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. 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. Here you can stand and see three of the world’s highest and most spectacular 8000m peaks including K2, Broad Peak and Gasherbrum. We spend two days at Concordia to allow for acclimatisation and to take the optional return trek to K2 Base Camp. The return to civilisation is to retrace our steps to Askole. This is a trek that requires physical and mental fitness but boy, it is worth it!
Classic K2 Base Camp Trek
Altitude 5050m, Grade T5
- Visit Broad Peak and K2 Base Camps and the Art Gilkey memorial
- Unforgettable scenery along the Baltoro Glacier
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Days 1/3 Depart UK, arriving Islamabad the next day and transfer to the hotel for a few hours’ sleep. After an early breakfast we return to the airport for the flight to Skardu, which usually departs mid-morning. Given good weather this is perhaps the most spectacular commercial flight in the world, with magnificent views of Nanga Parbat the ninth highest mountain in the world. The flight however will not operate in poor weather, and you must be prepared for a wait in Islamabad if the flight is cancelled.
Day 4 We travel by Jeep to Askole, the last village between us and K2, This journey takes about 7 hours and is on very rough narrow tracks often blocked / damaged by landslides.
Day 5 We set off early to avoid the heat of the day. We follow the Braldu river valley through green pastures and after crossing the Biafo River we skirt around the base of the terminal moraines of the Glacier for lunch at Korophon. Beyond here a new path has been cut through the cliffs making the walk to camp straightforward. 7 to 8 hours walking.
Days 6/7 We continue up the Braldo River, sometimes close to the raging water, sometimes taking a higher path used by pack animals. If the weather is clear we get our first glimpse of Broad Peak today. Despite the stories in old guide books and journals, much has been done in recent years to remove rubbish and human waste to leave an much cleaner environment with well managed camps.7 to 8 hours walking.
An important resting day follows when the porters will prepare their food for the trek ahead. We will make a side excursion to gain some altitude from where we can get superb views up the Baltoro Glacier.
Day 8 After one hour we climb up onto the rocky moraines of the Baltoro Glacier. From here on the glacier will be our highway – sometimes icy, sometimes moraine covered, with lots of ups and downs as we cross moraine ridges. The sight of PaiyuPeak and the Trango Towers are truly astounding. We cross the glacier and should get our first distant sight of Broad Peak and the Gasherbrums. Our campsite is located on a grassy slope high above the Baltoro and commands one of the most dramatic mountain views in the world, dominated by ‘Nameless Tower’. 6 to 7 hours walking.
Day 9 We continue gently upwards, passing the Yermanandu glacier which flows down from Masherbrum (7821m), while the Muztagh Tower pierces the sky on the north side. At the head of the glacier Gasherbrum 4 looms large. Tonight we camp on the glacier. 7 to 8 hours walking.
Day 10/11 A shorter day takes us on up to ‘Concordia’, where we spend 2 nights with a day’s rest to aid acclimatisation. Here we are at the junction of the Baltoro, the Goodwin Austen and the Broad Peak glaciers. Within sight to the north and east are four of the world’s 8000m peaks, and a further 37 peaks in excess of 6500m! Where else in the world would a mountain lover dream to be? 5 to 6 hours walking.
Day 12 Today you have the option to (i) take the strenuous trek all the way up to K2 Base Camp (8-10 hrs walking) (ii) visit Broad Peak Base Camp (5-6 hrs round trip) where you get great views back to Concordia and the best views of K2 or (iii) take a rest day to absorb the panoramic views of Concordia.
Day 13 – 17 We retrace our route back down to Skardu.
Days 18-20 A 7-hour jeep drive back to Skardu, followed by a flight back to Islamabad, with a spare day in hand in case of delays which can be used for further exploration of Islamabad.
Days 21/22 Depart Islamabad, arriving home the following day.
K2 BC Trek Documents
It is vitally important that you have adequate travel insurance for your trip with Adventure Peaks. We recognise the complexity and variety of choice in the insurance market and know that many of you either have your own preferred insurer or have annual multi trip cover in place already. If this is the case, please ensure that your insurer is aware of your Adventure Peaks itinerary and can agree to cover the activities being undertaken.
Adventure Peaks do not provide any advice on travel insurance, although it is a requirement of our booking conditions that you have travel insurance which covers the activities which you are likely to be undertaking on your holiday. Cover must include emergency medical, helicopter evacuation, repatriation and rescue expenses.
It is strongly recommended that suitable cancellation insurance is purchased at the time of booking as all deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable.
Suggested insurance companies include:
Expeditions or Treks
- HCC Medical Insurance Services LLC Tel: +1-800 605 2282
- Travelex Insurance Services Tel: +1-800 228 9792
- True Traveller Insurance Tel: 0333 999 3140 for treks including over 4500m
- Austrian Alpine Club (UK) Tel: +44 (0)1929 556870 (up to 6000m)
- Snowcard Tel: +44 (0)1295 660836
- The B.M.C. Tel: +44 (0)161 445 6111 (please note the BMC cannot cover Mt Damavand)
- Dogtag Tel: 0800 036 4824 (UK residents only)
- World Nomads (up to 6000m)
- Insure for Less (Australians only)
- Estimated International flights from London (flight inclusive package)
- Accommodation – 5 nights hotels, 11 nights camping
- Meals – 17 breakfasts, 12 lunches, 11 evening meals
- Park fees as appropriate
- All road transfers in country (unless indicated in ‘exclusions’)
- Domestic flights in Pakistan
- Qualified UK group tour leader (subject to minimum numbers)
- Local guides
- Local trekking staff to assist (cook and porters)
- Trekking permit
- All camping equipment (excl. personal kit)
- Adventure Peaks kitbag. A logoed top will be substituted for all clients residing outside of the UK and returning clients
- 24hr back-up and support from our UK staff
- 15% discount from the RRP on clothing and equipment from Adventure Peaks shop
- Meals if not indicated in ‘inclusions’
- Travel Insurance
- Drinks and personal spending
- Personal equipment
- Tips for local staff
- Visas (please note you will need to apply for your own Pakistani visa and this can take several weeks).
- Museum and monument entry fees
- Karakorum National Park tax (US$100) if still applicable in 2018
- Cost of extra hotel nights if required due to flight delays or bad weather
Previous trip reports from K2 Base Camp
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