Here we are offering something really special: a guided expedition to Broad Peak, so that we can tackle the legendary K2, optimally acclimatized, on an already equipped route with prepared high camps, with the help of oxygen and Nepalese Sherpas. And if that feels like too much, just leave it at the Broad Peak.
The Furtenbach Adventures K2 and Broad Peak expeditions is truly a unique opportunity. A treat for connoisseurs and experts alike. From a purely statistical point of view, the Broad Peak is one of the objectively safest eight-thousanders which also has a very high success rate. The route is direct, relatively short and the few difficult passages are secured with fixed ropes. Because of this, and because of its lower altitude, the Broad Peak is the first eight-thousander for many high-altitude mountaineers. The Karakoram is often described as climatically harsher and colder than the Himalayan mountains. This, however, arises from a rather subjective sensation as opposed to scientifically validated values. First you hike for one week via the Baltoro glacier over boulders, ice and moraines to the mountain. Not through forests and meadows as is often the case in the Himalayas. It’s all barren and thus acts inhospitable. But in reality it is not colder. There are even days when you can sit on the Broad Peak summit in ski touring pants and a light windbreaker.
Following the Broad Peak, some will return home and others will undertake a short hike to the almost visible K2 base camp. Work is already underway on the mountain and while the group recovers and waits for suitable weather, the high camp and the route are being prepared. Thanks to our acclimatization on the adjacent Broad Peak, we have spared ourselves multiple ascents and descents on the objectively more dangerous and technically more challenging K2. As soon as the weather is good, we will embark on a direct summit attempt via the beautiful normal route on the south east ridge (Abbruzzi spur). Sherpas and porters will accompany us and each participant will have oxygen available. If we succeed, it amounts to the crowning glory of every mountaineer’s life!
As far as the Pakistani government continues to permit it, we will fly in our experienced Sherpas from Nepal to support our Pakistani high altitude porters and secure the route.
This is an additional safety factor.
- THE peak of all mountains
- Acclimatization on Broad Peak
- Personal Sherpa and O2 for summit day on K2
- UIAGM guide
- High camp equipment
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.
Day 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.
Day 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.
Day 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
- All organisation for the double expedition
- State certified (UIAGM) German / English speaking mountain guide during the whole expedition
- 2 nights in an upscale hotel in a very safe quarter of Islamabad in a double room (surcharge for a single room)
- All transfers including transport to/from Skardu by plane or private shuttle (depending on weather) and to/from Askole in all-terrain vehicles
- Full board for the duration of the whole trip (half board in Islamabad)
- Drinks during joint meals (alcoholic beverages excluded)
- Double rooms on stop-overs during our trip to the mountain
- Porters to the base camp and back (40kg per baggage piece per member)
- 1 tent per participant at the base camp
- 1 tent per two participants during the approach and for the high camp
- A mat for the approach and the base camp
- High camp equipment (tents, cooker, gas, dishes, food)
- All the fixing material for the route
- Use of the fixed ropes along the route
- Transport of waste back from the base camp
- High altitude porters and climbing Sherpa (1:2 Sherpa client ratio on Broad Peak, 1:1 Sherpa client ratio on K2)
- Oxygen package with a rental mask & regulator and 2 bottles per members for K2
- Insurance and equipment for all staff
- Emergency oxygen
- Pharmaceutical travel kit, high altitude emergency medicine, pulsoxymeter
- Kitchen crew
- A comfortable, heated common tent, shower tent, power generator 2 hours per day etc. at the base camp
- Satellite communication (WIFI, laptop, solar battery charger)
- Radio transmitter for each member
- All fees & permits
- Government deposit for helicopter rescue (actual costs must be paid by members or their insurance / Global Rescue membership)
- Environmental fee
- weather reports
- Security and warranty of an Austrian tour operator
- International flight to Islamabad (we’ll gladly make you an offer – at the moment a flight from Europe is approx. € 750)
- Excess baggage on the flight to/from Skardu in case a flight is possible
- Personal insurance
- Visa for Pakistan (must be obtained by members at the Pakistani Embassy in their home country in time)
- Personal medication
- Alcoholic beverages
- Summit bonus for personal summit sherpas
- Personal mountain and climbing equipment
- Sleeping bags for the base camp and high camp
- Fees for satellite phones, emails
Having previously climbed Everest with Furtenbach, it was no question for me that they would be my provider of choice for climbing Broad Peak & K2. There are important things that set them apart, such as up-to-date and personalised advice during the preparation, great flexibility when it comes to travel logistics or catering for special (dietary) needs, high-quality equipment for comfort in basecamp and safety on the mountain, and a fantastic team of Sherpas supporting the expedition. You can tell that Lukas Furtenbach and his team are very dedicated to making every expedition a success, and that they show great attention to detail. Knowing of their professionalism and high standards also helped friends and family back home worry not too much whilst I was out on the expedition :) All in all, I can highly recommend Furtenbach
I've gone on two Broad Peak/K2 expeditions with Furtenbach now, first in 2018 and again in 2019. The Furtenbach team is incredibly professional -- if you want an expedition done right, the way you'd expect a Swiss or Austrian company to handle details, then Furtenbach won't let you down. Safety is the number 1 priority. There is no "summit-at-all-costs" mentality. The expeditions are led by IFMGA guides. I had Roli Striemitzer and Max Berger my years. These guys were awesome and true alpinists. I have referred friends who climbed with Furtenbach on Everest as well and they reported top-notch service. Highly recommend the company.