Trek to Advance Base Camp of K2 and Gasherbrum I Base Camp

Repertory Trip: No Future Dates Set

What the Trip is Like

This trip is Level 7, Most Strenuous, according to our trip rating system. Most of the hiking is at altitudes between 12,000 and 15,825 feet en route to the K2 Base Camp, with rough trails winding through long stretches of river rock and soft sand along the rivers. We hike on loose scree with no established trails when we ascend on moraine beside the glacier. On trek, the average hiking day will be 6-8 hours of trekking, with ascents and descents of up to 2,000 feet each day (cumulative 4,000 feet). There is one 15,800-foot pass to cross. Beyond the Italian Advance Base Camp, there is an optional ascent to 17,075 feet for spectacular views of K2. On the four-day, three-night trek onto the K2 Glacier, you must be fit enough to carry a 20- to 30-pound pack at altitudes from 13,000 to 15,350 feet on the trek up to the Italian Advance Base Camp for two days and then for one day back to Sughet Jangal. The backpacking section will be very strenuous due to the altitude as well as the fact that we are crossing hills of loose glacial moraine. You should have previous backpacking experience. There is no climbing involved, but glacier walking involves hiking over jumbled, uneven layers of pebbles and rock debris and sometimes on areas covered with snow. Crampons and ice axes are not necessary but your boots should have excellent tread on them. Please Note: Everyone will be expected to double up in tents for the three nights we go up the glacier, and each trekker will need to carry all his or her personal clothing, sleeping bag, and a sleeping pad for the three nights on the glacier. There are occasional fast-moving streams to ford or hop over by wading or jumping from rock to rock, which requires some agility and good sense. For the wide river crossings, we will ride on the camels. During the day, we should have sunny skies and fairly pleasant temperatures. Nighttime temperatures will rarely drop below freezing, except during the three nights at high elevation when they may be as low as 20F. Rain is unlikely in this high desert region, but snow is a possibility while we're on the glacier.

Every participant must understand that this trek is truly challenging—you should be in excellent physical condition. To prepare for this trek, we recommend that you go on an all-day strenuous hike every weekend for at least three months prior to the trek, carrying a full pack to condition yourself for the rigors of this trek. In addition, you should go on an overnight backpack trip at least once each month for the three months prior to the trek. This will familiarize you with your pack and help you learn what essential clothing to carry and what luxury items can be left behind to conserve weight.

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.