K2 Goes Online

8000ers K2 Karakorum
K2 photo, transmitted over the new communications tower
An image of K2 sent via the new tower at Concordia. Photo: Summit Karakorum

Karakorum climbers will no longer have to text over InReach to reach the rest of the world. Those days of isolation are apparently over.

Starting today, a new satellite communication tower at the Concordia Glacier will give internet and cellphone coverage to nearby base camps, including K2 and Broad Peak. It is unclear whether the signal also reaches the Gasherbrums.

This initiative by Gilgit-Baltistan aims to promote tourism in the region. “This will help in emergency situations and weather monitoring,” Summit Karakoram wrote.

No doubt the climbers will also update their social media more often. The practical advantages are clear, but it does feel as if the Savage Mountain has lost a bit of its wildness.

+7

About the Author

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides

Senior journalist, published author and communication consultant. Specialized on high-altitude mountaineering, with an interest for everything around the mountains: from economics to geopolitics. After five years exploring distant professional ranges, I returned to ExWeb BC in 2018. Feeling right at home since then!

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Alex
Alex
1 month ago

Welcome to the next Everest. R.I.P K2.

+2
Richard Meyer
Richard Meyer
1 month ago
Reply to  Alex

Not quite – too hard to climb…

+1
Mick
Mick
1 month ago

What’s next, a Starbucks at basecamp??? Why???

+1
Tony
Tony
1 month ago

Seriously? I thought the beauty of the Karakorum was also due to the remoteness of it’s mountains. I hope they stick to using this tower for emergency situations only.

+1
pa
pa
1 month ago

Likely sped up the introduction of services to Askole etc … slowly chipping away at the stone age for those who need it for more than social media immediacy

0
Humayun
Humayun
1 month ago

This is very practical and I don not understand why people think it will become the next Everest. K-2 is still the savage mountain and not many people will be posting traffic jam on the bottleneck.

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