Without one, you cannot start the K2 Base Camp Trek. By now, you should be beyond stoked to add this epic trek to your bucket list. The wait times were long; the process complicated, and for certain nationalities, it was pretty expensive. Baltoro glacier (63 km). You can also hike in the fleece without getting totally overheated. Recommendation: Theram-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm. Recommendation: Arc’teryx Gamma AR softshell pants. Water Filter Bottle: Water sources found along the trail are sketchy and can be polluted by a variety of heavy minerals, animal manure, and even human waste (the sad truth). Book with us now! Gaiters: I almost always hike with gaiters now, as they help to keep stones, mud, and water out of my hiking boots. Bring moleskin for blisters, antibiotics for stomach issues, and Diamox for altitude sickness (optional). The NOC is a necessary permit that allows you to enter the restricted area within the Central Karakoram National Park. From $2,100 $1,700. Be Patient: Things do not always go as planned in Pakistan and sometimes delays can occur. 4-5 pairs are all you need. During the trek to K2 and back trekking groups stop off at a series of seasonal camps, set apart at intervals with reasonable elevation gains. Congratulations to the K2 Base Camp Trekkers. Return to Concordia on this day is compulsory. With the right physical fitness and a just mindset, anyone can do this trek. Hopefully, this K2 Base Camp trek guide will help you prepare to have an awesome adventure of your own! It gives you a true wilderness experience. I found that I rarely hiked with base layer bottoms on, as they get too hot too quickly. 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.. From the top (if the weather is clear) the views are second to none. You only need the helmet for the few hours you are descending the La, but it could certainly save your life if you are unlucky enough to be struck by a large stone. If you already have a quality sleeping pad, better to bring it as it will most definitely be more comfortable than the ones provided to you. We’re leading EPIC tours to some of the last adventure frontiers. Be sure to contact EBT for availability and any questions that remain unanswered after reading this guide. You don’t need down pants, but choose something with a bit of insulation. 23 Days / 22 Nights (1 Review) St. Moritz Ski Packages. 7. The weather is stable, skies are more likely to be clear, and there is less snow at the higher elevations. 5. After descending the pass, the walk mostly continues over glaciers (including Gondogoro glacier) and lateral moraine. A sleeping bag is one of those things. Bring a Grayl Geopress – These bottles are amazing. Waterproof gloves are best. The top of the pass is a broad area offering breathtaking views of 4 eight thousand meter peaks. For particular frigid nights hanging out at camp, having the ability to chuck on another layer for your legs is nice. Then there is the Pakistani visa to apply for, which actually needs to happen before the NOC is issued. 4. 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. Go with a good tour operator: The most crucial decision you will make regarding the K2 trek revolves around which company you go with. I began to search for climbing and trekking groups in Pakistan and found a K2 Base Camp Trek event. The GRAYL GEOPRESS water bottle is the ONLY all-in-one filter water bottle setup you’ll need. 5 Days / 4 Nights . All foreigners must have a licensed guide with them. Foreigners still have to obtain a Letter of Invitation to apply for a visa. K2 is the second highest mountain, and is thought by many to be the best base camp trek in the world. Take solid travel insurance that will actually help you in a worst-case scenario situation. Traveling without insurance is risky and you should consider getting insurance before you go. Ah, the luxuries of modern times. By the end of the trek, they will be rank though, be sure. Join Epic Backpacker Tours in 2021 and prepare for best the adventure of your life. I suggest that you go with a plan that will cover you for damage to your personal effects and offers compensation for emergency helicopter rescues (just in case). 