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K2 Base Camp Trek

Created with Sketch. Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan
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Duration

22N/23D

Difficulty Level

___

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Group Size

10 people

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Languages

English

Overview

K2 Base Camp Trek

K2 Base Camp Trek is hands down one of the best treks in the world. K2 is in the Gilgit Baltistan region of Pakistan; it’s the second highest mountain in the world. This beautiful pyramid locates in the Concordia, which is the heart of Karakoram mountain range, and center of a complex to some of the world highest peaks and many of the largest glaciers of the world. One of the famous glaciers is Baltoro Glacier.

K2 Base Camp Trek will give you the best views of K2 (8,611m), Broad Peak  (8044m), Gasherbrum Group, Chogolisa (7686m), Golden Throne (7365m), Trango Towers, and many more. Indeed this is the “throne room of the mountain Gods.”

Since 40 years we’ve been organizing K2 Base Camp Trek to mountaineering enthusiasts from around the world. The 23 days long K2 Base Camp Trek in Pakistan offers full board services from Islamabad to Islamabad. The duration may be longer or shorter depending on the client’s experience and ability.

In Pakistan, there are different systems to collect visa for trekking. All tourist have to apply for a tourist visa at the Pakistan Consulate in their own home country. You will also require a trekking permit for the K2 Base Camp Trek, which we will arrange along with all other documents. We highly recommend to send us the confirmation of the booking before the end of march for participation in June, July and August.

K2 – The Second Highest Mountain in the World

The journey to the second highest mountain K2 is magical; it begins with a flight to Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad. Your guide will meet and greet you at Islamabad International airport then transfer you to the hotel. Then, we will meet again in the afternoon to give a briefing about the K2 Base Camp Trek. You’ll spend the first night in Islamabad for sightseeing and to recover from the journey. Next day, it’s off to Skardu.

If weather permitting, we will fly to Skardu; otherwise, we will travel by road. The mountain flight offers fantastic views as the plane follows the Indus River Valley and brushes past the ninth highest mountain in the world, Nanga Parbat. Looking out the aircraft window, one sees a vast ocean of peaks stretching endlessly into the horizon. This area exemplifies “continents in collision” with four of the world’s most magnificent mountain ranges (Himalaya, Karakorum and Hindu Kush) emerging below. Don’t fret if bad weather bars this great plane ride, though. The drive to Skardu over the famous  Karakorum Highway is just as spectacular.

Skardu (2,423m) is the capital of Baltistan and gateway to the high peaks of Pakistan. After purchasing supplies and an overnight rest in Skardu, we will proceed by jeeps as far as the track is passed towards Askoli, located at 3,100m and is the last village before reaching K2. After spending your first night in the camp under the starry canvas, our K2 Base Camp Trek will start. We will be walking towards Braldu, Gorge, and to the snout of the Baltoro Glacier, which we then follow to Concordia.

K2 Base Camp Trek on the Baltoro Glacier provides an ultimate mountain scenery of well-known mountains as Masherbrum (7,750m), Uli Biaho Tower (6,190m), Trango Towers (6,300m), the Grand Cathedral (5,228m), and Mustagh Tower (7,284m) shooting up from this immense highway with sheer vertical lines that defy reality. After four to five days we will reach 4,690m at Concordia. Here one is enriched by Marble Peak, K2 (8,611m), Broad Peak (8,044m), Gasherbrum Group, Golden Throne (7,365m), Chogolisa (7,686m) and Mitre Peak (6,038m). We will follow the same itinerary for our return, through Askoli village, Shigar Valley then to Skardu. If we are lucky, then catch the flight to Islamabad otherwise drive on KKH to Chillas then to Islamabad. Your guide will transfer you to the airport for onward flight to home country.

K2 Base Camp Trek is undoubtedly one of the greatest walks in the world. Trango Adventure has the expertise to make this trip a once in a lifetime experience with many good memoirs.

