K2 also known as Mount Godwin-Austen or Chhogori (Balti and Urdu: چھوغوری) is the second highest mountain in the world, after Mount Everest (8,848 meters), at 8,611 meters (28,251 ft) above sea level. It is located on the China–Pakistan border between Baltistan, in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of northern Pakistan, and the Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County of Xinjiang, China. K2 is the highest point of the Karakoram Range and the highest point in both Pakistan and Xinjiang.
K2 is known as the Savage Mountain due to the extreme difficulty of ascent. It has the second-highest fatality rate among the eight thousanders. With around 300 successful summits and 77 fatalities, about one person dies on the mountain for every four who summit. It is more difficult and hazardous to reach the peak of K2 from the Chinese side, so it is usually climbed from the Pakistani side. Unlike Annapurna, the mountain with the highest fatality-to-summit rate (191 summits and 61 fatalities) or the other eight thousanders, K2 has never been climbed during winter. Ascents have almost always been made in July and August (the warmest times of year); K2's more northern location makes it more susceptible to inclement and colder weather.
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The most famous trekking route in the world is K2 base camp, a strenuous and demanding but rewarding as well. Starting from Skardu, the capital of Baltistan, we cross Shigar, a lush green fertile and fruit laden valley and drive as far as Askole, the road head and the last dwelling before entering into the Galen Rowell’s ‘throne room of the mountain gods‘.
Walking on the treacherous but panoramic Baltoro Glacier, we see several famous and beautiful mountains en route. Finally we arrive at Concordia, the junction of Baltoro and Godwin Austin Glaciers with several other tributaries and a place serving as the base for the four giants of Karakorum’s, i.e. Gasherbrum II ( 8035m ), Broad Peak ( 8047m ) and Hidden Peak or Gasherbrum-I ( 8068m ) dominated by the king of the mountains, K-2 (8611m).
The beauty of the place has no match in the world and the view of K2 is gorgeous. The return journey is possible via the same route or crossing the Ghondoghoro La, a technical pass at 5650 meters, offering a good challenge to epic enthusiasts. This route leads to Hushe, another picturesque valley of Baltistan and we drive to Skardu visiting Khaplu, the famous sub division of the area, noted for its old buildings of a castle and a mosque.
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Day 01 Islamabad
Arrive Islamabad. Transfer to guesthouse for overnight.
Day 02 Skardu / Chilas
a) Fly to Skardu PK-451. (Flight is depend on weather).
b) In case of cancellation of flight same day drive by coach to Chilas (480 km) on Karakoram Highway. Overnight at hotel
Day 03 Chilas / Skardu
a) Free day at Skardu. Welcome Tourism Department of Gilgit – Baltistan for (briefing).
b) If you are driving, complete road journey (09–10 hrs) to Skardu (275 km) En-route has good view of Nanga Parbat (8125m) at junction of Indus River and the rapids and fall of Indus River. Overnight at hotel
Day 04 Askole: (3000m)
By jeeps drive to Askole (7-8 hrs). The last village of about 50 houses. The villagers grow their own cereals, vegetable and fruit and own large herds of sheep’s, goats, yaks and dzos. Overnight in tent.
Day 05 Jhola: (3200m)
Start walk from Askole to Korofong 2-3 hrs, after 1-½ hr walk a small suspension bridge on Biafo River and cross wasteland, traverse Biafo Glacier. After lunch break at Korofong continue to Jhola (2-3 hrs). Cross-Dumardo River Bridge and camp at rather dusty campsite surrounded by a few bushes with a side stream. Overnight in tent
Day 06 Paiyu: (3600m)
Start on a relatively easy trail for 3-4 hrs. Crossing Bardumal campsites along a 2-km stretch of sandy River beach. After a lunch break continue towards Paiyu for another 2-3 hrs trail climbs to a Vantage Point providing view of the Snout of Baltoro. And in the far distance a magnificent Panorama of Cathedral Towers and triangle of K2 to the left for the first time. Paiyu is a crowded campsite. Overnight in tent.
Day 07 Paiyu: (3600m)
Traditional rest day for porters at Paiyu. Overnight at tent.
Day 08 Urdukas: (4200m)
3 hours walk mostly along the crest of lateral moraine with stunning views of Paiyu Peak, Chorichi, Uli Biaho, and Trango Towers and so on. Urdukas is a spectacular campsite. However like Paiyu this site is over used and polluted. Overnight at tent.
