Monday, January 2, 2012

towards the roof of the world

Well finally, after wanting to do this for quite a few years, ('any takers') I have booked a spot on the Baltoro, K2 Base Camp, Gondogoro La trek for 8th August. (NB updated to actual dates 06/05/12)

I leave Sydney in early July and I will be arriving in Pakistan via Laos, and North West India then crossing at the Wagah Gate to Lahore.

trek map (all images courtesy of the web)

Leaving Islamabad, Pakistan - it lasts 22 days in all. The glacier trek itself coves some of the most spectacular scenery on earth, encompassing as it does, 8 of 20 of the world's highest mountains.

The high point of the trek, both in figurative and literal terms, will be the K2 Base Camp and Gondogoro La high pass (5,940m) and Concordia - the junction of the Baltoro, Godwin Austen,Gasherbrum and Vigne Glaciers.

gondogoro la pass

trango tower


ali camp before taking on the pass

vigne glacier

charakusa valley


Gondogoro La is slightly higher than Kilimanjaro (5,895m) but I anticipate it being a little less taxing as the start of the trek is around 5,000m and the climb over the pass (begun at 1am) is only 940m up from the base camp. Whereas the Kili summit entailed a midnight start and climb of almost 1,400m.

After the trek I will head either north up the Karakorum Highway into China and head to Kashgar to try and see some of it before the Chinese completely destroy the ancient town, or south to a region called Fairy Meadow - an unusual very non - Pakistani name for a high alpine region that could be mistaken for Switzerland.

fairy meadow

Here one can confront the magnificent Nanga Parbat (8,126m), the ninth highest mountain in the world which possesses the highest mountain face on the planet.

Or perhaps I'll do both.