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Trekking to K2 base camp in Pakistan

K2 base camp

One of the greatest hikes on earth is the K2 base camp trek in Pakistan. Trekkers hike a rocky trail that winds up at the mighty Baltoro Glacier, passing through a colossal amphitheater of sky-scraping summits. Wildest landscapists on the Earth consider it as their beloved home.

It includes 7 of the 19 highest mountains on the planet that makes K2 the second highest mountain peak in the world. This spectacular Karakorum’s peak in Pakistan is called K2 which is 8,611m (28,251ft). A tour to its base camp at 5,150m (16,896ft) is always most of the most exciting walks in the World. It begins in the remote village of Askole in Shigar Valley and the way along the grand Braldu valley before mounting the world’s 5th longest non-polar Baltoro Glacier to Concordia.

Taking the position 12km from K2, Concordia is the most exceptional place on earth where it is possible to see four (Broad Peak, Gasherbrum I and Gasherbrum II) 8,000m peaks from one place.

Starting from village Askole, it takes 14 days to reach K2 camp trek. K2 base camp has no iconic signs rather an unassertive rock pile marks the site. It depends on the season to find it, a number of tourers and hikers might find it at base camp. At the foot of over two vertical miles of ice and rock, K2 peak is quite visible that is an actual reward to the hikers who hike for over a week of toil.

Trekkers sometimes return to Askole back down to Braldu valley or some head towards the high pass of Gondogoro La but it depends on the route. However, Gondogoro La is the challenge for trekkers this is why trekkers should be confident and equipped and with crampons and ice axes.

They should be willing to rise at the stroke of midnight to take on the high pass. However, whichever route is opted by the trekkers, Karakoram is the world’s second highest mountain that is only hiked by the people with great stamina.

These 14 days of trekking require no special equipment but climbers should be healthy enough and fit and can tackle at least one high altitude to climb. If the climber has already faced a high altitude before, it means trekker can easily climb in lower temperatures. But, passing Gondogoro La pass is a little tricky that requires an ice axe and some special rope work.

Moreover, if you are thinking of some lavish resorts here then you should not be because the only accommodation there is camping. Each tent can have 2 persons. Camps are tied either on a rock, ice, or both, the thick warm mattress is always mandatory to stay here. No toilets facilitations are ever available there so do your business in the wild. Burning or digging is a good idea to vanish out the toilet papers.

July and August are the best months for trekking to K2 base camp. Snow remains on passes and north-facing slopes. The weather on the K2 peak is changeable that includes rain, wind, snow, or plunging temperature.

The trekker should have a licensed guide with them to hike such a peak and must obtain a No Objection Certificate from the tourism office in Skardu. As trek starts from Askole that is 6 hours drive from Skardu through 4WD.

Above all, a trekker should keep in mind that he\she must make this adventure successful as many climbers return back from the middle of the journey. Climbers should be healthy with strong stamina and power, he\she must have the power to walk more.

If you have made your mind to take the best and the toughest adventure of your life and trek to K2 base camp then these are the main requirements:

CAMPING / TREKKING EQUIPMENT

  • 1 x backpack (50l+)
  • 1 x sleeping bag
  • 1 x camping mat
  • 1 x camping pillow
  • 1 x trekking poles
  • 1 x gaiters
  • 1 x waterproof backpack cover
  • 1 x Nalgene water bottle
  • Waterproof liners / dry sacks
  • Whistle
  • Spare bootlaces
  • Compass & map

 CLOTHING

  • 1 x hiking boots (worn frequently prior to departure)
  • 1 x sock shoes (for river crossings and around camp)
  • 4-5 x breathable underwear
  • 4-5 x thick trekking socks
  • 2 x liner socks (optional)
  • 1 x thermal underwear
  • 2 x hiking trousers / zip-offs
  • 1 x soft shell trousers
  • 1 x waterproof trousers
  • 2-3 x base layers
  • 2 x long-sleeve mid-layers
  • 1 x long-sleeve outer layer
  • 1 x light down jacket
  • 1 x waterproof jacket
  • 1 x cap or sunhat
  • 1 x neck buff
  • 1 x fleece neck col
  • 1 x beanie or warm hat
  • 1 x sunglasses
  • 1 x pair of warm gloves (ideally waterproof / mountaineering)
  • Sleepwear (Woollen base layers)

 TOILETRIES AND MEDICATION

  • Sunscreen (SPF 40+)
  • Lip balm (SPF 30+)
  • Insect repellent
  • Soap
  • Tissues
  • Lightweight travel towel
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Roll-on deodorant
  • Toilet roll / tissue
  • Antibacterial wipes
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Imodium (or similar diarrhoea medication)
  • Ibuprofen
  • Paracetamol
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Plasters / Band-Aid
  • Compeed (blister treatment)
  • Electrolyte tablets
  • Diamox
  • Water purification tablets (50 litres +)
  • Any additional prescription drugs you may be taking

 ELECTRONICS

  • Smartphone and charger
  • Powerbank
  • USB and power cables
  • DSLR camera with spare batteries (optional)
  • GoPro Hero7 and spare batteries
  • Lightweight mini-tripod
  • Head torch
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