Karakoram Pre-Trip Newsletter 2020
Karakoram Pre-Trip Newsletter 2020
Dear Friends, Climbers and Walkers.
We are getting very excited for the upcoming climbs and treks in the Karakoram!
Do we have your exact arrival (and departure) information, including: airline, flight number, arrival date, arrival time, coming from where? If you have already sent the above, thank you very much.
Our staff will meet you at Islamabad (ISB) airport, holding a "SummitClimb" sign. When you walk out of the airport terminal, please walk slowly and carefully and look for our man. In case we miss you, please take a taxi to the hotel. We did not miss anyone last year, but previously some members have rushed out of the airport very quickly and jumped into a taxi before we could find them. You will then be taken to our ISB Guest House which is called Royal Crown Hotel.
We include two nights stay in the hotel on arrival and two nights prior to departure in a shared double room. Additional nights are $50. Private rooms are available for $50 per night. If you need a single room and/or additional nights, we will arrange them for you.
In case you become lost, here are the details of our office in ISB:
- Mr. Sultan Khan
- NS Expeditions
- House Number 434
- Street Number 2
- Sector G-9/3
- Phone: +923335106539, +9234569998833, +92518441704
Here are SummitClimb Inc expedition leader Dan Mazur's phone numbers:
- Pakistan: +923175615689 (voice and sms/text).
- UK: +447810375400 (voice only), US: +13602503407 (voice and sms/text), Nepal: +9779813028810 and +9779841595504.
Please print out or download our contact details and carry with you at all times.
We will have satellite phones for use during the climb / trek and will update you with our satellite phone numbers on arrival.
Those wishing to use our sets are required to post a $100 deposit, prior to departure from ISB. The cost for satellite phones is $4 per minute. Incoming calls do not save any money. If your usage exceeds the deposit amount, you will be required to pay more cash in basecamp or stop using the phone. Be sure to bring enough $, £, or €. Sometimes members can receive short satellite text/SMS for $4 a message from their friends and family.
There will be a website where your family, friends, colleagues, and sponsors can watch the progress of our climbs and walks. This website is a public service from www.SummitClimbNews.com and www.SummitTrekNews.com . Once reaching the site please go to “recent news” and you will see the dispatches from your expedition.
Battery charging: laptop, ipod, mp3 player, and/or digital camera. On our climbs, we often bring a solar charging system on the expedition that members have access to. As long as there is sun, we are able to charge batteries easily on the mountain. If your device has a 12 volt "automotive cigarette charger" please bring it (order one on the internet before you go) as that will be the best thing for basecamp. AC Wall chargers won't work in basecamp
Mobile phone cameras are not so reliable, and the batteries die. Digital cameras work well. We recommend that you keep them in your jacket during the day and in your sleeping bag at night.
Helicopter rescue, repatriation and travel insurance are required, and cancellation insurance is recommended. Do you have your proof of travel and mountain rescue insurances? Remember, you need to be covered for all mishaps, including both in town, en-route, and during climbing and/or walking. We are glad to advise you about different types of insurance and where to find them. Nowadays good insurance is available for any person from every country in the world. If you have sent the above, thank you very much.
If not already done so, please make your oxygen and/or personal Sherpa order clear at this time.
- K2 already includes 5 bottle set of oxygen. Extra bottles cost $900 each
- Gasherbrum I and II: We recommend a three bottle set which costs $3650 USD. The price includes three large 4 litre Russian Oxygen bottles, mask-regulator-hoses (as well as carriage up to the high camps by our porters). We have a 30% "buy-back" policy on masks, regulators, and unused oxygen bottles in good condition. Extra bottles: $900 USD each.
Group vs personal Sherpas. Our climbing Sherpas carry group equipment. They will not be carrying your personal equipment. Each year, at least one of our team members decides to hire their own personal Sherpa. We encourage you to do so, especially if you are not excited about climbing with a rucksack which is heavily loaded with your personal equipment, oxygen, water, and snack food. We now encourage members who need a bit of extra assistance to use our "equipment carry service”. The cost will be 1/4 (not including the tip, which you must also pay) and includes carriage of ten kilos of your personal equipment up and down to and from basecamp to the highest camps. For more information, please visit our Sherpa link on the Leader tab of each website. By the way, hiring your own personal Sherpa has been shown to markedly increase summit success and safety, especially on descent.
How much money to bring:
K2 Climb, Gasherbrum Climb members: please bring at least $2000 cash with you for the expedition.
K2 Base Camp Trek and Pastore Peak: please bring at least $1500 cash with you for the trip.
Regarding gratuities (tips). Our leaders, Sherpas, and staff are among the best, because we can count on receiving gratuities for a job well done at the end of each expedition. You will be impressed when you see just how hard we do work. It is a matter of pride for all of us. Besides individual tips, we also ask you to pay an additional “group” tip and we will "pool" these tips together and then, as a group, we will vote on the distribution of the gratuities to the individual staff. This method has seemed to be the fairest and has worked very well in the past. In addition, there will be Sherpa and Trekking Guide Tips.
We recommend the following tip for our group staff/cooks:
- K2 and Gasherbrum Staff and Cook Tip: $350
- Trekking Staff and Cook Tip: $225
- Trekking guide tip: $250
- Tipping Climbing Sherpas on Pastore Peak: $250.00
- Tipping Climbing Sherpas on Gasherbrum: $700.00
- Tipping Climbing Sherpas on K2: $1000.00
We request you to bring this money with you to basecamp in cashand be ready to pay it there.
Food during the expedition -
Bring your own snack food for the high mountain. All basecamp and walk meals and high meals (3 per day) are included in our full-service expeditions. We also provide more than enough food and cooking fuel for three meals per day on the high mountain. However, we ask each climbing member to provide their own dailysnacks at high altitude while climbing above basecamp, and a few freeze-dried meals for summit day. We do not provide any daily snack energy food above basecamp. You need to provide your own snacks. Please remember to bring your daily snack/energy mountain food for each day we are climbing above basecamp. This food would consist of chocolate bars, power bars, energy gel, rehydration drinking powder, sweets, nuts, sausage, cheese, etc. It is easy to buy chocolate, biscuits, cookies, nuts, and fruit in ISB and Skardu. If you like imported cheeses, tinned meats, and other specialty foods, please bring them. Freeze-dried/Dehydrated meals: We request you bring a few freeze-dried meals for summit day. Here is the list of food we suggest you bring for yourself:
- K2 Climb, GI climb & GII climb: 3-6 kilos - 7 to 13 pounds of snacks and 5 freeze-dried dinners
- K2 / Gasherbrum / Everest Training Climb: 2-4 kilos - 4 to 8 pounds of snacks and 2 freeze-dried dinners
- Pastore Peak and K2 Trek: 1-2 kilos - 2 to 4 pounds of snacks
If any questions, please get in touch right away.
Looking forward to a very fun and exciting trek and climb!
From everyone at SummitClimb