Close this search box.

Ditch the tropical vacation; visit Nepal and climb Island Peak this autumn!

10 Reasons Why you Should Choose Epic Expeditions for the K2 Base Camp Trek

k2 base camp trek

So here you are. You have been researching the K2 Base Camp Trek; your adventure fire is lit and you want to get out there yourself soon. 

But with so many tour operators on offer… you are having trouble deciding which company to go with. We understand that this is a big decision as the choice will impact not only your bank account but your safety and all-around experience doing the K2 Base Camp Trek as well.  

Like most things in life, in this vast wilderness landscape of tour operators, not all companies are created equal. This article breaks down why Epic Expeditions is among the best in the business running the K2 Base Camp Trek and should leave you feeling confident that you shall be in good hands should you choose to take this epic journey with our professional team. 

Let’s get into it…

1. We Prioritize Safety Above All Else

Our number one priority is making sure you are safe throughout this entire expedition to K2 Base Camp and back home. Full stop. 

We have watched countless times as other trekking groups find themselves in rough situations with limited solutions because of the lack of preparedness by their guides. We vowed from day 1 that this would never be us. 

Our guides always carry multiple communications devices in case of an emergency event so that we can contact outside help if need be. Much to our amazement, many other companies don’t do that – only because they can not be bothered to spend the extra money required to have a satellite phone subscription! To us, this is unacceptable and puts the whole group in danger. 

In addition to carrying sat phones and two-way radios, we always carry a Garmin In-Reach. This satellite-based device has the capability to send messages to any email address or cell phone from anywhere in the world. 

k2 base camp trek
The Garmin In-Reach has proven to be a crucial tool.

2. Epic Always Has Experienced Guides

When you have a group of 10 people, it is impossible for one guide to give the proper attention to ever team member. 

Depending on trip numbers, our trips usually feature one western guide and one local guide – both of whom have extensive experience operating in the Karakoram. 

Our guide staff has YEARS of experience operating in this region and has a passion for adventure well beyond leading these trips. 

In addition to being avid long-distance trekkers, our guide staff have summited multiple 6000, 7000, and 8000-meter peaks including K2, Spantik, Island Peak, Mera Peak, Gashebrum 2 and many more. 

The point is, our staff has plenty of hands-on experience in the big mountains and are well equipped to deal with the challenges and highs and lows the trip to K2 Base Camp often entails! 

Island peak climbing
Guie Sohail Sahki and Epic Founder Chris Lininger

3. Our Chefs Work with a Custom Menu

As much as we love rice, daal, and chapati, we also know the importance of having a diverse menu catering to western tastes. 

Food is a huge part of the K2 Base Camp Trek for obvious reasons. We are out on the trail for nearly 2 weeks and what we eat is the literal fuel for our journey. We have trained our chefs to prepare custom dishes that are packed with flavor, calories, and nutrition, while also serving up special treats like French fries, Pizza, fresh popcorn, and hand-rolled Samosas. 

In case you have dietary preferences, our chefs are also happy to cater to vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diets. 

Our food program can be summed up with this quick story:

Last year, we invited a French woman from another team to join our camp as she was having some sort of issues with her group. When breakfast was served, her jaw literally hit the floor. She could not believe that we were serving fresh mango, melon, omelets, naan, Nutella, jams, butter, granola, and a bunch of other stuff, all served with organic French press coffee. She told us that she was not getting any eggs or any fruit, just bland oatmeal every morning. We looked on as she scraped the Nutella jar clean of any trace of leftovers with a smile on her face.

k2 base camp trek food
Preparing some fresh BBQ chicken at nearly 5000 meters!

4. Premium Tents, Solar Lighting, and Shower Facilities

There is no other way to say it: the Karakoram environment is harsh – but that does not mean it has to be uncomfortable. 

When thinking about our camp set-ups, we incorporated our experience testing different tents and have settled on very roomy 4-season tents that can handle wind, snow, and all of the general abuse that comes with camping in the Karakoram. The tents have the capacity to house 2 large men plus their gear comfortably (thin mattresses are also provided; these are meant to go underneath your air mattress for added insulation and comfort). 

