My long tough trek to K2 Base Camp

After over 40 adventure trips around the world I finally met my match on this trip to Pakistan. This was a difficult trek not due to altitude (although it was above 14000-15200 ft)but terrain. I hiked about 80 miles up and over hilly, rocky (very rocky) glacial moraine through intense heat at the base (85-90 degrees) to a snowstorm that dumped 6 inches near Concordia when I got food poisoning and had to hike 9 miles (I literally willed myself thru that because there was no other way out). My reward was the most incredible scenery where I was surrounded by 10 of the highest mountains in the world including K2.

Here are some pictures I took. I think this probably put me in good shape to take on Mt Whitney Oct 9.

Replies

  • PKM0515
    PKM0515 Posts: 2,393 Member
    Amazing! Thanks for sharing the pictures.

    Sharing a link to a favorite YouTube channel (Adventure Archives). This is their Mt. Whitney adventure; thought you might be interested.

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=aJU3TjLRFEI
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,389 Member
    Oh, wow! That IS quit the adventure, well done! Trip of a lifetime, or will you go back?

    What fantastic scenery, well worth that misery to get there. (!?)
  • Jthanmyfitnesspal
    Jthanmyfitnesspal Posts: 3,125 Member
    I just had food poisoning last week and it totally floored me for several days. I can't imagine hiking during that!

    Since this is a calorie-counting web site, I'd be interested to know what you ate.

    I love the pictures, especially the ones where the Everest summit (I assume) looks like it's "right there." However, we all know what it takes to get there from base camp from the many documentaries. And, getting to base camp is hard enough!

    Best wishes for continued travels.
  • cheriej2042
    cheriej2042 Posts: 241 Member
    I just had food poisoning last week and it totally floored me for several days. I can't imagine hiking during that!

    Since this is a calorie-counting web site, I'd be interested to know what you ate.

    I love the pictures, especially the ones where the Everest summit (I assume) looks like it's "right there." However, we all know what it takes to get there from base camp from the many documentaries. And, getting to base camp is hard enough!

    Best wishes for continued travels.

    It’s K2 (second highest mountain in world) not Everest. The hike to Everest Base Camp is a cakewalk compared to K2! K2 is infinitely more difficult. I’ve never gotten sick on a trip as I’m so careful about what I eat. But I ate a Mayo based coleslaw and that did it. I had no choice but to power through it - there is no way out other than call for evacuation and I wasn’t going to do that.

    We had a cooking crew for our camping. Pakistani food is spicy but they don’t use butter/salt/refined sugar instead using olive oil. Typical meal for me, and the guides were constantly telling me to eat more, breakfast two small pancakes with tsp syrup, maybe a piece of toast or local tortilla bread called chapati. Lunch would be pasta, rice and soup. Dinners had some soup, beef/lamb/goat meat in a sauce (I’m not vegetarian but I don’t eat meat when I trek to lessen risk of getting sick), a few nights chicken which I did eat, spicy pasta and vegetable dish I liked, potatoe/carrot/other veggies, lentils were at every dinner, more rice. Desserts were fruit mostly. I lost 12 pounds which is massive for me but at least 5 of that I think was from getting sick. You don’t see any obese people there. I did not count calories because I was putting out so many calories (I kept track on my watch) that I was in a constant deficit plus altitude makes you burn even more.
  • cheriej2042
    cheriej2042 Posts: 241 Member
    Oh, wow! That IS quit the adventure, well done! Trip of a lifetime, or will you go back?

    What fantastic scenery, well worth that misery to get there. (!?)

    Would go back to hike Hunza Valley to Snow Lake but would not repeat this trip. Going up that Baltoro Glacier was just so physically demanding. Yes the scenery did make it worthwhile. I was actually awestruck being surrounded by all those peaks. It’s definitely more interesting and less crowded than Nepal but this trip is not for everyone. Very rustic, camping etc
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,389 Member
    Oh, wow! That IS quit the adventure, well done! Trip of a lifetime, or will you go back?

    What fantastic scenery, well worth that misery to get there. (!?)

    Would go back to hike Hunza Valley to Snow Lake but would not repeat this trip. Going up that Baltoro Glacier was just so physically demanding. Yes the scenery did make it worthwhile. I was actually awestruck being surrounded by all those peaks. It’s definitely more interesting and less crowded than Nepal but this trip is not for everyone. Very rustic, camping etc

    Wow. So amazing. You're a world class mountaineer right here in our little quiet corner of the interwebs. Impressive!

    ...so...climbing K2 is a big fat, "No," then? :lol:
  • cheriej2042
    cheriej2042 Posts: 241 Member
    ...so...climbing K2 is a big fat, "No," then? :lol:

    Haha! I at least know I’m just a hiker/trekker NOT a wanna be climber. Most don’t know K2 has a fatality rate of 25% if you attempt to climb it. And those are professional climbers. Many well known experienced climbers have died attempting to climb it. It’s a mountain that commands respect and at least for now hasn’t become the circus you see on Everest and other 7 summits. Their peak season for climbing is July where you would see 200 people (teams, climbers, cooks, film people) at Concordia where I was. Compare that to Everest Base Camp that will have thousands in their climbing season with many unqualified people buying their way in and hoping to summit.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,389 Member
    What am I looking at here? It looks like sleeping bags...or are you just showing the horrible path you're about to take??

    i2rps5smmuwp.jpeg






    This one is kind of magical
    birs64gdrxnf.jpeg
  • cheriej2042
    cheriej2042 Posts: 241 Member
    What am I looking at here? It looks like sleeping bags...or are you just showing the horrible path you're about to take??

    i2rps5smmuwp.jpeg

    That is actually the glacial moraine of the Baltoro Glacier we had to hike on. The dark patches are areas of ice. Our guide could see the path through all that but anyone else in our group couldn’t find the path! It was exhausting trying to hike up and over all those rocks! We had to traverse the glacier several times and it seemed to take forever to get anywhere. There were gigantic hills of rocks too. I don’t know how someone could train for this. I don’t know of any terrain near me that remotely resembles that.




    This one is kind of magical
    birs64gdrxnf.jpeg

  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,389 Member
    edited September 2021
    Oh - yeah it looks exhausting. Well done, you.

    The ice cave in one image looked very foreboding and or, run away! run away!
  • DD265
    DD265 Posts: 493 Member
    Fantastic, but I'm tired just looking at it. I hope you're well recovered!

    I did 19 miles recently (not over anything like that) and it took about 9 hours - how was this trek broken down across multiple days? I imagine 19 miles over the terrain you've shown would take a lot longer than 9 hours!

    How did you get in to adventure trips?
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,700 Member
    Amazing! Thanks for sharing :)

    Have fun on Mt. Whitney Oct 9 and please do post about that.
  • cheriej2042
    cheriej2042 Posts: 241 Member
    DD265 wrote: »
    Fantastic, but I'm tired just looking at it. I hope you're well recovered!

    I did 19 miles recently (not over anything like that) and it took about 9 hours - how was this trek broken down across multiple days? I imagine 19 miles over the terrain you've shown would take a lot longer than 9 hours!

    How did you get in to adventure trips?

    The trip was over 21 days with the actual 80 mile trek over 14 days (one rest day). Because we were at 12000 to 16000 ft and just going up ( not doing the usual hike up then sleep lower and repeat) they tended to break the day down into 8-13 mile chunks but trying to hike across the glacier through the rocks over huge hills couldn’t be done quickly. There was no clear trail.

    Started adventure travel when I decided to go to Macchu Pichu after my uncle went there.