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MOUNTAINEERING IN PAKISTAN:

Pakistan is a land of various and matchless scenery. Whereas high mountain ranges lead its North, series of small mountain ranges of Pub, Kirthar Suleman and Makran extend from North to Southwest and Makran extend from North to Southwest and to South in a bone like manner. These low ranges lead the plains and deserts to the East and warm and fascinating beaches of the Arabian Sea to the South. However, Northern Areas of Pakistan, which is incomparable with most excellent and geographical feature in the world.

Here, three greatest, lofty and extravagant mountain ranges, Karakoram, Himalayas, Hindukush meet. In an area of about 500 kms in breadth and 350 kms in depth, is found the most immense collection of some of the highest and steep peaks in the world, boasting more than 700 peaks above 6000 meters, and more than 160 peaks above 7000 meters. These include five out of the total fourteen above 8000 meters high peaks on earth, namely the second highest rock pyramid, the K-2 (8611m), the Nanga Parbat (8125m), the Hidden Peak, Gasherbrum-I (8068m), the Broad Peak (8047m), and the Gasherbrum-II (8035m). This massive mountains possession makes the Pakistan a significant mountain country offering great opportunities for Mountaineering and mountain related adventure activities. The area is rightly known a paradise for mountaineers, trekkers, adventure seeker and nature lovers. The compelling charm of these high, challenging, eternal sea of jagged rock and ice pinnacles attract large number of climbers, trekkers, adventure seekers and nature lovers from across the world to the Northern Areas of Pakistan, each year.

These high peaks have since been climbed by the large number of mountaineers, yet there are numerous of other high peaks that still lay unclimbed waiting for those who dare to challenge them.

We are pleased to inform that following incentives in the form of reduction in royalty fees has been announced by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of Pakistan for promotion of Mountaineering and Trekking in Pakistan: -

1. Zero Royalty fee for Peaks up to 6500-M during the year 2007.

2. 10% Royalty fee on mountains situated in Chitral, Gilgit and Ghizer except on Spantik/Golden peak.
3. 05% Royalty fee on all peaks during Winter Season (December-February).
4. 50% discount on Royalty fee will continue during the year 2007 on all peaks except as mentioned 1 and 2 above.

K2 (8611 M)

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K2 is the second highest mountain in the world and perhaps the toughest climb in the world. The other name of K2 is CHOGORI. In Balti language Chogori means the King of Mountain. K2 is situated in unique corner of the earth. From here, in a frozen wilderness of crag, cornices and crevasses, rise towering spires of granite, great snowy peak with fluted icy ridges and pinnacles that pierce the sky. K2 has been described as the “splendid”, “killer” and “savage” mountain. This is for the reason that the massiveness of its size and failed attempts made upon it by different expedition parties from all over world.

Serious mountaineering in Karakoram began in 1892 when Mr. Martin Conway, while carrying our survey of the upper Indus, attempted to climb peaks in the area including Rakoposhi. He returned to the region in 1902 when he tried to climb K-2. In 1909 the Great Duke of European mountaineers and explorers including British, Italian and American had visited the region. After independence in 1947, number of expedition to the area increased. In 1953 an American expedition made an unsuccessful attempt on K-2, whereas in 1954 an Italian expedition led by Prof Ardito Desio successfully made the first ascent of the savage mountain- K-2. Mr. Lino Lecedelli and Archille Compagnoni became the first men to reach K-2 summit, climbing through the Abruzzi ridge.

Since opening up the area for general mountaineering and trekking in 1974 a large number of expeditions visit Karakoram each year. Till date K-2 has been climbed by large number of mountaineers from different countries, including internationally renowned and eminent mountaineers like Reinhold Messener and others.

K-2 peak is situated in Karakoram Baltistan on Pak-China boarder. The traditional route to its base camp goes from Skardu. Skardu is linked to the Islamabad by PIA that operates one flight daily subject to clear weather condition. The air journey is full of thrills and would itself be regarded as the highlights of the visit. Now the accessibility to Skardu is improved. Construction of the Great Karakoram Highways along the old Silk Route, completed with the help and co-operation of the friendly country of People Republic of China in 1978, provides an all weather truck able metalled link between Islamabad and Skardu. A jeep able trek from Skardu to Askole reducing the reaching time to K-2 base camp.