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • K2 Base Camp Trek into the heart of Karakoram mountains range
  • One of the world’s top and must do Trekking Adventure
  • Spectacular views of K2, Broad Peak, the Gasherbrums and Trango Towers
  • Walking holiday to Concordia and the Baltoro Glacier
  • Night camp at Broad Peak Base Camp for the best view of K2
  • Explore the Ancient Himalayan Kingdom of Baltistan Valley

Itinerary

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Day 1 – Arrival day in Islamabad

Most of the international flights arrive at Islamabad International Airport in the mornings. Your guide will meet and greet you at the airport; then you will be transferred to the hotel. Rest of the days is free to recover from your journey. Later in the day, when everyone has arrived, we will have a group briefing about K2 Base Camp Trek. Depending on the time available to us, there may be an option to do some sightseeing in Islamabad, a purpose-built city in 1961 as the new capital of Pakistan.
• Accommodation (hotel)
• Meals (D)

Day 2 – Spectacular flight to Skardu (2,230m)

In the case of flight cancellation, we will drive on KKH to Chilas. Islamabad to Chilas, 461km - 8/9 hrs drive.
Today you will go back to Islamabad Airport to take a spectacular flight (weather permitting) across the mountains to Skardu, the Capital of Baltistan. It’s a 45-minute flight which offers spectacular mountains views of Himalaya & Karakoram mountain range; you can also enjoy the breathtaking views of the world’s 9th highest peak, Nanga Parbat (8,26m). If the weather is clear, then we might be able to see K2 and Gandogoro Pass as well. Check in to the hotel, rest of the day will be spent visiting the local bazaar, historical forts, scenic lakes or visiting ancient rock inscriptions, one of which is of 8th-century Manthal Lord Buddha Rock that shows traces of Buddhist monks and pilgrims who influenced the area before Islam.
• Accommodation (hotel)
• Meals (B, L, D)

Day 3 – Sightseeing & preparation day

In the morning you will walk up to the remains of Kharpocho Fort (built early 1700), which overlooks the town and has a great view of the Indus River. If you are into photography, then this is a perfect location to take photos of Skardu Town at sunrise or sunset (we can arrange this for you). We will then walk to a small village, called Organic village, which grows all its crops organically. The afternoon is free to explore. Perhaps you would like to take an optional jeep tour to Satpara Lake or explore the bazaar.
• Accommodation (hotel)
• Meals (B, L, D)

Day 4 – Drive to Askoli (3,000m – 7 hs drive)

Following day we will drive along the Mighty Indus, Shigar and Braldu River to the lush green Shigar Valley towards Askoli. Askoli is the last village before entering into the heart of Karakoram. We will spend our first night under the stars in Askoli, which is high above the thundering Braldu River. Askole is a single street of wooden houses, backed by irrigated fields of corn, potatoes, and groves of apricot trees.
• Accommodation (camping)
• Meals (B, L, D)

Day 5 – Trek to Korfong (3,100m – 4 hs walking)

Today will be the first trekking day of our K2 Base Camp Trek. After organizing all the equipment and supplies, our porters load up for the journey ahead towards Korfong. From our campsite, we wend our way through the lanes and fields of Askole which will be the last settlement that we will encounter on our trek to Concordia. Watching the local people go about their daily business is a fascinating insight into the lifestyle of the hardy Balti people.
The valley opens out to reveal the Biafo Glaciers; we have our first taste of moraine walking. We cross the snout of the glacier and descend to the green spot beside the river at Korofon, arriving in camp by lunchtime. Then, spend the afternoon relaxing by the river, and also do a short acclimatization walk if we wish. If the weather is clear, then it can be a hot day so keep your sun creams and lots of water with you.
• Accommodation (camping)
• Meals (B, L, D)

Day 6 – Trek to Bardumal (3,350m – 6 hs walking)

From Korofong we continue our day by following the path up a side valley to make a detour to cross the fast flowing river by a footbridge. We then walk for another half an hour or so to reach the Jhola Camp. The views are impressive with Bakhor Das (5,809m) and Paiju Peak’s needles in the distance. From Jhola we continue onto Bardumal campsite.
• Accommodation (camping)
• Meals (B, L, D)

