Gasherbrum I Expedition to the "Shining Wall", as the mountain is often called, is the highest (8,068m/26,470ft) among the six peaks of the huge massif. It is one of the prominent peak of Pakistan with K2, Broad Peak, Nanga Parbat among others. This mountain was also named as ‘Hidden Peak’ by the nineteenth-century British explorer Conway. There are six Gasherbrum Peaks and the Hidden peak is the highest. It is the world’s eleventh highest peak with challenging technical difficulties at lower levels. Its first part of the climb is in steep snow. Subsequently, ice with rocks than an easy climb atop snow with mixed slops. The most common route is North West Face. It is located in the Pakistani and Chinese border in Gilgit–Baltistan region of Pakistan and Xinjiang region of China.
Gasherbrum I Expedition: The Route
The first route of Gasherbrum I closed around the mid-80s due to the Siachen conflict. Today expeditions climb through its most prominent route, the plateau on Gasherbrum Glacier. The route Gasherbrum La to the Japanese Culvert or along the north ridge is more popular. Another alternative is the west ridge. It is technically less demanding and easy but takes longer time due to the distance between Camp I and the summit.
Apart from some minor technical concerns at the lower altitudes, the higher snow faces sometimes pose threats of avalanches after new snowfalls.
Gasherbrum I Expedition: The Alternative Route
South-West Ridge, a snow-face, demands much technical prowess on the ice. The snow mixed faces and ridges provide challenges once you are above the plateau after negotiating the heavily crevassed Gasherbrum Glacier. It is a steep way up in some sections. From above the snowy gentle ridge, you continue climbing on a series of smaller ridges reaching a platform where camp 2 is generally set up.
You then climb a couple of ice overhangs and then up the face that goes steeper before you finally reach the shoulder, the site of C3 at 7490m. After three pitches from C3, it is a diagonal way across the face from where a traverse leads to the base of the summit pyramid on the East Ridge. The climb from there is straight on a wide-open expanse with scenic surroundings. You will have to clear a few steep sections before you reach the narrow summit ridge.
- Gasherbrum I occupies the tenth position on the ascent-list of the 8000-meter peaks
- The "least popular" of the 8000-meter peaks
- The scenery is stunning and the climb is mind-blowing
Day 01 Arrive in Islamabad (540m ) and Transfer to hotel
Day 02 Briefing at the Ministry of Tourism. Meeting with LO (Liaison Officer)
Day 03 Fly to Skardu. In case of cancellation of flight drive to Chilas (480 km).
Day 04 Day free at Skardu in case you arrive by flight. If you are driving, you will complete the road journey (07–08 hrs) to Skardu (275 km) En-route has a good view of Nanga Parbat (8,125m).
Day 05 Drive from Skardu to Askole (2,600m) by jeeps (6 hours)
Day 06 Trek from Askole to Jhola (3,185m)
Day 07 Trek from Jhola to paiyu (3,383m)
Day 08 Rest Day in Paiyu
Day 09 Trek from Paiyu to Urdukas (4,130m)
Day 10 Trek from Urdukas to Goro II (4250m)
Day 11 Trek from Goro II to Concordia (4,600m)
Day 12 Trek from Concordia to Gasherbrum II Base Camp (5300 )
Day 13-40 Climbing period from Base camp to summit (8,035m) and back to Base camp
Day 41 Rest day in Base camp and personal equipment packing
Day 42 Trek from Base camp to Goro II (4,250m)
Day 43 Trek from Goro II to Khuburtse
Day 44 Trek from Kumburtse to mundung
Day 45 Trek from mundung to Askole
Day 46 Drive from Askole to Skardu
Day 47 Rest day at Skardu
Day 48 Fly from Skardu to Islamabad and transfer to Hotel
Day 49 Rest day in Islamabad
Day 50 Transfer to airport for final departure