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? By road, it takes a hellish 30 hours to reach Skardu as the road (from the KKH to Skardu) is appalling. There are two options on return to Concordia after trek to K2 base camp. They have so many practical applications from serving as a dust mask to keeping the sun off of your neck. Skardu to Askole by jeep takes between 7-9 hours with a lunch stop. Thanks for your support. You do NOT want to roll your ankle out here. Far from it. Chris is also a founding member of, Airbnb's Most Unique Properties Worldwide. Check out my full Arc’teryx Beta AR review. EUR Short on time but want an incredible experience? Unlike the trek to Everest Base Camp, arriving at the K2 base is not the end-all highlight of the trip. Whichever style you prefer, DO bring a hat. I found that there are three tiers of quality when it comes to this trek: budget operators, mid-level operators, and luxury operators. Airport transfers on first and last day. The expedition was led by Ardito Desio, and the two climbers who reached the summit were Lino Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni. Also, there is little to no ice on the Gondogoro La descent, which removes the need to use crampons. Also, bring a warm hat/beanie for the cold temperatures, Recommendation: Patagonia Fitz Roy Trucker. Take your time when walking on sketchy stretches of the glacier. Satellite Messenger Device: Having two-way texting capabilities from anywhere in the world is badass. Once you have your visa in hand, all you need to do is send a copy of your passport and visa approval notice to your tour operator and they will start the process of applying for the NOC. Also on the expedition were Walter Bonatti and Pakistani Hunza porter Amir Mehdi, who both proved vital to the expedition’s success in that they carried oxygen tanks to 8,100 meters (26,600 ft) for Lacedelli and Compagnoni. All of this sounds complicated, but in reality, it is a fairly straight forward process. The 1954 Italian Karakoram expedition finally succeeded in ascending to the summit of K2 via the Abruzzi Spur on 31 July 1954. Nothing is worse than trying to trek with an upset belly obtained from drinking dirty water. I wasted no time in booking my place. You should start this process as soon as your visa is approved. Check out my full review of the best down jackets. Dry Bags: Be 100% sure that your most important items stay dry when they arrive at camp. Licensed Mountain Guide (government requirement) 2. Trek leader Dan Mazur has been to K2 basecamp 8 times and is a K2 summiter, placing … are beyond your control. It is a strenuous but an action-packed and demanding circular trek (Gondogoro La Map). © 2020, The Broke Backpacker. 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. Skardu is the place where your guides and cooks will organize themselves before the trek. Walk to Concordia (4,500 m). This what to pack section is massive, so settle in. Our Garmin-In-Reach Mini review will tell you more about it. 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). Most devices also have SOS emergency response settings, in case of hard times. Home » Asia » Pakistan » K2 Base Camp Trek Guide: Everything You Need To Know. 0. The days are longer and more remote than a similar trek in the Himalayas of Nepal. 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. K2 Base Camp Trek. Get ready for the next big adventure! Temperatures can plummet well below freezing at any time of the year, especially around Concordia, Goro 2, and Ali Camp. 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. K2 Base Camp trek is a beautiful trek located in the Karakoram range of Pakistan. You will not be allowed to enter the Central Karakoram National Park (where K2 and the other 8,000 meter peaks in the area are located) without a guide. This majestic place is called Concordia, aka the “Throne Room of the Gods“. Time to lace up your alpine boots amigos. 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. Bring along your Kindle or a good book so that you can have something to do during rest days and evening time. He is an advocate for off-beat responsible travel and the preservation of the world's wild places and spaces. Gondogoro La is a high altitude mountain pass that proved to be the highlight of the trip for me. Certain factors like weather, rockfall, acts of God, etc. Down jackets provide excellent insulation for those chilly nights at camp and early morning starts on the trail. It is from here that they buy the food, organize the porters and jeeps, finalize the NOC permits, and purchase any last-minute good needed for the trek. This is truer if you are crossing later in the day and the warm sun is melting ice high above on the mountain. 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. The best trek in the world: K2 Base Camp Trek >> 21 day itinerary >> All Inclusive >> Gondogoro La Crossing >> Trekking in Pakistan >> Karakoram Highlights It is also possible to hike in alpine boots (summer mountain boots) for the entire duration of the trek. Bring your favorite assortment of snacks from home and chow down during trail breaks. This porter service allowance is also a game-changer regarding what you can bring. Check out our full Black Diamond Alpine FLZ review. 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. 