Friday, November 17, 2017

Fascinating Pakistan - Gasherbrum 1, The Hidden Peak

I have already introduced of the five eight thousander peaks in Pakistan out of the fourteen in the world and also wrote an exclusive post on Nanga Parbat in the Himalayas, the only eight thousander located out of the Karakorum range. Today I will talk about Gasherbrum 1, also known as the hidden peak.

But before I do that, let me say a a few words about the survey of the Karakorum peaks by T.G. Montgomerie who back in 1856 with no GPS or visual devices surveyed the Karakorum peaks - sitting more than two hundred kilometers away, a feat of extreme professionalism while carrying out the Trigonometric Survey of India. And he named Gasherbrum 1 as K5, as he labelled the Chogori or the Mt Godwin Austen as K2. Later in 1982, William Martin Conway labelled it as the Hidden Peak, for being located in the extreme remoteness.

Part of the Gasherbrum massif in the Karakorum region of the Himalaya, with a height of 8,080 m (26,510 ft), Gasherbrum 1 is the 11th eight thousander and the third eight thousander in Pakistan. It is located on the Pakistani–Chinese border in Gilgit–Baltistan region of Pakistan and Xinjiang region of China. In local Balti language, the world Gasherbrum means the beautiful mountain, "rgasha" (beautiful) + "brum" (mountain)

The Gasherbrum 1 expedition commences from Skardu. From here the expeditions enter the Shigar Valley and a  laborious trekking across the Baltoro glacier to reach the base camp. The best climbing season starts in June and ends in August.

Gasherbrum I and II were explored by an international expedition by the Swiss G.O. Dyhrenfurth, explores . Two climbers could go up to 6,300 m (20,670 ft). 1936 a French expedition tried an unsuccessful attempt, but it was on July 5, 1958 Pete Schoening and Andy Kauffman, part of an eight-man American expedition who successfully scaled the summit.

On March 9th, 2012, two Polish climbers (Adam Bielecki, 28 and Janusz Golab, 43) completed the first ever winter ascent of Gasherbrum I. Adam Bielecki and Janusz Golab climbed the peak without oxygen. The Polish team ascended via the Japanese route up the NW Face of Gasherbrum 1. The expedition succeeded after 49 days of waiting due extremely bad weather.

The Polish Expedition Plan - Photo: Himalman Weblog

The same day, three climbers from a different expedition, Austrian Gerfried Goschl, Swiss Cedric Hahlen and Pakistani Nisar Hussain Sadpara, went missing, never to be found again. The three had been sighted for the last time midday on Friday circa 250 m below the summit .They were trying to ascend via a new route.. 

Watch the video of the first ever winter accent of Gasherbrum 1 by the Polish climbers (2012)
This is the second share of the five eight thousanders in Pakistan, after Nanga Parbat. I will write about the remaining three eight thousanders in my subsequent posts.

Photo: Northern Areas of Pakistan |
References: Wikipedia | Panel Mountain
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