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Everest Base Camp Trek vs K2 Base Camp Trek

Rajan Jung Adhikari

Everest Base Camp Trek vs K2 Base Camp Trek

  • 2 years ago

Everest Base Camp Trek vs K2 Base Camp Trek, Both the novice and experienced trekkers want to do Everest Base Camp Trek and K2 Base Camp Trek. Who don’t want to reach the base camps of the world’s first and second highest peaks? Along with the similarities, there are some differences between the Everest Trek and the K2 Trek.

By comparing Everest Base Camp Trek with K2 Base Camp Trek, you can decide on which trek is more suitable for you for a lifelong memory. Natural and aesthetic beauty plus adventure journeys are almost equal in both the epic treks.

Really, one finds it hard to choose between EBC Trek and K2 Trek. Because both are for the daredevils and avid trekkers who want to get something new in their life on their own. Yes, helicopter ride over Everest and flights over K2 Base Camp are far easier than trekking to either of the base camps. But, trekking is far more interesting and adventurous than getting the aerial views of the Giant Mountains.

Trips - Everest Base Camp Trek vs K2 Base Camp Trek

Everest Base Camp Trek is an ultimate destination for all the Nepal trekking enthusiasts. This trek begins after exploring Kathmandu, the City of Temples or the Capital City of Nepal. On the other hand, K2 Base Camp Trek begins after exploring the city of Islamabad and its cultural heritage sites. Both the cities have their own characteristics and beauties; however, they reward you with different flavor of culture and traditions.

This blog “Comparing Everest Base Camp Trek with K2 Base Camp Trek” aims to give you brief differences between the two destinations.

Key Differences between Everest Base Camp Trek vs K2 Base Camp Trek

Everest Base Camp Trek vs K2 Base Camp Trek

Nepal and Pakistan are both Asian countries connected by the Himalayas with each other. Along with their sizes, Nepal and Pakistan have some key differences in terms of religions and cultures. Moreover, there are some notable differences between Everest Base Camp Trek and K2 Base Camp Trek.

Fact Check: Everest Base Camp Trek and K2 Base Camp Trek

Heading Everest Base Camp Trek K2 Base Camp Trek
Elevation 8,848.86m 8,610m
Base Camp Elevation 5,364m 5,151m
Highest Altitude 5,643m 5,560m
Itinerary 15 days 22 days
Distance 130 km 160 km
Average Trekkers per year 30,000 1,300
Himalayan Range Mahalangur (Himalayas) Karakoram
Country Nepal Pakistan
Conservation Area Sagarmatha National Park Central Karakoram National Park

Nepal vs. Pakistan

Pakistan is an Islamic country located in the SAARC Zone. It is populated by majority of the Sunni Sect while significant number of the Shi’i Sect. Therefore, K2 Base Camp Trek is an opportunity to explore the Islamic culture and tradition in the urban areas.

Then, you fly from Islamabad to Skardu in an hour or drive spending 2 days. From Skardu, you take a 6/7-hour drive to Askole, the gateway to K2 Base Camp Trek. The K2 Base Camp Trek route runs across complete wilderness and tranquility.
Nepal is a secular country nestled between the Great Himalayas with majority of Hindu followers. It is a multi-cultural, multi-lingual, and multi-ethnic country existing as an epitome of “a wreath of hundreds of flowers.” During the preparation day of Everest Base Camp Trek, you get to explore the cultural and religious heritage sites. Among these, four of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites will be explored.

Then, you take a flight to Lukla, Tenzing Hillary Airport and also called the gateway to Everest Region Trekking. After a 30-minute scenic flight from Kathmandu to Lukla, you ascend towards Phakding along a rugged trail. Throughout the Everest Base Camp Trek trail, you walk through the Sherpa settlement areas of the Khumbu Region.

The Himalayas vs. the Karakorum

Everest Base Camp Trek vs K2 Base Camp Trek

The Himalayas extend from the Tibetan Plateau in the north up to the plains of the Indian Sub-continent in the south. They connect five Asian countries namely, Bhutan, India, Nepal, China, and Pakistan. The Himalayas own many of the highest peaks of the world including Mount Everest (8,848.86m).

The Karakoram also touches five Asian countries – China, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan. 15 of its highest peaks including the world’s second highest peak K2 (Mount Godwin Austen: 8,610m) within Pakistan.

Landscapes of Everest Region Trekking and Karakoram Region Trekking are quite different although they lie in the Himalayas.

Mountain scenery rewarded during Everest Base Camp Trek and K2 Base Camp Trek is different, too. The Karakoram Mountains are steeper and vertical rising above the glaciers. The K2 Base Camp Trekking trail goes past the Central Karakoram National Park. As you ascend higher from the Baltoro Glacier, the scenery is more impressive.

The Karakoram Mountains from Trongo Towers (6,286m), Masherbrum (7,821m), Gesherbrum (8,086m), Broad Peak (8,047m), and K2 respectively welcome to their vicinity. Just as the name suggests, the Karakoram Region is made up of the “Black Mountains” rather turning hostile to humankind.

The landscapes of Everest Region are quite impressive and rather different from that of the Karakoram Mountains.  Everest Base Camp Trek route goes past the Sherpa settlement areas inside Sagarmatha National Park. The Khumbu Region is green and populated unlike the K2 Region.

The snowcapped peaks of the Great Himalayas including Mt Everest (8,848.86m) welcome you to their region. The Khumbu Icefalls and the Khumbu Glacier make your trip a lifelong memory and a lifetime achievement. The Everest Region and the mountain scenery of this area look friendlier to climbers and trekkers than the K2 Region.

