Day 1 – 12: Arrival, Skardu and spectacular hike to Broad Peak Base Camp
Day 1: Arrival in Islamabad and meet-up at the Hotel Envoy Continental in Islamabad
Free day for the participants while the expedition leader takes care of the last administrative formalities the authorities.
Days 2-3: Depending on circumstances, either a two days bus ride to Skardu with an overnight stay at Chilas, or a flight to Skardu await us. The bus ride has its own charm and takes us through the varied landscape of Pakistan into the Indus valley, where we embark on the legendary Karakoram Highway. On the second day shortly after Chilas, weather permitting, we can see the Nanga Parbat with the Rhakiot flank mastered by Hermann Buhl. The ride on the second day is slightly shorter. Overnight stay at hotel in Skardu.
Day 4: We spend the day in the small but lively town of Skardu at 2300m. The carriers are organized, the luggage loaded, and you can run some last errands or go on a hike.
Day 5: Day trip by jeep through wild, stunning scenery and canyons to Askole at 3050m. For those who have never been here before, this will probably be the most exciting and thrilling ride of their lives! Overnight stay in tents in the small village of Askole.
Days 6–12: An impressive walk through what we consider the most spectacular mountain valley in the world. We spend each night in a tent. On the first day it is relatively flat with a very dry and barren landscape on the way to Jhula at 3100m. On the second day we reach the last small settlement of Paiju at an altitude of about 3500m. If required, we will lay in a day of rest there, which the carriers need in order to prepare for the Baltoro glacier. On the fourth day we will already be on the legendary Baltoro glacier. We reach our camp at Urdukas next to the glacier at about 4150m. And just across from the Trango towers! An incredibly impressive view!
On the fifth day we pass the beautiful Muztagh Tower on the way to our next camp Goro II at around 4200m. Because of the spectacular views, the walks are very entertaining here. You have to force yourself to keep your eyes on the ground. On the sixth day we reach the famous Concordia confluence at about 4600m where so many scientists, explorers and mountaineering legends have set up camp over the years. All have left their unmistakable traces. We see here two of the most beautiful mountains on this planet, Masherbrum and Gasherbrum IV.
Also Broad Peak, K2 and Hermann Buhl’s fateful mountain – the Chogolisa. All are prominent in this stunning 360 degree panorama. On the last day we reach our base camp on Broad Peak at a pleasant altitude of 4900m on a lateral moraine of the Godwin-Austen Glacier.
Days 13-33: Ascent of Broad Peak
Days 13-33: We will take at least three weeks for the ascent Broad Peak, however we want to stay flexible due to weather and snow conditions as well as the participants‘ needs and requirements. We will set up 2-3 high camps. The first, which we could skip later on, will be situated on a small plateau following the first firn flank at 5700m which will be secured with fixed ropes. The next camp will be at ca. 6300m and the last one at 7100m.
The summit tour first takes us to the 7800m high saddle between the northern peak and the pre-summit, then via the wide ridge with a few easy climbs (second level of difficulty – here we will use a fixed rope) to the pre-summit. From here we easily (walking terrain) continue over a wide, gently sloping ridge that is by far not as long as often described, towards the main summit. This ridge is often blown off, facilitating easy advancement. If conditions are good, and participants are in a healthy and normal state, we can accomplish this in about half an hour there and 20 minutes back.
Day 34: Ascent to K2 base camp
Day 34: The K2 aspirants undertake a comfortable 3 hour hike over the Godwin Austen glacier to our K2 base camp at 5100m. The others make their way back to Skardu via the shorter route over the Gondogoro pass or stop at a smaller base camp with reduced service (without a guide?) for another summit attempt, in case the first one was not successful. The way back to Islamabad is organized for two groups (K2 and Broad Peak only), an individually planned return is available at extra cost. The way back to Skardu usually takes around 4 days. Arrival to Islamabad would then be on the 39th day, the flight home on the 40th day, unless you decide to undertake a second summit attempt. We want all participants to have as many opportunities as possible for their summit success. For more flexibility, we recommend to book a flexible flight fare for your flight back to Europe.
Days 35-55: Ascent of the summit of K2
Days 35-55: Once again three weeks. First, we rest and recharge our batteries, organize material and then wait for suitable weather for a direct ascent attempt via the Abbruzzi spur with 4 high camps. We will reach camp 1 at 6000m with relatively low difficult via a 40 degree steep Firn flank. From there it continues through snow gullies and mixed terrain to the first key point, the approximately 25m high House Chimney which will be secured with fixed ropes. Shortly thereafter we reach camp 2 at 6600m. The way to camp 3 is strongly dependent on the conditions. It’s a mix of snow slopes, rocky passages and mixed terrain with individual steep stretches until our south spur coincides with the east ridge (Black Pyramid). From here we follow the easier eastern ridge to camp 3 at 7350m. The route from Camp 3 to Camp 4 at about 7900m on the shoulder is a technically easy snow ridge.
In Camp 4, we see two things very prominently: the intoxicating panorama on one side and the dangerous serac with the infamous “Bottleneck” on the other side. This is the most dangerous part of the route. The bottleneck will be the key passage for the summit day and as such it will be secured accordingly with fixed ropes. At the latest from here on in, we will use oxygen which can help us master this dangerous passage faster and safer in both the ascent and the descent. Approximately 100m after the bottleneck the terrain becomes a bit more subdued, and a few more meters of a simple snow slope lead us to the summit.
Weather permitting, we may have time for a second summit attempt. Again, we recommend to book a flexible return flight, so that we can extend the expedition for a few days if necessary or travel home earlier if we successfully complete the expedition ahead of schedule.
Days 56-63: Disassembly, return to Islamabad, flight home
Days 56–60: Dismantling the base camp and return to Skardu via the Gondogoro pass. Overnight stay in tents and in the hotel in Skardu.
Days 61-62: Return journey to Islamabad. If possible by flight, otherwise again the two-day bus ride. We will be so exhausted that we will simply sleep through the ride. Overnight stay at a hotel in Islamabad
Day 63: Islamabad or return flight