Mighty structures rising from the Earth adorned with slopes and ridges never disappoint us with their astonishing beauty. When these colossal entities join each other in an unending chain, then they come up as a mountain range. Travel to Pakistan and you will get a chance to summit five of the world’s highest peaks and inscribe your name in the history of climbers.
As described by Coelho out of his experience; climbing a mountain in a hope to touch the soil of the summit is quite an experience in itself.
“The way up to the top of the mountain is always longer than you think. Don’t fool yourself; the moment will arrive when what seemed so near is still very far.” Paulo Coelho
1. K-2 Mountain Pakistan
Among the mountains of Karakoram Range, lies the second highest peak of the world. K2 is situated at an elevation of 8,611 meters. It is located precisely between the Pakistan-China border in the Baltistan region of Gilgit-Baltistan. Mount Godwin Austen (after an English Geographer) and Chhogori (Balti name for Mountain) are the other favorite names of K2.
When compared with the highest peak of the world-Mount Everest (Hosted by Nepal), K2 is only 237 meters shorter than that. Up to nearly 6000 meters, it has a rocky structure, beyond which it is all covered in the snow.
Map of K2 Mountain in Pakistan
Due to its difficult terrain conditions, challenging weather, and storms, it is termed as “Savage Mountain”. “Eight thousanders” is a group of 14 mountains that are higher than 8000 meters. Out of these eight-thousanders, K2 has the second-highest fatality rate. It was no later than 1954 when it was finally summited by an Italian expedition, headed by Ardito Desio. The safest months to climb it are June, July, and August. A base camp on Pakistan’s side hosted by Pakistan Army is present at the starting point to facilitate the climbers.
2. Nanga Parbat – The Killer Mountain
The next on the list is Nanga Parbat (also known as Diamer) which can be spotted on the Western ridge of the Himalayan range in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. It is termed as 9th highest in the world and 2nd in Pakistan with a noted height of 8,126 meters. The three faces of Nanga Parbat are Diamir, Rakhiot, and Rupal.
Map of Nanga Parbat Mountain Pakistan
Nearly 31 climbers died in an attempt to summit it before the first successful attempt in 1953 by Hermann Buhl (an Austrian Climber who climbed as a solo). The journey of Buhl is much remarkable as he descended without his ice axe and extra Oxygen supply. Due to a high death toll, Nanga Parbat is known as “Killer Mountain”. It is the second most difficult mountain to summit after K2.
3. Gasherbrum I Mountain Pakistan
Situated at a phenomenal height of 8,080 meters, Gasherbrum-I is the 11th highest mountain in the World. Known as K-5 or the Hidden Peak, it can be visualized in the backdrop of the Gilgit-Baltistan region. Its name holds a influence from the Balti language. “Rgasha” means beautiful and “Brum” means mountain so, it engagingly sums up as “Beautiful Mountain”. Gasherbrum-I is honored to be summited by Pete Schoening and Kaufman in 1958.
Map of Gasherbrum I Mountain Pakistan
Climbing has also got styles and one of them is Alpine style. With Alpine climbing, you are supposed to start at the bottom, pack all the gears, zero route-navigation beforehand, and no O2 cans. It simply means to face the challenges on the way without extra aid. Gasherbrum-I is special in the manner that it was the venue of the first successful alpine-style summit done in 1975 by Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler.
Let’s see how the peak looks from the top!
4. Broad Peak Mountain
Mounted at the height of 8,047 meters, it has been named “Broad Peak” due to its wide-area at the top (1-mile long summit). The 12th highest mountain in the world is an open way to reach Gasherbrum-I, K2, Chogolisa, and the Trangos. Back in1957, the first successful climb was recorded by an Austrian expedition led by Marcus Schmuck (without Oxygen Cans and basecamp aid). The team also included Hermann Buhl who summited Nanga Parbat first of all.
Map of Broad Peak Mountain in Pakistan
There are a total of five summits of Broad Peak, naming Broad Peak (8051 m), Rocky Summit (8028 m), Broad Peak Central (8011 m), Broad Peak North (7490 m), and Kharut Kangri (6942 m). The death toll is much less i.e. only 7%, making it one of the safer peaks to summit. There have been recorded 255 deaths from 1957 (first summit) till 2003. A unique record was made on July 14th, 2019, when the youngest ever individual Shehroze Kashif (17 years old) from Pakistan summited this peak. He registered himself as the youngest Muslim Climber in the history of climbing.
5. Gasherbrum-II Mountain Pakistan
Ranked as 13th highest mountain in the world, Gasherbrum II (K4) stands upright with a height of 8,035 meters in the Gilgit-Baltistan region. Being part of Gasherbrum massif, it is the 3rd on the list after Gasherbrum I and Broad Peak. Gasherbrum massif is a group of peaks located by Northern-ridge of Baltoro Glacier in the Karakoram region. The mountain is considered to be a little less difficult when one is geared up appropriately. It can’t be sighted from an inhabited area as it is veiled between the mountains.
Map of Gasherbrum-II Mountain Pakistan
The first ascent on Gasherbrum-II was recorded on July 7, 1956 by an Austrian group, including Fritz Moravec, S.Larch, and H.Willenpart. A base camp was set up at 6005 meters, but due to unfavorable weather conditions there was a break of 10 days. The food supply was lost in an avalanche. The group took a brave decision to summit it and continued moving forward. After a break on July 6, the mission was completed on July 7 at 11:30 a.m.
Pakistan is an inviting location to all the hikers, climbers, and trekkers to move, come forward, and summit these iconic peaks. Government of Pakistan has introduced e-Visa policy in 2019 which has made things much easier. Apply now and mark your name in the history of climbers.
You may also want to see the 10 Insider Tips for Tourists Visiting Pakistan