From Islamabad we fly on to Skardu, then we continue to Aksole, where our trekking time can begin. We have different, moderate to strenuous trekking stages until we arrive at the K2 base camp. While the group recovers and waits for suitable weather, the high camp and the route are being prepared. 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. Further there’s an option to acclimatize on the adjacent Broad Peak and spare ourselves multiple ascents and descents on the objectively more dangerous and technically more challenging K2! If you’re interested check THIS out.
For the K2 you must be a very accomplished mountaineer with eight thousander experience. The Abbruzzi spur on K2 is the hardest normal route on an eight-thousander. We recommend oxygen at the latest on the summit day (this is included in the price). This way you can pass the statistically most accident prone passage under the sercac after the shoulder and the bottleneck much faster and safer in both the ascent and the descent. The fixed ropes in the summit area are laid only in the course of the summit ascent. If you want to ascend without oxygen, you may do so as long as you have a proven record of relevant experience and adequate skills.
Because of the complex logistics of this double expedition, changes to the planned schedule may occur during the journey. The exact schedule depends on weather, snow conditions, the progress of route securing work and the schedules of other groups in order to avoid potential traffic jams. In addition to the services provided by us such as oxygen supply, Sherpa support, base camp, secured routes, high camp etc. also a great deal of luck, good weather, good physical condition, skill and mental strength on behalf of the participants are required for a successful ascent. The expedition can be extended if required by circumstances and if the participants so desire and are willing to bear the additional costs incurred. We are travelling in a very remote and politically sensitive area where governmental or environmental restrictions on our freedom of movement may be imposed at any time.
Day 1: Arrival in Islamabad or meeting point at Hotel Envoy Continental in Islamabad
Day at leisure for the participants while the expedition leader handles last administrative things with the authorities.
Day 2-3: Islamabad – Skardu
Either two days bus trip to Skardu with overnight stay in Chilas or the conditions allow a flight to Skardu. But the bus ride has its charm and leads us through the varied landscape of Pakistan to the Indus Valley, where we will take the legendary Karakorum Highway. On the second day shortly after Chilas we see in good weather the Nanga Parbat with the Rhakiot flank mastered by Hermann Buhl from the road. The drive on the second day is a bit shorter. Overnight stay in a hotel in Skardu.
Day 4: Skardu
We spend the day in the small but lively town Skardu at 2300m. The porters are organized, the luggage is loaded and one can make last errands or undertake a hike.
Day 5: Skardu – Askole
Drive with jeeps through a wild, impressive landscape and wild gorges to Askole at 3050m. For those who have never been here before, this will probably be the most exciting and exciting trip of your life! Overnight in tents in the small village of Askole.
Days 6 – 12: Impressive trek from Ascole – K2 basecamp
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 K2 base camp at the Godwin-Austen Glacier.
Days 13 – 49: Ascent to K2
We will take three weeks to ascend. 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 50 – 53: Basecamp – Skardu
Dismantling the base camp and return to Skardu via the Gondogoro pass. Overnight stay in tents and in the hotel in Skardu.
Days 54 – 55: Skardu – Islamabad
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 56: Islamabad or return flight
All organisation for the 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 (1:1 Sherpa client ratio)
Oxygen package with a rental mask & regulator and 3 bottles per members
Insurance and equipment for all staff
Pharmaceutical travel kit, high altitude emergency medicine, pulsoxymeter
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)
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
Visa for Pakistan (must be obtained by members at the Pakistani Embassy in their home country in time)
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