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K2 Basecamp-Would You Go?

Discussion area for peaks outside of the USA.
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K2 Basecamp-Would You Go?

Postby planet54 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:56 pm

For many years I have wanted to do the trek up the Baltoro Glacier to K2 Basecamp, also known as Concordia.K2,the Trango Towers,Uli Biaho etc. are things that I want to see in my lifetime.The reason that I have not done this trip already is because it is in Pakistan. From what I have been reading lately, Europeans,Australians and others are now having successful trips.One World Trekking, KE Adventure, and Concordia Expeditions are all offering trips there for 2013.I would go with an outfitter for sure. So my question is; given the current situation in Pakistan,if you wanted to go to Concordia and could, would you go? A traveling companion or two would be nice to have. Anybody want to talk about it?

http://www.oneworldtrekking.com/destinations/worldwide-trekking/244-pakistan-k2-base-camp-trek.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSfGYo1fGYw
Last edited by planet54 on Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"The world is a great book,of which they that never stir from home read only a page." St. Augustine
"Climbing K2 or floating the Grand Canyon in an innertube;there are some things one would rather have done than do." Edward Abbey

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Re: K2 Basecamp Would You Go ?

Postby I Man » Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:10 pm

Yes. Go to Pakistan.
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"I fly a starship across the universe divide....and when I reach the other side...I'll find a place to rest my spirit if I can. Perhaps I may become a Mountain Man again.

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Re: K2 Basecamp Would You Go ?

Postby jblyth » Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:22 pm

Looks like an incredible adventure. Yes, I would go in a heartbeat if I had the funds/vacation time and hope to get there at some point in my life. I spent some time in Nepal and India last year and met several people who passed though Pakistan in their travels; all of them had very positive experiences. Some of the women commented that the men could be grabby, so not sure I would recommend the trip to a solo female. Of course, the scary thing about this part of the world is how quick things can change. Make sure you keep up on current events.

Check out some blogs on the country in general, sounds like an awesome place. http://www.travelblog.org/Asia/Pakistan/

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Re: K2 Basecamp Would You Go ?

Postby Scott P » Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:28 pm

I'd certainly go. There likely won't be any problems high in the mountains, but it wouldn't hurt to get travel insurance though.
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Re: K2 Basecamp Would You Go ?

Postby gonzalj » Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:30 pm

I wold do a trip like this in a heartbeat. It would definitely rank extremely high on the bucket list for me.

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Re: K2 Basecamp Would You Go ?

Postby robby40 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:40 pm

a story. 1998 Ned Gillette & Susie Patterson:

http://byliner.com/todd-balf/stories/last-trip

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Re: K2 Basecamp Would You Go ?

Postby ezabielski » Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:14 pm

Seems like airfare would be about $1775 for a two way ticket, in case someone was wondering.

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Re: K2 Basecamp Would You Go ?

Postby lappyloody » Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:26 pm

Two words: Do it! Former wife and I went in 2000. Media tends to blow things out of proportion. Like any major city, Islamabad/Rawalapindi could be perceived as dangerous. Once you're in the mountains, the Balti people and the Pakistani people in general are very friendly and hospitable. I would go back in a heartbeat, even after 9-11. We used a tour company based out of Pakistan and hired a few porters once we were in Skardu. Guide lived up Shigar valley on the way to Askole and we picked up xtra porters on the way to Askole. We did the trek up the Baltoro, and lucked out weather wise and were able to cross over the Gondogoro La pass into the Hushe valley, so it was more of a loop hike vs. up and back. Be aware that from Concordia to K2 B.C. is a loonng day hike and might be better as an overnight. Feel free to PM me if you want further details.

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Re: K2 Basecamp Would You Go ?

