SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.


» Welcome Guest
[ Log In :: Register ]

 

[ Track This Topic :: Email This Topic :: Print this topic ]

reply to topic new topic new poll
Topic: Amazing Experience to K2 Gondogoro la, Trango Towe, trekking experience in Pakistan< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
backpackeratnet Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 8
Joined: Jan. 2013
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 6:50 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Me and my travel partner did a two week trekking tour through the wonderful mountains of Baltistan. We started on 20th of July and left Pakistan the 10th of August. In this post I hope to give travelers some helpful advice if they are thinking about doing a similar journey in Pakistan, Baltistan.

We did a lot of planning before coming to Pakistan. We searched the Web and Forums about reliable tour companies and we decided which places we wanted to visit, what equipment to buy and how long we wanted to stay. As you will find out when you start your research, there is the large difference in prices between tour companies. Of course, western-based tour companies are generally much more expensive than Pakistan-based tour companies. However, also pakistan-based tour companies differ in price. Make sure you ask plenty of tour companies for a detailed itinerary and total price per person.

After extensive research, we decided to go with the tour company Vertical Explorers Treks, which is a Pakistan-based tour company and has its office in Skardu. Their price was considerably lower than the other tour companies we contacted, and they all seemed reliable and had good customer reviews. Beforehand, the communication was good. They were able to provide us with helpful information about equipment, clothing, and were able to change the start day of the itinerary.

We were supposed to go with a group of 6 tourists. However, when we arrived in Islamabad and were picked up by one of the staff members, we heard that the other tourists had cancelled and it was just the two of us. We were assured by email that the trip will run. Make sure you do this, because most tour companies ask different prices and if there are less trekkers, it may not run.

After arriving in Islamabad we found out that the flight from Islamabad to Skardu was cancelled (which happens frequently because the planes don't have radio equipment and need clear sight in order to take off and land). We then went with a jeep to Skardu which was a long 2-day drive( with an overnight stop in Chilas), but through the scenic beauties.

We got picked up by our guide in the hotel. The guide (Mohammad)is a very nice guy and his English is excellent. We arranged the last equipment, a briefing with the Ministry and the staff and were ready to start the trip the next day. We drove with a jeep to the first camp and we started walking from there.

Overall. we had a really good time in the mountains. The guide and the team were really helpful, they supported us whenever we needed extra time. They also offered to carry our daypacks. Without the very helpful guide and the rest of the staff we wouldn't have made it up the Gondogoro La in the end.

The guide (Mohammed) is very experienced and is also a rescuer. We felt very safe with him on all the slippery and icy glaciers, rocks and slopes. He also knew a lot about the country and the mountains. The most positive memories we have are about the talks we had during dinners about the Islamic Culture in Baltistan and the way the people live. We were both very open towards each other's cultures and habits and we were able to joke about it as well. We even danced with the staff and listened to music together. Too bad the rest of the staff hardly speaks any English. It's hard to communicate about even the most simple things and it's hard to create a 'bond' during those two weeks with the rest of the staff.

We finished the trip in about 12 days, with one rest day. We were able to make some adaptations to the itinerary according to our wishes. That's the advantage of going on a trip alone, you can decide when you wanna take a rest day or if you wanna skip a day for example. Anyway, know that the crew is very open to make adaptations and they are there to help you whenever they can.

When we came back in Skardu, we tipped the staff very well. We were very happy with all the work they did. You really respect the work they do, knowing they do the same trek as you, but with 25 kilos on their backs. It's hard to get money in Skardu though, so make sure you have enough cash with you starting in Islamabad. We tipped around 400 EUR together and gave each person a tip individually, depending on how happy we were with the service. It's ok to give some staff members a little bit more than others, if you think they were extra helpful. All staff members really appreciated the tips and we even heard back in Islamabad from another Vertical Explorer staff member that our tips were appreciated a lot.

We would like to thank the staff of Vertical Explorers and our guide Mohammed again for the wonderful experience we had. I do recommend both the tour company and the guide to any traveller that will visit Baltistan. They put your needs and wishes first and are always there to help you.

All in all it was a truly amazing trip and the nature.... so beautiful. I can recommend everyone to go there!!
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 2
GaliWalker Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 918
Joined: Feb. 2010
PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 06 2013, 10:19 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks a lot for this. Prior to reading your report, I had already contacted another group for a similar trip this summer. Unfortunately, that trip has fallen through...Vertical Explorers seems like a nice backup.

--------------
'Gali'Walker => 'Mountain-pass' walker
Photos: http://galiwalker.zenfolio.com
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
 Post Number: 3
John Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 842
Joined: Feb. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 06 2013, 12:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

What was the highest elevation to which you trekked?  And did you have any physical complications due to altitude?
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 4
GaliWalker Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 918
Joined: Feb. 2010
PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 07 2013, 12:36 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Gondogoro La is over 18,500ft.

--------------
'Gali'Walker => 'Mountain-pass' walker
Photos: http://galiwalker.zenfolio.com
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
 Post Number: 5
TigerFan Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 2687
Joined: May 2010
PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 07 2013, 9:18 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

OK, call me skeptical.  New member with one post posts a "review" about a pretty exotic trek and spends 90% of the time talking about the outfitter, guide and prices?

So, let's see the pictures.   ???


--------------
Duct tape is like the Force.  It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the universe together.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 6
ol-zeke Search for posts by this member.
Clear Creek
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 12905
Joined: Sep. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 07 2013, 9:36 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My own first TR was not as well written, and I am sure I left out several descriptions of the scenery around me.  I did post some pictures though, as I figured they would do a better job of describing the scenery.

So, how about you, the OP, drop in on the How To section and come back with some really neat pics.  We would all appreciate seeing some great pictures of Mt porn, as we call it here.  


--------------
Everything I know, I learned by doing it wrong at least twice.

"I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth."  Steve McQueen
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 7
TigerFan Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 2687
Joined: May 2010
PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 07 2013, 9:59 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I take it back... it's more like 100% about the outfitter/guide.  About the only thing written about the hike itself is "Overall. we had a really good time in the mountains."

I'm calling it SPAM.


--------------
Duct tape is like the Force.  It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the universe together.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 8
GaliWalker Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 918
Joined: Feb. 2010
PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 07 2013, 12:03 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

It read a bit like the reviews people give to the trekking company they went with. Would have liked to have seen photos and more details, especially about the climb up and over Gondogoro La.

--------------
'Gali'Walker => 'Mountain-pass' walker
Photos: http://galiwalker.zenfolio.com
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
7 replies since Jan. 28 2013, 6:50 am < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

[ Track This Topic :: Email This Topic :: Print this topic ]


 
reply to topic new topic new poll

» Quick Reply Amazing Experience to K2 Gondogoro la, Trango Towe
iB Code Buttons
You are posting as:

Do you wish to enable your signature for this post?
Do you wish to enable emoticons for this post?
Track this topic
View All Emoticons
View iB Code



Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions