – SKARDU

This day may be needed to complete the KKH road journey from Chilas to Skardu. Alternatively, leaving Skardu today will enable us to enjoy an extra day of trekking.

 

Drive: 10-12 hrs. 

Meals provided: Breakfast
Accommodation: Explorers Inn,  Mashabrum Hotel, Baltistan  Continental

DAY 04:   SKARDU - REST DAY

This day may be needed for logistics or for rest. Alternatively, leaving Skardu today will enable us to enjoy an extra day of trekking.

 

Drive: 10-12 hrs. 

Meals provided: Breakfast
Accommodation: Masha Brum Hotel, Snowland Palace Hotel

DAY 05:  SKARDU  - ASKOLE

Today we rise early and view the beautiful sunrise against the backdrop of the Karakorm. After breakfast drive to Shigar, a history-soaked medieval town. There is also a heritage Palace cum Fort (Fong khar ). Completely renovated by the AKCSP a few years back, the Palace and its suburbs reflects a medieval look. Here we will pay a brief visit to the Garden House, Royal room, museum handicraft shop and The Khanqah Moalla, famous for its uniquely carved wooden windows and meditation cells. Shigar retains a mystical, medieval aura that may leave you feeling like you have stepped through the looking glass.

Then an exciting jeep journey takes us through the fields of the Shigar Valley before the road narrows to a mountain track leading to the road head at Askole, the last inhabitancy on our way to the great glaciers. Highest in the region, the stone & timber abodes contain dark & narrow stairwells raven by gloomy, unlit alleys cluster within the embrace of the fertile terraces.

 

Distance: 96 Km Drive: 07-08 hrs. Altitude: 3050 M

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Mobile Camp

DAY 06:  ASKOLE – JULA

Today we leave the last inhabited village Askole. Porters are assembled to carry our luggage for the next section of the journey. For the remaining portion of our journey we rely on our porters who carry our food and equipment and sustain our expedition. After scrambling over a ridge we come across what legend says an old polo field. Passing through a rock gap we cross the Biafo glacier. The Biafo Glacier is a huge river of ice 63 Km long which descends from the central peaks of the Karakoram and flows East into the Braldu Valley at a point about 10 Km east of Askole. After two and a half hour treks a long and uphill walk over a steep ridge along the Dumordo river. Descend at Jula, (wire rope bridge supported by a wooden basket) cross it and camp beside a torrent facing the Bakhordas peak.

 

Walk: 06-07 hrs, Grade: Moderate, Altitude: 3150 M 

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Mobile Camp

DAY 07:     JULA -- PAIU

Resume trek along the Braldu River to a green oasis under the shadows of Paiu Peak, the last grove of trees before the trail moves onto the glacier, 6611 M. Paiu - is a Balti dialect word that means "SALT". Since there are some rock salt deposits at the base of this peak, the locals believe that the snow on the summit of Paiu Peak is not snow but a huge deposit of salt which drips down to the base. From this camp we have the first views of the impressive Baltoro Glacier.

 

Walk: 05-06 hrs, Grade: Moderate, Altitude: 3480 M

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Mobile Camp 

DAY 08:   PAIU – KHO-BURSE

Today we resume trek with a gradual climb up Baltoro Glacier on the southern edge. After about two hours the path divides at the snout of Baltoro glacier where the left branch goes to the base camp of Trango Tower and the Serpo Lgo pass. Continue to the right climbing up on to the glacier that stretches up the valley, 62 km long and 2 km wide. Further 2-3 hours steady climb on a long diagonal to the other side. Follow the southern edge to Liliwa and onward to Khuburtse, a lovely walk for about 90 minutes to the campsite with clear water.

 

Walk: 05-08 hrs, Grade: Moderate, Altitude: 4000 M.

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Mobile Camp 

DAY 09:    KHO-BURSE  -  URDUKAS

Today morning we leave Kho-burse camp and walk mostly along the crest of lateral moraine towards Urdukas. This camp has superb views across the Baltoro Glacier to the Trango peaks, having view of Paiu Peak, Chorichi, Uli Biaho, Trango Tower and so on and is our last 'green grass' campsite.

