Gasherbrum I: Six Pakistanis, Including 20-Year-Old Sheroze Kashif, Going For the Summit Tonight

Nepali guides Pasdawa Sherpa, Dawa Ongchu, Nima Gyalzen, and Ningma Tamang, plus their Western clients Kristin Harila and Grace Tseng, already summited G1 today. But what about the six Pakistani climbers who were battling the wind in Camp 3 yesterday?

They are still there, but they will soon leave for the summit themselves, despite the wind.

Hidden Peak with sun star behind

Gasherbrum 1, aka Hidden Peak. Photo: Sirbaz Khan

 

Of the six Pakistanis, only Shehroze Kashif is using O2. At just 20 years old, he is trying to become the youngest to climb all the 8,000m peaks. The Pakistanis had a tough time negotiating the Japanese Couloir in 75kph winds. Sirbaz Khan, Naila Kiani (sometimes written as Kayani in local media), and Sohail Sakhi climbed K2 together last week and admitted that right now, Gasherbrum I is even harder.

“On K2, there are ropes everywhere, but the Japanese Couloir is just ice and windswept snow,” Khan told his mentor Samson Sharaf by satellite phone.

Sajid Sadpara dressed in orange high altitude down suit some days ago, on a peak's slope.

Sajid Sadpara. Photo: Facebook

 

Windy climb ahead

Wind will remain their most serious obstacle. “Tonight will be clear but very cold and windy,” Sharaf reported. The six men will have to be careful on the rock-hard, slippery snow and make sure that the wind doesn’t blow them away.

They expect to take at least seven hours to reach the summit and will try to get down to Camp 1 that same day.

Sirbaz Khan rises his hands on the snowy summit of K2, on a sunny morning.

On July 22, Sirbaz Khan summited K2 for a second time. Photo: Facebook

 

If Khan succeeds, Gasherbrum I will be his 12th 8,000’er. Next, he will go to Nanga Parbat with Mingma G.

Khan had not planned to climb K2 for a second time, but he changed his mind after the sad loss of Ali Raza Sadpara some months ago. Ali Raza was supposed to lead Naila Kiani. When he died in a climbing accident, Khan took his place at the head of the team.

Meanwhile, Sheroze Kashif, Sajid Sadpara, and his cousin, Imtiaz Sadpara, have teamed up and will attempt to summit as a trio.

Young Naila Kiani holds a sponsor's banner somewhere on the rocky Baltoro Glacier.

Naila Kiani. Photo: Instagram

Notes on recent 14×8,000m quests:

Kristin Harila, Pasdawa Sherpa, and Dawa Ongchu have summited the 11th peak of their 14×8,000’ers speed quest in 106 days. They began with Annapurna on April 28. In an Instagram post this week, Nirmal Purja downplayed Harila’s potential achievement, leading to a lashback on Reddit.

Gasherbrum I is Grace Tseng’s 12th 8,000’er.

Nima Gyalzen says that Gasherbrum I marks the successful completion of his 8,000m list. However, chronicler Eberhard Jurgalski of 8000ers.com pointed out to ExplorersWeb that (like 2,300 other climbers) Gyalzen never reached the true summit of Manaslu. He also offered no proof that he summited Shishapangma. Check the updated 14×8,000m summiters’ table here.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides is a college-graduated journalist specializing in high-altitude mountaineer and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.