When night falls, camp is illuminated by various lighting systems including solar string lights and dining area lights. 

One of the most frequently asked questions we get is but how do we shower out there for 2 weeks?

Upon request, we are able to provide hot bucket showers in a private shower tent. While nothing fancy, the hot bucket shower can go a long way in improving how one feels at the end of the way of trekking in the sun and dust. 

Cold showers at the lower camps are also possible (when the temperatures are warm).

k2 base camp trek tents
Our views from camp at the base of K2

5. Epic Pays our Staff Well Above the Average Wage

Without our local staff, the K2 Base Camp Trek is simply not possible. From our porter teams and cooks to our local guides and drivers; each one of these individuals plays a crucial role that allows us to do what we do. 

One of the founding principles of Epic is to provide a living wage to the people who make our trips possible. We charge more than budget operators do for this trip so that we can pay our people a fair wage. 

Local budget operators (a quick Google search will tell you who these companies are) pay their staff a shockingly low rate. Their lead guides might only make $20 USD a day or less. 

The costs to run the K2 Base Camp Trek are quite high given all that is involved, so if a company is charging you under $2000 USD to join their trip, we can guarantee you that they are paying their staff almost nothing. 

We do understand that our trip price is higher than some travelers’ budgets – but it should be understood that if you do decide to go with a budget tour operator, the local labor force can be financially exploited – this is just a sad truth of the tourism game in Pakistan. 

Beyond the comforts and quality food we offer our clients, the fact that we pay our staff a fair wage for the services they provide should be reason enough to choose Epic Expeditions for the K2 Base Camp Trek. 

Epic Founder Chris Lininger with guide Zahid Hussein

6. The Epic Style

What is the Epic Style?

Cultivated and ever-evolving, the Epic style can be defined like this: come as a client, leave as life-long friends. 

These sorts of expeditions attract a certain kind of person and without fail, our K2 Base Camp Trek trips attract some truly exceptional humans from all over the world. 

On average, our expeditions have 7-8 different nationalities per trip, which means we never get the “all-American” or “all-German” group. We love the diversity and it is part of the reason why our groups end up being so unique. 

There is a reason why we have many clients coming back to do new trips with us year after year. 

island peak climbing nepal

7. Our K2 Base Camp Trek Itinerary is Long to Ensure Proper Acclimatization

As a wise man once said, you are nothing without acclimatization. 

Operating at high altitudes requires many things, but perhaps the two most important factors are time and acclimatization. 

Our K2 Base Camp Trek Itinerary is 21 days for a reason. We take it slow on the trail, ensuring that each member’s body has the chance to properly acclimatize to an environment with lower oxygen levels. 

We believe that having any fewer days for trekking or rest is not advisable and would be to invite symptoms of altitude sickness. 

k2 base camp trek
Our crew approaching Broad Peak Base Camp around 5000 meters

8. Epic Staff is Trained for Wilderness First Aid Scenarios

While our staff are not doctors, they are trained in wilderness first aid procedures. 

If you are seriously injured or ill along the K2 Base Camp Trek, our staff can render emergency medical treatment until the member is able to receive proper care in a hospital if need be. 

The guides carry an extensive first aid kit and they are able to treat superficial wounds like cuts and scrapes, minor sprains or burns, as well as a variety of gastronomic ailments. 

how to start mountaineering
Our knowledgeable staff staff is here when you need us.

9. One-on-One Pre-Tour Phone Calls

Epic is one of the few trekking-focused companies that take the time to have multiple one-on-one video conferences with our clients. 

We believe that to ensure the best experience for our clients, we prepare each client as much as possible before our boots even hit the ground. 

On these calls we can devlop personalized training plans (especially if you are on the older side), go over the packing list and any gear-related questions, provide answers for questions about safety and security in Pakistan, book accommodation for you pre/post tour, and much more, 

This is the Epic difference; we are there for you before, during, and after your trip because we truly want to make this adventure one that you walk away from with your “trekking” mind blown and “adventure” heart full. 

snow lake trek pakistan

10. Check Out our Reviews

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out our 5-star Google Business and Trip Advisor reviews. 