 

Walk: 05-06 hrs, Grade: Moderate, Altitude: 4130 M   

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Mobile Camp 

DAY 10:   URDUKAS - GORO II

A long walk on the icy Baltoro Glacier, Traveling on the glacier all the time now, it is an all day walk over the boulder-strewn glacier to the campsite at Goro. Traverse the Yermanandu Glacier which flows down from Masherbrum & joins the Baltoro. Masherbrum is visible on the right side of the glacier, and Mustagh Tower on the left. Gasherbrum IV and Broad Peak can be seen directly ahead, as they catch the evening sunlight.

 

Walk: 06-07 hrs, Grade : Strenuous, Altitude : 4500 M

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Mobile Camp 

DAY 11:   GORO II  - CONCORDIA

Trekking to the campsite at Concordia, we pass through some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in the world; a huge junction of Baltoro, Abruzzi & Godwin Austin Glaciers at 4000 meters. Within a short radius of 15 Kilometers, stand 41 peaks over 6500 meters including 04 peaks above 8000 M. The 360 view offers a panorama of peaks nowhere to be found on this Earth.

 

Walk: 04-05 hrs, Grade: strenuous, Altitude: 4720 M.

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Mobile Camp 

DAY 12:   CONCORDIA - GASHABRUM IV BASE CAMP

Today we arrive at G-II base camp and establish our camm. We walk on upper Baltoro glacier and to reach Shaghring. From here you can see Baltoro Kangri, Chogolisa and Snow dome peaks and lot of other peaks. We will have the opportunity to explore our beautiful and pristine alpine surroundings and relax with the climbing team as they prepare to move up the mountain.

Walk: 07-10 hrs, Grade: strenuous, Altitude: 5000 M.

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Mobile Camp 

DAY 13- 36  GASHABRUM IV-CLIMBING ACTIVITIES

For vertical and horizontal feats on world largest congregation of peaks .

 

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Mobile Camp

DAY  37:   GASHABRUM IV BASE CAMP  - CONCORDIA

After an early breakfast leave the GashaBrum Base camp and we will cross several side glacier to reach our right path.It is also possible to walk on the Vigne glacier which is fairly easy then walking on the stony path on the right side of the glacier but it depends on the snow condition. Looking back gives an unusual view of the great Karakoram peaks: K2, Broad Peak and the Gasherbrums. The trail continues to 'Ali Camp' situated on a rocky site overlooking the long ridge running from Masherbrum to Chogolisa . We turn in early, as we have a midnight wake-up call for the departure over the Gondogoro La.

Walk: 06-07 hrs, Grade: moderate, Altitude: 4800 M

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Mobile Camp 

DAY  38:  CONCORDIA - ALI CAMP

      After an early breakfast, we traverse the upper Baltoro Glacier and its crevasses. It is also possible to walk on the       Vigne      glacier which is fairly easy then walking on the stony path on the right side of the glacier but it depends on the snow condition. It's a comparatively easy and gradual walk over snow and ice, Looking back gives an unusual view of the great Karakoram peaks: K2, Broad Peak and the Gasherbrums. The trail continues to 'Ali Camp' situated on a rocky site overlooking the long ridge running from Masherbrum to Chogolisa. We turn in early, as we have a midnight wake-up call for the departure over the Gondogoro La.

Walk: 06-07 hrs, Grade: moderate, Altitude: 4800 M

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Mobile Camp 

      DAY 39:    ALI CAMP -CROSS GHONDOGORO PASS- KHUSPANG

Today our trek start as early as 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning to cross the Ghondogoro la to reach Khuspang. The basic theme behind the early walk to reach the top of the Ghondogoro Pass 5700 meters is that in the morning snow will be soft and we will not get tired quickly as the sun is not strong, but as sun gest strong snow get soft, snow going to be melt and bring water and stones, also the chance of ice falls or avalanches.

