Pakistan: K2 Basecamp
Join us on a journey into one of the most spectacular landscapes in the world and one of the most scenic hikes of your lifetime. This challenging trek will take you into the very heart of the impressive Karakoram Range in Pakistan. There you will be greeted with some of the world’s highest peaks blanketed in ice and snow. Along the way, you will encounter breath-taking views of iconic peaks like the Laila Peak, Broad Peak, G6, and Masherbrum among others. Discover (and sleep on) some of the longest glaciers south of the Arctic Circle and admire their beauty up close. Finally, witness the beauty of K2, or ‘Savage Mountain’, and all her glory at the K2 Base Camp. This multi-week expedition poses quite a physical challenge and does include brief use of ice axes and fixed ropes but we’ve designed your route with safety and success in mind. We use the more gradual approach to the Gonodgoro Pass (the true triumph of your time in the Karakoram) and allow for plenty of acclimatization days.
- This trek is a far cry from the Everest Base Camp trek- in a good way! We will often hike in the absence of proper trails, relying on our expert guiding staff to keep us on track
- See the majestic, symetric peak of K2 on the entire hike
- One of the only places in the world where you can see four 8,000m mountains from one vantage point.
- Activity Level
- Trip Type
Welcome to Islamabad, The lush and green capital of Pakistan. After arriving at the Islamabad International Airport, you will be greeted by an Embark representative and transported to the hotel. A welcome briefing and reception will be held followed by a tour of King Shah Faisal Mosque Damanekoh and other places in Islamabad.
Today we already get a test of our patience and flexibility! There are two scenarios for the day: If the weather permits, we will board a scheduled 1-hour flight to Skardu. Upon arrival, a pre-arranged transport will take us to our hotel accommodations. If the flight is cancelled, we will travel to Chilas via land transport. Chilas is about a 13-14 hour drive along the famed Karakoram Highway through some of the most rugged terrain in the world: today's drive will set the bar of adventure for the rest of our trek.
Today is a "choose your own adventure" based on how things went yesterday. If we arrived in Skardu via plane, you are free to explore on your own, rest and prepare for the hike. Alternatively, if we are traveling via the highway, we will depart for Skardu. Bring a book- today's journey will take another 10-11 hours but the fact that this amazing highway was even built will leave you in awe! Along the way, we will glimpse the majestic Nanga Parbat one of the world’s tallest peaks.
This is the first day—or second, depending on how we arrived—in Skardu. This scenic city is surrounded the towering peaks that envelope the valley and its many scenic lakes. Use this time to continue exploring the area- Skardu boasts a bustling bazaar- or to rest and prepare for the trip the next day.
Right after breakfast, we make a hasty departure for Jhula camping grounds. The trip is about 7-8 hours via a jeep ride. We'll drive over approximately 60 mi. of rocky terrain and again our flexibility will be tested. There may be circumstances like landslides that can cause delays. Depending on the road conditions, we may need to walk or set up camp.
On this day, we depart for Paiju Camp. Today we navigate moderate terrain that follows primarily along the Braldu River with some side-stream crossings along the way. Today has the potential to be incredibly hot and dusty so you'll want to hydrate and apply that sunscreen! As we advance the scenery will get better and better as you start to catch views of Masherbrum on our right as well as the spires of Trango and Cathedral ranges. We will also catch the first glimpses of the Baltoro Glacier. Our camp can be found on the Braldu River and is the final stopover before the Baltoro Glacier and the K2 Base Camp. Upon arrival, we can set up tents amongst the trees for some long-awaited shade.
Today is a free day in Paiju Camp. spend the day exploring the nearby landscape as we rest and allow tie to acclimate our bodies to the increase in elevation. The camp is clean and the views are amazing. Watch as the sunset cast a magical glow on the surrounding mountainside. We also get to experience traditional dancing and music by our local guides and porters.
