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Table No. 27 : Profile of the Highest Peaks in Pakistan
1. K-2 (8611 M)
Pakistan has some of the richest mountain ranges, the Himalayas, the Hindu Kush
and the Karakoram converging in the Northern Areas capped with some of the
world's tallest peaks among them K-2, the world's second highest at 8611m known
to locals and ancient Tibetans as Chogori.
It is the world's biggest pyramid of rock, ice and snow with its great-serrated slopes
and the most elegant mountain standing alone, dominating the entire surroundings.
Discovered by Siur Godwin Austen in 1861 its `perfect cone' astounded Colonel
Francies Young Husband in 1887 when he first saw it. William Martin Conway then
arrives on the scene in 1892 in the great ice junction, which he named Concordia.
But it was not until 1909 when the Duke of Abruzzi Expedition reconnoitered K-2
that a good account of the mountain became available. The Southeast ridge by
which he made his aborted attempt is still known as the Abruzzi Ridge that has now
become the normal expedition route on K-2.
The great south face, 3500m high, offers the most familiar look by which
photographers have helped to fix its image. The famous Abruzzi Ridge rises above
the Godwin Austen Glacier directly to summit of the shoulder. The South-South
West ridge often known as the "Magic Line" which is just behind the Angel Peak is a
2300m sheer climb from the Negretto Saddle. Its North face was explored in 1937
by Eric Shiption
After a number of failed attempts by mainly Americans and Italians it was in 1954
that an Italian expedition, under the leadership of Professor Ardito Desio, got the
summit. Two Italian members of this team namely Achille Compagnoni & Lino
Lacedelli became the first to scale the summit from where they witnessed a "dream
The ascent of K-2 was a great event not only for Italy but the whole mountaineering
world. Having been summated the mountain remained unclimbed for another spell
of over 20 years. A few attempts were made between 1974 and 1976 but were not
1977 was the year when new faces appeared on the Baltoro and in the same year a
large Japanese/ Pakistani team put seven climbers on the top of K-2. Among them
Ashraf Aman became the first Pakistani to have scaled K-2 on 9
Nazir Sabbir (the only Pakistani to have scaled Everest in 2000) summitted K-2 via
West Ridge a more technically challenging route with Waseda University Alpine
Club on August 7, 1981. Rajab Shah and Mehrab Shah reached the top of K-2 with
a team from Holland in 1995.
Since the early years of the 20
century, over a 100 attempts have been made on K-
2, out of which nearly one-third succeeded. The ascent of K-2 has claimed many
lives. Climbers described it as the mountaineers' mountains for the sheer skill that is
required to negotiate its technical passage up the pyramid from almost any route.