Our client testimonials speak for themselves.

Wrap Up: Why You Should Choose Epic for the K2 Base Camp Trek

This list of what sets Epic Expeditions apart from the rest of the tour operator pack goes on, but we shall end it here. 

By now, you should have a good idea of what we stand for as a company and what level of service you should expect from us versus other operators. 

The K2 Base Camp Trek is one hell of a journey and we want to be the ones who are with you every step of the way as you make your way to the world’s second-highest mountain and back home. 

If you are keen to join us for the K2 Base Camp Trek – either this year or next – please email us to book a call with one of our adventure staff so we can start our custom planning and preparation for your trek with us. 

k2 base camp trek

More from the blog

Welcome to our Journal!

snow lake trek pakistan

Here at Epic Expeditions, adventure is constantly on our minds. 

Our blog – or Journal as we like to call it – contains epic trip stories, photo diaries, and news about new tours. 

Thanks for checking it out! 

What's new in the journal?

The trip we're most stoked about

Island Peak Climbing Expedition

Next trip: October 14th - 31st, 2024

Adventure Guide

Hailing from the Toronto region of Eastern Canada, with a background as a former standout athlete (hockey of course) and a  love of mountain adventure, Clark is a welcomed addition to the Epic team.

In addition to being a keen photographer and adventurer, Clark brings his brilliant sense of humor, leadership skills, and positive attitude to everything he puts his mind to. 

When he is not leading trips, he is working on taking over the hard apple cider game in Canada as a skilled craft brewer. 

Adventure Guide

Noemi grew up in the mountains of German-Speaking Switzerland where she naturally developed a deep love and respect for mountain environments.

She is a talented photographer, aspiring climber, and speaks at least 5 languages fluently including Arabic (and probably a few more that we don’t know about), which she taught herself in a matter of months by watching YouTube videos. 

Noemi has spent the last several years traveling, hiking, and photographing her way around many different countries in the Middle East, South and Central Asia, and Europe, and we could not be more stoked to welcome her to the Epic team! 

Adventure Guide

As our man on the ground in Mongolia, there is not much this legend can’t do. As a native the Bayan-Ölgii province of the Western Mongolia Altai, Syerik has been working as a guide and tourism entrepreneur…

for the past several years and is one of the rising stars in Mongolia adventure travel industry. 

He is currently building a beautiful Ger (Yurt) camp near his hometown where he will host Epic Mongolia team members on our trip as well as other travelers from around the world! 

He is the perfect guide for your trip to Mongolia. Serik did an amazing job giving us a well rounded experience in the Altai NP region and down in the Gobi…
The food was fantastic and Serik gave us many opportunities to learn about the Kazakh culture in that region including traditional meals. (I can’t recommend enjoying the milk tea enough!)

– Coastal

Head of canine operations

Choriza started off life as a care-free vagabond on the streets of Madeira Island without any place to call home. From the moment we met her, we knew this dog was just different, and it was pretty much love at first sight. 

She gave up the dog street life in favor of joining her new dad Chris to become a full-time member of the Epic family towards the end of 2022.

These days she can be found listening in on the fringes of important Epic business meetings while half-asleep on the couch. She is a keen hiker, lover of mud, rare steak, and might just be the sweetest little dog we have ever seen. 

Adventure Guide

An experienced trek leader and
IFMGA aspirant ski guide, avid alpine climber, devoted adventure photographer.

Organized and guided trekking expeditions, climbs and ski tours in Tajikistan’s Pamirs, Patagonia, Peru, Morocco, Nepal, Kyrgyzstan, Georgian and Russian Caucasus and Kamchatka.

A full member and meets the organiser of the British Alpine Club. Visited over 40 countries, lived in the UK for four years. Certified first-aider.

We joined Andrew on a fantastic trip to the Fann Mountains in Tajikistan, pure nature and magnificent scenery! Andrey was super prepared and led us safely up and down numerous passes and through some rough and icy cold rivers. Thank you for a very memorable trip, your planning and prep was excellent!

– Monika Steinlechner

epic expeditions team

Adventure Guide

Our man in Nepal, Sandip is what we like to call a “Swiss Army Knife”. There is not much Sandip can’t do when it comes to helping Epic to run our expeditions smoothly in Nepal.

