Famous Mountains of Pakistan
By Tahir Imran Khan
Karakoram, Himalayas and Hindu Kush are the famous mountain ranges, which have several prominent peaks in Pakistan. On KKH, near the confluence of rivers Gilgit and Indus, there is an interesting and unique spot, where these mountain ranges meet. K-2 , Nanga Parbat and Tirich Mir are the highest peaks of these ranges, respectively, while there are also several other famous peaks in these ranges.
Eight Thousanders of Pakistan
There are fourteen 8000 meters high peaks in the world, out of which five are situated in Pakistan. These peaks are K-2, Nanga Parbat, Gasherbrum I, Broad Peak and Gasherbrum II.
A brief introduction of these peaks is being mentioned hereunder,
K-2 (8611m - Karakoram)
K-2 is the second highest mountain in the world, only after Mount Everest. While in Karakorams, K-2 is the tallest one. It is also known by the names Mount Godwin Austen and Shigori. Italian climbers Lino Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni conquered K-2 when they reached atop at 6 p.m. on 31st. July 1954. Leader of the expedition was Prof. Ardito Desio.
Although we have the worlds highest mountains in Pakistan but mountain climbing is not very popular in the country. Consequently only four Pakistanis have climbed K-2 so far. They are Ashraf Aman, Nazir Sabir, Rajab Shah and Meharban Shah.
Nanga Parbat (8125m - Himalayas)
Nanga Parbat is the second highest peak in Pakistan while it is the highest in Himalayan range ( in Pakistan ). In world ranking it is at number Nine. There are three famous faces of the mountains where there are several routes to climb it.
Technically it is considered as one of the most difficult mountains of the world. Initial death-toll on this peak was greater than any other mountain so it earned the reputation of being a " Killer Mountain ".
Hermann Buhl, a member of German team was the first to reach on the summit after a daring solo climb from the last camp. On 3rd. July 1953 he finished his climb at 7 p.m. (leader of the team was Dr. Karl Herligkoffer). A team consisting of Pakistani climbers has also scaled this peak under the leadership of famous climber Sher Khan.
Gasherbrum I (8068m - Karakorams)
The third highest peak in Pakistan and 11th. in world is Gasherbrum I. It is also known as G - I or Hidden Peak as it remained hidden for a long time because it is situated behind some other lofty peaks. On 7th. July 1958 at 3 p.m. two Americans, Peter Schoening and Andy Kaufmann succeeded to set foot on the peak. Schoening, himself was the leader of the team.
Broad Peak (8047m - Karakorams)
Broad Peak is at number four in Pakistan and at number 12 in the world. Technically it is considered as a comparatively less complicated mountain to be climbed. In the evening of 9th. June 1957, four Austrian climbers, under the leadership of Marks Schmitt, reached the summit. The other members were Fritz Winterseller, Herman Buhl and Kurt Diemburger. For Herman Buhl, after Nanga Parbat this was another feat as he was again the first one to climb this peak. At the climax of his career he disappeared while attempting to climb Chogolisa ( Concordia - Baltoro region ) with his climbing partner Kurt Diemburger (Kurt survived).
Gasherbrum II (8035m - Karakorams)
G - II completes the list of eight thousanders of Pakistan and of world as well. On 8th. July 1956, Austrians were successful to scale this peak. The party was led by Fritz Moravec while two other climbers were Joseph Larch and Hans Willenpart.
Apart from the giants of Karakoram and Himalayas, the Hindu Kush range has also an array of peaks with Tirich Mir, the most prominent and highest.
Tirich Mir (7706m - Hindu Kush)
Tirich Mir is the highest peak in Hindu Kush range and 41st. in world. In 1950, Norwegians were the conquerors of the peak. Their leader was P. Kvernberg.