GILGIT: Seven climbing members of two foreign expedition teams on Friday scaled Nanga Parbat, the world’s ninth highest mountain, also known as The Killer Mountain, making it the first summit of eight-thousanders in Pakistan this summer.

Two women namely Kristin Harila, 36, from Norway and Grace Tseng, 29, from Taiwan were leading the two teams, 8K Expedition and Dolma Outdoor Expeditions, respectively. All other team members were from Nepal.

Pasdawa Sherpa, Dawa Ongju, Chhiring Namgel were part of 8K Expedition, while Nima Gyalzen and Ningma Tamang Dorje were members of Dolma Outdoor Expedition, according to Alpine Club of Pakistan secretary Karrar Haidri.

“Today (Friday) on the 1st of July 2022 our team successfully summited the world’s ninth highest mountain Nanga Parbat (8,126 metres) at around 11.30am. Despite extreme challenging weather and harsh situations, our team managed to climb Nanga Parbat,” 8K Expedition mentioned in a statement.

Pakistan sees season’s first summit of eight-thousanders, with two women leading the teams

Leading the expedition team that started the adventure on June 22, Ms Harila had arrived here to climb five 8,000 metre high peaks in Pakistan within two months. Her visit to Pakistan is part of her campaign to beat the time record of ascending all the 14 world’s highest peaks within six months.

Since five of these 14 peaks — K2 (8,611m), Nanga Parbat (8,126m), Gasherbrum-I (8,080m), Broad Peak (8,051m) and Gasherbrum-II (8,035m) — are located in Pakistan, Ms Harila will start her next adventure after the Nanga Parbat summit to conquer the remaining four peaks at the earliest.

First Taiwanese female

In its statement, Dolma Outdoor Expedition (DOE) claimed Ms Tseng became the first Taiwanese female to summit Nanga Parbat. She earlier in April climbed Annapurna in Nepal without supplemental oxygen and became the youngest female in the world to do so.

Ms Tseng had already climbed seven peaks above 8000m in the world.

She climbed Manaslu (8,163m) in September 2019, Everest (8,848.86m) and Lhotse (8,516m) in May 2021, Dhaulagiri (8,167m) and Kanchen­junga in October 2021, Annapurna-I (8,091m) in April 2022 and Makalu (8,463m) in May 2022.

After the Nanga Parbat summit, the DOE stated: “The team reached the summit of Nanga Parbat today at 10:07am local time. We would like to congratulate all the team members for this achievement and wish them the best for the safe return.”

She aims to summit all eight thousanders in one year. Her next attempt is climbing the four remaining eight thousanders in Pakistan.

This was the first summit of eight-thousanders in Pakistan this summer. More than 14,000 international climbers, including 40 Pakistanis, are expected to attempt to climb various peaks in Pakistan, including its five highest during this season.

Published in Dawn, July 2nd, 2022

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