Day 09 Goro II: (4500m)
The 3-4 hour walk is across difficult side crevasses, however the way is smoother and easy in the center, continue to Goro-I opposite of Yermanendo Glacier falling down from the Mashebrum pass. For the next 2-3 hrs continue east up the Baltoro glacier. Goro-II campsite is pitched on the rough stones and ice in the center of the Baltoro glacier with water from the glacier melt. Overnight at tent.
Day 10 Concordia (4,550 m 14,925 ft)
Camp, Baltoro Glacier. An easy 4 hour plus walk. As we enter the Throne Room of the Mountain Gods and see K2 emerging on our left, we feel that we have arrived at a very special place on the planet. For many, it is lifelong goal and a pilgrimage to come here. A place of superlatives and without any parallels!
Day 11 Concordia (4,550 m 14,925 ft)
Camp, rest, and explore base camps. You can just sit and watch K2 all day long and sip tea; which many have done and have still not been able to fully get K2 in their system! Or you can go on a long whole day tiring trip to K2 Base Camp; or go the other way towards the Gasherbrum peaks.
Day 12 Ali Camp (5,050 m 16,560 ft)
Camp, trek on Vigne Glacier. This is done in 6 plus hours. The first few hours are difficult going as we get on the Vigne Glacier from the Baltoro. Once on the Vigne it is a straight forward uphill walk on a white hard glacier; a big relief from the Baltoro. Ali Camp is surprisingly a warmer camp when compared to Goro and Concordia. It is located on a bird’s nest like small rocky area above the Vigne. The view looking down towards Concordia and K2 is powerful.
Day 13 Hispang (4,833 m 15,850 ft)
Leave Ali Camp 2:00 a.m., cross Gondogoro La (5,700 m.), descend Gondogoro Glacier, arrive Hispang campsite at 2:00 p.m., long tough day. Wow! What a day! This is the apex of the whole trip. The first part of the walk is in darkness over rocks. As we enter the upper Vigne basin, we get on ice and snow. The route has been set for us and we walk while being cautious of crevasses. The ascent begins around 5:00 a.m. Ropes have been fixed for us. We should be on top of the pass before 9:00 a.m. All along we are helped and assisted by the staff. Simply said: from Gondogoro La top, there is no other comparable mountain view on this planet! The descent is harder and steeper than the ascent. Ropes again have been fixed and we basically descend about three pitches with the help of ropes. Once again, we are assisted at
Every step by the staff. Walking into the lush green Hispang Campsite with a running shallow sandy stream is like entering into heaven!
Day 14 Dalsam Pa (4,200 m 13,780 ft)
Camp, trek, Gondogoro Glacier. The most difficult part of this leg is located where we get off the Gondogoro Glacier and is a very small section of the walk. For most of the way it is a gentle and beautiful walk to Dalsam Pa. It takes about 4 hours.
Day 15 Saitcho (3,400m 11,150 ft)
Camp, trek. We slowly come back to civilization as we travel through high villages and summer pastures of the people from Hushe. There are awesome views of K6 and K7 towards our left on this walk. This takes about 4 hours.
Day 16 Saitcho (3,400 m 11,150 ft)
Camp, rest. You can play some volleyball in the heart of the Karakorum’s here!
Day 17 Hushe (2,750 m.)
Camp, trek. We walk for about 3 hours and have fantastic views of Masherbrum on the right. We have successfully circumnavigated this mighty peak! Hushe is a much more affluent village than Askolie.
Day 18 Skardu (2,500 m 8,200 ft)
Hotel, jeep drive. It takes about 8 hours on the jeep to Skardu from Hushe. On the way we cross the Shyok River near Khapulu. The rising sharp pinnacles from the sandy bed of the Shyok is a powerful sight. Lower down, crossing the Indus on Humayun Bridge at its famous and historical confluence with the Shyok is also a thrill. Farewell meeting (de-briefing) at Tourism Department of Gilgit Baltistan. Overnight at hotel.
Islamabad / Chilas
a) Fly to Islamabad PK-452 (12:30 – 13:30). (Subject to weather). Upon arrival transfer to hotel.
b) In case of flight cancellation drive to Chilas. Overnight at hotel.
Day 19 Islamabad
a) Leisure day at Islamabad
b) In case of driving, complete road journey from Chilas to Islamabad. Overnight at hotel.
Day 20 Fly Out
Transfer to airport for your return flight back home.