Best Time for Everest Base Camp Trek vs K2 Base Camp Trek

Everest Base Camp Trek is accessible throughout the year except in excessive snowfalls. Even in the winter season, Everest Base Camp Trekking Route is not always blocked by the layers of the snow. By taking help of the expert tour operator and professional local guides, you can reach the base camp of Everest all year around.

However, spring (March-May) and autumn (September-November) are the best time for Everest Base Camp Trek. In these seasons, the skies remain clear due to stable weather that the mountain scenery is just WOW! Doing EBC Trek in the spring or the autumn is the best way to enjoy the sunset and sunrise views of the Great Himalayas.

K2 Base Camp Trek is less frequented in all seasons of the year. July and August are the best time for K2 Base Camp Trek because in this time, the skies are clear due to stable weather. There are records of the trekkers who have reached the K2 Base Camp (5,151m) even in June and late September.

Despite its remoteness and challenges, the base camp of Mt. K2 has been traversed in winter season as well. However, we don’t recommend you to try out trekking to K2 Base Camp in other times except July and August.

Travelling Mode to begin the Everest Trek and the K2 Trek

Travelling mode matters a lot to reach to the trailhead to begin either of the treks. Everest Base Camp Trek begins from Lukla, the gateway to the Everest Region Trekking. On the other hand, K2 Base Camp Trek begins from Askole, the gateway to K2 Expedition as well.

The Skardu Airport has a longer runway than the Tenzing Hillary Airport, Lukla. The installation of radar system in the Skardu Airport has added to the reliability of the flights services for K2 Base Camp Trek.

To reach the trailheads of both the treks, you need to use domestic flights. So, it is obvious that flights can be cancelled due to unfavorable weather conditions. To begin with K2 Base Camp Trekking, you can reach Skardu by flights in just around an hour and then a day’s drive to Askole.

Alternatively, you can reach to Skardu from Islamabad by driving for two days via the Karakoram Highway. And then, you use roadway transportation to reach Askole to begin the epic K2 Trek.

Travel Methode for K2

You take a scenic flight to Lukla from Kathmandu over the Himalayas that requires around 35 minutes. In case the flights are cancelled, you don’t have easy alternative to reach to Lukla. That means you have to keep some spare days in beginning Everest Base Camp Trek, especially, in rainy and winter seasons. The new road tracks are opened and under construction as well to Solukhumbu district but they are pretty much challenging and time consuming, too.

Yes, you can use roadway transportation to Jiri, Dolakha and follow Jiri to Everest Base Camp Trek route to reach Lukla. This is the best way to follow the footsteps of Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay that they used during the Everest Expedition 1953. But, you need to be flexible for 5 to 7 days to follow Jiri EBC Trekking trails.

Formalities to abide by to begin the Everest Trek and the K2 Trek

Everest Base Camp Trek vs K2 Base Camp Trek

The formalities for beginning both the treks are different from each other. This is all because of different ruling system and tourism policies of Nepal and Pakistan.

The booking procedures of K2 Base Camp Trek are quite different from that of Everest Base Camp Trek booking procedures. The red tape and bureaucracy while trekking in Pakistan are stricter than trekking in Nepal.

To do Everest Base Camp Trek, you can get pre- and on-arrival visa except in some critical circumstances. But for K2 Base Camp Trek, such provisions are not that easy. However, international trekkers in Pakistan can fill in online form for tourist visa.

K2 Base Camp Trek Itinerary

Day 01: Fly to Islamabad (540m), Day 02: Islamabad City Tour and Trek Preparation, Day 03: Fly to Skardu (2,500m) – 1 Hour Flight/2hrs Drive, Day 04: Drive to Askole (3,045m) – 6/7 Hours,Day 05: Trek to Johola (3,100m) – 6/7 Hours, Day 06: Trek to Paiju (3,380m) via Bardumal (3,450m) – 7/8 Hours, Day 07: Acclimatization Day, Day 08: Trek to Khoburtse (3,990m) – 5/6 Hours, Day 09: Trek to Urdukas (4,052m) – 3/4 Hours, Day 10: Trek to Gore 2 (4,650m) – 5/6 Hours,

Day 11: Trek to Concordia (4,650m) – 4/5 Hours, Day 12: Trek to Broad Peak Base Camp (5,000m) – 3/4 Hours, Day 13: Hike to K2 Base Camp (5,117m) & Return to Broad Peak Base Camp – 6/7 Hours, Day 14: Trek to Gore 2 (4,380m) – 6/7 Hours, Day 15: Trek to Urdukas (4,052m) – 4/5 Hours, Day 16: Trek to Paiju (3,450m) – 3/4 Hours, Day 17: Trek to Johola (3,100m) – 5 Hours, Day 18: Trek to Askole (3,000m) – 5/6 Hours, Day 19: Drive to Skardu – 6/7 Hours, Day 20: Fly back to Islamabad – 1 Hour/2 Days Drive, Day 21: Rest Day & Islamabad Exploration & Day 22: Final Departure

Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary:

Conclusion: Everest Base Camp Trek vs K2 Base Camp Trek

Both Everest Base Camp Trek vs K2 Base Camp Trek are adventurous for a lifelong memory. Both treks lead you to the extreme wilderness along the national parks occupied by a large biodiversity. If you ask us which of Everest Base Camp Trek and K2 Base Camp Trek to choose, we don’t exactly answer. It is your choice for trekking in Nepal or trekking in Pakistan; ascending to the world’s highest peak or the second highest peak. Nonetheless, we hope this blog will help you in comparing Everest Base Camp Trek with K2 Base Camp Trek and choose the right one for you.