Gasherbrum II

Gasherbrum II (Urdu: گاشر برم -2‎); surveyed as K4, is the 13th highest mountain in the world at 8,035 metres (26,362 ft) above sea level.[1][2][3][5] It is the third-highest peak of the Gasherbrum massif, and is located in the Karakoram, on the border between Gilgit–Baltistan province, Pakistan, and Xinjiang, China.[3] The mountain was first climbed on July 7, 1956, by an Austrian expedition which included Fritz Moravec, Josef Larch, and Hans Willenpart.

Gasherbrum II
گاشر برم -2
Gasherbrum II from Base Camp
Highest point
Elevation8,035 m (26,362 ft) [1][2][3]
Ranked 13th
Prominence1,524 m (5,000 ft) [1]
Isolation5.26 kilometres (3.27 mi)
Coordinates35°45′30″N 76°39′12″E / 35.75833°N 76.65333°ECoordinates: 35°45′30″N 76°39′12″E / 35.75833°N 76.65333°E[4]
Gasherbrum II گاشر برم -2 is located in Tibetan Plateau
Gasherbrum II گاشر برم -2
Gasherbrum II
گاشر برم -2
Location on the Pakistan–China border
Gasherbrum II گاشر برم -2 is located in Pakistan
Gasherbrum II گاشر برم -2
Gasherbrum II
گاشر برم -2
Gasherbrum II
گاشر برم -2
Gasherbrum II گاشر برم -2 is located in Gilgit Baltistan
Gasherbrum II گاشر برم -2
Gasherbrum II
گاشر برم -2
Gasherbrum II
گاشر برم -2
(Gilgit Baltistan)
LocationGilgit–Baltistan, Pakistan
Parent rangeKarakoram
First ascentJuly 7, 1956 by Fritz Moravec, Josef Larch and Hans Willenpart[1]
Easiest routeSnow/ice climb


Gasherbrum II is located on the border of Gilgit–Baltistan, Pakistan, and Xinjiang, China. It is part of the Karakoram mountain range in the Himalayas, and located at the top of the Baltoro Glacier.[6] With an elevation of 8,035 metres (26,362 ft) it is the third-highest member of the Gasherbrum group, behind Gasherbrum I (8,080 metres or 26,510 feet)[7] and Broad Peak (8,051 metres or 26,414 feet).[8] Gasherbrum III is sometimes considered to be a subpeak of Gasherbrum II,[9] because the former has a topographic prominence of only 461 metres (1,512 ft).[10]


In 1856, Thomas George Montgomerie, a member of the British Royal Engineers and part of the Great Trigonometric Survey, sighted the mountain and named it "K4", meaning the fourth mountain of Karakoram.[11] The name "Gasherbrum" comes from the Balti words rgasha ("beautiful") and brum ("mountain"); it does not, contrary to popular belief, mean "shining wall", how Sir William Martin Conway described nearby Gasherbrum IV on an 1892 exploration.[11][12][13][14]

Climbing history

The mountains of the Gasherbrum group were explored in 1909 by the Duke of the Abruzzi and Vittorio Sella. The Abruzzi Glacier, a tributary of the Baltoro Glacier, is named after the Duke.[15][16]

In 1934, Günter Dyhrenfurth and his International Himalayan Expedition, including André Roch, explored Gasherbrum I and II, making it 6,250 metres (20,510 ft) up Gasherbrum II.[16][17]

The first ascent came on July 7, 1956, by Austrians Fritz Moravec, Josef Larch and Hans Willenpart by the Southwest Ridge. After they set up Camp I, they had to descend, and found the camp—and all their supplies and food—buried by an avalanche when they returned. Despite this, they decided to make a quick summit attempt. After opening up a route, they left Camp III on July 6. The group spent the night in a bivouac sack and reached the top at 11:30 am the next day.[16][18][19]

In 1975, four expeditions successfully climbed Gasherbrum II, including Jean-Pierre Fresafond's French expedition, a Polish group under Janusz Onyszkiewicz, and another Polish expedition led by Wanda Rutkiewicz.[16]

