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The next morning we started our trek to Gasherbrum base camp in mostly cloudy weather. After 30 minutes we reached ‘Gasherbrum Corner’ at the junction of the Upper Baltoro Glacier with the tributary Abruzzi Glacier. Gasherbrum I and Gasherbrum I South lie straight ahead. Gasherbrum I (8080m) is the 11th highest mountain in the world. Gasherbrum I was first climbed by July 5, 1958 by Americans Pete Schoening and Andy Kauffman.

Gasherbrum I and Gasherbrum I South lie straight ahead seen from the junction of the Upper Baltoro Glacier with the tributary Abruzzi Glacier. (click to enlarge)


Gasherbrum IV and Gasherbrum II Close Up From Goro II Early Morning

Gasherbrum IV and Gasherbrum II Close Up From Goro II Early Morning (click to enlarge)


The K2 West Face shines in the late afternoon sun from Concordia. The K2 West Ridge is on the far left. The Southwest Pillar separates the sunny west face from the K2 South Face. The Great Serac is just in shadow to the right below the K2 Summit. The K2 Shoulder is farther down to the right, partially in the sun. The K2 West Ridge was first climbed by Japanese Eiho Otani and Pakistani Nazir Sabir, reaching the K2 summit on August 7, 1981.

K2 West Face from Concordia with K2 West Ridge on left, the Southwest Pillar, the South Face, the Great Serac, and the K2 Shoulder. (click to enlarge)


Taken from the upper Baltoro Glacier, the twin summits of Muztagh Tower (7274m) are perfectly aligned and the mountain is seen as a slender tooth, looking impregnable. A similar photo by Vittorio Sella in 1909 inspired two expeditions to race for the first ascent in 1956. In reality both teams found their routes less steep than Sella's view had suggested. Joe Brown and Ian McNaught-Davis climbed from the west side of the peak and reached the west summit of Muztagh Tower (7270m) on July 6, 1956. Tom Patey and John Hartog repeated the ascent the next day, also reaching the slightly higher east summit (7274m). A few days later a French Team of Guido Magnone, Robert Paragot, André Contamine, and Paul Keller climbed the mountain from the east.

Taken from the upper Baltoro Glacier, the twin summits of Muztagh Tower (7274m) are perfectly aligned and the mountain is seen as a slender tooth, looking impregnable. (click to enlarge)


The Trango Tower (6239 m), commonly called Nameless Tower, is a very large, pointed spire which juts 1000m out of the ridgeline. The Trango Monk (5850m) is to the left. The Trango Nameless Tower was first climbed in 1976 with Mo Anthoine, Martin Boysen reaching the summit on July 8, 1976 and Joe Brown and Malcolm Howells the next day.

The Trango Nameless Tower (6239 m) is a very large, pointed spire which juts 1000m out of the ridgeline. The Trango Monk (5850m) is to the left. (click to enlarge)


The Khardong Hill with the Kharpocho Fort is beautifully reflected in the calm Indus River in Skardu (2286m). Skardu is the district headquarters of Baltistan, situated on the banks of the mighty Indus River, just 8 km (5 miles) above its confluence with the Shigar River. The Indus barely seems to move across the immense, flat Skardu valley, 40km long, 10 km wide and carpeted with sand dunes. There are several beautiful blue lakes nearby, including Satpara, and Upper and Lower Kachura.

The Khardong Hill with the Kharpocho Fort is beautifully reflected in the calm Indus River in Skardu (2286m). (click to enlarge)


The next morning we started our trek from Shagring Camp to Gasherbrum Base Camp in mostly cloudy weather. After 30 minutes we reached ‘Gasherbrum Corner’ at the junction of the Upper Baltoro Glacier with the tributary Abruzzi Glacier. Gasherbrum I and Gasherbrum I South lie straight ahead. Gasherbrum I (8080m) is the 11th highest mountain in the world. Gasherbrum I was first climbed by July 5, 1958 by Americans Pete Schoening and Andy Kauffman. Gasherbrum I South (7069m) was first climbed by Maurice Barrard and Georges Narbaud via the Southwest Ridge in July 1980 on their ascent of Gasherbrum I

Gasherbrum I and Gasherbrum I South from the junction of Upper Baltoro Glacier and the Abruzzi Glacier (click to enlarge)


Gasherbrum IV, Gasherbrum II, Gasherbrum VII, Gasherbrum Twins, Gasherbrum V and Gasherbrum VI From Goro II

Gasherbrum IV, Gasherbrum II, Gasherbrum VII, Gasherbrum Twins, Gasherbrum V and Gasherbrum VI From Goro II (click to enlarge)


Just after leaving Concordia, I looked up the Godwin Austin Glacier as the sun finally hit the K2 West Face, with Angel Peak (Angelus Peak) coming into view on the left. The K2 Southwest Pillar separates the sunlit South Face from the West Face mostly in shadow to the left. The South-southeast Spur is now lit up by the sun and arrives at the K2 Shoulder on the right. On the far right is the Abruzzi Ridge / Spur, the East-southeast ridge, the normal ascent route.

