UK eGuide Kindle
Car hire

K2 Base Camp, Pakistan

Everest may be the highest peak in the world, but K2 is the more challenging mountain to climb. K2 is located within Pakistan, a daunting 8611m peak planted in an staggeringly majestic landscape. To get there, you can traverse by way of Baltoro Glacier, which will afford you the most spectacular scenery in the Himalayas.

K2 Base Camp, Pakistan

To reach K2 Base Camp, you will pass several Islamic villages, cross moraines, and greet several mountain spires: Paiyu, Cathedral Towers, Great Trango Tower, Mitre Peak, Masherbrum, Mustagh Tower, then the massive Broad Peak, Gasherbrum One and Two, until you finally arrive at K2.

Along the way, you will encounter the Balti people, who make this trek feasible. After reaching K2, you may come down by way of Gondogoro La (5500m), a route that was recently created in the mid 1990s.

Of course, you will need to check the political situation carefully before embarking on this hike. To get to K2 Base Camp, you will first fly to Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. It may be worthwhile to venture beyond Islamabad to Sudder or Raja Bazaars in Rawalpindi to get a sense of the real Pakistan.

Most people who trek to K2 Base Camp will make their arrangements with an outfitter. Technically, it is possible to be an independent traveller and do everything on your own, but obtaining a trek permit and finding guides may be tough and not worth the trouble.

You can take a flight from Islamabad to Baltistan, with outstanding views of Nanga Parbat and K2 from the rightside windows. Alternatively, gird yourself for a laborious 24 hour bus ride next to the Indus River.

From there you will take a jeep ride to Askole along a precipitous cliff road. After Askole, you will ascend the Braldu River, ride in a cable car over a raging river, and then reach the Baltoro Glacier. From Paiyu, the challenge of the hike changes from broiling heat to gruelling elevation gain.

Most people choose to tackle the route to K2 Base Camp during the months of July and August. Be careful of the draining, hot weather at the lower portion of the hike, while the upper portions will challenge you with the sheer ruggedness of the trail.


back to top