Pakistan’s Rise as a Premier Mountaineering Destination


By Fasih Ullah Khan :
With five of the world’s highest mountain peaks, reaching above 8,000 meters, Pakistan is a paradise for those seeking adventure and thrills in mountaineering, trekking, skiing and other activities. Every year, thrill-seekers from around the globe flock to Pakistan to conquer the steep climbs of K2, Nanga Parbat, and many other majestic peaks of the Karakoram and Himalayan ranges in the north.
Pakistan witnessed a busiest climbing season in 2022 wherein over 1000 foreign mountaineers attempted to scale its lofty peaks, including hundreds aiming for the 8,611-metre (28,251-feet) K2, the world’s second-highest mountain. Over 200 mountaineers from different countries including many women successfully climbed the K2 last year.
Climbing all five of the 8,000-meter-plus peaks in Pakistan is the ultimate achievement for any mountaineer, and the country boast 108 peaks over 7,000 meters and 4,555 peaks over 6,000 meters.
K2 is an awe-inspiring mountain that legendary mountaineer Reinhold Messner called “The Mountain of Mountains.” Locally known as Chogori, which means “the king of mountains” in Balti language, K2 was named by British Colonel T.G Montgomery in 1856.
Pakistani Mountaineer Samina Baig, who summited Mount Everest in 2013, created history in 2022 and became the first Pakistan female climber to successfully summit the 8,611-meter peak followed by second Pakistani woman, Dubai-based climber Naila Kiani.
Baig is also the first and only Pakistani to summit the seven highest peaks of the world. Mountaineer Wasifa Nazreen became the first Bangladeshi to scale the second highest mountain peak K2 in Pakistan in 2022.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif commended Baig and Kiani, and termed them as symbols of courage and bravery while the country celebrated the two Pakistani climbers.
Amidst the soaring heights of the Karakoram and Himalayan ranges, Pakistan stands proud as a beacon for mountaineers and adventure-seekers from all corners of the world.
The country has welcomed an unprecedented number of climbers, eager to conquer the mighty peaks that loom high above.
But Pakistan’s efforts to promote mountain tourism does not stop there.
From improving infrastructure to providing better facilities for climbers, the nation is going above and beyond to make itself the ultimate destination for those who seek to conquer the world’s highest summits. With every step forward, Pakistan is carving its place as a true haven for mountaineering enthusiasts.
The beauty and majesty of Pakistan’s mountains are truly unmatched, and as the world continues to rediscover the allure of adventure, there is no better time to explore the breathtaking landscapes and stunning natural beauty of Pakistan.

(The writer is a Chevening Scholar and Press Counsellor at Pakistan High Commission, Dhaka.)