Full view of K2 West Face and South Face from just beyond Concordia with Angel Peak on the left. (click to enlarge)


Sunrise On K2 Summit From Concordia

Sunrise On K2 Summit From Concordia (click to enlarge)


Jerome Ryan Poses Above Lake On Baltoro Glacier With Great Trango Tower And Trango Castle Behind

Jerome Ryan Poses Above Lake On Baltoro Glacier With Great Trango Tower And Trango Castle Behind (click to enlarge)


Concordia Campsite below Mitre Peak

Concordia Campsite below Mitre Peak (click to enlarge)


Gasherbrum IV And Gasherbrum II Close Up From Baltoro Glacier Between Goro II and Concordia

Gasherbrum IV And Gasherbrum II Close Up From Baltoro Glacier Between Goro II and Concordia (click to enlarge)


Gasherbrum II pokes out to the right of The West Face of Gasherbrum IV shining in the late afternoon sun from Concordia.

Gasherbrum II pokes out to the right of The West Face of Gasherbrum IV shining in the late afternoon sun from Concordia. (click to enlarge)


Just after leaving Concordia, the sun finally hit Broad Peak. The North Summit is on the far left, the Central Summit is slightly out of view in the middle, and on the far right is the Main Summit. The first ascent of Broad Peak North summit was made by Renato Casarotto on June 28, 1983. The first traverse of the three Broad Peak summits was completed by Jerzy Kukuczka and Wojtek Kurtyka. They climbed the west ridge to the North summit, continued along the ridge to the Central summit. The pair then descended to Broad Col from where they followed the original route over the Forepeak to the main summit on July 17, 1984.

Broad Peak just after leaving Concordia with the North Summit on the left, the Central Summit slightly out of view in the middle, and the Main Summit on the right (click to enlarge)


The next morning dawned clear with the first rays of the sun hitting Masherbrum with its ice cream cone top glistening in the sun from Goro II. The summit of Masherbrum's sheer north face is a perfect pyramid, with steep narrow ridges rising suddenly to a sharp pinnacle. It was first climbed via the south west face on July 6, 1960 by George Bell and Willi Unsoeld on an American - Pakistani expedition. Two few days later on July 8, expedition leader Nick Clinch and Pakistani Captain Jawed Akhter Khan also reached the summit.

Masherbrum with its ice cream cone top glistens at sunrise from Goro II. The summit is a perfect pyramid with steep narrow ridges rising suddenly to a sharp pinnacle. (click to enlarge)


Chogolisa I (7665m) is on the left and Chogolisa II (7654m) is on the right, seen from Shagring camp on the Upper Baltoro Glacier. On August 4, 1958 a Japanese expedition organized by the Academic Alpine Club of Kyoto led by Takeo Kawabara made the first ascent of Chogolisa II, with Masao Fujihira and Kazumasa Hirai reaching the summit. The first ascent of Chogolisa I (7665m) was made on August 2, 1975 by Fred Pressl and Gustav Ammerer of an Austrian expedition led by Eduard Koblmuller. Koblmuller almost suffered the same fate as Hermann Buhl, as he also fell through a cornice on the ascent; fortunately, he was roped and team members were able to pull him to safety.

Chogolisa I (7665m) is on the left and Chogolisa II (7654m) is on the right, seen from Shagring camp on the Upper Baltoro Glacier. (click to enlarge)


We arrive in Thongol and quickly unload the jeep and set up the kitchen tent and my tent where I rest for a few minutes. Ahhh. Iqbal puts together the loads a little bit like a jigsaw puzzle trying to even them out to 25kg each. There are nine loads so Iqbal has to find five more porters. He tells me he's having trouble because the porters want to wait for the mountaineering expedition we met on the flight to Skardu. Here is our team at Thongol: below - Jerome Ryan, guide Iqbal, cook Ali; above - porters Syed, Muhammad Khan, and Muhammad Siddiq, and finally our sirdar Ali Naqi.

