Friday, November 10, 2017

Fascinating Pakistan - Nanga Parbat

I have been writing about the beautiful and awesome travel destinations of Pakistan and the world over in my blog since long. I have traveled to many countries and was awe stricken by the natural beauty everywhere that I went and traveled to. But looking back, Pakistan has much more for the world to know about and explore the maiden and in some cases still generally unexplored landscape which have no parallel in the world.

So I have decided to start a series of posts to show to the world the fascinating face of Pakistan. And to start with, I have chosen Nanga Parbat - a massive eight thousander out of the 14 above 8,000 meters high mountain peaks of the world. It is the 9th eight thousander on the world table and second as far Pakistan is concerned after the K-2, the second highest after the Mt Everest.

You may ask why I chose Nanga Parbat and not K-2? well Nanga Parbat has special fascination for me as once flying to Skardu in a PIA's Fokker friendship, we flew past this massive massif and its landscape is still vividly preserved in my memory.

Standing as tall as 8,126 metres (26,660 feet) above mean sea level, It is the only eight thousander of Pakistan located out of the Karakorum mountain range in the Himalayas. In fact, it is the western anchor of the Himalayas around which the Indus river skirts into the plains of Pakistan. Nanga Parbat along with Namcha Barwa on the Tibetan Plateau mark the west and east ends of the Himalayas. It is located approx 27 km west-southwest of Astore district, in the Gilgit–Baltistan region of Pakistan

Like K2, which more difficult to climb than the Mt Everest, Nanga Parbat too is also notorious for its difficult climb and many mountaineers have lost their lives trying to scale Nanga Parbat, or the Killer Mountain as it is known after so many aborted attempts and deathly incidents. It is the vertical relief of the mountain that makes it difficult for the mountaineers to scale it.

Another view of Nanga Parbat shared with courtesy of Nawab Tanweer Ahmad (Facebook)

Nanga Parbat was first  attempted in 1895 by a European expedition under Albert F. Mummery. They climbed to height of 6,100 m (20,000 ft) on the Diamir (West) Face, but Mummery and two Gurkha companions later died reconnoitering the Rakhiot Face. Since then, many expeditions, mostly from Germany, attempted to scale this formidable mountain but failed with caualties.

It was finally successfully scaled on July 3, 1953 by a German-Austrian expedition an its Austrian member  Hermann Buhl had the honour to stand atop Nanga Parbat for the first time. However, all attempts were made in the summers in rather fair weather. It was as late as February 26, 2016 that Nanga Parbat was scaled in sheer winters by  Ali Sadpara of Pakistan and Alex Txikon from Italy and Simone Moro from Spain.

Watch a awesome video of Nanga Parbat below:
Nanga Parbat is one of only two peaks on Earth that rank in the top twenty of both the highest mountains in the world, and the most prominent peaks in the world, ranking ninth and fourteenth respectively. The other is Mount Everest, which is first on both lists. It is also the second most prominent peak of the Himalayas, after Mount Everest. The key col for Nanga Parbat is Zoji La in Kashmir, which connects it to higher peaks in the remaining Himalaya-Karakoram range.

This, despite its difficulty in climbing, Nanga Parbat remains as one of the favourite scaling site among the mountaineers around the world and almost the entire year, expeditions keep coming to Pakistan to challenge its invincibility and claim its summit in their log books.

References: Wikipedia | Photo courtesy Northern Areas of Pakistan (Facebook)
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