I have submitted a review on this b4. I initially signed up for K2 basecamp tour with GG LA pass circuit. I was a bit slow , managed to reach concordia but I felt going to GG LA will not b for me as it needed lot more effort and stamina. Having said that none of my group went to GGLa as they did concordia to base camp and memorial visit in a day and were exhausted. There were 2/3 members who were still keen and Apricott arranged for them to go with another Apricot group, but members decided to stick with group and sacrificed this opportunity.
I must appreciate apricot team was excellent in communication right from time of booking till end.
I reported in hotel at Islamabad, my other group members were picked up by Apricot from Islamabad Airport. We were given a 4 × hotel overnight in Islamabad with food. Were taken to skardu from Islamabad airport. Stayed in skardu for couple of days waiting for permit. Did local sight seeing ( lower and upper kachora lakes, visit to 16th century Kharpocho forte which offered stunning views of Skardu.
On 4th we left by jeeps ( 100 km) from skardu to Askole ( first campsite) . As jeep was unable to go to Jhola because of bridges under repair. From Askole we tracked to Jhola, stayed near River. Next day walked paiju and then to Khubrset, next camp was urdukus , we tracked along rivers, crossed river and springs , walked on bolders, tracked on stones, sand, walked on 62 km glacier watching natural beauty on our way to reach concordia at 4512 m. On the way we passed miles of snow mountains ( glacier), lakes and crevices created by baltoro glacier. Over all it was approx 120 km one way tracking. Majority of my group visited Briad peak base camp, k2 base camp and Gilkey museum ( 5230m) walking on snow and some climbing on Glacier. It was described as a very difficult track. I rested on that day at concordia and enjoyed K2 and surrounding views.
Some of my colleagues suffered high altitude sickness because of lack of oxygen and cpuple had to go down to lower campsite on horse/ mule. So donot underestimate the high altitude sickness as most of these guys were fit and experienced hikers to approx 3000 m hikes.
May b a bit more acclimatisation time or early use of diamix might have helped.
All through the track , we had fresh hot breakfast, hot dinner . Lunch was a mix ..sometimes packed lunch, on others hot lunch. We enjoyed group activities like yoga.. chit chat.. posing for camera.
We all decided ti return on same track .. so it was another 120 to 130km return in 4 days..
On last leg of track I being slow, was caught in sand storm on Glacier but was very well supported by Apricot team.. finally we left from askole to Skardu on jeeps again ( not an easy ride) .. on way back we passed by cold dessert ( where people were doing Desert safari, sky diving etc, was not included) .. we had over night rest in Skardu in a hotel. Fresh up and flew to Islamabad on 18th day. At this time I left the group and left for Lahore but other group members were taken for signs seeing in Islamabad which I missed. Overall great experience, lovely hospitality at a very affordable price.
Things to note: 1. during track Apricot offered boiled water every morning to fill bottles ir bladders.
My brother who is used to track in Pakistan consumed water directly from streams but it us recommended to use either bpild water , use water purification methods like tablet or UV, or filter.
2. Use ORS or some rehydration salt as days sun can be scorching in Aug. Use hat or wet towel or cloth to keep cool.
3. Use sun protection cream .
4. On glacier, it gets instantly cold on sunset , so be ready.
5. Use UV protection goggles and hat.
6. Make sure your tracking shoes are upto scratch. Have decent layers , plenty of Socks , sleeping bag to keep u warm to -20 c. camera / phone.
7. May need crampons if going for GGLa pass.
I shall request apricot to encourage members to buy S com Sim , helps to stay in touch with world though only works for couple of hrs a day.
Must visit while you can. Have fun..