Four years later, a Chilean group claimed to have used the "normal" route to reach the top. Several others, including Reinhard Karl, Hanns Schell, and Kurt Diemberger also reached the summit.[16]

On July 24, 1982, Reinhold Messner, along with Nazir Sabir and Sher Khan, climbed the peak via the Southwest Ridge.[16][20] During that year, Messner also climbed two other eight-thousanders, Kangchenjunga and Broad Peak, and attempted Cho Oyu. He wrote a book, 3 x 8000: My Great Year in the Himalaya (German: 3 x 8000: Mein grosses Himalaja-Jahr), about this.[21]

In July 1984, Reinhold Messner and Hans Kammerlander reached both Gasherbrum II and Gasherbrum I without returning to base camp, in alpine style.

In August 1984, a French expedition led by Daniel Croisot, reached summit and achieved the integral first descent by ski of Gasherbrum II, as witnessed and joined by Dominique Dock who was medical officer for the expedition.

In August 1986, Gasherbrum II was successfully ascended by a Slovene expedition in only 32 hours from the base to the peak, with only 22 hours of climbing and 10 hours of rest at the altitude of 5900 m. This was by far the fastest ascent until then.[22]

In July 1996, Jean-Christophe Lafaille climbed Gasherbrum I and II in four days, without stopping at Base Camp in between.[23]

In 1997 Anatoli Boukreev achieved a solo speed ascent, camp ABC (5800 metres) to summit in 9 hours 30 min.

In 2006, Sebastian Haag and Benedikt Böhm climbed Gasherbrum II twice within a week. At 8:00 am on July 29, they reached the top and then skied down without abseiling or removing their skis. They rested for a few days before leaving Camp I again on August 3. They started out fast, reaching Camp IV in six hours, but 50 centimetres (20 in) of fresh snow slowed them down, and they reached the summit after over six hours of tough climbing. They descended on skis again, this time made even more dangerous by packed-down snow and the risk of avalanche. Despite this, they both made it safely back to Camp I in under 17 hours, whereas a normal expedition takes four to seven days.[24][25]

Karl Unterkircher and Daniele Bernasconi, two Italians, climbed Gasherbrum II in 2007 in alpine style. They were the first to use the North Face through China. The route had been attempted a year earlier by a German–Swiss team, but they abandoned it after an avalanche. During the attempt they fixed around 1,200 metres (3,900 ft) of rope. They arrived at the summit around 8:00 pm on July 20, after spending the night in a bivouac shelter. A third member, Michele Compagnoni, grandson of Achille Compagnoni, turned back just 150 metres (490 ft) before the summit. The team reunited and descended down the normal, northwest route.[26][27]

On February 2, 2011, Cory Richards, Denis Urubko, and Simone Moro became the first to ascend Gasherbrum II in winter. Despite being buried by a class-four avalanche, they reached the summit at 11:30 am, without supplemental oxygen or porters. Richards, who was the first American to climb an eight-thousander in winter, filmed the expedition, which he turned into the film Cold.[28][29]

On July 16, 2018, Felix Berg and Adam Bielecki summited Gasherbrum II making what is arguably the first ascent of the true West Face.[30]

See also


  • Dyhrenfurth, G. O. (1955). To the Third Pole. London. ISBN 978-1-4465-4447-1. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
  • Isserman, Maurice; Weaver, Stewart Angas (2010). Fallen Giants: A History of Himalayan Mountaineering from the Age of Empire to the Age of Extremes. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-16420-6. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
  • Messner, Reinhold (1999). All 14 Eight-Thousanders. The Mountaineers Books. ISBN 978-0-89886-660-5. Retrieved 24 January 2014.