Today is one of the toughest and most challenging days of the trek, and although it is a long and tiring day, we are now well-acclimatized to the altitude. Our guides will fix ropes to safeguard this ascent and descent for both the porters and clients.

On the top to Ghondogoro la you will find the most spectacular  view on earth. From here you can see the K2, Broad peak, G1, G2, Muztagh Tower and from Hushe side you will find Laila peak, Ninchi peak  and a lot of more.

 

Walk: 07-08 hrs, Grade: Strenuous, Altitude: 5700 M   

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Mobile Camp

 DAY 40:   KHUSPANG  Rest Day

Rest day for area excursion.

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Mobile Camp

       DAY 41:     KHUSPANG - SAICHO

After an easy walk we will come onto the glacier. You pick your way across moving boulders and ice, finally crossing the glacier up to the camping site to reach Dalsangpa, meaning 'field of flowers', lives up to its name. It is a beautiful campsite at about 4,150 meters, set between two lakes, with Masherbrum Mountain and the white glacier cascading down from Masherbrum Pass reflected in the still water.

Resume trek along the path, Keep yourself on the left side of the lateral moraine, crossing several side streams. The next hour is an unpleasant scramble along the stony, sliding glacier edge, with huge boulders poised above, ready to fall.

Continue your trek along the path goes down hill to the summer settlement called Saicho, a large shepherds settlement with its own mosque, now here you can find a hotel and a shop. This is the traditional camp among the forest of juniper, cedar and willow trees with giant bushes of wild roses and a good water supply.

 

Walk: 07-08 hrs, Grade: Strenuous, Altitude: 3450 M 

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Mobile Camp 

  DAY  42:   SAICHO - HUSHE

Early morning start walk towards Hushe river on an easy path. Upon arrival camp near the fields in Hushe, with the huge peak of Masherbrum dominating the view to the north. At an altitude of over 3000 metres, Hushe is the highest village in the area and is the first habitation we will see when we reach the Hushe Valley.

 

Walk: 04 -05 hrs, Grade: Moderate, Altitude: 3450 M 

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Mobile Camp 

         DAY  43:    HUSHE - SKARDU

A jeep journey along narrow mountain roads passing small farming settlements leads first to Khapolu and then to Skardu.

Drive: 07-08 hrs.

Meals provided: Breakfast
Accommodation: Explorers Inn,  Mashabrum Hotel, Baltistan  Continental

 DAY  44:     SKARDU - RAWALPINDI OR CHILAS

Early in the morning fly to Islamabad,. With clear skies we will be able to board a plane and be back at our hotel in Islamabad in 45 minutes. If the weather is not so favorable and the flight doesn’t come, then we will have to drive the Karakoram Highway to Rawalpindi through the narrow gorge of the Indus River . The outcome is in the lap of the Gods, so we will be praying that they’re on our side! If we are able to fly down, for those who want to escape the heat of the city a very pleasant excursion is up to the former British hill station at Murree. The faded remnants of the town’s colonial past can be seen in its gable-roofed buildings and small Anglican churchyard. This excursion is not included in the trip price but if several members of the group wish to make this journey a private vehicle and driver can be hired locally for a very modest sum. Back in Rawalpindi we enjoy a final evening meal usually taken at one of traditional food streets either in Islamabad or in Rawalpindi.

Meals provided: Breakfast
Accommodation: Chilas In Hotel in Chilas/ Regency Hotel or Crown In Hotel 

       DAY  45:     RAWALPINDI

Upon arrival transfer to your hotel in Rawalpindi. Evening sightseeing. If unable to fly on day 18th. this day will be use to transfer from Skardu to Islamabad by road.

 

Meals provided: Breakfast
Accommodation: Regency or Green Palace Hotel

        DAY  46:     RAWALPINDI  - ONWARDS

De-briefing at Ministry of Tourism Islamabad. Private transfer to Islamabad International Airport for your departure flight.

Meals provided: Breakfast
Accommodation: None

                                                     End of Services

2012 Group Departure Dates from Islamabad: 

June 20 

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