ISLAMABAD: Mountaineers have climbed to the top of Nanga Parbat for the first time this summer, the Alpine Club of Pakistan (ACP) said on Saturday.

“Eight climbers have reached the top of the ninth highest peak in the world. Kim Hong Bin is the first mountaineer to get to the summit of Nanga Parbat, an ACP spokesperson, Karrar Haidri told Dawn.

Korean mountaineer Kim Hong Bin, who is in his mid-50s, launched a summit push from his camp at 7,200 metres with his partner Lakpa Sherpa and both reached the top at 9:30pm Friday night.

“They were lost on the mountain in bad weather soon after they left the camp,” said Mohammad Iqbal who is from Summit Karakuram, the tour operator managing the duo’s expedition.

With the successful climb on Friday night, Mr Bin has climbed three of the five highest peaks in Pakistan and needs to climb two in Pakistan and one in Nepal to attain his goal of climbing the 14 highest peaks in the world, all of which measure more than 8,000 metres. Mr Bin climbed K2 in 2012 and has also reached the summit of Gasherbrum I.

“Kim lost all his fingers several years ago but that did not stop him from achieving his goals,” Mr Iqbal said, adding that Mr Bin has given up his plan of climbing Broad Peak this season as he is exhausted and plans to return next year.

ACP’s Karrar Haidri confirmed six more successful climbs on Saturday. Luo Jing from China and Japanese mountaineer Naoko Watanabe also reached the top of Nanga Parbat at 2:16pm on Saturday. The other four climbers to reach the summit are from Nepal.

Also known as the ‘killer mountain’, Nanga Parbat has claimed the lives of many veteran climbers. Spanish mountaineer Alberto Zerain and Mariano Galacan from Argentina are thought to have been killed in an avalanche on the mountain. Search and rescue missions for the two climbers were called off July 1 when helicopter pilots from Askari Aviation confirmed there was an avalanche over the climbers’ last known location.

Published in Dawn, July 10th, 2017