Our team: Jerome Ryan, guide Iqbal, cook Ali; above - porters Syed, Muhammad Khan, and Muhammad Siddiq, and finally our sirdar Ali Naqi. (click to enlarge)


My Lonely Tent Late Afternoon At K2 North Face Intermediate Base Camp 4462m With K2 North Face Close Behind

My Lonely Tent Late Afternoon At K2 North Face Intermediate Base Camp 4462m With K2 North Face Close Behind (click to enlarge)


K2 North Face Close Up At Sunset From K2 North Face Intermediate Base Camp

K2 North Face Close Up At Sunset From K2 North Face Intermediate Base Camp (click to enlarge)


Gasherbrum North Base Camp 4294m In China With Gasherbrum I Hidden Peak, Gasherbrum II E, Gasherbrum II and Gasherbrum III North Faces

Gasherbrum North Base Camp 4294m In China With Gasherbrum I Hidden Peak, Gasherbrum II E, Gasherbrum II and Gasherbrum III North Faces (click to enlarge)


K2 East Face Close Up Just Before Sunset From Gasherbrum North Base Camp In China

K2 East Face Close Up Just Before Sunset From Gasherbrum North Base Camp In China (click to enlarge)


K2 East Face Close Up At Sunrise Sunset From Gasherbrum North Base Camp In China

K2 East Face Close Up At Sunrise Sunset From Gasherbrum North Base Camp In China (click to enlarge)


Gasherbrum I Hidden Peak North Face Close Up Late Afternoon From Gasherbrum North Base Camp in China

Gasherbrum I Hidden Peak North Face Close Up Late Afternoon From Gasherbrum North Base Camp in China (click to enlarge)


Gasherbrum II E, Gasherbrum II, Gasherbrum III, Nakpo Kangri North Faces Just before Sunset From Gasherbrum North Base Camp In China

Gasherbrum II E, Gasherbrum II, Gasherbrum III, Nakpo Kangri North Faces Just before Sunset From Gasherbrum North Base Camp In China (click to enlarge)


Gasherbrum I Hidden Peak North Face Close Up Before Sunset From Gasherbrum North Base Camp In China

Gasherbrum I Hidden Peak North Face Close Up Before Sunset From Gasherbrum North Base Camp In China (click to enlarge)


Gasherbrum II and Gasherbrum III North Faces Close Up Before Sunset From Gasherbrum North Base Camp In China

Gasherbrum II and Gasherbrum III North Faces Close Up Before Sunset From Gasherbrum North Base Camp In China (click to enlarge)


Gasherbrum II North Face Close Up Just Before Sunset From Gasherbrum North Base Camp In China

Gasherbrum II North Face Close Up Just Before Sunset From Gasherbrum North Base Camp In China (click to enlarge)


Gasherbrum I Hidden Peak North Face Close Up At Sunset From Gasherbrum North Base Camp In China

Gasherbrum I Hidden Peak North Face Close Up At Sunset From Gasherbrum North Base Camp In China (click to enlarge)


Gasherbrum II E, Gasherbrum II, Gasherbrum III North Faces At Sunset From Gasherbrum North Base Camp In China

Gasherbrum II E, Gasherbrum II, Gasherbrum III North Faces At Sunset From Gasherbrum North Base Camp In China (click to enlarge)


Gasherbrum II, Gasherbrum III North Faces At Sunset From Gasherbrum North Base Camp In China

Gasherbrum II, Gasherbrum III North Faces At Sunset From Gasherbrum North Base Camp In China (click to enlarge)


Gasherbrum I Hidden Peak North Face Close Up At The End Of Sunset From Gasherbrum North Base Camp In China

Gasherbrum I Hidden Peak North Face Close Up At The End Of Sunset From Gasherbrum North Base Camp In China (click to enlarge)


Gasherbrum I, Gasherbrum II E, Gasherbrum II, Gasherbrum III, Nakpo Kangri From Gasherbrum North Glacier In China

Gasherbrum I, Gasherbrum II E, Gasherbrum II, Gasherbrum III, Nakpo Kangri From Gasherbrum North Glacier In China (click to enlarge)


Gasherbrum II E and Gasherbrum II And Gasherbrum North Glacier In China

Gasherbrum II E and Gasherbrum II And Gasherbrum North Glacier In China (click to enlarge)


Huge Penitentes On The Gasherbrum North Glacier In China

Huge Penitentes On The Gasherbrum North Glacier In China (click to enlarge)


Guide Muhammad, Cook Shobo, Jerome Ryan On The Gasherbrum North Glacier In China

Guide Muhammad, Cook Shobo, Jerome Ryan On The Gasherbrum North Glacier In China (click to enlarge)

Updated: September 2014. Click on an image to see the FULL size with a caption.

