I recommend bringing two shirts, but you may well want more. A walk through the chaotic Skardu bazaar provides a welcome introduction to mountain life in Pakistan. Congratulations to the K2 Base Camp Trekkers. It is a challenging and demanding trek that involves trekking and hiking along Baltoro … For particular frigid nights hanging out at camp, having the ability to chuck on another layer for your legs is nice. For most of the K2 trek, you do not need a serious mountain boot. Read our full review of the GRAYL GEOPRESS! You will suffer the consequences, and you will possibly put yourself and your group at risk by being underprepared. Concordia is home to one of the best campsites I have ever been to, with 360-degree views of almost every major peak in the area including Gasherbrum 4, Broad Peak, Marble Peak, Mitre Peak, and of course the impressive, swirling cloud-capped K2 in all her glory. Sleeping Pad: Most tour operators provide you with a sleeping pad. Bring snacks: The availability of quality snack food in Skardu is very limited. From $2,100 $1,700. They always have amazing insights into what life is like in Baltistan and on the Baltoro Glacier. Many budget tour companies disguise themselves as mid-level operators, and, oh, they will try to charge you just as much as a mid-level company that will offer much better quality at the end of the day. No trekking is incredible than K2 route and no destination is excited than of Concordia. From $600 $400. Unlike the perception of many foreigners, the northern Karakoram region is not part of the fragile North Western tribal areas and is separate from that region with no passes leading to those fragile areas. First Aid Kit: Again, your guide should have a proper mountain first aid kit, but they will not have everything. Expedition bags are typically very tough, weather-resistant, and are very easy for the porters to strap onto the mules. Take the time to chat with your team of hard-working porters, cooks, and guides. INR Below, I answer the most important questions surrounding what it is actually like to trek to K2, what to pack for two weeks in the Karakoram, K2 Base Camp trek cost, on the ground logistics, how to choose the right tour company, required permits, traveling in Pakistan, and much more. All hail the mighty Grayl Geopress. Day 11: Baltoro Glacier Trek. Waterproof gloves are best. This porter service allowance is also a game-changer regarding what you can bring. 10. Over the years, K2 has developed a reputation as one of the most difficult and dangerous 8,000-meter peaks to climb in the world. Camera: For capturing the raw awesomeness of the Karakoram of course. We use World Nomads who specialise in covering digital nomads and backpackers. Concordia is a distinguished view point for 2 great mountains; K2 and Broad Peak. Depending on the time of year, a group will have to share the campsite with two or three other groups. Ah, the luxuries of modern times. Please, don’t be “that person” who shows up with a summer sleeping bag, no down jacket, and city trainers. Alpine Boots: Having a good pair of alpine boots with you will only be a benefit when the going gets tough (and the trail is covered in snow). There are no teahouses or villages along the way, and the distances are longer than for example an Everest Base Camp trek. Invest in a good sleeping bag and guarantee yourself many nights of solid (and warm) sleep. Be sure to not overpack your duffle (it’s easy to do) as you will have to pay more for porter services if the bag weighs more than 12 kilos. Recommendation: Patagonia Down Sweater Hoodie. Trekking Boots: Perhaps the single most important piece of kit you pack is your hiking boots. This is the pack that you will hike with daily. For the costs given above, services should normally include: 1. At the end of Baltoro glacier is Concordia which is known as “Throne Room of Mountain Gods”. This means that you should not have the carry the bulk of your stuff as you move between camps. K2 base camp trek, synonymous with Baltoro Glacier Trek and Baltoro Concordia Trek, is one of the world’s most famous mountain treks, located in Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. Any person with some hiking/trekking experience can be a part of this trek The ascent is controversial because Lacedelli and Compagnoni established their camp at a higher elevation than originally agreed with Mehdi and Bonatti. Join Epic Backpacker Tours in 2021 and prepare for best the adventure of your life. 3. Why? Luxury operators typically cater to an older crowd who can afford to be more comfortable and are prepared to pay for it. All rights reserved. We are a hometown company providing dedicated and complete destination services for K2 base camp trek, Gondogoro La Trek and additional trails (including numerous mountain passes) in the Karakoram Range. Trekking to K2 Base Camp is the most popular trekking holiday for foreign trekkers visiting Pakistan. Skardu is the largest city in Baltistan. Buff: This tiny piece of fabric may not seem useful or necessary, but once you have integrated a Buff into your gear kit, there is no going back. While others were spending their days dashing