His tireless work ethic, passion for all things trekking in the Himalayas, and smart decision-making mean that Sandip is a truly invaluable member of our team.

Sandip is passionate about showing visitors to his country an amazing time, and he goes above and beyond to make sure that happens. 

His company Himalayan Masters is Epic’s trusted partner in Nepal and one of the country’s top new tour agencies.

We really enjoyed the entire journey, and I would like to say that Sandip is truly professional. He guided us and he is a hardworking person, providing us with the best service and taking care of each one of us. Plus, he is super funny! The kind of professionnal you always want to find on your path for your explorations! 

– Alexandra Ruth

Fairy Meadows

Add Your Heading Text Here

“Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem quia voluptas sit aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt. Neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit, sed quia non numquam eius modi tempora incidunt ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem.

Ut enim ad minima veniam, quis nostrum exercitationem ullam corporis suscipit laboriosam, nisi ut aliquid ex ea commodi consequatur? Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum qui dolorem eum fugiat quo voluptas nulla pariatur?”

Our Favorite Experiences

#1 Sunrise from Reflection Lake

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

#2 Hiking to Nanga Parbat Base Camp

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

#3 Playing cricket with the locals

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Trips Where We Visit Fairy Meadows

Our flagship Pakistani adventure tour.  Road trip with some  hiking and cultural immersion.

A trekking-style tour that features some very remote locations, inlcuding a K2 viewpoint.

Adventure Guide

João has born in the mountains of Madeira Islands in Portugal. Nature lover, writer, musician, guide, for him, a day without contact with outdoor vibes is a nightmare. 

With a degree in Cultural Studies in Portugal and a Master of Arts in Global Cultures and Creativity in the U.K.

João found out what really matters in life can be found on the trails, and in the contact with people from different backgrounds and cultures.

Guiding, crazy trekking missions, and sharing observations about the natural world, – these are some of João’s passions. 

After trekking to K2 Base Camp and exploring all over Northern Pakistan, he fell in love with the country and the local people. His experiences resulted in his desire to share these feelings with the world.

João is one of the most experienced guides at Epic and his skillset and positive mindset in the mountains is second to none

When not in Pakistan, João is  guiding and exploring in the Madeira Islands trails –  discovering some of the hidden treasures on his Portuguese Island.

João I can not thank you enough for the off the beaten paths and views you keep giving. Definitely one of the most challenging and amazing hikes we did 1200m meters all the way up to Fanal forest and circling back to the hidden village. Wow!

– Jeffery 

travel hunza valley

Adventure Guide

Sohail is the newest addition to the Epic team and we are beyond stoked to have him on board. As a veteran of the Karakoram and a native of Karimabad in Hunza, there is not much Sohail can’t do in the mountains. 

Besides having the ability to speak more languages than we can count, Sohail has explored every corner of Gilgit Baltistan and logs more trekking miles 

in a year than most people will do in a lifetime. As of the summer of 2022, Sohail has summited Gasherbrum 1, Gasherbrum 2, and K2 – three of Pakistan’s five 8000-meter peaks. Sohail guides several trips including our annual bespoke expeditions but specializes in Hunza Valley tours.

Chris and Sohail, and the team at Epic are FANTASTIC! Highly recommend anyone to do a tour with ‘Epic’. They have the perfect balance of fun, excitement and wild adventures, tied in with being super professional and ensuring your safety/health in a foreign environment. Don’t waste a moment and book a tour with these guys as the value for money is UNREAL!

– Borgan

iran travel tour

Adventure Guide

Pedro’s been traveling all around the globe since 2009. His keen interests in documentary photography, rural life, and local people from different ethnic groups have been the focus of many of his professional projects.

Since 2012, he has developed his passion for travel and awesome shared experiences into a full-time adventure photography tour leader position.

Pedro has found himself continuously going back to the Middle East, with his likely favorite destination being Iran. Pedro lead his 11th tour in Iran with Epic in spring 2020

When Pedro’s not traveling the world with Epic Expeditions, you’ll find him based in the western south of Portugal planning he’s next adventure missions, logistics and working out his photos in local exhibitions.