Postby mtnjim » Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:15 pm

Chances are you'll be okay. I've been to Pakistan twice, in 1999 and 2005. No problems on either trip. We were able to fly to Skardu on the first trip, took vans up the KKH the second time. Skardu, Askole, Concrdia, Broad Peak base camp and around and back over the Gondogora La. After each of the expeditions I travelled around the country a bit on my own and had no problems. In 1999 I went to Gilgit then Karimabad and up to the Khunjarab Pass, back to 'Pindi then down to Lahore. In 2005, I went up to Karimabad again, then back to Pindi and over to Peshawar for a bit. I do regret that I didn't go up to the Khyber pass on that trip, when it was still possible.

BUT
Things are different these days, Since my last trip there have been more attacks. I saw a report on a bombing in Rawalpindi that said it was at an ATM in a car park next to the Shalimar Hotel. I stayed there in 2005. Another bombing in Peshawar happened at a place I had walked by several times. That was a really big car bomb. The McDonalds in Lahore and the KFC in Peshawar, both of which I hit several times (after over a month in the mountains and touring around I was really tired of Balti chicken) were burned down in the cartoon riots in 2006.
In Peshawar I met a Pakistani while walking around the old town and walked around with him for a while and went to meet his friends who ran an internet cafe down a little side street. It was a lot of fun, not on the tourist route. Joked around with them most of the afternoon. They were really proud of the scars they had from being whipped and burned on their backs in a Shia religious procession the month before! I wouldn't do that these days. Wouldn't follow someone I'd just met anywhere and wouldn't be in Peshawar. Maybe not Lahore either and I don't think I'd be wandering around Pindi alone or with a couple of friends as unconcerned as I was then.
Also, in 1999 someone shot a missle into the US Embassy while I was in Islamabad. A Shia shrine there was bombed just before I arrived in 2005 so I took it off my list of places I wanted to visit. The week before I took a bus down the Karakorum back to Rawalpindi a couple of folks in another bus were shot as it traveled down the highway. I'm just mentioning this to show that it's never really been a completely safe country.

BUT (too)
Would I go now? Heck, yes. i would find it irritating that would have to be so much more careful and suspicious than I was before, probably wouldn't feel okay taking a solo side trip to Taxilla again. but I would go to Baltistan, probably keeping a low profile in Rawalpindi. Skardu should be okay though there was an attack on a bus headed there last Feb. It was stopped before it reached Gilgit from Pindi and appears to have been another chapter In the ongoing Sunni-Shia violence in the area. I can't remember hearing of any terrorist activity in Skardu or on the trekking routes. There have been lots of expeditions to the peaks there the last few years. Most of the climbers likely took the KKH in and all of the Nanga Parbat expeditions will have. No bad news that I've seen.

And the scenery is Spectacular. Those ridiculous, sharp Karakorum peaks look more like an artist's idea of what a peak should look like than a real mountain. I second lappy's suggestion to go out over the Gondogora La if possible. More great views and the icefall on the backside of Masherbrum is realy impressive.

Hope you go!

JimS

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Re: K2 Basecamp Would You Go ?

Postby planet54 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:07 pm

Thank you to everyone that has replied and for the PMs too. My intent for this thread is to glean as much info as I can from this forum before I start correspondence with the trekking companies or outfitters.I have a lot to think about and do over the next several months.My feeling is that the trek itself would be safe enough but it is the traveling to and from the trek that concerns me. One big hurdle would be obtaining a visa.The trip won't happen without that. Good stuff guys , thanks again. Dennis :)
"The world is a great book,of which they that never stir from home read only a page." St. Augustine
"Climbing K2 or floating the Grand Canyon in an innertube;there are some things one would rather have done than do." Edward Abbey

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Re: K2 Basecamp Would You Go ?

Postby ThuChad » Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:14 am

Do it!.. but don't go to Mexico. :roll:
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Re: K2 Basecamp Would You Go ?

Postby Kiefer » Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:11 am

I don't know if yer on Summitpost but if you are, get a hold of Afzel. He's up the Baltoro semi-frequently. Great guy who can probably answer some of your questions.
I say do it. Regret for not doing things early in life only gets worse as you age. I would think trekers/climbers in Pakistan faire well. Just don't go around wearing 'America the beautiful' t-shirts. ;)

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