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Deep in the heart of the Karakoram Ranges, a pyramid shaped craggy mountain rises to form the border between Kashmir and China in the east. Since humans first glimpsed its daunting silhouette, it has been the source of myth and legend; a nameless massif that was so remote from human habitation that it did not have a local moniker, and was hence tagged with the first surveyors’ numbering of ‘K2’. Few have reached its summit; many have failed in the attempt to scale its incessant steep slopes that are saddled with terrible weather more often than not. The Savage Mountain as it is also known, has claimed the life of no fewer than 80 mountaineers since the first boots touched its glacial slopes in 1856.
Today, experienced hikers, climbers and intrepid types looking to case out the wildest corners of the Himalayan ranges enlist the help of K2 tour guides to take them as close as possible to the massive mountain. Beginning at the town of Askole, the trek to base camp takes around eight days, weaving between the dusty valleys of Baltistan and crossing some of the remotest sections of Asia’s mountains before arrival.