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b c d "Gasherbrum II". Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Trekking Routes - Highest peaks". Retrieved 2014-08-24.
  3. ^ a b c "Gasherbrum II". Retrieved 2014-08-24.
  4. ^ "Karakoram and India/Pakistan Himalayas Ultra-Prominences". 20 March 2011. Retrieved 2013-03-09.
  5. ^ "Gasherbrum II". Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  6. ^ Seyfferth, Guenter (5 March 2013). "Die Berge des Himalaya" (in German). Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  7. ^ "Gasherbrum I, China/Pakistan". Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  8. ^ "Broad Peak, China/Pakistan". Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  9. ^ Dyhrenfurth 1955, p. 199.
  10. ^ "Gasherbrum III". Retrieved 24 March 2013.
  11. ^ a b Green, Stewart. "Gasherbrum II: 13th Highest Mountain in the World". Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  12. ^ "Gasherbrum I". Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  13. ^ "Gasherbrum IV Photo Gallery Home". Mountains of Travel Photos. June 2011. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  14. ^ Dyhrenfurth 1955, p. 187.
  15. ^ Filippi, Filippo de; di Savoia, Luigi Amedeo (1912). Karakoram and Western Himalaya 1909: An Account of the Expedition of H.R.H. Prince Luigi Amadeo of Savoy, Duke of the Abruzzi. New York: E. P. Dutton. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
  16. ^ a b c d e f Messner 1999, p. 128.
  17. ^ Dyhrenfurth 1955, p. 198.
  18. ^ "Gasherbrum II Photo Gallery Home". Mountains of Travel Photos. June 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
  19. ^ Isserman, pp. 327–328
  20. ^ Hussain, Manzoor (July 2, 2000). "Nazir Sabir - The Mountaineer and A Fighter". Pakistan & Gulf Economist. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  21. ^ Chessler, Michael. "Who is Reinhold Messner?". Traditional Mountaineering. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  22. ^ Grošelj, Viki (17 November 2012). "Gašerbrum, najnižji med štirinajstimi najvišjimi vrhovi sveta" [Gasherbrum: The Lowest Among the Fourteen Highest Peaks of the World]. (in Slovenian). ISSN 0350-7521.
  23. ^ American Alpine Club (1997). 1997 American Alpine Journal. The Mountaineers Books. p. 329. ISBN 978-1-933056-44-9. ISSN 0065-6925. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  24. ^ "Cool: Speed climb and successful ski down Gasherbrum ll" (PDF). Expedition Manaslu. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 December 2012. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  25. ^ Winter, Stefan (2006). "Germans summit G2 and then ski down: great pictures!". Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  26. ^ MacDonald, Dougald. "Italians Climb G-II's North Face". Climbing. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  27. ^ Griffin, Linsay (30 July 2007). "Italians climb Chinese face of Gasherbrum II". Alpinist. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  28. ^ MacDonald, Dougald (2 February 2011). "First Winter Ascent of Gasherbrum II". Climbing. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  29. ^ Cahall, Fitz. "Climber Cory Richards". National Geographic Adventure. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  30. ^ "NEWS: Adam Bielecki and Felix Berg make First Ascent of Gasherbrum II West Face". Retrieved 2018-10-14.

Further reading

External links

Alberto Iñurrategi

Alberto Iñurrategi Iriarte (November 3, 1968) is a Basque Spanish mountaineer born in Aretxabaleta, Gipuzkoa, Basque Country (Spain), 3 November 1968. In the year 2002, he became the second Spaniard and Basque (after Juanito Oiarzabal) and 10th person to climb the 14 eight-thousanders.

He was 33 years old when he completed the eight-thousanders making him the youngest person to climb all 14. 12 of the peaks were climbed with his brother Felix who died on the descent of Gasherbrum II. Iñurrategi climbed the peaks in an Alpine style using few lines or sherpas and no bottled oxygen making him the fourth person to have climbed all 14 peaks without bottled oxygen. In collaboration with other climbers he has produced several climbing documentaries such as Annapurna: sueño y vacío, Gure Himalaya and Hire Himalaya.

Benedikt Böhm

Benedikt "Bene" Böhm (born 15 August 1977 in Munich) is a German extreme ski mountaineer and extreme skier. Together with Sebastian Haag he keeps the records in speed ski mountaineering at the Muztagata and the Gasherbrum II.