behind rocks to relieve their terribly upset bowels, I had clean drinking water every single day. Microspikes: Also a very legitimate option for gaining purchase on the ice (plus they are cheaper than crampons). Ready to give up yet? A quick Google search will reveal a plethora of tour companies offering to fulfill your dreams of completing the K2 Base Camp trek. Up at the higher elevations though, I found them to be very handy and practical. And you can find yourself enjoying the area without meeting other trekkers, climbers or wanderlust as few challenge the unknown mountains. A rain shell is the key to a successful layering system as they function as a sort of warmth seal in addition to acting as a barrier to the elements. Base Layer Bottoms: If you are a cold sleeper, base layer bottoms will be good for you. The earliest you would want to attempt the trek would be towards the end of June. K2 Base Camp Trek Journey to the Throne Room of the Mountain Gods in the world’s most spectacular range This fabled route up the Baltoro Glacier to K2 base camp is truly one of the world’s greatest treks, and justifiably so. Fleece: The fleece layer is likely to be your most commonly used torso layer. This can come to a bit of a shock to those seeking a true wilderness experience, but it is the reality. Unless you are going with a luxury tour operator, the pads they provide are these super-thin foam mats that do not offer much in the way of comfort. K2 Base Camp trek is a beautiful trek located in the Karakoram range of Pakistan. They have so many practical applications from serving as a dust mask to keeping the sun off of your neck. AUD Recommendation: Smartwool Merino Sport 150. Handy for evenings at camp and needed for ascending Gondogoro La in the dark. One of our objectives is to visit K2 Base Camp (approx 5150m) and the Gilkey Memorial, a spectacular full day trip from camp.The most exciting day of this trek as you walk past Broad peak and get nearer to K-2 and arrive at the strip which is the most popular camping area for nearly all the expeditions to K-2. Temperatures can plummet well below freezing at any time of the year, especially around Concordia, Goro 2, and Ali Camp. I like to wear cotton myself as they breath better than synthetic. Photo: Sue DeArman. Recommendation: Petzl Sarken Leverlock Universal. For the snowy sections of trail around Concordia, Ali Camp, and Gondogoro La, having gaiters was a godsend. There are two options on return to Concordia after trek to K2 base camp. The sun is super intense, shade is non-existent, and you’ll need every bit of protection you can get. Check out our best hiking backpacks review. Some of the wildest and most dramatic landscapes on earth are found in the vast, rugged Karakoram Range situated in Northern Pakistan. This means that including guests, guides, porters, cooks, and pack animals a campsite could host more than 150 people at any one time. With the Evisa program, from the time you submit your documents to the time you have a visa approval notice is about 5 – 10 days. The K2 base camp trek is a stunning journey to the foot of a legendary mountain. This camp was not only used by Sir Francis Younghusband in 1887, but Eric Shipton’s expedition called the camp home as well. From there, you will depart to the scenic town of Skardu and on to the village of Askole, where the real adventure begins! They leak, get clammy inside, and will result in your down jacket and other layers below getting wet. Awesome! By the end of the trek, they will be rank though, be sure. You will use this backpack to carry your daily essentials like water, rain gear, clothing layers, snacks, your camera, suncream, and passport. From $2,200 $1,600. At least the process should be straight forward if you choose a solid tour operator to go with. 8. Sleeping Bag: A sleeping bag is another piece of gear that you DO NOT want to skimp on. Traveling without insurance is risky and you should consider getting insurance before you go. The expedition was led by Ardito Desio, and the two climbers who reached the summit were Lino Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni. They do make for a good barrier to the cold ground (you are sleeping on a glacier for most of the trek), but in terms of comfort, I’ll just say that you feel the rocks beneath you. Bring a dust mask/scarf/buff/bandana for the ride. Time to lace up your alpine boots amigos. You do NOT want to roll your ankle out here. You can also send tracking information, get altitude readings, and send your exact GPS location to your loved one. The Chinese base camp of K2 at 12,467 feet (3,800 meters) is a five hour trek away. The decisions about trekking to K2 Base Camp, Broad Peak BC, Gilkey Memorial, choosing one or another or all options or choosing to rest at Concordia on this day depends on the participants. Being too dark to ascend or descend, Mehdi and Bonatti were forced to overnight without shelter above 8,000 meters leaving the oxygen tanks behind as requested when they descended. By now, you should be beyond stoked to add this epic trek to your bucket list. K2 Base Camp Trek includes accommodation in a hotel as well as flights, an