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Trekking in the Karakoram

Pakistan: K2, Snow Lake, Gondogoro La and Nanga Parbat

Three of the most popular high-altitude treks in Pakistan's Karakoram, among some of the world's highest mountains: Snow Lake and the Biafo and Hispar Glaciers; the K2 Base Camp Trek; and Gondogoro La via Concordia. Also includes two shorter treks in the shadow of Nanga Parbat: Fairy Meadows and Rakhiot Base Camp Trek; and a trek to Diamir Face.


Late spring, summer and early autumn is the best time for walking in the mountains, but do expect it to be hot. During the rest of the year snow could cause problems.


Gilgit and Skardu are the main access points for the Karakoram. The three Karakoram treks start from Askole.


With the exception of the Fairy Meadows trek, all the routes are strenuous. In general, expect long hours of hiking on trails covered with unstable rocks and scree, minimal shade and high temperatures during the day. Crampons are needed for some of the glacier travel.

Must See

K2, the second highest mountain in the world, along with other 8000m giants (Nanga Parbat, Gasherbrum I and II and Broad Peak) and many 7000m+ peaks, embedded in long glaciers, located in a region with a rich cultural, religious, political and historical past
11 Apr 2024
17.20 x 11.60 x 1.40cm

A guidebook to 3 high-altitude treks in Pakistan’s Karakoram mountains, plus 2 shorter routes on the flanks of Nanga Parbat in the neighbouring Himalaya. With the exception of the Fairy Meadows trek, all the routes are strenuous and are recommended for experienced trekkers.

The guide includes 3 treks of 12 days each (excluding rest days): Biafo to Hispar via Snow Lake; a K2 Base Camp Trek; and a crossing of Gondogoro La. The Nanga Parbat routes visit Fairy Meadows (3 days) and Diamir or West Face (5 days).

  • Route description illustrated with 1:100,000 mapping and elevation profiles
  • Advice on planning and preparation, including trek operators
  • Safety considerations
  • History of mountaineering and exploration in the Karakoram
  • Offers views of 5 of the world’s 8000m peaks

Table of Contents
Bart Jordans Cicerone author JORDAN

By Bart Jordans

Originally from the Netherlands, Bart Jordans has been guiding and exploring treks and (trekking) peaks in the Himalayas, Karakoram, Hindu Kush, European Alps, Kilimanjaro, Simien Mountains of Ethiopia, Moroccan Atlas Mountains and Damavand in Iran since 1984. Most of his guiding experience is in Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan. He lived in Bhutan from 1999 till the end of 2003. He has been guiding in Pakistan since 1989. Originally from the Netherlands, he lived in Bhutan for over four years and in Vietnam for two. He caught the bug for mountain activities early in life on annual family visits to the Alps. Bart is now a freelance trekking guide for several well-known companies. When not in the mountains he works in the outdoor gear business and writes articles on the mountains of Bhutan, for which he is a noted expert.

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