Background and History of K-2:

It was in 1856, when the British were enforcing their control over India, provoking the 1857-War-of-independence, that a young Lieutenant of the Royal Engineers, T.G. Montgomerie, was quietly busy in surveying the mountains of Kashmir. During this survey, he saw, in the far distance, a tall and conspicuous mountain in the direction of the Karakorams and immediately named it K1 (‘K’ stands for Karakorams). Later on, it turned out to be the beautiful mountain of Hushe valley in Khaplu area of Baltistan, called Masherbrum by locals. He also saw another tall and dominating summit behind K1 and named it K2, which turned out to be “Chogori” (local name in Balti Language). The name K2, however, still stands. K2 is a rocky mountain up to 6000 meters, beyond which it becomes an ocean of snow.

K-2, the 2nd highest mountain of the world:

K2 is the 2nd highest mountain in the world. It is situated in Gilgit-Baltistan Region of Pakistan. The exact height of the peak is 8,611 meters/28,251 ft. The K2 peak is situated on the Pak-China border in the mighty Karakoram Range. The traditional route to its base camp goes from Skardu, which is linked with Islamabad by a good road. From Skardu the route goes via Shigar-Dassu-Askole up to Concordia over the Baltoro Glacier.

Skardu is the gateway to the K-2 and will serve as a base of operations. From Skardu you will need to jeep as far as possible towards Askolie, the last village before reaching K-2. Beyond Askolie is complete wilderness and glaciers. From Askolie the normal route will take about 2-3 days to the Paiyu campsite (3666m) near the base of Paiyu Peak (6660m). The next day the trek is usually to Urdukas to cross Baltoro Glacier. Then next day trek to Gore, which is about an 8-hour trek. Then another 5-hour trek to Concordia. It is usually a 4-5 day trek to reach Concordia. Finally, trek to Broad Peak Base Camp and trek to K-2 Base Camp.

On 31 July 1954, Italian climbers Achille Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli became the first people to reach the summit of K2, the second highest mountain in the world.

Getting permits and paying fees are normally handled by your tour operator. You will need to spend some time in Islamabad at the start of your trek to get your trekking permit. I would recommend being part of a group on this trek as weather and remoteness present conditions where support is crucial.

The royalty fee has been reinstated by the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan to the actual rates of 2001 as per Mountaineering and Trekking Rules 1999 for scaling peaks of various heights and trekking in Gilgit-Baltistan which shall be enacted w.e.f January 1st, 2023:-


Height of mountain

Royalty Fee For Max 07 members     

For each additional member exceeding 07 members


8611m (K-2)


$ 3000


8001 – 8500m


$ 3000


7501 – 8000m


$ 1000


7001 – 7500m


$ 500


6501 – 7000m


$ 300


1.      Additional fee will be charged if the party applies for more than one Peak.

2.      A party shall not exceed more than 07 members and the maximum will be 15 members in case of additional members.

3.      A permit shall be issued for a party for one Peak only. After completion of their mission, another permit shall be issued.

4.      A defense Liaison Officer shall be detailed with each party/each permit (Not More than 07 members and maximum 15 members in case of additional members).

View Notification: https://visitgilgitbaltistan.gov.pk/downloads/1663650846.jpg