Expedition Gasherbrum II

An amazing trip to the “Shining Mountain”

The most popular 8,000m peak in Pakistan should not be underestimated. It certainly needs devotion and spirit for adventure.

Facts

8035 m
Pakistan
hard
medium
12

The adventure

Gasherbrum II is considered the easiest 8,000m peak in Pakistan.

Its base camp is located in an unbelievably wild and very impressive glacial world. 

During our approach via the 100km long Baltoro Glacier, we have time to get to know one of the greatest mountain regions in the world. On our way back, we climb across the spectacular Gondogora La, which will certainly finish our expedition on a high.

The region is dotted with other significant giants, where mountaineering history was written, especially K2.

The finely curved summit of G2 is located right in the middle of the magnificent horseshoe of the Gasherbrum mountain range.

Quality Bonus: At least two experienced Nepali climbing Sherpas will support our expedition.

We offer one high-altitude porter per three members.

We receive daily weather forecast from Switzerland.

Pakistan is home to five of the 14 8,000m peaks in the world, two of which are Gasherbrum I and II. Other than Everest, Lhotse, Makalu or Ama Dablam, the Gasherbrum range, which is also known as the “Shining Wall”, is not located in the Himalaya but in its sister range, the Karakoram.

Having been under British rule until 1947, it is not surprising that the Brits were the first to map the Karakoram, which spans the borders of Pakistan, India, China, Afghanistan and Tajikistan. In 1909, an expedition led by the Duke of Abruzzi reached the Gasherbrum range via the North in China, a route which remains largely unknown to this very day. Twenty-five years later, Swiss mountaineer G.O. Dyhrenfurth reached an altitude of 6,250 metres on Gasherbrum II, when he crossed the Baltoro Glacier and approached the 13th highest mountain in the world from the south in Pakistan After this early attempt it was quiet in the “Valley of the Shining Wall” until 1956, when an Austrian expedition under the leadership of F. Moravec finally reached the top of Gasherbrum II via its Southwest ridge. We will follow the footsteps of this first successful expedition as it is the most accessible and considered relatively safe.

Weather-permitting, we will get on a plane to Skardu which takes us directly over Nanga Parbat – the 9th highest mountain in the world – and offers magnificent views of the Karakoram and Himalaya ranges. If the weather fails us, we will embark on an adventurous two-day journey up the Karakoram Highway to Skardu. From there, the skilled Balti drivers will take us on an exciting trip to Askole, where we will meet our team and start our trek, which takes us across the Baltoro-Glacier – one of the longest glaciers in the world. On our way to base camp, we will walk through one of the most impressive mountain ranges on earth with some of the most famous mountain giants such as K2, Broad Peak, Masherbrum, Muztagh Tower and Trango Tower towering above us.

Day 1: Scheduled flight to Islamabad

Day 2: Islamabad

We will arrive in Islamabad in the morning. The Pakistani capital is the gate to the unique mountain world of northern Pakistan. After visiting the neighbouring town of Rawalpindi or seeing some sights in Islamabad, we will visit the Ministry of Tourism for our expedition briefing. Hotel accommodation.

Day 3: Islamabad - Skardu

Scheduled flight to Skardu. This one-hour flight offers spectacular views of Nanga Parbat, the westernmost 8,000er and ninth highest mountain in the world. As this flight only operates in good visibility, it is subject to cancellation. If this is the case, we will go by car along the legendary Karakoram Highway which will add some time to our journey as it takes about one and a half days. 

Day 4: Skardu

It takes a day to assemble the porter crew and divide all expedition gear into 25 kg loads. This gives us some time to explore the beautiful village and its surroundings. This is also the last night we can enjoy the comforts of a hotel bed. From Day 5, we will sleep in tents.

Day 5: Skardu - Jhola

We load our entire luggage onto the jeeps. Depending on the road conditions, we reach Jhola (3,200m) after about eight hours on a spectacular road. First night in a tent.