 I loved the combination of hiking, camping around breathtaking scenery mixed with the cultural aspects. The guide (Pedro) is knowledgeable and work very hard to make the trip as memorable as possible. All in all an epic adventure with some extremely epic individuals! Go for it, you won’t regret it!

– Coastal

Diane Bouvet

Adventure Admin / Marketing

After fleeing from the corporate fashion world in Paris towards the start of 2020, Diane has been working as a web developer and graphic designer remotely from various bases across the globe

She brings all of her incredible design and organizational power to Epic Expeditions and is responsible for many of the beautiful behind-the-scenes design elements. 

Diane has been to Iran and to Pakistan twice including all over Gilgit Baltistan and KPK.

k2 gondogoro la trek

Head of Operations | Guide

A veteran of Pakistan travel, Ralph is an experienced guide, photographer and writer who specializes in documenting remote locations. 

Not one to simply go where everyone else does, he insists on exploring new and lesser-known areas.

Together with Epic Expeditions, he shows people parts of Pakistan that most other operators don’t even know about. He is particularly fond of the village of Barah, which he believes will become just as famous as Hunza one day.

Just got back from EBT’s Trekking Amongst Giants 15 day tour. The experience was first class. Ralph, our head guide, ensured that the entire trip ran smoothly and relatively on time (a bonus for anyone travelling in Pakistan). We had so many unforgettable days on the tour and the trekking was well-planned, safe but also a rewarding challenge. 

– Calvin

Traveling to a non-tourist destination can be a little intimidating but EBT takes all of the worry and trepidation away. From the pre-trip call to meeting the wonderful staff in person you can tell that you are dealing with a company that has a passion for what they do each and every day. Ralph, Zahid, and Khan were supportive, kind, and always willing to go the extra mile to make sure that everyone on the trip was getting what they wanted out of the experience.

– Katrina 

adventure tours pakistan

Founder | Adventure Guide | Director

Since he started exploring the world, Chris has been seeking out every shade of adventure in various parts of the globe and had visited more than 70 countries along the way. 

Over the last 10 years, Chris has logged more than 7000 trail miles across five continents and climbed multiple 6000 + 7000 meter peaks in Pakistan and Nepal.

A few years back, a distant dream and a deep passion for the mountains and the people of Pakistan led Chris to co-found Epic Expeditions at a time when foreign adventure tourism in Pakistan was almost nonexistent. Since then, Chris has guided more than 20 expeditions to various parts of Northern Pakistan.

Chris believes in using photography and powerful adventure experiences to dismantle negative stereotypes regarding what mainstream media considers “dangerous” countries while facilitating unique and meaningful memories in the mountains for countless people from around the globe. 

For him, an ideal start to the day begins with a steaming cup of good coffee, the beam of a headlamp, alpine boots, and a camera in hand.

He lives in Madeira Island when not leading expeditions in far-flung lands. 

Chris also works as a writer and photographer on his blog Off the Atlas – an adventure travel blog all about Pakistan.  

Read this interview our staff did with Chris to learn more about him!

Chris believes in Pakistan and its people, and he believes in the value of journeys shared with others and family cultivated on the road. Honesty and integrity are at the heart of what he does, and this really shines through in his work as a guide. He also makes great coffee – whether at 5am in an empty guesthouse or half way up a Himalayan peak.”

– Will De Villers

Pakistan is a magical country! Had 3 of the best weeks of my life thanks to Epic Backpacking Tours with owner, and one of our awesome guides, Chris. From detailed itinerary, preparation with an equipment list, and visa assistance. To amazing food, great porters, helpful guides, and great accommodations. Epic really hit home run after home run. […]

Their desire for adventure and amazing trip is just as high as yours. Bring a good pound of coffee for the trip. French press coffee every morning and no average tin coffee, plus you’ll be in your guides good books.

– Clark Tyler

epic backpacker tours

Join the Epic Community!

Get exclusive trip updates, be the first to know when we launch a new itineraries and offer discounts, and stay up to date with what’s happening at Epic Expeditions!