Guided trekking to K2 Base Camp

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of January 23-29, 1997
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Guided trekking to K2 Base Camp
Question: Can you recommend an expedition company which leads a trip to the K2 base camp in Pakistan? Is this a more difficult trek than the Everest base camp? Many thanks.

Brisbane, Australia
[email protected]

Pakistan's K2
Adventure Adviser: The most likely candidate for a trek to K2's base camp is Mountain Travel Sobek. Their 27-day trip through Pakistan's Karakoran Mountains skirts the Baltoroa Glacier, Broad Peak, K2, Gasherbrum IV, Mitre Peak, and Gondogoro Glacier. Compared to the schlep to Everest Base Camp, which passes through scores of Sherpa villages, the K2 trek traverses much tougher, more remote glacial terrain, with numerous challenging river crossings--although overall you'd be hiking and sleeping at slightly lower elevations compared to the Everest region.

Starting near Skardu, you'd climb steadily to Paiju Camp at the foot of Baltoro and then higher still to Concordia for a three-day stay there, during which time you'd hike to K2 Base Camp at 16,500 feet. The trip out is by way of the Gondogoro La pass at 18,368 feet (the highest point on the trip) and then out of the ice and into the green fields of the Hushe Valley. Sixteen nights are spent in alpine camps, and to be eligible you need to have some high-altitude trekking experience under your belt. They run two trips each summer (July and August), with land costs starting at $4,250; information: 800-227-2384.

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