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K2 Base Camp Gondogoro La Trek 2019

One of the most spectacular treks in the world! The K2 base camp trek has some of the most amazing scenery on this planet. The good news is that security is improving in Pakistan after a relatively uneventful election this summer and a recent overture to the IMF for a current account bail out. This means that this trek is starting to become popular again, but for good reason – it’s amazing!! We are using the same agency that has been used by Nancy Hansen and her husband Ralf Dujmovits when they climb in the Karakoram. Conditions permitting, we will return via the spectacular Gondogoro La (5600m), a dramatic high col that affords further stunning views of not only the Gasherbrum peaks but also Broad Peak, K2 and the Muztagh Tower.

 

We have also selected an itinerary that differs a bit from other K2 treks. Our agency is giving us 2 nights at the beginning of the trek in Islamabad to allow us to get over jet lag. In order to make up the extra day, we are planning on FLYING BOTH DIRECTIONS from Islamabad to Skardu. Yes, the drive is spectacular. Yes, it is also a huge pain and the most likely place where there may be “security incidents”. While the possibility of having any problems is very low, the advice we have taken from experienced Karakoram climbers is to fly both ways. “Don’t screw around. Pay the extra money and just fly,” suggested Steve Swenson, who has climbed in the Karakoram over 20 seasons.

 

Applications will be accepted for this trip until December 15. Successful applicants will need to provide a USD$1000 deposit. Contact Steve Fedyna at fedynas@shaw.ca for more info or an application form.

DATES: July 12 to August 1

COST: US $ 2560/- per person based on 12 participants

 Recommended flights: There are many options for flights from Calgary to Islamabad – Qatar airlines is around $2300 and is 26 hours each way, Air China posts deals that are supposed to be only $1800 but I can never find any actual flights that are less than $2300, and there are combinations using Air Canada to London / KLM to Amsterdam & then Gulf or Saudi to Islamabad. These all come in around $2100. The suggested flight is Pakistan International Airlines, departing Toronto on July 11 at 1655 and landing in Islamabad the next day at 1455, with a return departing Islamabad at 0855 on August 1 and landing in Toronto the same day at 1355. This flight is $1579. It is direct, non stop and only 12 hours outbound and 14 hours return (headwinds? On the way back??). If you try to book the entire flight from Calgary to Islamabad on PIA, it’s only $2100 but the send you via Lahore and it takes a lot longer, so I recommend that you get a Westjet credit card & book a companion fare for $99 for you and your traveling buddy. Westjet flights departing Calgary at 0840 arrive in Toronto at 1414 on July 11 or you can catch the flight that departs at 0700 instead. On the return, Westjet departs at 1600 and 1700. Round trip airfare is $545, but if you have the Westjet credit card, you can get a voucher for a $99 Canadian companion fare so that the second flight costs only $99 + $97.11 in fees.