Day 6 - Day 10: Jhola - Paiju - Urdukas - Konkordia - Shama - Base Camp

Our first trekking days take us through the very arid and almost desert-like valley. We reach Paiju (3,785 m), the last oasis before we enter the wild and romantic but dry glacial world of the Karakoram. On the next day we hike to Urdukas before we reach the Baltoro Glacier from where we can enjoy wonderful views of the rugged peaks of the Karakoram, such as the Trango Towers. We continue past Muztagh Tower to reach Gore. From now on, we will be camping on the eternal ice of the Baltoro Glacier. Once we reach Concordia, the confluence of the Baltoro and the Godwin-Austen Glaciers, we will be able to enjoy breathtaking views of mountain giants such as K2, Gasherbrum IV, Chogolisa and Broad Peak. We reach Shamla and leave the Baltoro Glacier to walk up the Abbruzzi Glacier and reach Basecamp at 4900m.

Day 11 - Day 38: Gasherbrum II (8,035 m)

We have 28 days to climb Gasherbrum II. Past experience has shown that this time frame is neither too long not too short as proper acclimatisation is the most critical factor for summit success. With the help of our Sherpas and Pakistani porters, we establish three high camps: Camp I at approximately 5,900 m; Camp II at approximately 6,900 m and Camp III at approximately 7,400 m. Initially, the route leads over a flat and long glacier, which can be crevassed at times. Camp I is located at the foot of the prominent south-west ridge, which is also known as Banana Ridge. From here, the terrain gets steeper, however, our Sherpas and Pakistani high-altitude porters (HAPs) will fix rope on large parts of the south-west ridge which becomes the south-west flank higher up. We continue on the flank up to the south ridge, where we establish our Camp II at approximately 6,400 m. Technically, this is one of the most difficult sections of the climb. From Camp II, we climb the ridge to Camp III at approximately 6,800 m. If needed there is the possibility of a Camp 4 at 7,400m. We traverse to the East side of the mountain and reach the summit of Gasherbrum II, which offers a spectacular view of the giants of the Karakoram like K2, Broad Peak and Gasherbrum 1.

Day 39 - Day 41: Base Camp – Gondogoro La – Skardu

After almost one month, we bid goodbye to what had become our temporary home and head back to civilisation. In order to add some spice to the trip, we take a different route and walk out to the Hushe Valley via the spectacular Gondogora La. We return to Concordia from where we head to Ali Camp via the Baltoro Glacier. Ali Camp lies at the foot of Chogolisa, the mountain where legendary Austrian climber Hermann Buhl, who together with Kurt Diemberger became the first person to climb Broad Peak, fell to his death in 1957. In true expedition style, we start our ascent in the middle of the night. The sun should just come up when we reach the top of the pass from where we can enjoy a splendid view of the wild and romantic Hushe Valley. On our descent, we will increasingly enjoy the greenness and lushness of the area which will feel soothing after having spent a month on the barren glacier. We will stay the night in Saitscho from where we will walk for another two hours to reach the road head in Hushe the following day. After a five-hour drive we will reach Skardu. Hotel accommodation.

Day 42 - Day 43: Flight Skardu - Islamabad

The flight is only possible in good weather. In case the weather Gods are not favourable to us, we will drive back to Islamabad. Hotel accommodation.

Day 44: Departure from Islamabad

Today we have a bit of time to visit the bazaars and buy last-minute souvenirs. Afterwards, the obligatory debriefing takes place at the Ministry of Tourism. Evening flight back home.

Day 45: Arrival in your home country.

Important info

The Profilecheck is an integral part of our expedition. Please read it thoroughly and assess your skill and physical condition. Due to the score required for this expedition, your score will indicate whether or not your skills, fitness and mountaineering experience are sufficient to join this expedition. Your registration is a testimony of your physical and technical abilities to participate in this expedition.

Please take note of the following points concerning procedure of this expedition:

This expedition is demanding and exhausting. The high altitude alone entails several risks.

The members have to be able to move securely and independently through very rough terrain (snow, ice, rock, etc.). You have to independently rope up with a group. Active participation on the mountain, camaraderie and tolerance are an essential part of this expedition and we count on you to be able to provide this.

You have to be able to recognise your own limits on the mountain and be prepared to, if necessary, abandon the attempt and turn back. You join this expedition at your own responsibility. 

The leader of the expedition is responsible for the management of the entire group, and personal support is not one of his/her responsibilities. Nevertheless, every member has to prepared to follow the decisions made by the leader. The decisions are always made in the group’s interest. 

Depending on the circumstances and conditions on the mountain, improvisations and changes to the itinerary might be necessary.

