- Glaciers up to Camp I, Banana Ridge, etc.: Gasherbrum II is the easiest 8000m peak in Pakistan from a technical point of view.
- Base Camp is surrounded by incredibly wild and impressive glaciers.
- On the walk-in over the 100km long Baltoro glacier, you will experience one of the most fascinating mountain ranges in the world.
- K2 and other famous summits are nearby; these peaks have contributed a great deal to the history of mountaineering.
- The slightly cirved summit is hidden in the middle of the Gasherbrum group.
- Quality bonus: we will be accompanied by high-altitude porters from Pakistan and Nepal (1 porter per 4 participants), up-to-date weather forecast.
„The Luminous Mountains“ is the name that is give to the six highest summits of the Karakorum range. Unlike the Everest, Lhotse, Makalu or Ama Dablam they are not located in Nepal, but in the ,sister-range’ of the Himalaya, the Karakorum of Pakistan.
Until 1939 Pakistan, and therefore also the Karakorum range, was under British rule. Therefore, it is not surprising, that the British were the first to chart the Karakorum. In 1909 an expedition of the Duke of the Abruzzi managed to reach the Gasherbrum-Group via the, today rather unkown, North Route (China). The Swiss mountaineer G.O. Dyhrenfurth reached a height of 6,250 metres on the Gasherbrum II in 1934. However, he followed the Baltoro-Glacier from the south (Pakistan). Afterwards, it was quiet in the „Valley of the Luminous Mountains“ until 1956. In 1956 a Austrian expedition under the command of F. Moravec, managed to be the first to successfully ascent the Gasherbrum II. They did this by ascending over the south-western- and the eastern ridge. Their route is the same that we will follow.
The Gasherbrum II belongs to the more comfortable 8000er because of its relatively secure route. On our drive throught the valley of the Indus we will at first follow along the Karakorum-Highway and then we will take a turn in the direction of Skardu. Then we will cross the Baltoro-Glacier, this will bring us to the most impressive mountain range of the earth. We will pass by famous mountain giants like the Masherbrum, the Muztagh Tower, the Trango Towers, the Gasherbrum IV, the Broad Peak, the K2 and the Konkordiaplatz. All the while, we will be following the right arm of the Baltoro-Glacier, this route will bring us to the Base Camp of the Gasherbrum I & II, which is located at approximately 5,100 m.
Day 1: Flight to Islamabad
Scheduled flight to Islamabad.
Day 2: Islamabad
In the morning we will arrive in Islamabad, the gateway to the unique mountain world of northern Pakistan. We will go sightseeing in Rawalpindi or Islamabad. The necessary paperwork will be finalised at the Ministry of Tourism. We will spend the night in a hotel.
Day 3: Islamabad - Skardu
Today on the plan is the domestic flight to Skardu. The flight, which is about 1 hour long and offers an amazing view on the most western 8,000er, the Nanga Parbat, can only be undertaken in good weather conditions. In case a flight is not possible, we will drive for 1 1/2 days along the, just as spectacular, Karakorum Highway to Skardu.
Day 4: Skardu
We will require one day in order to organise the group of porters and separating the luggage into loads of 25 kg. Naturally, we will also take the time to explore this beautiful town and then we surely will enjoy our last night in a hotel bed.
Day 5: Skardu - Askole
All of our luggage will be loaded onto jeeps. If the condition of the road allows it, we will arrive in Askole (3,048 m) at the same time as the porters after a 6-7 hours long and very varied drive. Here we will spend the first night in tents.
Day 6 - Day 12: Askole - Korophon - Paiju - Liligo - Urdukas - Konkordia - Base Camp
First we will hike through the very arid, almost desert like, region where we will cross a few rivers in order to get to the beautifully established campsite of Korophan at 3,253 m. On the following day we will arrive at Paiju (3,785 m), the last oasis before the wildly romantic world of glaciers of the Karakorum. In Paiju, our porters will require one day’s worth of time in order to prepare the food for the comming days. The next day we will reach the Baltoro-Glacier for the first time after Urdukas, from there we will be able to enjoy a view on the Trango Towers. Then we will hike past the Muztagh Tower and towards Gore; from this point forward the ground on which we will establish our tents will only consist out of ice from the Baltoro-Glacier. The Konkordiaplatz, the point where the Baltoro- and the Goldwin-Austen-Glacier meet, is like a venue for mountain giants like the K2, the Gasherbrum IV, the Chogolisa and the Broad Peak. On the last day of our approach, after about 5 hours of crossing the Godwin-Austen-Glacier, we will arrive at our, surrounded by spectacular summits, Base Camp.
Day 13 - Day 39: Gasherbrum II (8,035 m)
We will have 27 day at our disposal in order to ascend the Gasherbrum II. Our experiences thus far have shown that this is more than enough time. We intentionally tackle this whole project in a rather relaxed fashion, because good acclimatization is a key factor for a successful summit attempt.
With the help of our Pakistani porters we will establish three high camps, which we will then also take apart again. Camp I will be established at ca. 5,900 m, Camp II at ca. 6,900 m and Camp III at ca. 7,400 m.
In the beginning the ascent will lead us over a flat, long and depending on the circumstances rather jagged glacier. Camp I is located at the foot of the south-west ridge, also known as Banana Ridge. We will then follow the ridge through steeper terrain, that we will largely secure with fixed ropes. The south-west ridge will now disembogue into the south-western flank. We will follow the south-western flank until we real the south ridge, where we will establish Camp II at a height of 6,900 m. On a technical level, this belongs to the more demanding part of the ascend of the Gasherbrum II. However, the largest part of this section will be secured with fixed ropes, which will also help us out during the descent. From Camp II onwards, we will follow the less distinct south-west ridge until we reach Camp III at 7,400 m. Past the huge summit sturcture we will reach the distinct saddle on the eastern side of the Gasherbrum. We cross the flank, that in the beginning is oriented to the east and via the eastern ridge we will reach the summit in a short amount of time. The very unique shape of the summit of the Gasherbrum offers a spectacular view on the giants of the Karakorum.