NANGA PARBAT (8125 M):
Nanga Parbat is the second highest peak of Pakistan. Nanga Parbat complex has numerous routes but the prominent base camps are Rupal (Eastern face), raikot/Fairy Meadows face (North Western face), Diamer face ( the Western face ) and the long West Mazeno ridge. European explored it in later part of nineteenth century. The Schlagintweet brothers from Germany visited Nanga Parbat region as early as 1854. A British expedition led by Mr. A F Mummery attempted to find a way up the Southern and Western slopes in 1895. In 1932 a German cum American expedition attempted to climb Nanga Parbat. Later it was attempted by German expedition in 1937 and 1939 with heavy loss of life and, therefore, is aptly called a German mountain. It was, however, in 1953 that an Austro German expedition led by Mr. Herlingkoffer succeeded in conquering this mountain. Mr. Hermann Buhl in an unprecedented 40 hours solo climb succeeded in reaching the summit. The peak has since been climbed from all sides by number of climbers including Mr. Reinhold Messener, who has climbed it on more than one occasion.

In the west, seen from the Karakoram Highway, the panorama is just as awesome, even though the ramparts here slope rather than plunge down. Where the Indus valley broadness out it dominates the horizon. For sheer size Nanga Parbat is almost without equal, not a single peak but in fact, an entire massif culminating in an ice summit 8125 meters high. The rumpled flanks of its subservient attendants climb up out of the Indus valley and there, beyond the blue, grey whaleback ridges, ringed by a halo clouds, rises its long ridge. Unequalled for scale, so is it for hostility. A part from Everest and Annanpurna in the south, it has claimed the lives of more climbers than any other. In the world league of the fourteen peaks higher than 8000 meters, K-2 (8611M) and Nanga Parbat (8125 M) are considered the most difficult peaks. The climate all around the mountain, in the Valleys, reflects its own natural savagery.

GASHERBRUM-1 (HIDDEN PEAK) (8068 M):

Gashrbrum-I is the 3rd highest peak of Pakistan and the eleventh highest peak of the world. The other name of the peak is Hidden Peak, a name given it Mr. William Martin Conwey in 1892 for its tremendous remoteness. Gasherbrum is an isolated group of high peaks in the Karakoram, situated at the northeast end of the Baltoro glacier. The first attempt to climb Gasherbrum-1 was made in 1936 by a French expedition led by H.De Segogne, but they could not climb beyond camp-5 at an altitude of 6797 meters. The first to succeed to the top was done in July, 1958 by Mr. Pete Schoening and Andrew Kauffman of an American expedition led by Mr. Nich Clinch.

In the Balti language the Gasherbrum means “Shining wall”. Gasherbrum group has six peaks and Gasherbrum-I is one of them. The approach route to Gasherbrum base camp starts from Skardu and the approach trek starts from the Askole village on the Baltoro glacier.

BROAD PEAK (8047 M):

Broad Peak is the 4th highest peak of Pakistan and the 12th highest peak of the world. The other name of the peak is FALCON KANGRI. It is called Broad peak because of its summit is more than a kilometer long and broad. The Broad peak is situated approximately 9 kilometers from K-2 along the Baltoro Glacier. The approach route from Skardu and the approach trek from the Askole village on the Baltoro Glacier. An Austrian expedition team led by Mr. Marcus Schmuk came to Pakistan in 1957 to climb this peak. The other vital members of the expedition were Mr. Hemann Buhl, Mr.Fritz Wintersteller, and Mr. Kurt Diemberger and in June, 1957 these mountaineers climb the peak without high altitude porters and oxygen.

Till date Broad Peak has been climbed by large number of mountaineers from different countries, including internationally renowned and eminent mountaineers, but it is still challenge for mountaineers, need determination to climb because it is very tough to conquer.

