Peaks sbove 8000 Meters in Pakistan
While flying over the Karakoram Range, one can see below a maze of peaks as one comes to the huge pyramid that is the K-2 which stands out prominently like a giant among the surrounding mountains. In fact, five Peaks towering above 8000 meters are located in Pakistan whereas the count goes 19 peaks if we lower the scale to 7600 meters or above. Moreover, Pakistan is home to 108 peaks above 7,000 metres and probably as many peaks above 6,000 m. There is no count of the peaks above 5,000 and 4,000 m.
K-2 has a singular place in high-altitude mountaineering. the second highest mountain in the world towers majestically above Concordia with the sweeping Godwin Austin Glacier offering an ice highway towards it. Though 784 feet lower than Mount Everest, it has long been known as the mountaineer’s mountain. The sharp triangle of its silhouette and height above the surrounding terrain not only define the archetypal image of a mountain but, as a practical matter, also make K2 far more difficult and dangerous to climb.
After the first attempts by British and Italian climbing teams in the early 1900s, American parties tackled K2 in 1938, 1939, and 1953. Charles Houston and Robert Bates titled their account of their 1953 expedition K2: The Savage Mountain. In 1954 K2 was finally “conquered” by a large Italian expedition that put two men on the top via the now standard summit route on the Pakistani side of the mountain.
Nanga Parbat, Sanskrit for “Naked Mountain” is so named because some of its slopes are so steep that they are bereft of vegetation and snow. According to the local old legend, Nanga Parbat is also called Diamir, which means abode of fairies. Nanga Parbat is the 9th highest mountain in the world at 8,126 metres (26,660 ft) above sea level. An immense, dramatic peak rising far above its surrounding terrain, Nanga Parbat is also a notoriously difficult climb. Numerous mountaineering deaths in the mid and early 20th century lent it the nickname “killer mountain”. After many disastrous attempts, . It was first climbed in 1953 by a joint Austrian – German Expedition. Hermann Buhl made the final ascent in a tortuous 41 hours solo ordeal without oxygen. Italian mountaineer Reinhold Messner climbed the south face (Rupal Face) with his brother Gunther in 1970, descending by the Diamir face, where Gunther lost his life.
Gasherbrum–II is 8035 meters high from sea level. Many climbers have described it as an impressive but achievable peak with a walk to its base camp that is said to be the best trek in the world. Its climb provides a perfect mountaineering experience. Gasherbrum–II stands in the majestic neighborhood of K2 in a close line-up of world’s highest peaks in the titanic amphitheater of Concordia that has no parallel in the world. The snow-face of the South-West Ridge presents considerable difficulties on ice and snow mixed faces and ridges once climbers are above the plateau after negotiating the heavily crevassed Gasherbrum Glacier. It is a steep way up at some sections. Moreover, temperature can drop as below as -50 C with continuous strong wind blowing at the speed of 50-60 kmph.
Broad Peak is the 12th highest mountain in the world at 8,051 metres (26,414 ft) above sea level. Locals Bulti people call it “Falchan Kangri” which also means broad Peak. The English name was introduced in 1892 by the British explorer Martin Conway, in reference to the similarly named Breithorn in the Alps . However, it is called K-3 as well give by Lieutenant T.G. Montgomerie who surveyed the area and in 1856. He was surveying the mountains in the area and he spotted some extraordinary peaks, which he gave temporary names.
Summit was successfully scaled in 1957 by an Austrian expedition consisting of only four climbing members. Using many of the fixed lines set up by the failed German expedition of 1954, all four made it to highest point of the Broad Peak without using oxygen.
Other names of Hidden Peak are Gasharbrum-I & K-5 which is 8080 meters above sea level. In local language Gasharbrum means “Shining Wall”.It is located in Gilgit–Baltistan region of Pakistan . Gasherbrum I is part of the Gasherbrum massif, located in the Karakoram region of the Himalaya. The clusters of peaks in the South East of the mighty K-2 are named as Gasharbrum peaks.
The approach route to Base camp starts from Skardu through Shigar Valley and approach trek starts from Thongal or Askole through Baltoro glacier, southern Abruzzi glaciers.
Hidden Peak was attempted for the first time in 1936 the French Expedition but they could not succeed. Finally in 1958, Schoening and Kaufman, members of the American Expedition reached the top of Gasharbrum I. Swiss Skier “Sylvan Saudan” set world Record by skiing down from the summit. Swiss Skier “Sylvan Saudan” set world Record by skiing down from the summit in 1982 once he was 46 years old.
All five of these mountains are absolutely breath-taking. Pakistan, undoubtedly is the heaven for all the mountaineers and altitude-junkies all over the world.