expert guide, meals, transport and more. All domestic flights and transfers. As always, when planning a major trip into the mountains, having the right gear is one of the bests ways to prepare your self for a happy and successful trekking experience. K2 Concordia trek is a challenging trek with 13 days walking to a maximum altitude of 4,500m at Concordia (5,120m Gilkey Memorial just below K2 Base Camp (optional) and an average of 3,650 meters. Nuts, jerky, energy gels, Cliff bars, dark chocolate, superfood powder, bliss balls… these are all solid snack foods. I took two pairs with me. It also offers 90 … Epic Backpacker Tours is next running a trip to K2 Base Camp in July 2021. This will serve as your lifeline in case you slip and fall on the descent. Budget backpackers might be tempted to go for the cheapest possible option, which in the end, may work out for them just fine. These two incredible trekking routes mentioned above which were once considered harsh proposals are now considered good challenges by hiking and trekking enthusiasts from around the world. Book with us now! Licensed Mountain Guide (government requirement) 2. The flight from Islamabad takes 45 minutes and offers up killer views of Nanga Parbat and other major peaks in the area. Trekking in mountain environments is inherently dangerous. After descending the La (on a fixed rope, clipped in with a harness), the trek follows the green valley below for several days before arriving at the beautiful Balti village of Hushe. Day 12: K2 Base Camp (5,100 m) and Broad Peak Base Camp (4,800 m) Day 13: Trek towards Ali Camp (4,800 m) chasing Baltoro’s upper part Day 14: Gondogoro La Trek - Crossing the Gondogoro La/Pass (5,585 m). You don’t need down pants, but choose something with a bit of insulation. When your power bank runs low, you can charge it or your other electronics on the generator. Even if the weather is quite warm, I still recommend wearing your base layer top to help prevent sunburn (or sunstroke). For a majority of the trek, you do not need gaiters. Obtaining the NOC can take anywhere between 3 weeks and 2 months to complete, as there is only one office in Islamabad that processes these permits. Read the fine print and confirm that you are covered for adventure sports like trekking at altitude. Other companies offering K2 treks camp no higher than Concordia and 'offer' clients the chance to trek to K2 Base Camp and back in a single, extremely long day. Trekking Backpack: Since you will be packing the majority of stuff into your expedition duffle, you do not need to bring a massive backpack. All of this sounds complicated, but in reality, it is a fairly straight forward process. 5-6 pairs are sufficient. The wait times were long; the process complicated, and for certain nationalities, it was pretty expensive. On the approach along the Baltoro glacier we see the imposing Trango Towers, the pinnacles of Cathedral Peaks and the mighty Masherbrum to reach Concordia. If you don’t mind being around people in the middle of a remote mountain range, then you will love the camaraderie. One can expect reasonable comforts such as chairs, tables, nice tents, a generator to charge electronics, a plentiful food budget, excellent pre-tour communication, visa support, and a western trekking guide to accompany the local Balti mountain guides. Down Jacket: Like hiking boots, a sleeping bag, and a water filter bottle, having a good down jacket is 100% crucial for the K2 Base Camp trek. Which brings us to my next point…. Because, well, it is a whole hell of a lot of fun and the atmosphere is second to none. Hopefully, this K2 Base Camp trek guide will help you prepare to have an awesome adventure of your own! From Skardu, groups take 4×4 jeeps to Askole to start the trek. Trek to K2 base camp and Broad Peak base camp is altogether a one day return trip from Concordia on the Godwin Austen glacier. USD Some companies won’t cover you if an accident occurs over a certain altitude. Keep in mind that your guide should have a satellite phone with them for emergencies. Foreigners still have to obtain a Letter of Invitation to apply for a visa. It is a separate administration unit since 1970 but it is administered directly by Islamabad under the UN resolution. Below is a list of helpful tips to maximize your chance for an awesome few weeks in the mountains…. After descending the pass, the walk mostly continues over glaciers (including Gondogoro glacier) and lateral moraine. Check out our full Black Diamond Alpine FLZ review. Without it, you cannot securely clip into the fixed rope. This permit allows you to travel into the National Park, which lies in a restricted military area, as the park borders China to the north and India to the east. They are well worth it in my opinion as I used mine nearly every day en route to K2. A baseball-style trucker hat or safari broad bill that will work. He is an advocate for off-beat responsible travel and the preservation of the world's wild places and spaces. The drawback is that they stay sweatier for longer. Be sure to contact EBT for availability and any questions that remain unanswered after reading this guide. In reality, the