Day 7 – Trek to Paju (3,380 – 6 hs walking)

Today we will have an early start from Bardumal. The path runs for a while at the very edge of the river, before climbing to higher ground and allowing us excellent views of the impressive Paiju Peak. We have to negotiate a couple of streams today and, depending on the melting of the glaciers above; we may have to ford these (sports sandals or old trainers useful). Paiju is a green oasis under the shadows of Paiju Peak (6,611m). From this camp, we have the first views of the immense Baltoro Glacier, granite peaks of the Trango and Cathedral groups. If the weather is clear, we might see a glimpse of K2.
• Accommodation (camping)
• Camping
• Meals (B, L, D)

Day 8 – Trek to Khoburtse (3,760m – 7 hs walking)

Another early start today. From our camp at Paiju, a walk of approximately one hour brings us to the snout of the Baltoro Glacier. After viewing the outpouring of meltwater from the ice, we climb up onto the back of this magnificent beast. At this point, the ice of the glacier is entirely covered by rubble and rocks, and although we are following a trail used by many expeditions, the going here can be quite tough. The trail undulated as we climb over the swells of the flowing glacier and it is fascinating to think that the stones underfoot could have come from the summit of Broad Peak, Gasherbrum or K2.
Gradually we work our way across the glacier to its south side where we can use a path along lateral moraine. Heading roughly east we continue, sometimes on the moraine and sometimes down beside the glacier until we reach a side valley. At this point, it may be possible to continue more or less directly by climbing up onto the glacier. Or, if the glacier is not easily accessible, we will turn off into the valley for approximately half an hour to reach a point where we can cross the meltwater stream (sandals or old trainers required). Finally reaching the camping place at Khorburtse (3,760m), we have sensational views of the Cathedral Towers, the Trango Group and the striking rock tower of Uli Biaho. A great day of trekking over mixed and challenging terrain.
• Accommodation (camping)
• Meals (B, L, D)

Day 9 – Trek to Urdukas (4.130m – 4 hs walking)

Today is a short day of our K2 Base Camp Trek, but quite hard work as we walk up the undulating moraine and gaining height all the way. We continue east beside the Baltoro Glacier either along the lateral moraine or sometimes on the glacier itself, passing the ship-like prow of Great Trango and the isolated pillar of the ‘Nameless Tower’ to our next camp at Urdukas. It has truly sensational views of the Trango Towers to the west and directly opposite and almost a mile away across the valley, the vast rock walls of Cathedral Peak and Lobsang rise like ramparts above the glacier. It is a truly remarkable place! We should reach here in time for a late lunch, and the rest of the afternoon is free to camp, relax, and soak up our fabulous situation.
• Accommodation (camping)
• Meals (B, L, D)

Day 10 – Acclimatising day at Urdukas (4,130)

From many years of K2 Base Camp Trek experience, we have learned that taking a rest day at Urdukas has worked well. The advantages of spending an extra night here are very helpful. It helps the acclimatization process and has proved to be more effective than a rest day at Paiju.
Here is the last campsite on grassy slopes off the main glacier; it also has facilities for washing and cleaning. There is a pleasant walk behind the campsite through grassy slopes full of alpine flowers. Climbing high & sleeping low is the best way to help the acclimatization process.
• Accommodation (camping)
• Meals (B, L, D)

Day 11 – Trek to Goro (4,250m – 6/7 hs walking)

Leaving Urdukas behind, we follow the moraine edge eastwards until it is possible to climb up onto the broad back of the glacier. The trail on the Baltoro goes past the Yermanandu glacier, which flows from Masherbrum, and there are views of Muztagh (7,270m), Masherbrum (7,800m) and Gasherbrum IV at the head of the Baltoro and Concordia. We are quite high and camping on one of the most significant pieces of ice outside the polar regions, so we will make sure to wrap up warmly for the cooler nights ahead. The campsite is on the glacier where ledges have been leveled out for the tents.
• Accommodation (camping)
• Meals (B, L, D)

Day 12 – Trek to Concordia (4,600m – 5 hs walking)