From Paiju, we head on over to Urdukas after breakfast. The trail generally sticks to the lateral crest of the moraine of Baltoro Glacier. Along the way, you get to see the beauty of Paiyu Peak, The Trango Towers, Lobsang Spires, Grand Cathedral, Uli Biafo and many other surrounding peaks. You can also catch a spectacular view of Uli Biaho and Chorichi. We cross the glacier to the southern side and continue along an ablation valley to our campsite. Tonight's campsite is a truly spectacular one, indeed it is a favorite of the whole trek
In the morning, we head on over to Goro II camp for a day of moderately difficult hiking up and down glacier terrain. The first hour or so can be a little tricky as we go over the crevasse. But the trail gradually becomes smooth and easy as our travel is primarily atop bare glacier. After 2-3 hours of walking, we will reach Goro I camp, adjacent to Yermanendo Glacier. Next, we continue heading east into the Baltoro Glacier towards Goro II. This leg is about 3-4 hours of walking and you will have the pleasure of views of Broad Peak, Gasherbrum IV as well as the Mashabrum and Trango ranges. We arrive at camp wonderfully tired after a full day of hiking.
We leave behind Goro II for our next stop: Concordia; sometimes known as the "Throne Room of the Mountain Gods". This relatively pleasant trek has some of the best views by far. Concordia is a confluence of the Godwin- Austen Glacier and the Baltoro Glacier. Enjoy being surrounded by the majestic and picturesque views of the Muztagh Tower, Broad Peak, Mitre Peak, and of course K2. Temperatures up here can drop well below freezing and snow is possible here any time of year. Concordia is the last stop over before reaching K2 Base Camp.
After a day of trekking over relatively easy terrain we finally reach K2 Basecamp! You get to explore the base- camp and see the towering peaks of the majestic K2. We will set up camp here and spend two nights at the doorstep of the world’s 9th tallest peak. Make sure to take lots of pictures!
Spend the day taking in the sights and enjoying camp, perhaps even meeting some climbers preparing for their big endeavor. The atmosphere at camp can be quite subdued, owing to the intense nature of the undertaking these climbers are preparing for. Taking in the intensity is quite an honor (and a relief for those of us who are just fine with watching from below).
After packing up and breakfast, we head back to Concordia. From there we head onwards towards Ali Camp. This would take 5-6 hours. There, we pitch our tents and spend the night. Along the way, you get to see the breathtaking Chogolisa among others.
This will be the earliest wake-up call during the whole trek at around midnight. We set off from Ali Camp and head towards Gondogoro La. This will be a tricky one as you navigate through the lateral moraine. Next we have a steep climb using fixed ropes. But all the effort is worth it as the view from the top is beyond words. After admiring the view we begin our descent of a more formidable challenge (again using fixed ropes) and continuing towards Khuspang. All told, the hike today will likely take 12+ hours.
Continuing our descent, we leave behind Khuspang and head down to Shaicho. We will cross the Gondogoro Glacier which will take 2 hours more or less. On the other side is Dalzangpa the base camp for Lela Peak. After a short lunch break, we continue descending towards Shaicho for about 3 hours or so. This is where we spend the night.
In this leg of the trek, the landscape gradually changes from the barren and ice-covered glaciers into green and lush pastures of Hushe Valley. The trek lasts for about 4 hours filled with majestic views of the greenery amidst the backdrop of icy peaks. After reaching Hushe, we settle in for a short lunch break before driving towards Skardu.
Finally, we are back to civilization! On this day we leave on a flight for Islamabad if the weather permits. In case of flight cancellation, we travel via land and drive towards the capital.
Additional day #1 to allow for weather issues.
Additional day #2 to allow for weather issues.
Departure for airport for international flight home.
Dates & Pricing
Jun 17Jul 6$3595 (based on 8) USD
Above Costs Include:
- All airport transfers to and from hotels for both domestic and international flights
- Domestic flight from Islamabad to Skardu and back
- Domestic transport by private vehicle from Is- lamabad to Skardu if flight is cancelled
- Skardu to Jhula and Hushe to Skardu transport via private vehicle
- All meals and accommodations while on the climb
- Hotel accommodation, meals, equipment, transportation, and daily wages of guide, porter, and cooks.
- Karakoram National Park Fee (US $50)
- All required government permits, fees, and taxes
Cost Does Not Include:
- International airfare and airport taxes
- Personal travel and medical insurances
- Visa fee
- Sleeping bags, personal clothing, and climbing gear
- Tips for Guides, Drivers, Cook staff
- Satellite phone calls
- Bottled beverages
- Hotel fees that might per incurred due to road blockages
- Additional expenses due to sickness or any per- sonal reason, road blockage, accidents, and other oc- currences beyond our control