Some Climbers in Pakistan Doing K2 First

Climbing multiple 8,000m peaks in a season is harder in Pakistan than it is in Nepal. Apart from the usual risks and hardships, climbers must add the unpredictable Karakoram weather, longer approaches, and no helicopters. That is, unless they manage to obtain permission and pay about five times more than they do in Nepal.

Such climbers will need good luck but also careful planning and strategy. In commercial climbing, the outfitter provides those last two elements.

Mingma G ahead again

Expedition leaders are doing their best to hurry. “Our Sherpa team will fly to K2 Base Camp on June 13 and 14,” Mingma G told ExplorersWeb. “We are still in talks with other operators, but we may take the lead on the rope-fixing work this season.”

Mingma G two weeks ago on the summit of Makalu, which he reached without oxygen. Photo: Mingma G


The leader of Imagine Nepal confirmed that while Broad Peak is on their horizon, their main focus this summer is K2. They will also attempt Nanga Parbat in the off-season, during the second half of August.

“I have been on Nanga Parbat both in June and September, and I feel August-September is a better time to climb that mountain,” Mingma G said.

K2 first

In addition to better conditions, Imagine Nepal’s strategy fits well with one of its members: Jill Wheatley of Canada. The visually impaired climber has attracted less attention than some other peakbaggers, maybe because she has not set a deadline to finish her 14×8,000m project. Yet she summited Dhaulagiri, Kangchenjunga, and Makalu this past spring. Now, before the summer ends, she hopes to add K2, Broad Peak, and Nanga Parbat.

This order of peaks allows Wheatley and others to finish the hardest one first. It also indirectly extends the summer climbing season. Climbers who start with Nanga Parbat then have to hurry to finish K2 and Broad Peak before unstable weather hits the Karakoram in August.

Wheatley has been living and training in Nepal, trail running and improving her ice climbing skills. She is in shape and still well-acclimatized enough to tackle the three mountains on her summer list swiftly.

Wheatley praises expedition leader Mingma G. “He has perfectly scheduled each of my four 8,000’ers so far,” she said.

True summit of Manaslu done

Jill Wheatley (rear) traverses back from the true summit of Manaslu last fall. Photo: Jill Wheatley


Wheatley’s 8,000m list already features a key trophy: As a member of Imagine Nepal’s team last fall, she was one of the few who reached the actual summit of Manaslu.

“I am so grateful I made it last year! This season, the peak may be too crowded,” Wheatley said.

Nepal’s authorities have issued certificates to all who reached the end of the fixed ropes, a significantly lower point. But The Himalayan Database has stated that while they “armistice” past summits, they will no longer accept Manaslu foresummits as valid.

With so many climbers going for local records and 8,000m firsts, Wheatley’s “real Manaslu” summit, with clear proof provided by Jackson Groves’ drone footage, will be an asset for her.

Angela Benavides is a journalist specialised on high-altitude mountaineer and expedition news working with

Angela Benavides 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 national and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporates, press manager and communication executive, radio reporter and anchorwoman, etc. Experience in Education: Researcher at Spain’s National University for Distance Learning on the European Commission-funded ECO Learning Project; experience in teaching ELE (Spanish as a Second Language) and transcultural training for expats living in Spain.

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23 days ago

The 14x8000m sounds like a bucket list from now on. Is this the next 7 summits for every person who thinks that earth only has 14 mountains and that they are a godsend to humanity for completing them?

23 days ago
Reply to  Cameron

Yes, it’s tourism. The same people fix the same peaks the same way with the same gear so once you do one the rest are the same format. It’s not really commercial it’s industrial. Not long ago these peaks were a mish mash of different ideas and lots of different styles happening, especially in Pakistan where i was at it. Now it’s all standardized with not much variation. Even many of the ‘elite’ climbers are simply using the formatted infrastructure albeit in better style. is what it is. Same format that African safaris followed. Plenty of other good stuff for… Read more »

23 days ago

I wonder how many of these peakbaggers will be able to accomplish their goal if left without the support of sherpas/rope fixers?

Joe Walker
Joe Walker
21 days ago
Reply to  Jahan

Well none. The mere handful that have, is because of the acquired knowledge of prior Sherpa assisted expeditions.

The professionalism of the Sherpas has been exponential in the past 5 years.

Truly stunning!

22 days ago

While the Himalayan Database’s current policy may be to give an amnesty to past non-summits of Manaslu, this does not change the simple fact of history that those people did not reach the summit. In time, that may prove significant and future climbers may see the situation quite differently. If Ms.Hawley had understood the distance/height involved, she would not have accepted those lower stopping points over the years. She did know there was an issue, she just didn’t realise how much difference there was. She did not have the mass of photos we have now, she did not have satellite… Read more »

22 days ago
Reply to  damiengildea

Even now, with all the information, many 8000 colectors still afirm that they climbed all 14.

F v
F v
22 days ago

If he succeed he would become the first person to summit K2 4 times.

Le Mec
21 days ago

Congratulations on reaching the summit of Manaslu, only a handful have ever done that.

16 days ago

wonderful news for tourism.