Today we trek to Concordia; it will take us through what must arguably be the most spectacular mountain scenery anywhere in the world! Our approach to Concordia continues along with the heaving swells of the Baltoro Glacier as we pass Mustagh Tower (7,284m). Ahead of us Gasherbrum IV (7,925m) acts like a beacon drawing us on, while at some points on today’s walk we can also see Gasherbrum ll (8,035m) which peeks out to the right of Gasherbrum lV. As we make our way up the Baltoro, the aptly named Broad Peak (8,051m) comes into view above the ridge connecting Marble Peak and Crystal Peak on our left.
K2 keeps itself hidden until the very moment we reach Concordia when suddenly its full height is revealed in sweeping lines that climb almost 4,000 meters from the valley floor to the summit – a site that will never be forgotten. Concordia is a wide area where glaciers coming down from K2 meet those from the Gasherbrums and Chogolisa. It is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular places on the planet, and here you can stand within 24 kilometers of no fewer than four eight-thousanders and ten of the world’s thirty highest peaks! We make our camp at approximately 4500 meters on a moraine ridge surrounded on all side by jagged peaks including Gasherbrum IV, Mitre Peak, Chogolisa, Crystal Peak, Marble Peak, Baltoro Kangri, Broad Peak, and K2.
• Accommodation (camping)
• Meals (B, L, D)

Day 13 – Trek to Broad Peak Base Camp (5,000m – 4 hs walking)

Most of the trekkers camp at Concordia which gives them a very long walk to K2 base camp. Our experience has taught us that camping at the base camp of Broad Peak will provide us with a better and a fantastic view of K2. From Concordia, the route passes through some jumbled ice fins and moraine ridges before gaining the medial moraine of the Godwin Austen glacier. Broad Peak Base Camp is located on this moraine near the base of the climbing route on Broad Peak. One of the best views of K2 is from Broad Peak Base Camp. Enjoy the marvelous situation of Karakoram.
• Accommodation (camping)
• Meals (B, L, D)

Day 14 – Trek to K2 Base Camp & back to Concordia (5,150m – 6/7 hs walking)

Today we will make an early start for the amazing walk up to the mighty K2 base camp. For many people, a visit to the actual base camp used by climbers on K2 will certainly be a highlight of their trek. We can stop and admire the sensational view of K2 in one direction and the other looks back to Concordia framed by Mitre Peak and the bulk of Chogolisa, also known as ‘Broad Peak.‘ On the return, you pass through Broad Peak base camp and then continue down to Concordia. From Concordia, we will descend Baltoro.
• Accommodation (camping)
• Meals (B, L, D)

Day 15 – Trek to Goro (4,170m – 7 hs walking)

This morning we can take a last look at the King of Karakoram K2 before packing up the gears. Sadly we cannot stay at Concordia forever so today we start our retreat down the Baltoro Glacier stopping for the night at Goro 1. K2 is once again hidden, but Gasherbrum IV resumes its prominence at the head of the Baltoro and also reveals a sliver of Gasherbrum 1.
Down the valley, the serried ranks of granite towers and spires of the Lobsang, Cathedral, and Trango move into the distance, beyond which lie the peaks of Uli Biaho and Paiju. Directly opposite to the south is the snow-capped red granite spire of Masherbrum. It's an atmospheric place, and now that they are headed for home it's quite possible that our crew will want to have a party. Almost anything can be a musical or percussion instrument, and if you have the chance, listening to the voices of the Baltis in full song is quite an amazing experience.
• Accommodation (camping)
• Meals (B, L, D)

Day 16 – Trek to Khoburtse (3,560m – 7 hs walking)