Gasherbrum II - 8035m - #13 In The World

To see the full list of photos, see K2 Photo Gallery.

Gasherbrum is a remote group of peaks located at the north-eastern end of the Baltoro Glacier in the Karakoram range of the Himalaya. The massif contains two of the world's 8000m peaks. In 1856, Thomas George Montgomerie, a British Royal Engineers lieutenant and a member of the Great Trigonometric Survey of India, sighted a group of high peaks in the Karakoram from more than 200 km away. He named five of these peaks K1, K2, K3, K4 and K5 where the K denotes Karakoram. Today, K1 is known as Masherbrum, K3 as Broad Peak, K4 as Gasherbrum II and K5 as Gasherbrum I. Only K2, the second highest mountain in the world, has kept Montgomerie's name.



Baltoro Glacier from Paiju to Concordia with K2, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum I, Gasherbrum II and Gasherbrum IV, Masherbrum  - Nasa Image ISS001-343-26 and 343-27

Baltoro Glacier Trekking Route To Concordia And Gasherbrum Base Camp

After flying from Islamabad to Skardu with an amazing view of Nanga Parbat, driving from Skardu to Thongol, and trekking from Thongol to Paiju, I set foot on the Baltoro Glacier. I trekked to Khoburtse that first day with a stunning view of Trango Nameless Tower and the Great Trango Tower. I had a dazzling sunrise from Khoburtse with views of Paiju Peak, Uli Biaho Tower, Trango Towers, Cathedral, and Lobsang Spire. The next trekking day we went from Khoburtse to Goro II where Masherbrum was striking both at sunset and sunrise while Gasherbrum IV loomed ahead with Gasherbrum II poking out to its right.

The next day was a fairly short trekking day passing Muztagh Tower before arriving at Concordia, the highlight of the whole trek with K2 dominating the view at the head of the Godwin-Austen Glacier. Rotating in a circle at Concordia, the view has K2, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum IV, Baltoro Kangri, Vigne Peak, Mitre Peak, Paiju Peak, the spires of the Baltoro Glacier, Crystal Peak and Marble Peak. WOW! Spectacular! Breathtaking!

The next day we trekked on the Upper Baltoro Glacier to Shaqring Camp with views of Chogolisa and Baltoro Kangri. Cloudy weather rolled in as we trekked on the Abruzzi Glacier to Gasherbrum Base Camp with a brief view of Gasherbrum I. After back-tracking to Concordia it snowed, so we decided to return back down the Baltoro Glacier instead of waiting for the weather to clear and the snow to melt.



K2 North Face Trek Route

K2 North Face Trek Route And Gasherbrum North Base Camp

After flying from Beijing to Urumqi and Kashgar, we drove to Karghilik and finally to Yilik village (3504m). The trek was easy to Sarak Camp (3759m) and Kotaz Camp (4330m) before crossing the Aghil Pass (4810m) and descending to the Shaksgam Valley (4000m). The trail was along the wide expanse of the Shaksgam River to a beautiful camp at Kerqin (3968m) with small flowers and mountain views. The trail to K2 Base Camp continues on the flat Shaksgam Valley to River Junction Camp (3824m) and then to the Sarpo Laggo Valley and Sughet Jangal (3900m). The trek was fairly short to K2 Intermediate Base Camp (4462m) with spectacular views of K2 North Face, especially at sunset. I was the only person at this lonely camp.

I retraced the trail back to River Junction and Kerqin camps, passed the valley from Aghil Pass and continued to Kulqin Bulak Camp (4060m) and Gasherbrum North Base camp (4294m) with breathtaking views of Gasherbrum I, Gasherbrum II and Gasherbrum III. We then retraced to Yilik Village and back to Kasgkar and Beijing.


