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Reliable contacts in Skadu, Pakistan

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Reliable contacts in Skadu, Pakistan

Postby kevin trieu » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:17 pm

Hello,

Does anybody have reliable contacts for porters and/or service companies in Skadu, Pakistan to arrange base camp services to peaks in the Karakorum region? Peaks include Broad or Gasherbrum II.

Thanks,
Kevin
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Re: Reliable contacts in Skadu, Pakistan

Postby Damien Gildea » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:40 pm

Kevin

The main companies are based in Islamabad and most have offices in Skardu.

Traditionally the main companies are Nazir Sabir, Adventure Tours Pakistan (ATP) and Jasmine Tours. The latter two are pretty popular for regular stuff, Nazir is a bit more expensive but good for unusual peaks/areas. There are some other companies that may be OK, but it can be quite variable. I've used both Nazir and ATP, and found that ATP was OK but not as good as some others had found them on other trips in other years.
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Re: Reliable contacts in Skadu, Pakistan

Postby baltistanguy » Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:51 am

Skardu based companies would be cheaper and better for Base camp service/logistics. Try Snowland Treks and Tours www.snowland.com.pk . They are based in Skardu and providing base camp services for a long time to climbers and trekkers.
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Re: Reliable contacts in Skadu, Pakistan

Postby moutainpaw » Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:29 pm

been there on Spantik :)
As far as recommendations:
I used Skardu based Vertical Explorers Expeditions http://www.vepakistan.com, having Ali as a guide - could not had better crew, really-
because of their specific climbing approach - meaning they are for everyone, but above all for people that take climbing/hiking a litte more seriously .
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Re: Reliable contacts in Skadu, Pakistan

Postby kevin trieu » Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:30 pm

Thanks for the suggestions. I emailed Jasmine Tour and got a reply. Two things they mentioned that I didn't like 1. I need to deposit $10,000 for helicopter rescue insurance AND $20,000 for medical emergencies. $20,000 seems to be very high. This can't be right. Nobody travels with that much money on them. What's everyone experience regarding depositing money for rescue/emergency insurance?

These are their words from the email:
"4-We provide all possible assistance for your medical purpose .But parties of the expedition must be deposit Helicopter bond is 10,000 $ in Askari Aviation either directly or through Jasmine Tours.
if you don't use helicopter for rescue purpose the bond amount will be refund after cutting 300$ dollar as their services charge in cash .

We recommend you that please bring 20.000 $or more US dollars good insurance for each climbers for an emergency helicopter rescue for medical purpose . In case if some one used helicopter the deposit bond will stay in Askari Avaition until the rescue bill whatever it has been clear by the insurance company . After having this bill money Askari Avaition return in full bond money back to expedition party ."
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Re: Reliable contacts in Skadu, Pakistan

Postby Damien Gildea » Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:27 pm

Kevin,

The helo bond is genuine, though a massive pain in the ass. It used to be US$6,000 for many years, though I heard it has gone up. You used to go into the office, give some old general 6K in cash or travellers' checks, he'd put it in a draw, then if you didn't need a helo rescue, you'd go back at the end and he'd give you your 6K back. The new $300 charge is bullshit, but you probably can't get out of it. A lot of people don't know about it because they don't organise their own expeditions and the cost of it, or at least covering it, is built into the price they pay the guiding company.

Stipulating the $20K thing is new and I would not take much notice. If you have insurance you should be fine. If they say to bring cash tell them to f@#% off. Bear in mind though that a full-on helo rescue / evac could end up costing much more than US$20K, but good insurance should cover it.

If you're keen on BP or G2, you should be able to join a permit to share all this stuff. This is what many independent climbers do, though of course you never know who will end up on your 'team'. In 2007 a group of us attempted G1 as a wholly independent team of 9, no sharing, and I think it was about $6,000 each plus airfare.
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