Training for your K2 Base Camp Trek

Here is some training advice for your K2 Base Camp Trek. The first thing you need to do is  look at the elevation gain, daily distances and then plan accordingly. You can CALL IAN and get advice on how you should be preparing for this unique adventure in Pakistan. I have climbed Everest to the summit and led over 100+ treks and mountaineering trips around the world. Read this information and if you are interested in joining one of our trips feel free to EMAIL US today.

1). Physical Conditioning

Despite being a trek which is accessible to most people and not just experienced mountaineers, the trek to K2 Base Camp should not be underestimated as it is a long way from medical access and deep in the Karakoram mountains. This means excellent physical preparation is required. We require that only hikers and trekkers join our groups and this is not a tourist trip.  Hiking in the Karakoram mountains is a serious challenge which requires significant preparation. With forward planning and the right attitude to training, however, you stand the best possible chance of successfully and safely reaching K2 Base Camp – and enjoying one of the most rewarding and spectacular experiences in the world. For anyone that is signing up to one of our trips we are happy to help give more specific training advice for this trek.

2). Training and Fitness

Trekking to K2 Base Camp is a physical challenge on walking in a low oxygen environment on a multi-day basis on rough terrain. The K2 Base Camp Trek is well within the reach of most people who enjoy a good standard of hiking fitness. However, training specifically for the trek is essential to prepare you for the particular pitfalls posed by mountain walking. You are strongly advised to seek medical advice before deciding to arrange your trek and before starting a training program, particularly if you have any concerns about your health. It is sensible to start training as early as possible before your scheduled trek. Conventional exercise routines which build strength, fitness and endurance, such as aerobics and light weight-training can be beneficial, particularly if your fitness level is less than desirable. But the best physical preparation is activity which simulates, as far as possible, the demands on your body which will be happening during your ascent and descent to K2 Base Camp. Hiking up and down hills with weighted back pack is key to success doing this once a week building up to carrying 12kg/ 25lbs would be advisable along with daily stair master and incline treadmill sessions are also very important for a successful training program.

3). We can help you formulate a training plan

We can help in your preparation, so please ask as we have lot of experience preparing for this trek. You should therefore aim to make walking/ hiking/ stair climbing the main part of your training. Taking regular and increasingly long elevated hikes building the weight that you carry will help develop the muscles which will be needed when you arrive in the Karakoram mountains. Try to find some local hills to walk up and down if possible. Gradually increasing the duration of your walks will help to develop your stamina and also assist in preparing you for being on your feet over long distances.
When out on training walks, ensure that you always wear the boots you intend to take to the Karakoram mountains. Getting used to your footwear will help make you as comfortable as possible when it comes to your trek. It is also a good idea to wear the same back pack you will be taking with you on the climb so you feel at ease with it and gradually add weight to the bag to build strength over time.

Being mentally prepared will also be crucial to your chance of a successful trek. As this is a camping trip you need to be comfortable camping and have tested all your gear. Progressively pushing the limits of your physical training will help develop your capacity to endure the strain. A positive attitude is also crucial. It is helpful to remind yourself when training and during the trek that thousands of people have achieved this feat before you and that you can do it too. But do be prepared for setbacks and particularly difficult stages during the trek. And remember that your guide will be there to encourage and inspire you!

4). These three points are key to making your training successful:

1. Give yourself enough time to prepare and pick the right acclimatization schedule. We have tried and tested our itinerary and acclimatization. In terms of training, it is no good trying to cram everything in a few weeks before you depart. It is proven that endurance is built up over months and years. Put your training plan together and build on your fitness over a longer period of time, this will also help you avoid injury. Check out our Top Tips for a safe and successful trek to K2 Base Camp. 

2. Don’t ignore nutrition. You need a well-balanced diet to maintain a good level of health. As your routine picks up and you train harder, more strain will be placed on your carbohydrate stores. Before, during and after exercise you will need to supply your body with the fuel it needs!

3. Taper off the week before your trek. Reduce your training before you depart on your trek.  You should have been training 7 – 12 hours per week. Get some well-earned rest and start your trip feeling fresh. Going on a trip knowing that you are fit and ready gives you one less thing to worry about, it boosts your confidence allowing you to get the most out of the experience.

5). Pacing is critical to success

We cover the daily distances as slowly as possible, our team should be the last group into camp. We don’t want to over exert the body, a relaxed, slow walk will aid your bodies adjustment to the lack of oxygen and keep your body and muscles from fatigue. This is so important on this multi-day trek to K2 Base Camp. Keeping well hydrated, drinking 4 to 5 liters of water each day is also critical to success. Once you sign up to one of our treks we will be available to you and help you train, prepare and have all the information you need. We also have a 20 page dossier, developed over 10 years of running our quality treks to K2.
If you walk in the hills and avid hill walker/hiker on a weekly basis, you should have the conditioning needed for the Trek. It is vital to be out walking in the hills in your trekking boots 3 – 6 months in advance on a weekly basis.  You also need to add in some gym work if you do not have access to hills and mountains. We have training schedules for this and can talk you through this and make sure you are taking the right steps to succeeding at your chosen adventure. We recommend training 4 to 5 days per week.
Training for K2 Base Camp Trek is important. This is not a one size fits all program to training, as everyone starts from a different fitness base and building this type of conditioning will be different for different people. So CONTACT US and we can get you started and we will point you in the right direction. Just e-mail Ian Taylor ian@iantaylortrekking.com and find out more about starting your adventure to K2 Base Camp.

Training information for your K2 Base Camp Trek

Warmest time to Trek?  June, July, August
Best months to Trek? May, June, July, August and September
Climbers are living in Base Camp? July / Ausust
Clearest sky’s?  (Not guaranteed)
Most snow? It can snow in any month
We hope you found this Training information for your K2 Base Camp Trek useful. It is always easier to talk with us and we can help you fully prepare for your adventure.