GILGIT: A six-member Pakistan-Japan K2 expedition on Monday began journey to scale the most dangerous and second highest mountain of the world.

About 80 local porters, two cooks, guides and high altitude porters are part of the first expedition of this summer season.

The expedition members departed from Askoli, near the K2 base camp from Skardu on Monday morning.

The expedition members will spend two months to scale K2.

Japanese climber Kawasaki Hiroshi, 55, is the team leader, while Ali Musa, 45, Akram Ali Shah, 45, Aziz Baig, 55, Fazal Ali, 47, and Saeed Ahmad, 52, from Shimshal valley are members of the expedition.

The expedition is organised by Nippa Travels.

Ali Musa, a member of the expedition, told Dawn that team members were internationally-acclaimed climbers. “We are hopeful to climb the K2 during the attempt,” he said, adding Kawasaki Hiroshi, the team leader, had been visiting Pakistan for last 20 years to climb high peaks in GB.

The Japanese mountaineer has attempted K2 thrice in the past.

Pakistani mountaineer Ali Musa has so far climbed Broad Peak, Gashabrum 2 and Mustagaata peak in China. He also attempted to scale K2 thrice, but didn’t succeed due to harsh weather conditions.

Akram Ali Shah scaled Mustagaata, Gashabrum 1, Spantik and Diran peaks. He also attempted to scale K2, but failed.

Aziz Baig has scaled Nanga Parbat and Passu peak.

Fazal Ali, besides scaling K2 thrice, has also climbed Spantik and Gashabrum 1 peaks.

Saeed Ahmad has scaled Gashabrum 2.

Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2019