Friday, 2 February 2018

Trip report for K2 Base Camp & Gondogoro in Pakistan during July/ August 2017

Photo: K2

Like in 2016, this year we also decided to run two treks to K2 Base Camp in Pakistan at the same time: our K2 Base Camp & Concordia and our K2 Base Camp & Gondogoro La. The plan was for both groups to walk together to K2 Base Camp then one group would return back down Baltoro and the second group from Concordia would follow Vigne glacier and ascend over the Gondogoro La pass to Hushe village

On July 25th the group drove in local jeeps along the rough and exposed jeep track to the roadhead at the village of Askole. On July 26th they started their trek following the fast flowing Braldu river. We have carefully designed our K2 Base Camp itinerary for gradual acclimatisation and unlike most other companies we decide not have two nights in Paiju (3,383m) as this is too low to benefit from acclimatisation. Instead we continue onto Urdukas camp (4,130m) where we have two nights as this more beneficial at this altitude and also the views from this camp over to Trango Towers are spectacular!

On August 3rd the group successfully walked up to K2 Base Camp and Gilkey memorial then after sleeping a night at Broad Peak Base Camp on evening of 3rd they awoke to glorious views of the majestic K2 mountain. After breakfast the group walked back down to Concordia and after group discussions the decision was made by Chris for the Gondogoro La group to head to Ali Camp towards the pass. As planned on August these two groups split with Chris and Zahid leading their group over Gondogoro La and Manzoor leading the K2 Base Camp group back down the Baltoro glacier to Askole.

Well done to both groups for achieving their objectives with the Gondogoro La group successfully crossing this technical high pass 5,500m+ and for K2 Base Camp group for walking up to Gilkey memorial and to the Base Camp for second highest mountain in the world. Both of our K2 Base Camp groups arrived safely back to Skardu on August 10th and then flew back to Islamabad on 11th.

The mountain scenery on K2 Base Camp trek has no doubt some of the best views anywhere in the world with a series of impressive mountains getting progressively larger as one ascends Baltoro and Godwin Austen glaciers towards K2 Base Camp. The crossing of Gondogoro La is a classic high pass with views of Leila Peak from the top and a challenging ascent down loose scree to the lovely grassy camp at Khuspang. The advantage of crossing Gondogoro La pass is that this completes a circuit trek and once over the pass you walk down a new valley to Hushe village.

Thanks very much to Chris, Zahid and Manzoor plus the rest of the Pakistan team for their hard work in leading this trek.

The Mountain Company is promoting both our K2 Base Camp & Concordia and K2 Base Camp & Gondogoro La for July 2018.

Please get in touch with us if you have any questions on K2 Base Camp trek and if you would like to discuss your suitability or additional training required to join this trek in the future.

Roland Hunter

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