trek is MUCH more than that. The trek to K2 Base Camp is basically a splendid march through one of the most hankered trajectory on earth. One lightweight pair for most trekking days, and a thicker, warmer pair for the higher altitudes. Groups make their way back to Skardu from here using 4×4 jeeps. Luxury Operators: People who want to be as comfortable as possible whilst trekking across multiple glaciers for two weeks usually go the luxury route. Karakorum is located in Gilgit Baltistan that is a different province. You will also need a sling with a locking carabiner attached. Budget Operators: Barebones outfits, who often come with quality English-speaking guides and staff, but lack the funding to have many of the comforts found in the other tiers of quality, including a decent food budget. Avoid cotton. Far from it. The team included a Pakistani member, Colonel Muhammad Ata-Ullah, who had been a part of the 1953 American expedition. In addition to providing warmth, the base layer gives you much-needed protection from the searing Karakoram sun. Gloves: Very important for keeping your hands warm whilst trekking at altitude. The trek offers an optional finish over the spectacular Gondogoro-La pass. The Classic K2 base camp trek is one of the greatest treks in the world, unbeatable in terms of close-up mountain views and proximity to many of the world’s highest peaks. Also, the guides only run the generator at night for a few hours (to provide lighting), so your time to charge stuff is quite limited. Down jackets provide excellent insulation for those chilly nights at camp and early morning starts on the trail. Bandaids (plasters), wet wipes, hand sanitizer, lip balm, suncream, antibiotic cream, and electrolyte tabs are all crucial personal supplies to have in the mountains. Now that we have covered essential gear, let’s take a look at the clothing systems required for this trek. Plus, nobody wants to be cold for days on end. Unlike the trek to Everest Base Camp, arriving at the K2 base is not the end-all highlight of the trip. K2 is the world’s second highest mountain soaring sky high at 28,251 feet in Pakistan’s Northern most region; Gilgit-Baltistan. 6. Certain factors like weather, rockfall, acts of God, etc. I can promise you that. Trek leader Dan Mazur has been to K2 basecamp 8 times and is a K2 summiter, placing … Period. Go for a 0 degree F bag. Recommendation: Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight. Recommendation: REI Lightweight Base Layer Bottoms, Sun Hat and Warm Hat/Beanie: Hats are a personal preference. Pakistani Tourist Visa: Luckily, it has never been easier to apply for a Pakistani Tourist Visa thanks to the new Evisa program launched by the Pakistani Government early on in 2019. Today is the top highlight of the K2 Base Camp Trek, you will be standing right in the front of the world’s second-highest mountain K2 (8,611 meters), have lunch at the K2 base camp with world’s top mountain climbers than walk down to Concordia for the night stay. Get ready for the next big adventure! Begin your journey in Kashgar, take the Silk Road past shifting deserts and towering peaks, and then embark on your tough but incredibly rewarding 14-day trek. I found that I rarely hiked with base layer bottoms on, as they get too hot too quickly. Before, travelers had to submit their passport and documents directly to the Pakistani consulate in their home country. At the lower elevations, these fixed camps have individual toilet “cubicles”, and always have a source of running water (though this water is not always safe to drink). The gear shops are located on the main road of the main bazaar, pretty close to the large, colorful Jamia Imamia Mosque. Then there is the Pakistani visa to apply for, which actually needs to happen before the NOC is issued. For most of the trip they have been walking 7-8 hours a day so they will enjoy the chance to wind down in Islamabad when they fly back there tomorrow. That said, alpine boots will be hotter and heavier on your feet than standard trekking boots, especially down at the lower elevations. Here is the general breakdown: Pretty much without exception, all groups set off by jeep from the dusty Balti bazaar town of Skardu. Like most things in life, not all tour companies are created equal. When it is not quite cold enough to throw on the down jacket, the fleece acts as a comfy around the camp layer. Take solid travel insurance that will actually help you in a worst-case scenario situation. Trip Code: Trip dates for 2020: K2-I: 01 June to 21 June 2020: Be Patient: Things do not always go as planned in Pakistan and sometimes delays can occur. Gaiters: I almost always hike with gaiters now, as they help to keep stones, mud, and water out of my hiking boots. Base Layer Top: I don’t think I took my base layer off for the entire two weeks I was hiking to K2 Base Camp. Nestled deep in the Karakoram range of Northern Pakistan lies a mountain or should I say a series of legendary mountains steeped in mystery, cloud, and ice. A majority of the trek is spent walking on the mighty Baltoro Glacier (about 65 KM) until it comes to the confluence with the Godwin-Austen Glacier. Return to Concordia on this day is compulsory. 