led by Ian Wade

9 July - 5 August 2006


Details of this year's trek can be found on the KE Adventure Travel website - Gondoro La: The High Route to K2

(local agent Baltistan Tours)


Day 1  Fly to Islamabad from London Heathrow courtesy of Pakistan International Airways; meet fellow trekker Graham ("The Spruce") at Heathrow


Day 2  Transfer to Hotel Margala, Islamabad - very hot and humid; meet other fellow trekkers Chris (Aus) & Josh (US) who had already arrived


Day 3  Fly to Skardu, but cannot land because of cloud; fly back and start to drive instead along the Karakoram Highway (KKH "the 8th wonder of the world")


Day 4  Continue to drive along the KKH, past the junction of Himalayas, Hindu Kush and Karakoram, along the Indus and Shyok rivers


Lunch at Skardu and drive on to Khaplu; stay night at Karakoram Lodge



Day 5  Visit Raja Palace in Khaplu (being restored by the Aga Khan Foundation) in the morning


Drive to Hushe in the afternoon




Day 6  First acclimatisation walk up Honboro Valley (first signs of AMS); UN personnel come for a walk (based at Skardu); visit Hushe school in the afternoon



Day 7  Trek to Brumbrammel, past this mosque; Ahmed was our excellent local guide




Day 8  Walk to Masherbrum base camp and back to Brumbrammel (see third picture - Nabi shows us a snow leopard trap)

Note: the BBC filmed the snow leopard in the Baltoro Glacier in their excellent Planet Earth series and entered via Askole





Day 9  Return to Hushe; visit Zahir's house (cook); read Michael Palin's book "Himalaya" - very interesting as he visited Skardu and Concordia for the television series



Day 10  Start main trek from Hushe to Saitcho (37 staff today); pass K2 climbers returning from a failed attempt; music and dancing in the evening



Day 11  Acclimatisation walk up Charakusa Valley and back to Saitcho; make cheesecake; more music and dancing



Day 12  Trek to Dalsan





Day 13  Trek to Gondoro Peak base camp; see ice 'mushrooms' and stunning views of Laila Peak






Day 14  Trek to Gondoro La base camp; practice using fixed ropes and equipment for Gondoro La tomorrow; Zahir unwell and has to return to Skardu - Nabi takes over as cook




Day 15  Leave camp at 1am to go over Gondoro La pass (first picture sent to Trail magazine!), down Vigne Glacier to Ali camp - very hard work but the views make it all worthwhile at the top (including four 8000m peaks: K2, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum I, Gasherbrum II)







Day 16  Walk to Concordia -  superb surroundings




Click here for videoclip of 360o panoramic view at Concordia on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoZJMfawNRU).





Army helicopter arrived on a scenic tour just as I happened to be photographing - flattened all the tents; lunch with a view!



Day 17  Rest day - great view of K2 and Angel Peak; miss out on walk to Broad Peak base camp and K2 base camp because of sunstroke


Day 18  Walk up the Upper Baltoro Glacier and back to Concordia - great views to Windy Gap and Golden Throne at the top of the  Upper Baltoro Glacier


Josh's 'birthday', celebrated with a special meal of soup, goat, birthday cake and mangos


Day 19  Start to walk down Baltoro Glacier to Schachspong (Gore 1), lunch at Gore 2





Day 20  Walk to Horbose via Urdukas; great views of Cathedral Peak and Trango Towers - very hot






Day 21  Walk to Paiju; cross the Baltoro Glacier and pass its end; meet 21 trekkers with Spirit of Adventure, Devon commemorating the 20th anniversary of Julie Tullis's death on K2 (her audio diary recently found on a glacier was aired on BBC radio 4 on 10 August It's My Story: Mother's Mountain; the trip is being reported on later in the year)





Day 22  Walk to Jola; difficult river crossing; Zahir better and meets us at Jola




Day 23  Walk through Askole to Thongal as road is washed out (see fourth picture); 5th picture shows the porters who were with us at the end



Day 24  Rest day; Ahmed takes us to the hot springs - bliss!



Day 25  Drive to Skardu with several incidents - including a bridge washed out and a puncture; stay at K2 Motel where we meet Simon Yates of "Touching the Void" fame and see the Italian K2 exhibition; fourth picture shows Manzoor, Ali. Ahmed, Ian, Nabi & Zahir



Day 26  Fly to Islamabad


Day 27  Visit Heritage Museum in morning and spend the afternoon in Rawalpindi (haircut and shave at barbers, and tea at the Pearl Continental)


Day 28  Fly back to London Heathrow