We continue our descent of the Baltoro Glacier. It is amazing how different everything looks in descent with our constant field of vision now filled with an entirely different view. The drop in altitude starts to become more noticeable as the granite walls and spires lining the glacier, which yesterday looked almost lower than us, now tower to lofty heights above. It is also a little warmer, and there is more oxygen in the air. Passing through the campsite of the Duke of Abruzzi at Urdukas we can marvel at the tenacity of those early pioneers who endured untold hardship to get to their base camps.
After taking lunch on the Duke’s terrace, with sensational views across the glacier to Biale Peak which remains hidden except from this vantage point, we continue trekking down this vast valley, sometimes on the glacier and sometimes along the moraine or the valley sides until we reach Horbose, our first off-glacier camp for some days. Ahead now we can make out the end of the glacier and the start of the valley of the Braldu. We can even see the patches of green on the lower slopes of Paiju Peak, which mark the location of the spring water camp.
• Accommodation (camping)
• Meals (B, L, D)

Day 17 – Trek to Paju (3,380m – 5/6 hs walking)

Today we will continue our trek on the Baltoro Glacier with spectacular views of the Trango Towers towards Paiju. As on our approach, we have to detour to the south to cross the Liligo Glacier. This glacier defies world trends in that it's steadily growing. Twenty years ago its snout was half a mile up the valley, and now it has collided with the main Baltoro Glacier, with the result that the churning forces have made it impossible to cross without the detour.
Having made the detour and returned to the main Baltoro Glacier, we now cross to its north side, climbing over the huge swells of the glacier towards the ramparts of Uli Biaho. On the other side, we then work our way down to the valley where we pick up the main trail and pass by the snout where the underground river which flows through the length of the glacier erupts out in a cascade to become the Braldu. The last hour of the day is an easy walk on a good path although there is a final uphill pull to reach the campsite. On our first arrival here we relished the prospect of a cooler climate ahead. Now we will welcome its warmth! We will spend our night at the green oasis of Paiju.
• Accommodation (camping)
• Meals (B, L, D)

Day 18 – Trek to Jhola (3,170m – 7 hs walking)

Now we are off the glacier, and at a lower elevation it is considerably warmer, and we may make an early start to use the cool of the morning. Leaving Paiju, we walk on a good trail down the valley. Once again, it is surprising how different the experience is compared to our ascent. The trail rises and falls as we cross several alluvial fans.
We have to cross some side streams today, mostly using makeshift bridges or stepping-stones but it may be necessary also to wade across, especially later in the day. The source of all these streams is meltwater, and so they grow bigger as the day gets warmer. At one point the trail passes close to the river beside walls of conglomerate, and it is possible to feel its tremendous power. We follow the main Braldu River downstream to its confluence with the Panma River where we turn north-east to reach a camping place beside the toll bridge at the location known as Jhola.
• Accommodation (camping)
• Meals (B, L, D)

Day 19 – Trek to Askoli (3,050m – 3/4 hs walking)

It'll be our final day of trekking and our return to civilization after two weeks in the wilderness. Soon we will follow a pleasant trail which leads down to the little ablation area beside the Biafo Glacier known as Korofon, surrounded by sparse grasses and tamarisk bushes. Beyond Korofon, we first follow the glacial moraine of the Biafo and then walk beside the river that issues from its snout until we reach a bridge which allows us to cross to its north side. The trail passes through a wide flat area known locally as the ‘King’s Polo Ground’ before climbing to pass through a convenient cleft in a ridge of rock which threatens to bar further progress down the valley.
Descending steeply down the other side of this ‘window,’ we have a pleasant stroll through a boulder-strewn landscape before climbing once again up onto a shallow plateau. We cross several small side valleys and begin to see various signs of habitation before reaching an irrigation channel bring meltwater to the field of Askole. We follow the channel for a while and can appreciate the tremendous skill of the local people who have harnessed the distant snows to grow their crops in a high altitude desert. Eventually, we reach green fields and stone walls which lead us into the village. Most of our porters are from Askole and will be pleased to be home. To reach our campsite at the road ahead, we must first walk through the outlying fields and then descend from the little plateau on which the village is located.
Today we can celebrate our success with the porters and hand out their tips as a token of our appreciation for their hard work throughout the trek. Also, we often give them any spare kit that we no longer needed which is also a way of saying thank You. Most of the porters are from this village, so later on, at the campsite, we will say goodbye to our crew who are now our friends, and we will perhaps have a final party here.
• Accommodation (camping)
• Meals (B, L, D)