Kobler & Partner do not take any liability for accidents, damages or loss of equipment.

Included

Organisation of the entire expedition

Domestic flights: Islamabad - Skardu - Islamabad (subject to weather, otherwise transfer by road)

Pre-expedition briefing at Bächli Bergsport, including a 10% voucher for equipment purchase

Summit fees

Full board during the entire expedition

Beverages during group meals, except for alcoholic beverages

Number of hotel nights in double rooms (indicated in itinerary)

Gear transport to and from Base Camp (mules or porters)

Entire base camp equipment (comfortable mess tent, toilet tent, shower tent ...)

1 BC tent per member

1 tent per 2 members during the approach and at the high camps

Foam pad at base camp

Fixed ropes, climbing ropes, snow stakes, ice screws, etc.

High altitude stove (gas) and cookware (gas)

Communications (radio) at Base Camp (12 volts)

Radios: 1 radio (9 volts) per 2 members

Satellite phones, exclusive call charges

Internet and e-mail access at base camp (exclusive charges)

Weather forecast from Meteotest, Bern

Solar panels for lighting in the messtent

Solar power at Base Camp to charge electronical devices (availability subject to weather)

Rescue sledge for emergencies

Medical oxygen for emergencies

Large medical kit with pulseoximetre at base camp

Medical kits for high camps

Medical kits for summit bid

Kitchen: cook and kitchen helpers

1 porter per 3 members, including insurance, food, fee and good equipment from Kobler & Partner (thereof minimum 2 climbing Sherpas from Nepal)

Costs for obligatory liaison officer

Certified and experienced mountain guide

Not included

International flights to/from Islamabad

Insurances

Personal porter for high camps (if required, please book in advance)

Alcoholic drinks

Individual beverages

Visa fee for Pakistan

Personal medication

Additional costs that may arise due to changes being made to the planned travel itinerary

Bottled Oxygen

With more than 100 successful ascents, Kobler & Partner has extensive experience in using bottled oxygen on Mt. Everest, and we would like to share this knowledge with you. The use of bottled oxygen significantly reduces the risk of frostbite, loss of concentration as well as poor performance, however, it increases your chances of reaching the summit in good time. 

For this reason, we recommend the use of bottled oxygen for climbing an 8,000m peak. Using bottled oxygen is optional on our expeditions and the amount needed depends on every individual. This is why bottled oxygen is not included in the overall expedition price.

Costs

Checked and filled oxygen bottles have to be purchased a long time before the start of an expedition. Hence, the rental of an oxygen set has to be paid prior to the expedition. The rental price for one set includes one oxygen bottle, mask, regulator as well as transport to the high camps and back. 

In case of damage or loss of the equipment, the cost for repairs or replacement has to be covered by the person who rented the equipment. If the rented equipment is not used, the rental costs cannot be refunded.

Personal Porter Support

On this expedition, you have the option to hire a personal porter. This individual support will make your experience much more comfortable. A personal porter carries part of your personal gear (around 10 kg) to the high camps and supports you on your climb. Using a personal porter adds manpower to our trip and increases the safety of the entire expedition. 

Over the last few years, we have also used Nepali Climbing Sherpas on our expeditions outside Nepal. The fee for a Nepali Climbing Sherpa is a bit higher than for Pakistanis, however, the advantages outweigh the difference in price by far. As long as the Pakistani government permits Nepali Sherpas to work on our expeditions, we will offer this extra service as it is certainly worthwhile.

Personal Porter

1 porter per 3 members (thereof 2 Climbing Sherpas from Nepal)

Climate

The best time to climb an 8,000m peak in the Karakoram is between the beginning of June and mid-August. The weather is more stable in late summer as this is the tail-end of the monsoon. However, a certain amount of luck is always needed when climbing in the Karakoram.

Local agency

Kobler & Partner have relied on its renowned Pakistani partner agency for many years. Our team consists of experienced local high altitude porters and an extremely committed Pakistan kitchen team. Over the years, we have built up an excellent team of high altitude porters. The preparations and recruitment of the local team for our expeditions usually start in the autumn of the previous year.

Internet, Wifi, satellite phone, email at base camp

There is no mobile network at G2 base camp. We communicate with our office in Bern, the meteorological office and our Pakistani agency in Skardu via satellite phone. Members can use the satellite phone for private phone calls or text messages.