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 … Want to support the site? They always have amazing insights into what life is like in Baltistan and on the Baltoro Glacier. Stay in touch with your family, friends, partner, or whoever else you want from the comfort of your tent. From $600 $400. Recommendation: Northface Expedition Duffle. We work hard to put out the best backpacker resources on the web, for free! If you don’t want to starve whilst en route to Concordia and K2 do NOT choose a cheap tour operator unless your budget absolutely demands it. Get to know the porters and guides: Part of the experience of the K2 trek is getting exposure to Balti culture. Want to know how you can show your support – find out here! Warm/Multisport Trekking Pants – Lightweight trekking pants won’t keep your legs warm in freezing temperatures or wind the wind rips across the valley floor. Fleece: The fleece layer is likely to be your most commonly used torso layer. Whether you need to purify the water from a hostel sink in Kathmandu or a stream trickle in the Andes, the Geopress has got you covered. Some companies won’t cover you if an accident occurs over a certain altitude. What a fantastic trek! That said, alpine boots will be hotter and heavier on your feet than standard trekking boots, especially down at the lower elevations. Luxury operators are always foreign companies who understand very well how to run an execute a very comfortable and well-planned trek. Nuts, jerky, energy gels, Cliff bars, dark chocolate, superfood powder, bliss balls… these are all solid snack foods. A nice pair of trekking socks will mean the difference between making yourself susceptible to blisters or not. 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. K2 is the world’s second highest mountain soaring sky high at 28,251 feet in Pakistan’s Northern most region; Gilgit-Baltistan. Confirm the group has a satellite phone, radio, and other communication devices. That’s the obvious bit though. Trekking in mountain environments is inherently dangerous. This adventure is most commonly known as “K2 Base Camp Trek” as this walk on Trekking to K2 Base Camp leads us to the base camp of K2. ASCENT 350 meters, DESCENT 650 meters. 0. Hard Shell/Rain Jacket: When the going gets wet, windy, snowy or all three, you need a way to lock in your warmth and keep yourself dry. Bring snacks: The availability of quality snack food in Skardu is very limited. The one exception might be the Gondogoro La crossing depending on weather conditions. 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. Single-use plastic bottles are a huge threat to Marine Life – Be a part of the solution and travel with a filter water bottle. Please, don’t be “that person” who shows up with a summer sleeping bag, no down jacket, and city trainers. They are well worth it in my opinion as I used mine nearly every day en route to K2. For the snowy sections of trail around Concordia, Ali Camp, and Gondogoro La, having gaiters was a godsend. 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. 3. Before, travelers had to submit their passport and documents directly to the Pakistani consulate in their home country. Plus, you can stuff a dry bag with your down jacket and other fluffy clothing to make a damn good improvised pillow. K2 base camp trek is the most famous trekking destination around the world. So what are the real differences? All hail the mighty Grayl Geopress. Recommendation: Sea to Summit Lightweight Dry Bag. 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. As far as I know -no other operators are running K2 BC trips this year. Use suncream and sun protection: Spend money on quality sunscreen, a good hat, and a nice top base layer. Headlamp: A staple on any trek. Expedition Duffle Bag: These bags are great for keeping the majority of your “camp” stuff organized. 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. 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. For the sake of transparency, some of the links in our content are affiliate links. Mid-Level Operators: Mid-level operators are most likely to cater to the largest demographic of the trekking community. It also offers 90 … Showing up unprepared is pretty much a one-way ticket to the ultimate suffer-fest. Below is a list of helpful tips to maximize your chance for an awesome few weeks in the mountains…. Why? If you are going to splurge on something, splurge on quality hiking boots. If you have never worn crampons in your life before, I recommend that you bring Microspikes instead of full-on crampons. The K2 Base Camp Trek is a non-technical walk through amazing mountain scenery, but it is a demanding trek. Option 2: The much more exciting and interesting option is to head up the valley to Ali Camp (4800 m), where you will prepare to cross the Gondogoro La (5600 m), hiking through the night to do so. The K2 Base Camp Trek is an epic and challenging trek to the base camp of the second highest mountain in the world! They leak, get clammy inside, and will result in your down jacket and other layers below getting wet. You can easily access the itinerary for the trek to K2 base camp. It is a separate administration unit since 1970 but it is administered directly by Islamabad under the UN resolution.
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