Böhm has grown up with five siblings in Harlaching, a borough of Munich. One of his brothers is the German artist Corbinian Böhm. Böhm is member of the national German Skimountaineering Team and member of the Dynafit Gore-Tex team. He also works at Dynafit as an international sales manager.

Central Karakoram National Park

Central Karakoram National Park (Urdu: میانی قراقرم ملی باغ‎) is a national park located in Skardu district of Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan. It encompasses some of the world’s highest peaks and largest glaciers. Internationally renowned for mountaineering, rock climbing and trekking opportunities, it covers an area of about 10,000 sq. km and contains the greatest concentration of high mountains on earth. It has four peaks over 8,000 m including K2 (8611 m), Gasherbrum-I (8068 m), Gasherbrum-II (8035 m) and Broad Peak (8051 m), and sixty peaks higher than 7,000 m.

Eylem Elif Maviş

Eylem Elif Maviş, née Koç, (born November 9, 1973) is the first Turkish woman mountaineer to climb Mount Everest, the highest mountain on Earth.

Elif was born on in Tokat, Turkey. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in environmental engineering and a Master of Science degree in business administration from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara. She holds another master's degree from the University of Iowa. A management systems specialist, she works as a software engineer.

On July 22, 2005 she successfully summited Gasherbrum II (8,035 m), the 14th highest peak of the world, with a Turkish team comprising six members. She and her teammate Burçak Özoğlu Poçan became the first Turkish women to climb over 8,000 m.

Elif reached the summit of Mount Everest (8848 m) as the first member of a Turkish expedition team on May 15, 2006 at 3:00 UTC, followed by three others Haldun Ülkenli, Serkan Girgin and Soner Büyükatalay. The team, sponsored by Petrol Ofisi, consisted of 11 mountaineers.

Fritz Moravec

Fritz Moravec (April 27, 1922 – March 17, 1997) was an Austrian mountaineer and author. He is best known for his numerous expeditions in the Karakoram range, where he participated in the first ascent of Gasherbrum II (8,034 m, 26,358 ft). Moravec was the founder of the Glockner-Kaprun mountaineering school.


Gasherbrum (Urdu: گاشر برم‎) is a remote group of peaks located at the northeastern end of the Baltoro Glacier in the Karakoram range of the Himalaya on the border of the Chinese- Xinjiang province and the Gilgit-Baltistan territory of Pakistan. The massif contains three of the world's 8,000 metre peaks (if Broad Peak is included). Although the word "Gasherbrum" is often claimed to mean "Shining Wall", presumably a reference to the highly visible face of Gasherbrum IV, it comes from "rgasha" (beautiful) + "brum" (mountain) in Balti, hence it actually means "beautiful mountain".

Gasherbrum III

Gasherbrum III (Urdu: گاشر برم -3‎; simplified Chinese: 加舒尔布鲁木III峰; traditional Chinese: 加舒爾布魯木III峰; pinyin: Jiāshūěrbùlǔmù III Fēng), surveyed as K3a, is a summit in the Gasherbrum massif of the Baltoro Muztagh, a subrange of the Karakoram on the border between Xinjiang, China and Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. It is situated between Gasherbrum II and IV.

Gasherbrum III fails to meet a 500-metre topographic prominence cutoff to be an independent mountain; hence it can be considered a subpeak of Gasherbrum II.Gasherbrum III was one of the highest unclimbed summits in the world up to its first ascent in 1975, by Wanda Rutkiewicz, Alison Chadwick-Onyszkiewicz, Janusz Onyszkiewicz and Krzysztof Zdzitowiecki, members of a Polish expedition.

Godwin-Austen Glacier

The Godwin-Austen Glacier is a glacier in the Karakoram, close to K2 in the Pakistani region of Gilgit Baltistan. Its confluence with the Baltoro Glacier is called Concordia and is a popular trekking destination as it provides views of four of the five eight-thousanders in the region.