The charges are as follows:

Telephone: 3 USD per minute for outgoing as well as incoming calls.

3 USD per text message.

K&P will provide a Thuraya IP, a satellite terminal as well as a laptop with a specific expedition email address. Sending and receiving emails without pictures or any other attachments via the expedition email address is included in the expedition price. If required, Wi-Fi is also available at an additional fee of USD 500 for the duration of the expedition. The use is limited as the total data volume for the entire expedition (30 days from arrivatl at base camp) only amounts to 30GB.

Electricity on the base camp

Electronic gadgets such as radios, cameras, headlamps, smartphones, kindles and heated socks can be charged via our solar system. However, as this system relies on good weather, the availability may be limited. We kindly ask you to leave your laptop at home as it uses a lot of power. We would also ask you to only use electronic devices with USB connection.

Hotel and tent accommodation are indicated in the itinerary. Additional hotel stays that are not indicated in the itinerary are not included in the expedition price.

Trip preparation

International flights are not included in the expedition price. We are happy to assist you with the booking.

Kobler & Partner will organise the visas for Swiss nationals and bill them separately. Members from other countries have to apply for their visas themselves. All necessary documents will be supplied to you in due time. Please make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months after your intended return date.

Gasherbrum II Gearlist

2 duffle bags, 110l (water-proof, available from K&P at a discount for members)

Clothing

Jackets

Down jacket or down suit for expeditions

Primaloft jacket or light down jacket

Goretex Jacket

Softshell Jacket

Midlayer (fleece sweater or jacket)

Pants

Trekking pants, light and long

Softshell pants for mountaineering

Goretex pants

Expedition down pants or down suit

Baselayers / T-shirts

T-shirts

Underwear

Long-sleeved thermal top

Thermal tights

Handwear

Insolated shell gloves

Expedition down mittens

Liner gloves, thin, silk or fleece

Footwear

Camp boots (non-technical winter boots or trainers)

Trekking boots

High-altitude all in-one boots for 8000m

Trekking Socks

Heavyweight socks, thick and warm

Sleeping

-30°C down sleeping bag for base camp (available for rent from K&P)

-40°C down sleeping bag for high camps

Insulated inflatable sleeping pad

Down booties (nice to have!)

Pillow case (stuffed with your down jacket, it makes a nice pillow!)

Headgear, face and eye protection

Sunglasses

Glacier goggles (with nose guard, if possible)

Ski goggles, high UV-protection (also protects from the wind)

Buff

Baseball cap

Headband

Beanie, warm

Balaclava or face mask (wind-stopper or neoprene)

Sunscreen, SPF 50

Lipscreen, SPF 50

Technical Equipment

Backpack approximately 60 l

Raincover for backpack

Climbing harness, light

Ice axe, light

Walking poles

Crampons with anti-balling plates (customised to fit expedition boots)

2 Carabiners (light, wiregate)

3 HMS carabiners (light, screwgate)

Ascender (Jumar)

Belay device (figure 8 recommended)

Helmet

Cord, 5m, 7 mm (for the Jumar system)

Cord, 5m, 5 mm

Sling 120 cm / Dyneema

1 Ice screw (19 cm)

Compression bags for down equipment

Food utensils, light, for high camps (bowl including cutlery)

Water bottle with large opening (Nalgene)

Thermos

Pee bottle / Plastic bags

Headlamp (including spare batteries) and a small spare headlamp

Pocket knife or multi-tool/Leatherman

Lighter

Altimeter

Hand and toe warmers

Miscellaneous

Departure letter from K&P (contains the final information)

Cash for personal use and tips

Credit card (MasterCard or Visa)

Passport

Passport copy

2 Passport photographs

Small personal first-aid kit (personal medication / compeed)

Writing utensils

Cellphone

Toiletry bag

Microfibre travel towel

Hand sanitizer (50 ml)

Ear plugs

Tissues, wet wipes

Swimwear

Photographic equipment

Your K&P mountain guide will provide well-stocked medical kits for base and high camps, radios, GPS, travel books and maps.

Dates

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Next date
17.06.2023
44 Days
Richard_BoltRichi Bolt
Facts
8047 m
Pakistan
hard
medium
From CHF 19'303.00 Excl. flight
incl. 3% early bird discount
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