When people talk about travelling to the mountain areas, they often mention places like Switzerland and New Zealand. But why travel to these overpriced and overpopulated tourist sites when you can visit Pakistan’s Karakoram mountain range?
Often called the “roof of the world,” the Karakoram includes one of the most famous mountains in the world – K2. About 28,251 ft above sea level, the mountain is situated on the China-Pakistan border in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of northern Pakistan. K2 also precedes Mount Everest as the second highest in the world and is known for its dangerous terrain and unpredictable climate conditions.
Why the strange name?
K2 is also called Godwin Austen and was first discovered by T.G. Montgomery as a part of the British Survey of India in 1856. The goal of the British was to create a border between Kashmir and China since they feared an attack from the Russian Empire.
During the survey, the highest mountain was written down as K1, the second highest K2 and so on. Since the mountain wasn’t assigned a specific local name, the title K2 stuck.
Other names given to K2: The mountain has other interesting appellations such as ‘The Mountaineers’ and ‘The King of Mountains’. It is also known as ‘Savage Mountain,’ a name given by the American climber George Bell.
Is K2 dangerous?
While comparatively easier to climb during the warm weather, K2 has never been embarked upon in winter. This is because the mountain range it belongs to is heavily glaciated and often experiences extreme temperatures. The pyramid shaped mountain has been a challenge even for some of the best climbers because of the steep slopes and unpredictable weather which often gives way to storms and avalanches.
However, even with the risks involved, approximately 367 people have completed the ascent to K2 as of 2018.
How to travel to K2 without the risk?
Well, you don’t have to climb all the way to the top of K2 just to experience the beauty of the Karakoram range. If you are the adventurous sort and simply want some time away from the city life, an expedition to the K2 base-camp could be the perfect quest for you.
Walking amidst the looming majestic mountains, travellers also get to experience some ethereal rivers and striking glaciers. Though the terrain isn’t an easy one, the plethora of mountain peaks will surely leave you spellbound.
Experience Pakistan’s culture
The peculiar aspect about Pakistan is that each region, village or province has its own unique culture. From the dances, clothes and language, to the fascinating festivals that take place all year round, a trip to Pakistan’s north is a breath of fresh air for foreign tourists.
Let’s not forget the amazing food! The northern region of Pakistan is known for the cuisine it offers to locals and foreigners.