Summit fever grips Pakistan

August 02, 2012


ISLAMABAD, Aug 1: Pakistan is in the grip of ‘summit fever’ as three different expeditions — K2, Broad Peak and Gasherbrum 2 (G2) — all along the Karakoram Range, have taken place this year.

News about the summits — K2, Broad Peak and G2 — started jamming mailboxes and blogs on the morning of July 31, 2012.

According to the Alpine Club Pakistan (ACP), 20 members of the international Seven Summit Treks took the Abruzzi Ridge on K2, standing like a perfect pyramid 8, 611 metres, in the early hours of July 31 to conquer the second highest peak in the world.

Although the ACP has yet to confirm, if it was 20 or 23 members who pushed for the summit. Nonetheless, the mountaineering community was proud to share that this was one of the biggest group to reach the top of K2.

Ten Sherpas from Nepal, three Chinese, Azim Gheychisaz from Iran, Fabrice Imparto from France and Turkish Tunc Findik are said to be among those who reached the summit in a group led by Chhang Dawa Sherpa of the Seven Summit Treks.

ACP said this was an incredible feat on K2 from the Pakistan side, since the last three years. Few more from other teams were also said to have reached the summit but their names were not available putting the total number to 23, ever to have reached K2 in a single day, the ACP elaborated.

According to ACP, the last attempt to conquer K2 was back in 2008, which was marred by a tragedy — 11 people from different nationalities lost their lives in avalanches, exposure to extreme weather and other mysterious circumstances on the deadly mountain. Several Sherpas lost their lives attempting to rescue the trapped climbers around the elusive ‘bottleneck’ that is famous for ice avalanches high on the Abruzzi Ridge.

Mingma Sherpa was the first Nepalese to have climbed all 14, eight thousand metre peaks in the world. While supporting his elder brother and chasing his own dreams, Chhang Dawa Sherpa also crowned 12 of these peaks. Dawa led this large international team to achieve his last Karakoram peak and reached the top of K2 at around 10:55am, followed by his colleagues.

ACP said that Dawa spoke from the summit and gave the brief details of their success to Nazir Sabir’s expedition office, which was handling the team in Pakistan.

“He was ecstatic about this achievement and informed many of the team members returning to Camp IV, while others were descending,” said an official in ACP.

While most climbers reached the top with oxygen tanks, Polish Adam Bielecki and Persian Azim Ghaychesaz reportedly topped out without O2.

Meanwhile, ACP said that famous Chinese climber Wang Jing and her counterpart Zhang Liang accompanied by two Sherpas also reached Broad Peak also known as K3, 8,051 metres high and the 12th highest mountain in the world, around the same time as K2.

And climbers from Spain, according to ACP topped out the 13th highest mountain in the world, G2, standing at 8,035 metres.