On this new MT Sobek extreme adventure, join legendary mountain guide Sergio Fitch Watkins to K2 Advance Base Camp, a coveted destination for trekkers around the world. Begin your journey in Kashgar, take the Silk Road past shifting deserts and towering peaks, and then embark on your tough but incredibly rewarding 14-day trek. Hike remote mountain terrain, encounter minority villages, ride Bactrian camels across rivers, and behold the Karakorum giants. Join us on this epic trek amidst the highest, most breathtaking peaks on earth!
Trek with a pro guide with more than 30 years of mountain guiding experience
Spend an extra night at K2 Advance Base Camp to absorb the magnificent surroundings
Continue past Chinese base camp to celebrate your achievement at ABC, the trek's highest point
Welcome to China! On arrival in Kashgar, meet an MT Sobek representative and transfer to your hotel. Join the rest of the group and your trip leaders for a welcome dinner and briefing this evening.
After a good night's sleep and breakfast, spend today leisurely sightseeing in the oasis city of Kashgar, a stop on the old Silk Road. Take in the 15th-century Id Kah Mosque, located in Kashgar Square and one of the largest mosques in China; Abakh Hoja Tomb (Afaq Khoja Mausoleum), perhaps Xinjiang's finest example of Islamic architecture; and Old Town, where Kashgaris have lived and worked for centuries; and the age-old Kashgar Sunday Market, still one of the world's most amazing bazaars.
After breakfast this morning, drive southeast to Kargilik. East of Kashgar, the Silk Road splits into two threads in the face of the Taklamakan Desert, the second-largest shifting sand desert in the world. The southern road charts a somewhat remote course between desert sands and the towering Kunlun ranges. Stop in Yengisar, known for the production of knives - a timeless symbol of Uyghur culture. Once in Kargilik, experience its central square, an eclectic mix of local teahouses and bazaar vendors in the shadow of the large Jama mosque.
This morning visit the 15th-century Jama Masjid (mosque) and the surrounding adobe-walled backstreets of Kargilik's Old Town. Then board the bus and drive farther along the same highway to Ilik, a small village oasis that serves as the starting point for K2 treks. En route, cross a 16,000' pass and the military checkpoint of Mazar.
While your camel drivers take a few hours to load up their charges, lace up your boots and get trekking! Today you start at an easy pace along dry riverbeds. Admire the stunning desert and Karakorum views on both sides. Arrive at Karyar Camp, also known as Junction Camp (12,500'), where you spend the night.
Today you hike to the base of Aghil Pass, which towers above at 15,765 feet. Aghil Pass is the crossing point on the Major Ridge separating the Yarkand and Shaksgam rivers. En route, take shortcuts around bends in the river with soaring mountains on both sides, and pass a Kyrgyz village where locals make goat cheese. Set up camp below the pass.
It's a slow grind today up to Aghil Pass, but on the saddle of the pass, you catch your first breathtaking views of the Shaksgam River, and the mighty Karakorum peaks: K2, Broad Peak, and all the Gasherbrums! You also can see your trekking route for the next few days, as it winds along the channel of the Shaksgam River. Descend to your camping spot along the river.
Your actual trekking time is relatively short today, as you need to ride a camel across the Shaksgam River several times during your approach to K2 Base Camp. The rivers can be quite high during the trekking season, so we take no chances. Today also yields spectacular views of K2's North Ridge, on the China side of the mountain.
Continue trekking through remote terrain - no villages or shepherds here - along the Shaksgam River. Make one more difficult river crossing on camelback before arriving ceremoniously at the Chinese Base Camp, aka Sughet Jangal (12,631').
Take it easy today, acclimatizing and checking out the area. There are many possibilities for exploration at Sughet Jangal base camp, and look for Marco Polo rams in the distance.
About three days up the K2 Glacier is Advance Base Camp (ABC), the turnaround point for our trek. Set out for it today, reveling in spectacular Karakorum views as you prepare yourself for a tough couple of days ahead.
Be vigilant today, as your trek is all moraine traveling, with rocks, ice, and scree. From our camp at the Sarpo Lago Glacier, embark on an (optional) loop hike in the direction of camp 2 to get a spectacular view of K2, or rest at camp.
You made it! You need to cross the K2 Glacier to reach ABC. Advance Base Camp (16,929') marks the highest point of your trek and the end of your ascent into this incredibly beautiful, humbling region. Revel in it - and the views of K2!
Begin to retrace your route back to Ilik, where you started the trek. Today, trek down to Sughet Jangal.
Retrace your route back to Shaksgam River Camp. The trail is very rocky over river beds.
Retrace your route back to the base of Aghil Pass, continuing along the rocky river bed.
Trek up and over Aghil Pass and down to the Yarkand River.
After breakfast, drive back to Kargilik. Enjoy great views of Mustaghata today.
Retrace your route back to Ilik. Upon arrival in town, check into the hotel and enjoy a well-deserved shower and rest in an actual bed.
Another drive today, this time back to Kashgar. You have free time in the afternoon for resting or last-minute shopping before you convene with the group for a festive farewell dinner.
After breakfast, say goodbye to the group and transfer to the Kashgar Airport for your homeward-bound flight.
We have been leaders in mountain trekking for 50 years and are excited to offer this new ultimate challenge adventure.
Sergio Fitch Watkins is one of our most popular mountain guides with decades of experience leading physically demanding treks.
This is the most accessible way to get great views of K2.
Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.
Strenuous mountain trekking with difficult river crossings for 14 days, hiking 6-8 hours per day, up to 16,929' elevation; cultural touring in Kashgar.
Remote mountain camping, basic hotels in Kargilik and Ilik and comfortable hotels in Kashgar.
Daytime temperatures range from the 50°Fs to the 90°Fs, depending on the elevation. Nighttime temperatures drop to 30°Fs in the high camps.
You fly roundtrip to Kashgar in Xinjiang province, China.
An MT Sobek representative will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel.
No, we are not able to handle your visa, but we will provide you with all the necessary documentation to handle on your own or through a visa service.
Yes, and we recommend a rating of 0°F to 15°F; keep in mind your own personal warmth and comfort when choosing your sleeping bag. We do provide a 3" foam sleeping pad.
You will have Wi-Fi at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Kashgar, but not at the hotels in Kargilik and Ilik or while on the trek.
Your luggage will be transported by camels during the trek, and you will have it in camp each night.
Make any of our trips a custom adventure or start from scratch. Take two itineraries and match them up to create a unique third. Add extras and extensions and more...if you can imagine it, we can make it happen!
"Great experience every time with some of the most knowledgeable guides in their fields. We always come home with wonderful memories of the people we meet and things we see."
MT Sobek Guest
"A prominent reason we have chosen MT Sobek as our favorite adventure travel company has been the excellent travel guides."
Carol & Burt D.
MT Sobek Guewst