0. I recommend going with a 35 – 45-liter backpack. JPY. Make sure it fits properly, and it is comfortable to wear for long periods. CAD I am repeating myself here because it bears repeating. My 14-day K2 base camp trek in Karakoram mountains of #Pakistan, followed by a crossing of the technical Gondogoro La Pass.At 8,611m (28,251ft), #K2 is the second highest mountain in … Bring your favorite assortment of snacks from home and chow down during trail breaks. Trekking from Askoli (first camp) over Baltoro glacier to Concordia offers views of several famous 6000 m and 7000 m peaks, several glaciers (including Biafo – world’s 3rd longest non-polar), glacial lakes etc. Trekking Poles: I am a firm believer in the importance of using trekking poles. Satellite Messenger Device: Having two-way texting capabilities from anywhere in the world is badass. Stay dry amigos. As a wise man once said, if you can’t afford travel insurance, you shouldn’t be traveling. If you wear them at a lower altitude, you will find them to be too hot. If you are going on a multi-week backpacking trip in the Karakoram of Pakistan, you are going to NEED travel insurance. ASCENT 350 meters, DESCENT 650 meters. K2 is the second highest mountain, and is thought by many to be the best base camp trek in the world. Crampons: Crampons are not mandatory for the K2 trek. Satellite messenger devices also require a monthly paid subscription. Stay in touch with your family, friends, partner, or whoever else you want from the comfort of your tent. Day 10: Baltoro Glacier Trek. Avoid cotton socks at all costs! K2 Base Camp Trek (2021) K2 Base Camp Trek is considered as the world’s famous high altitude trekking route, challenging and demanding but equally rewarding, delightful and remarkable as well. Concordia is a glacial confluence of the Baltoro Glacier with the Glacier of Godwin Austen. 1 Day / About 8 hours . In all likelihood, there are only a few places where you will really need them: Concordia to K2, Concordia to Ali Camp, Ali Camp – Gondogoro La. Skardu, the bewitching capital of Baltistan region, is the starting point for mighty K-2. It is actually a purifier, which means that it removes bacteria, heavy metals, viruses, and countless other invisible devils hell-bent on ruining your hike. It traverses some of the most spectacular mountain scenery on the planet, the most humbling of which is seen at Concordia where the world’s most majestic coliseum of high peaks is guarded by the crown of the Karakoram: K2. If you are going to splurge on something, splurge on quality hiking boots. You don’t want that. Single-use plastic bottles are a huge threat to Marine Life – Be a part of the solution and travel with a filter water bottle. Break-in your boots: Do not turn up with brand new boots. Once you leave the end-of-the-line village of Askole on day one of the trek, there are no permanent human settlements (apart from a ragtag army base near Concordia). This what to pack section is massive, so settle in. K2 is a fascinating mountain, and the world’s 2nd highest peak. Hot Trip. Towering mountain peaks, cerulean glacier pools, remote wilderness, Balti culture, alpine passes, comrades to adventure with, I mean, what else do you need? As of 2019, no expedition has ever made a successful winter ascent, despite numerous attempts. Most devices also have SOS emergency response settings, in case of hard times. From $2,000 $1,700. You should start this process as soon as your visa is approved. The trek is accessible through the Askole Village of the Baltistan region. If you are new to using trekking poles, now is the time to learn. Recommendation: Arc’teryx Gamma AR softshell pants. Be observant of your surroundings and do not take unnecessary risks. Having just returned from my K2 base camp trek in Pakistan, I thought it would be helpful to share my complete K2 base camp gear list as a point of reference for future trekkers.. Bring a few tubes of lip balm also! Purify your water! Chris is also a founding member of, Airbnb's Most Unique Properties Worldwide. Want to know how you can show your support – find out here! K2 and the Angelus. The Grayl Geopress is the ultimate badass water filter bottle. Unlike trekking in Nepal or Patagonia, you cannot just show up and do the K2 trek on your own. I wasted no time in booking my place. It is a 12-14 day trek on foot from Askole to the base camp of the mighty K2 and back to Askole. For a high price, you can expect several western guides and several Balti guides, a very well stocked mess tent (maybe even with espresso), excellent/plentiful meals, high-end camp chairs, table cloths, air mattresses, white linens (not really)…and maybe a golden toilet? Update June 2020: The Pakistani Government has just introduced a new visa scheme for trekking and mountaineering in the Karakoram. Showing up unprepared is pretty much a one-way ticket to the ultimate suffer-fest. The K2 Base Camp Trek is a non-technical walk through amazing mountain scenery, but it is a demanding trek. Epic Backpacker Tours (a TBB partner company) falls into this category.
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