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The climbing season in Pakistan is reaching new heights

#climbing #season #Pakistan #reaching #heights

Pakistan is enjoying a record-breaking climbing season, with around 1,400 foreign climbers applying to scale its lofty peaks – including hundreds on the 8,611-meter (28,251-foot) K2, the second highest in the world.

“This is a record number,” Raja Nasir Ali Khan, Minister of Tourism for Gilgit-Baltistan Region, told AFP.

The country is home to five of the world’s 14 mountains taller than 8,000 meters, and climbing them is considered the ultimate achievement of any mountaineer.

Karrar Haidri, secretary of the Alpine Club of Pakistan, told AFP there are 57 expeditions planned this season to 23 Pakistani peaks – with 370 climbers having a crack on K2, known as “the wild mountain”.

Aside from being technically far more difficult to climb than Everest, weather conditions on K2, which has only been climbed by 425 people since 1954, are notoriously volatile.

More than 6,000 people have scaled Everest since Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay first summited in 1953 – some of them multiple times.

According to Haidri, this year’s climbers include 90 women – including at least two Pakistanis who aim to become the country’s first to scale K2.

Russia’s Oxana Morneva leads a team on the mountain after failing in her own attempt in 2012 when she was pushed back after a knee injury.

“My rope was snapped by falling rocks,” she told AFP news agency.

She said she is not afraid to return.

“When we go up the mountain, we have to be peaceful inside and we have to know what we’re doing,” she added.

Around 200 climbers will attempt to scale the 8,051m Broad Peak, while a similar number of climbers will attempt Gasherbrum-I (8,080m) and Gasherbrum-II (8,035m).

A 36-year-old Norwegian mountaineer, Kristin Harila, is also aiming to scale the world’s 14 highest peaks in record time.

Having climbed seven peaks over 8,000 meters, Harila hopes to match, if not beat, the ambitious record of six months and six days set by Nepalese adventurer Nirmal Purja.

The summer climbing season, which started in early June, lasts until the end of August.

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#climbing #season #Pakistan #reaching #heights

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