Day 20 – Drive to Skardu via Shigar Valley (7 hs drive)

Our vehicles will already be waiting for us in Askole, so we make an early start for the return drive to Skardu. Crossing the Braldu on a suspension bridge, we follow the remarkable road built through the Braldu Gorge. It's not uncommon for this road to be blocked by a landslide and we may have to change vehicles if the road is blocked. If this is the case, we will retain some of our porters to transfer the bags while we walk across any landslide areas.
Once we have climbed up out of the gorge at the other end the road improves as we travel down the fertile Shigar Valley to its confluence with the Indus. Now we have a faster, smoother journey on a paved road following the great Indus River into Skardu. Arriving in the town, we will check in to our hotel, and there will be time for a welcome shower and clean up before sitting down to dinner. Tonight we will enjoy the comfort of a real bed.
• Accommodation (hotel)
• Meals (B, L, D)

Day 21 – Flight to Islamabad

If the weather is clear, then we'll take the flight to Islamabad. Skardu airport is a 40-minute drive from the hotel along a good road lined with poplar trees. Boarding our plane, we have an exciting flight out of the valley, once again passing by Nanga Parbat before turning south for Islamabad. Arriving in the Pakistani capital after a period in the mountains is always a strange experience, and it takes a little time to get used to the hustle and bustle and especially the traffic. Our private bus will be waiting at the airport to transfer us to the group hotel and once we have settled in it will be time to take lunch (unless we have experienced unusual flight delays). After lunch, the rest of the day is free for independent sightseeing or to relax at the hotel. Your Guide will advise you on the possibilities for sightseeing. Shopping for hand-made Iranian & Afghan rugs is a usually popular option. This evening we come together again for a celebratory meal at the hotel or in a local restaurant.
In case of flight cancellation, we'll drive you down the Karakoram Highway. We will arrive in Chillas late afternoon.
• Accommodation (hotel)
• Meals (B, L, D)

Day 22 – Contingency day in case of delays (Islamabad)

If driving down the Karakoram Highway, we will arrive at Islamabad late afternoon. If we managed to fly the day before, then, we would spend sightseeing today in Islamabad. In the evening, we will have a final group meal.
Skardu is a ‘weather dependent’ airport, which means the planes will only fly here if the visibility allows a line of sight to the runway by the pilot on the approach. Fortunately, the weather is mostly clear in the Karakoram, but local weather conditions can bring cloud and rain from time to time. If we cannot fly, we will travel down to Islamabad by road along the spectacular Karakoram Highway. If we flew up to Skardu, this would be a bonus as it is a fantastic travel experience in its own right. The drive down the Indus River to Islamabad takes two days, so this is an important contingency day to allow for this. If we have flown to Islamabad this will be a further day for sightseeing in the capital and your leader will advise the group on the options available for today.
• Accommodation (hotel)
• Meals (B, L, D)

Day 23 – Departure day

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Islamabad International Airport for the flight back home. End of trip.

Included/Exclude

  • Professional Mountain Guide. (Government requirement)
  • Airport transfers for Domestic & international flights.
  • Internal flights and associated airport transfers
  • All land transport involved in the itinerary
  • Accommodation as described
  • All meals
  • All permit fees.
  • Sleeping tents, mattresses, mess, kitchen and toilet tent with tables/field stools and camping ground fees. Kitchen equipment, crockery, cutlery, fuel, and related community gear.
  • Wages and basic kit of a guide, Sirdar, porters cook and assistant(s).
  • Insurance of our field staff and low altitude porters (except helicopter rescue).
  • Porterage at airports, hotels, toll taxes, and parking fee, etc.
  • Confirmation of air tickets.
  • The team arranges the wages and kit.
  • Travel insurance
  • Pakistan Visa
  • Tips for local guides and support staff
  • Guided Islamabad sightseeing
  • Miscellaneous expenses
  • souvenirs etc
  • PLEASE NOTE: an airport departure tax of Rs1500 is sometimes payable

Tour's Location

Created with Sketch. Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan

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