GASHERBRUM-II (8035 M):

The Gasherbrum-II is the 5th highest peak of Pakistan and 13th highest peak of the world. It is usually considered one of the easiest 8000 meters peaks, of its status, but the ascent cannot to be taken easily. The climb is both ice and rock. A high level of technical ability, physical suitability, and acclimatization is required. The approach route from Skardu and the approach trek from the Askole village on the Baltoro Glacier. An Austrian expedition team led by Mr. Fritz Moravec along with Joseph Larch and Hans Willenpart came to Pakistan in 1956 to climb this peak. They set up there base camp on the south Gasherbrum Glacier. The set up camp-1 at 6005 meters and here they were forced to stay for 10 days because of a severe storm and they lost a large supply store in avalanche. After setting up some more camps and set up a bivouac below 7620 meters. Mr. Fritz Moravec, Joseph Larch, and Hansenpart reached the summit of Gasherbrum-II on 8th July, 1956 and came back safely.

GASHERBRUM-III (7952 M):

Gasherbrum-III is located between G-II and G-IV and the 15th highest mountain the world. Till 1974 it was the highest unclimbed peak of the world. In 1975 the Polish Women expedition team led by Mrs. Wanda Rutkiewich came to Pakistan to Climb Gasherbrum-III. Mrs. Wanda Rutkiewich, K.Zdzitowiecki, Alison Chadwick, and Janusz Onyszkiewicz, reached the summit on 11th August 1975. The expedition party claims that it was ladies expedition. The approach to Gasherbrum-III is as Gasherbrum-II.

GASHERBRUM-IV (7925 M):

The Gasherbrum-IV, the stunning pyramid is the most awe-inspiring mountain in the Gasherbrum group. The traditional route to its base camp goes from Skardu a. A jeep able trek from Skardu to Askole reducing the reaching time to Gasherbrum-IV base camp.

The Italian expedition team led by Mr. Riccardo Cassin along with Walter Bonnati, Carlo Maurimade the first ascent on 6th August 1958. These mountaineers could arguably be described as the most talented Italian Alpinists of their era. Due to snowstorm, they spent the whole night at camp-6 and day after they came down to camp-5 (7193-M) through an extremely hazardous route.

MASHERBRUM (7821 M):

Masherbrum is one of the magnificent peaks of Karakoram Pakistan. The peak is also known as K-1 name by British survey team in 1856. The peak is a stunning ice and rock peak, mounting the south of the Baltoro Glacier. The summit vertical north face is a great pyramid with vertical narrow ridges expanding quickly to sharp peak. Masherbrum demonstrates to be a thrilling climbs to the mountaineers It was first climbed by the Mr. George Bell and Willie Unsoeld, member of the American-Pakistani expedition in the year 1960. The approach route to Gasherbrum base camp starts from Skardu and the approach trek starts from the Hushe village on the Masherbrum glacier.

SPANTIK: (7027 M):

This peak was climbed in 1978 by Japan expedition Hashi to Harashi (Storm & Star), which was led by Nakamura. The Royal Alpine Club expedition of Japan, but other information is that this peak was first climbed in 1955 via the SE crest by a German expedition led by Karl Kramer. Spantik is a superb climbing opportunity for those wanting to further their mountaineering skills and altitude experience To join the expedition and to have a good chance of success, it is preferable that you have both technical mountaineering experience to 4000m in the Alps and trekking peak experience to 6000m in the Greater Ranges.

Its base camp is within easy reach. Spantik lies in the Karakorum Range and you can be reached in four days including one day for the jeep drive from Skardu. For about three days we will trek on and beside Chogo lungma Glacier. The height of base camp is 4100 meters. Spantik lies in between Nagar Valley (also known as Golden Peak) near Hunza and Arandu Valley in Baltistan. The normal South East route to Spantik 7027 meters is from Chogo lungma Glacier in Arandu Valley of Baltistan. Among 7000's meters high peaks Spantik is the most beautiful and fascinating peak. Every year it's attract dozens of adventure lovers from all over the World, from which 80% of them successfully climb this beautiful mountain. As with many high mountains, weather and snow conditions, and climbers personal fitness and acclimatization will determine weather the summit is reached.

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