Karakoram Exploratory

Karakoram Exploratory information and booking

  • Duration
    33 days
  • Group size
  • Difficulty
    Entry level Mountaineering or Exploratory Treks
Check prices & availability

Schedule Details

  • 33 day trip
  • 24 day trek
  • 7 nights hotel
  • 25 nights camping
Equipment Required
Specialist gear required include walking boots and day pack (a comprehensive gear list is provided in the pre-departure information provided on booking).


  • Remote trekking in the Karakoram range of Pakistan
  • Silk route city of Kashgar
  • Views of Trango Tower, Masherbrum, The Latoks and weather permitting K2
  • Cross the Khunjerab Pass and journey on the Karakoram Highway

Tour description provided by World Expeditions

Beginning our journey in the old silk road city of Kashgar in Xinjiang province, we drive south past the towering bulk of the Muztagh Ata massif, to the town of Tashkurgan crossing the Khunjerab pass enroute to Pakistan's fabled Hunza valley, where we spend a night enjoying the legendary hospitality of the Hunza people before continuing through the spectacular Indus Gorge to the capital of Baltistan, Skardu. Our final day's drive takes us to the village Askole where we meet our porters and make last minute preparations for our trek.Following the Braldu river, we cross the snout of the Biafo Glacier. Our route then swings north up the valley of the Dumordo River where we enter the world of glaciers - first the Panmah Glacier and then conditions permitting we shall make a temporary base camp and explore the head of the Chiring Glacier and climbing up to the west Mustagh pass to gain our first good views of the high Karakoram including K2 itself. From this valley system we then head west up the Choktoi passing by one of the most spectacular clusters of mountains in the world - the Latok and Ogre (Baintha Brak) groups.We will then explore the possibility of crossing either the Sim La or another subsidiary taking us into the head of the Nobande Sobande glacier to cross the Skam La and on to Snow Lake at the head of the Biafo glacier. Finally we turn north crossing the Khurdopin Pass and travel down the Khurdopin Glacier eventually arriving at the village of Shimshal.From here we make our way out via jeep to the Hunza Valley and return to Kashgar.

What's included

  • 32 breakfasts, 30 lunches and 30 dinners
  • Airport transfers on day 1 and day 33 if on group flights
  • Expert high altitude guide
  • Good quality accommodation in kashgar
  • Internal transport by private vehicle as described
  • Expedition services including guides, cooks, porters, two person tents, insulated mats, cooking and eating utensils, mess tent with table and stools
  • 20kgs porterage of personal gear on trek
  • World expeditions kit bag
  • Restricted area permit
  • Safety equipment including expedition medical kit and portable high altitude chamber
  • All trekking and permit fees
  • Porter's insurance


