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About the Mountain


Among the world’s 14 peaks over 26,250 feet (8,000 meters), Gasherbrum II (26,362 ft) is considered the second safest and ‘easiest’ after only Cho Oyu (26,906 ft). Reaching the mountain is an adventure in itself, involving a scenic flight or 36-hour bus tour along the Karakoram Highway, plus a 10-hour Jeep drive along Shigar Valley backroads. The Jeep journey, which is from Skardu to Askole, is equal parts beautiful and treacherous. It’s best avoided when there are harsh winds or rain since they can be relied on to trigger rockfall.

“The route is an ever-changing labyrinth, which zigzags around ice blocks and crevasses.”

- Alex Gavan

Gasherbrum II is part of the larger Gasherbrum Massif, which is located on the border of Pakistan and China in the Concordia amphitheater. Within a 15-mile radius from Concordia, there are 10 of the world’s 30 highest peaks, a sight unlike any other. The trek there from Askole is considered one of the most beautiful treks on the planet, thanks to its being surrounded by dazzling giants, like Gasherbrum I (26,510 ft), Broad Peak (26,401 ft), Masherbrum (25,660 ft), Mitre Peak (19,720 ft), Paiju (21,686 ft), Great Trango Tower (20,623 ft), Mustagh Tower (23,870 ft), and – last, but not least – K2 (28,250 ft). Gasherbrum II shares a common Base Camp with other mountains in the Gasherbrum II Massif, so it’s possible to make back-to-back ascents. You’ll have to cross through the perilous Gasherbrum Ice Fall to reach the summit, but it’s well worth it to look out at the expanse of the Karakoram Range. It’s also good training for scaling more expert peaks, like Broad Peak and even Mount Everest (29,029 ft).

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