K2 is one of the most dangerous mountains in the world. It isn’t easy to climb the world’s second-tallest peak, which has also been named the “worse place on Earth” and a “savage mountain.” However, when mindful of your actions, you can get around the mountain and maybe even attain victory! For this, you need to know the best time to climb K2. Without knowing this, you cannot attempt or even think of climbing the mountain. Winter expeditions are deadly, and many other seasons aren’t as good for climbing.
Hence, if you want to know when is the best time to climb K2, you have landed on a right place!
Best time to climb K2
K2 is one such mountain that has to be analyzed properly once before any attempt is made to climb it. The best time to climb K2 is June, July, and August. These months are neither too wintry nor too rainy.
It is important for everyone willing to travel to Pakistan to know that K2 is by far one of the riskiest places to travel to. Hence, some precautions should be taken beforehand one starts their journey. The Karakoram range is much rainier than the Islamabad area in Pakistan. Hence, when you go there around the monsoon, then you are likely to suffer from bad weather conditions.
Rain will also increase the chances of a person being injured and dying due to ice falls and high landslides during the monsoon. What makes this worse is that K2 is a very steep peak. And the likelihood of avalanches during the winter and rainy seasons is very high.
Likewise, winters aren’t all that kind to a traveler around the K2 area. You will have to undergo severe cold weather and an impossibly harsh condition on the mountain. Besides this, lonesome mountain will not have as much help as there is no sign of livelihood in the Karakoram range of K2. Hence, not only is it dangerous and extremely cold, but it is also life-threatening for mountaineers to climb K2 during the winter season.
June, July, and August, on the other hand, can be labeled as the best time to climb K2 because you will not have to suffer from the harsh rain or the ruthless winter time of the Karakoram range during these months. The mountain is convenient to climb the most in three of these months. The cold also decreases to a good extent during these months. Until and unless you don’t want to deem yourself victorious in a winter expedition, you should choose to climb K2 when it is summery in June, July, and August.
What will you need while climbing K2?
To climb up K2, you are going to need some equipment. Without the necessary equipment like these, you just can’t make it out alive from the base camp.
The first and most necessary item would be a sleeping bag. There aren’t any lodges and houses that will shelter you during your journey. Henceforth, you are likely to suffer outside the tent if you don’t carry one for yourself. Besides this, you will also need suitable warm clothes. Though the best time to visit the mountain is during hot summer days, the climate and the temperature in the area really aren’t all as hot as it is in most other parts of the mountain.
The temperature during summer months in the Karakoram range is 0 to 30 degrees during the day time and -10 to 10 degrees during the night time. Hence, you have the take clothes accordingly. In the same way, other important things to take along in your journey are walking boots, gaiters, 12-point crampons, two slings (approx size 120cm x 10mm ), a climbing harness, and two screw gate carabiners.
When should you avoid visiting K2?
While we recommend you visit Mt. K2 during the month of June, it is not suggested that you choose to carry on your hiking at the earliest of June. This is because the snow is still melting in early June, and it is not very safe for mountaineers to go to the mountain when this is happening. The gradual melting of the snow during the earlier parts of June is likely to increase accidents and other misfortunes on the part of the ones traveling.
However, once it is the middle of June and around the middle of September, you are free to go around and through almost all the ranges and passes of the Karakoram area. You will be restricted to going through Gondogoro La and a few more passes after mid-September because the cold comes back, and once the snow starts freezing, these passes become dangerous to be around. Hence, the worse months for a beginner or even some experienced mountaineers would be anywhere from the end of September to April.
But anyone who wants to go on a winter expedition can visit the place through the passes that are open to them.
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How is the weather in K2?
While we have discussed the best and the least preferable months to climb K2, there are a few more things you need to know about the weather and climate of K2.
There is a small probability that you will see clouds in the sky during the months of July and August. The sky is almost always clear in these months. But, you can never rely on the weather of the mountains as it might change without any notice from the mountaineers. Moreover, you should be aware of the fact that, on very rare days, it may rain in the area, even during summer. Hence, it is suggested that you carry a raincoat and all the gears that you might need to save yourself from rain, regardless of how the weather in the area is in July and August.
The next thing you should know is you have to be ready for colder weather and a drop in the temperature of the mountain as you reach closer to the glacier. A suggestion for all mountaineers is not to get too comfortable while climbing high up on the mountain. You never know how cold it is going to be. Whatsoever, the lower ranges of K2 are not as cold and unbearable during summer.