In the north of Pakistan, three mountain ranges collide. The Hindu Kush spills over from Afghanistan, the Himalayas push in from China and Tibet, and the Karakorams rise seemingly out of nothing. Above them all, rises K2, flanked by three other 8,000m peaks, and surrounded by countless other 7,000m mountains. Dazzling white glaciers seem to tumble from deep blue skies into a bleak yet beautiful landscape. And every year for a few brief months, a handful of trekkers and climbers make their way to Concordia - the “throne room of the mountain gods”.
Trekking in the Karakorams is a very different experience to trekking in Nepal or India. The terrain is often and surprisingly less steep, although that does not mean it is necessarily easy: you spend much of your time walking on glaciers and will need to be comfortable sleeping above 4,000m night after night. You leave villages far behind, so have to be much more self-sufficient than on a Nepalese teahouse trek. And you are close to some of the most politically sensitive areas in the World.
The combination of altitude, remoteness and possible political unrest - or worse - deters many trekkers. For the few who do make the trip, however, the rewards are immense. Not only is the scenery among the most spectacular on earth, but the people are some of the warmest and kindest you could ever hope to meet.
This book explains how to visit this remarkable part of the World.