Day 1 Join Kashgar.
On arrival into Kashgar you will be met and transferred to the group hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure. This evening you will meet the rest of the group and a group briefing will take place before heading out to dinner. Overnight Hotel.
Day 2 In Kashgar.
Kashgar is a bustling market town which is prominent on the silk route, and is at the junction between the two main north/south arteries. On Sundays traders come from all over to sell their livestock, amongst thousands of different types of produce. Being populated by an overwhelming majority of Uygur people (93%), it seems on arrival that you have left China. This impression is quickly reversed on viewing the massive monument of Mao near the Idkah Square. We may spend time at the markets where we can watch the traders dressed in their Sunday best (waistcoats and all), selling their sheep which were brought from miles away on their donkey cart. Time permitting we will also wander through the different sections of the market, where hats, spices, kitchenware, carpets, musical instruments richly decorated, clothing and tailors, and almost any other products are sold. The Fragrant Concubines tomb will be visited in the afternoon together with the Idkah Mosque. Kashgar was the centre of the Great Game staged between Britain and Russia in their attempts to secure the Central Asian states. We plan to stay at the Seaman Hotel which is the old Russian Embassy and home to the Great Game players.
Day 3 Drive Kashgar to Tashkurghan (294km) drive approx. 6-7 hrs.
We are now travelling on the Pamir Plateau where the Kunlun, Kara Kunlun, Hindukush and Tian Shan mountains meet. Tashkurghan, meaning stone fortress in the local Uyghur language is at an altitude of 3600 metres.There are still the remains of a huge mud brick fort on the outskirts of the city, and although estimated at around 600 years old, the town of Tashkurghan is believed to date back as far as 90AD. Overnight hotel.
Day 4 Tashkurghan to Karimabad (291km) via the Khunjerab Pass (4730m). 9-10 hrs
The Karakoram Highway links China with Pakistan, and the only border crossing is the Khunjerab Pass. Open from May through to November, it is impassable due to snow at all other times of the year.After completing border crossing formalities (which may or may not take some time!), we will continue on to Hunza, stopping en-route at Thalichi, the viewpoint of Nanga Parbat (8125m). Nanga Parbat was first climbed on 3rd July, 1953 by Austrian climber Herman Buhl. Previously, 31 people had perished trying to succeed on the first ascent of this 8000 metre peak. Buhl made the summit alone, after his companions had turned back, and spent a night standing up on the descent. Buhl is the only mountaineer to have made the first ascent of an eight thousander solo and without oxygen. The picturesque Hunza region is home to some 48,000 inhabitants and lies on a branch of the Silk Road. The summit of Ultar (7388m) rises above Hunza, and folklore has it that a fairy queen once lived here in a crystal palace.Hunza has many orchards of apricots, peaches, plums, apples, grapes, cherries and walnuts, and fields of wheat and corn lined with Poplar trees.These crops and orchards are irrigated by Hunza’s impressive man made channels which snake across the slopes of the valley, bringing water from the many canyons to the fields and orchards.
Day 5 to 6 Drive to Askole via Skardu. Drive (310km),10-11 hrs & 6-7hrs.
En route to Askole we spend a night in Skardu, the gateway to the Karakoram range and last stop for expeditions heading to the mountains. The road is no less spectacular than our journey from China over the Khunjerab Pass, as we make our way closer to the mountains and the stunningly beautiful village of Askole.
Day 7 Commence trek to Jhola (3200m)approx. 6 hrs.
After considerable organisation of equipment, supplies and porter loads for the journey ahead, we commence trekking towards Jhola. The valley opens out to reveal the Biafo Glacier flowing for more than fifty kilometres from the Hispar La pass to the Braldu. We have our first taste of moraine walking as we cross the snout of the glacier and descend to our lunch spot beside the river. We also experience the harsh, stark environment that forms the base of these great mountains.Our route takes us to the confluence of the Braldu and Dumordo Rivers where the infamous flying fox or 'jola' is located.It is still there, however a footbridge has now been built making the passage much easier by every perspective.(Consider individual passage of 50 to 70 people with loads, compared with walking straight across a steel bridge!).In past years it was necessary to make a high traverse across a rocky face and descend steeply to the riverside of the Dumordo to gain the flying fox. There is now a safe and pleasant pathway above the river.It is this valley, fed by the Panmah Glacier, that was once a passage between Baltistan and Yarkhand across the West Mustagh Pass (5370m) into China. Once across, we descend beside the river to the Braldu and then follow along it's banks to our camp.
Day 8 Trek to Panmah via Shingrsa, 5-6hrs.
From here we leave the main trekking and expedition route behind and enter a world rarely travelled and then only by expeditions to the Latok group. We follow the valley of the Panmah through varied terrain - gravel and sand beds, scree slopes, the occasional meadow and crossing a few side valleys, only later in the day do we get an inkling that we are entering the realm of high mountains. Walking conditions are hot and dry, care must be taken to prevent sunburn, and plenty of water should be carried (3-4 litres).
Day 9 to 15 Trek to Nobande Sobande Glacier.
The following days are exploratory trekking. We have set out below the planned daily stages as a guide only. Day 9 - Trek to Moribima 5 hrs. Day 10 - Trek to Skinmag (Japanese BC)5-6hrs. Day 11 - Trek to Chiring BC 6hrs. Day 12/13 - Explore Chirring Glacier and West Muztagh Pass. Day 14 - Return trek to Skinmag 4-5hrs. Day 15 - Day Excursion to Nobande Sobande Glacier.
Day 16 to 20 Cross Sim La (5832m).
Day 16 - Trek to Lami Dukpa 6-7hrs. Day 17 - Trak to Latok BC via Choktoi Glacier 5hrs. Day 18 - Rest & exploration day. Day 19 - Trek to Sim La high camp. Day 20 - Cross Sim La, camp on Simgang Glacier 7-8hrs.
Day 21 Trek to Snow Lake (Lukpe Lawo) (4700m) 4-5hrs.
Situated at the head of the Biafo and Hispar glacier, Snow Lake is a high altitude glacial basin that covers an area of approx 700 square kilometres.Surrounded by the distinctive granite towers of the Karakoram, this area is a spectacular place to spend our rest day.The first western explorer to travel the Biafo and Hispar glaciers was British mountaineer and explorer Martin Conway.Conway named Snow Lake and many of the surrounding peaks including the Ogre.
Day 22 to 28 Trek to Chagh Chagh.
Day 22 - Trek to Khurdopin Base Camp 6-7hrs. Day 23 - Climb Khurdpin icefall 6-7hrs. Overnight on the pass at 5800m. This day requires use of ice axe and crampons for team members and porters. Day 24 - Trek to Italian Camp 6hrs. This day we will negotiate heavily crevassed areas and roping up will most likely be necessary. Day 25 - Trek to Sarkarwar 5hrs. We follow the glacier to its termination with the moraine. Day 26 - Trek to Chirin 6-7hrs. Day 27 - Trek to Zui 5hrs. Day 28 - Trek to Shagh Chagh 5hrs.
Day 29 Trek to Shimshal 5hrs.
Our trek finishes in the Gojal region between Hunza and the Khunjerab Pass.Shimshal is one of Gojal's oldest traditional Wakhi speaking villages and produces the toughest high altitude porters in Pakistan. The Shimshalis are capable of carrying heavy loads all day through very challenging terrain, and are the preferred choice of most mountaineering expeditions in Pakistan.Wildlife found in this area includes large herds of blue sheep and ibex. It is also home to brown bears and snow leopard.Overnight guesthouse.
Day 30 Drive by jeep to Passu, and bus to Sost.
We take 3 days to return to Kashgar via the Khunjerab Pass. Passu is a peaceful village situated between the Passu and Batura Glaciers on the west bank of the Hunza River. We will travel by jeep along the precarious road to reach Passu where we transfer to a bus for the remainder of the journey to the border checkpost at Sost where we will stay overnight.
Day 31 to 32 Return drive to Kashgar.
After border formalities are completed we cross over to China once again and complete a days journey to Tashkurgan where we overnight in a hotel. The following day we complete our epic journey in Kashgar.There will be a final farewell dinner in Kashgar before ending a memorable journey and stunning new trek in the Karakoram.Overnight hotel in Kashgar.
Day 33 Trip concludes Kashgar.
After breakfast we transfer to the airport for onward arrangements.