Please note: The establishing of Camp III at ca. 7,400 m cannot be guaranteed, because it is exposed to the wind. Furthermore, if there is not much snow it will be incredibly difficult to establish tents. In the case that the establishment of Camp III at 7,400 metres is not possible, we will instead establish it at 7,100 m and an ascent can indeed be undertaken from that camp. This strategy has already lead to success several times in the past.
Day 40 - Day 44: Base Camp - Skardu
After almost a month we will leave our Base Camp, which in the meantime surely will have grown on us. In the span of four days we will hike back to civilisation. Our last night in tents we will spend in Askole and the following day we will drive back to Skardu in a off-road vehicle.
Day 45 - Day 46: Flight Skardu - Islamabad
The flight is only possible when the visibility is good. In the case that the flight is not possible we will have a 2 days long bus ride ahead of us. We will spend the night in a hotel.
Day 47: Islamabad
Today we will still have a little bit of time in order to visit the bazars and make some last minute purchases. The obligatory de-briefing will take place on this day. We will spend the nigth in a hotel.
Day 48: Return Flight to Europe
Return flight from Islamabad
Day 49: Arrival in Europe
The Gasherbrum II belongs, because of its relatively secure route, to the more pleasant 8,000ers.
The north west of Pakistan lets us dive into a world that has long been forgotten.
- Organisation of the entire expedition
- International flights including taxes
- Domestic flight Skardu–Islamabad–Skardu (good visibility needed)
- Flight luggage
- All transfers, trips by bus and jeep
- Information meeting in Berne at Bächli Bergsport including 10% discount-voucher for material
- Summit fees
- Full-board during entire expedition (cf. leaflet)
- All beverages during shared meals
- Hotel accommodation in double rooms (see travel programme)
- Rescue sledge for emergency
- Porters to base camp and back
- Entire Base Camp equipment (good group tent, toilet tent, shower tent)
- 1 tent per participant at base camp
- 1 tent per 2 participants on journey-in and for the high camps
- Light mats for the high camps (cf. leaflet)
- Fixed ropes, mountain ropes, ice screws, etc.
- High mountain stoves (gas) and cutlery
- Communication (radio) in base camp (12 volt)
- 1 walkie-talkie per 2 participants (9 volt)
- Satellite phone, tax excluded
- E-mail, tax excluded
- Weather forecast from Switzerland
- Solar equipment with light in the group tent
- Electricity in base camp for loading electronic gadgets (limited use)
- Oxygen for emergencies
- Extensive pharmacy with a pulse oximeter at BC
- Medical kit in the high camps
- Medical kit for summit push
- Kitchen: cook and assistants
- 1 local high porter per 4 participants, well-equipped by Kobler & Partner
- Accompanying officer
- Certified mountain guide
- Personal porter for the high camps (reservation recommended)
- Personal beverages
- Alcoholic beverages
- Visa for Pakistan
- Personal medication (cf. leaflet)
- Extra costs arising due to changes in the programme
High Porter from Nepal:
In recent years we have made good experiences with high porters from Nepal. Sherpas have much more experience in high altitiudes than Pakistani. The reason for this is, that in Nepal Sherpas are a tradition that dates back thousands of years. The Sherpas support the local high porters. This leads to a much higher chance of successfully reaching the summit of the Gasherbrum II even in bad circumstances. The costs for Nepalese Sherpas are a bit higher, but the advantages outweigh the disadvantages by quite a large degree. This expedition is also planned to have Sherpa support. As long as the government of Pakistan allows for Nepalese Sherpas to be brought with on expeditions, we will happily take advantage of the advantages that hiring Nepalese Sherpas brings.
High Porter Support:
On this travel you will have the option to hire a personal high porter. This individual support makes the expedition life much easier. A personal high porter carries the personal luggage und more manpower increases the security of the expedition.
The additional costs for the carrying of personal luggage vary quite considerably.
High porters in Tibet cost about three times as much as high porters in Nepal, Pakistan or South America. The additional costs are made public before the start of the expedition.
With over 100 ascents of the Mt. Everest, Kobler & Partner has a lot of experience with oxygen bottles and we would like to pass on some of that knowledge that we have gained through the years.
The use of oxygen bottles lowers the risk of frostbites, decreased concentration and loss of performance by quite a large degree. Additionally, the probability of reaching the summit in a timely fashion is increased by a considerable amount.
Therefore, we recommend to ascent 8,000ers with an oxygen bottle. The use of the oxygen bottle is still optional and the required amount varies from individual to individual. This is why the price for the oxygen bottle is not included in the price of the travel.
Tested and filled oxygen bottles have to be bought well before the begin of the expedition. Therefore, the costs for the bottles will have to be payed ahead of time. The rental costs include 1 bottle of oxygen, a mask, a regulator, the transport to the high camps and, of course, the transport back.
In case a rented bottle or the other equipment gets damaged the repaired costs will have to be covered by the rentee. In case the rented equipment is not used, the costs cannot be refunded.
Rental price for 1 oxygen set (1 bottle of oxygen, mask, regulator and transport): USD 1,400
Every additional bottle results in a surcharge of USD 800.
On the Kobler scale, the seriousness of a travel can reach from A (high) to D (low).B