The glacier can be approached via the Balti town of Skardu. It receives its name from Henry Haversham Godwin-Austen, an early explorer of this region. K2 was originally named Mount Godwin-Austin in his honour.

Hassan Sadpara

Hassan Sadpara PP (born Hassan Asad; April 1963 – 21 November 2016) was a Pakistani mountaineer and adventurer from Skardu in GB, Pakistan. He is the first Pakistani to have climbed six eight-thousanders including the world's highest peak Everest (8848m) besides K2 (8611m), Gasherbrum I (8080m), Gasherbrum II (8034m), Nanga Parbat (8126 m), Broad Peak (8051m). He is also credited for summiting five of the eight-thousanders without using supplemental oxygen. Contrary to initial reports, Hassan Sadpara clarified that he used supplemental oxygen during his Everest ascent due to bad weather. He died due to cancer on 21 November 2016 in Rawalpindi.


The Karakoram is a large mountain range spanning the borders of Pakistan, India, and China, with the northwest extremity of the range extending to Afghanistan and Tajikistan. It begins in the Wakhan Corridor (Afghanistan) in the west and encompasses the majority of Gilgit–Baltistan (Pakistan) and extends into Ladakh (India), and Aksai Chin (China). It is the second highest mountain range in the world, and part of the complex of ranges including the Pamir Mountains, the Hindu Kush and the Himalayan Mountains.. The Karakoram has eight summits over 7,500 m (24,600 ft) height, with four of them exceeding 8,000 m (26,000 ft): K2, the second highest peak in the world at 8,611 m (28,251 ft), Gasherbrum I, Broad Peak and Gasherbrum II.

The range is about 500 km (311 mi) in length, and is the most heavily glaciated part of the world outside the polar regions. The Siachen Glacier at 76 kilometres (47 mi) and the Biafo Glacier at 63 kilometres (39 mi) rank as the world's second and third longest glaciers outside the polar regions.The Karakoram is bounded on the east by the Aksai Chin plateau, on the northeast by the edge of the Tibetan Plateau, and on the north by the river valleys of the Yarkand and Karakash rivers beyond which lie the Kunlun Mountains. At the northwest corner are the Pamir Mountains. The southern boundary of the Karakoram is formed, west to east, by the Gilgit, Indus, and Shyok rivers, which separate the range from the northwestern end of the Himalaya range proper. These rivers flow northwest before making an abrupt turn southwestward towards the plains of Pakistan. Roughly in the middle of the Karakoram range is the Karakoram Pass, which was part of a historic trade route between Ladakh and Yarkand but now inactive.

The Tashkurghan National Nature Reserve and the Pamir Wetlands National Nature Reserve in the Karalorun and Pamir mountains have been nominated for inclusion in UNESCO in 2010 by the National Commission of the People's Republic of China for UNESCO and has tentatively been added to the list.

Leila Esfandyari

Leila Esfandyari (Persian: لیلا اسفندیاری‎; Feb 17, 1970 in Karaj, Iran – July 22, 2011, Gasherbrum II, Pakistan) was an Iranian mountain climber. Esfandyari was the first Iranian woman to scale the summit of Nanga Parbat in the Himalayas, the world’s ninth highest peak with an altitude of 8,125 metres and one of the deadliest peaks. Esfandyari is regarded as a pioneer in the women’s mountain climbing movement, being one of few women in the world to have completed a similar attempt.

Lydia Bradey

Lydia Bradey (born 9 October 1961) is a New Zealand mountaineer. She is known for becoming the first woman to summit Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen in 1988. She has gone on to summit Mount Everest at least four more times in 2008, 2013, 2016, and 2018.

Nazir Sabir

Nazir Sabir Urdu: نذیر صابر is a Pakistani mountaineer. He was born in Hunza. He has climbed Mount Everest and four of the five 8000 m peaks in Pakistan, including the world's second highest mountain K2 in 1981, Gasherbrum II 8035m, Broad Peak 8050m in 1982, and Gasherbrum I (Hidden Peak) 8068m in 1992. He became the first from Pakistan to have climbed Everest on 17 May 2000 as a team member on the Mountain Madness Everest Expedition led by Christine Boskoff from the United States that also included famed Everest climber Peter Habeler of Austria and eight Canadians.

Reinhold Messner

Reinhold Andreas Messner (German pronunciation: [ˈʁaɪ̯nhɔlt ˈmɛsnɐ]; born 17 September 1944) is an Italian mountaineer, explorer, and author. He made the first solo ascent of Mount Everest, the first ascent of Everest without supplemental oxygen, along with Peter Habeler, and was the first climber to ascend all fourteen peaks over 8,000 metres (26,000 ft) above sea level. He was also the first person to cross Antarctica and Greenland with neither snowmobiles nor dog sleds. Furthermore, he crossed the Gobi Desert alone. Messner also published more than 80 books about his experiences as a climber and explorer. In 2018 he received jointly with Krzysztof Wielicki the Princess of Asturias Award in the category of Sports.

Ryszard Pawłowski

Ryszard Pawłowski (24 June 1950 in Bogatynia) - Polish alpine and high-altitude climber and photographer. Member of The Explorers Club.

Ryszard Pawlowski is the founder and co-owner of the Patagonia Mountain Agency. He has been climbing since 1970 and is an alpinism instructor and guide. He has climbed the mountains of North and South America, the Himalayas, Alps, Caucasus, Pamirs and Tian Shan.

He has summitted Mt. Everest five times - 13 May 1994, 12 May 1995, 18 May 1999, 20 May 2012 and 25 May 2014.

He has climbed with - Jerzy Kukuczka, Piotr Pustelnik, Janusz Majer, Krzysztof Wielicki.

He has summited ten of the fourteen 8000 metre peaks including K2.

Sebastian Haag

Sebastian Haag (23 May 1978 – 24 September 2014) was a German extreme ski mountaineer and extreme skier. Together with Benedikt Böhm he holds the records in speed ski mountaineering at the Muztagata and the Gasherbrum II.

Haag was born in Munich, where he worked as a veterinarian, and was a member of the Dynafit Gore-Tex team.

Haag died on 24 September 2014 together with the Italian mountaineer Andrea Zambaldi at the Shishapangma in an avalanche accident. He was 36.

Simone Moro

Simone Moro (born 27 October 1967 in Bergamo) is an Italian alpinist.

He is the only mountaineer to have made the first winter ascent of four of the eight-thousanders: Shishapangma in 2005, Makalu in 2009, Gasherbrum II in 2011, and Nanga Parbat in 2016., He also ascended Everest four times in 2000, 2002, 2006, 2010.

Moro is also an experienced helicopter pilot. In 2013, Moro and two other rescue experts carried out the world's highest long-line rescue operation on a helicopter, on Lhotse, at 7800m. On 12 November 2015, he set a new flight altitude world record, (Category E-1a Max Takeoff weight less than 500 kg), in an ES 101 Raven, turboshaft powered helicopter, (6705m).

Solar eclipse of April 29, 1976

An annular solar eclipse occurred on April 29, 1976. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partly obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth. An annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon's apparent diameter is smaller than the Sun's, blocking most of the Sun's light and causing the Sun to look like an annulus (ring). An annular eclipse appears as a partial eclipse over a region of the Earth thousands of kilometres wide.

Annularity was visible from North Africa, Greece, Turkey, Middle East, central Asia, India, China. 5 of the 14 eight-thousanders in Pakistan and China—Nanga Parbat, K2, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum II and Gasherbrum I, lie in the path of annularity.

The Dark Glow of the Mountains

The Dark Glow of the Mountains (Gasherbrum - Der Leuchtende Berg) is a TV documentary made in 1984 by German filmmaker Werner Herzog. It is about an expedition made by freestyle mountain climber Reinhold Messner and his partner Hans Kammerlander to climb Gasherbrum II and Gasherbrum I all in one trip without returning to base camp. The film is not so much concerned with showing the climb itself or giving guidelines on mountaineering, but seeks to reveal the inner motivation of the climbers.


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