Gasherbrums - my most viewed Youtube Videos

 

K2 East Face and Gasherbrum I, II, III North Faces from Gasherbrum North Base Camp In China

 

Trek to Gasherbrum North Base Camp 4294m with views of Gasherbrum I Hidden Peak North Face, Gasherbrum II E, Gasherbrum II North Face, Gasherbrum III North Face, Gasherbrum North Glacier

 

Gasherbrum North Glacier in China with views of Gasherbrum II E and Gasherbrum II North Face, and Huge Ice Penitentes


Gasherbrum II First Ascent


Gasherbrum II First Ascent - Sepp larch, Fritz Moravec, and Hans Willenpart back in Camp 2 after the first ascent of Gasherbrum II on July 7, 1956

Gasherbrum II First Ascent

Fritz Moravec led an expedition of 5 climbers, a geologist and doctor to Gasherbrum II in 1956. After setting up Camp I (6000m) they had to descend in bad weather. This was lucky because when they went back up on June 30, they found Camp I completely buried under a huge avalanche. They had lost most of their food and nearly all the high-altitude equipment. Rather than descend they decided on a fast, lightly mounted attempt on the summit. In just four days they opened up a new route over very steep snow and ice slopes as far as 7000m. They then decided to make a rapid bid for the summit with a bivouac halfway.

Moravec, Larch and Willenpart left Camp III in the afternoon of July 6, climbing unroped in bad snow, bivouacking at 7500m. They started at dawn the next day in fine weather and plodded painfully on, metre by metre in deep snow. Fritz Moravec, Sepp Larch and Hans Willenpart completed the first ascent of Gasherbrum II summit on July 7, 1956 at 13:30. "On the summit, the wind was still, and we enjoyed the unforgettable wonderful view. ... The ascent of Gasherbrum II was not a victory over the mountain. The mountain was kind to us. The weather and the circumstances were good."


Other Notable Gasherbrum II Ascents


Hans Kammerlander On Gasherbrum II Summit June 25, 1984 With Gasherbrum I Behind - All Fourteen 8000ers (Reinhold Messner) book

Reinhold Messner on the summit ridge of Gasherbrum I a few metres below the top on June 28, 1984. In a snowstorm, without a rope, this corniced ridge demanded the utmost caution. - All Fourteen 8000ers (Reinhold Messner) book

First Traverse Of Two 8000m Peaks - Gasherbrum I Hidden Peak And Gasherbrum II

From June 23 to 30, 1984, Reinhold Messner and Hans Kammerlander traversed Gasherbrum II and Gasherbrum I in Alpine Style, reaching the summit of Gasherbrum II on June 25, descending to a pass, and reaching the summit of Gasherbrum I on June 28.

'In three days in radiant weather we were on the summit of Gasherbrum II. ... The next morning we risked the dangerous descent into the Gasherbrum Valley ... Only if we forced ourselves – exhausted, emaciated and without back-up – to venture the second peak, could we succeed in what no one had previously attempted – the combined traverse of two of the highest mountains in the world without rest and without outside help. ... Suddenly it became uncannily gloomy. The storm increased to hurricane force ... Our goggles were iced up, our faces numb. ... At last, behind a cornice was the summit! The second eight-thousander within four days.' - To The Top Of The World by Reinhold Messner.


Gasherbrum II First Ascent East Ridge Route 1983 - Route 6 - 8000 Metri Di Vita 8000 Metres To Live For book

Gasherbrum II First Ascent East Ridge

The first ascent of Gasherbrum II via the East Ridge was completed by Jerzy Kukuczka and Wojciech Kurtyka on July 1, 1983. Wojciech Voytek Kurtyka in American Alpine Journal: Our first acclimatization trip took us through the Gasherbrum icefall and the southern cwm to the Gasherbrum La (6500m) and up the southeast ridge to the distinctive snow pyramid of 7200m, where we bivouacked for the third night of that trip. On the second acclimatization trip we regained the pyramid and continued along the southeast ridge to the prominent unclimbed P7772, clearly visible from Base Camp to the right of Gasherbrum II. The night spent on the summit gave us good acclimatization before the final assault.

This assault, though on partly reconnoitered terrain, was alpine style. On June 29 we climbed in a long day from Base Camp to the Gasherbrum La. The next day we climbed to 24,275 feet. On the last and summit day, July 1, we traversed over P7772 and after climbing the connecting ridge, we reached the base of the summit cone of Gasherbrum II at 25,250 feet, the junction point with the original (normal) route. Here we left our rucksacks. At four P.M. in increasing wind we got to the short summit ridge and traversed onto the western side. The wind changed to a hurricane. We fought the last meters through violent gusts to the summit (8035m). The next morning we started down the original route, totally unknown to us. In a stormy blizzard we luckily found our way and after ten hours' descent we reached Base Camp.


Gasherbrum II First Ascent North Face - Ascent Route 2007 - karlunterkircher.com

Gasherbrum II First Ascent North Face - Karl Unterkircher A Few Metres From Gasherbrum II Summit July 20, 2007 - karlunterkircher.com

Gasherbrum II First Ascent North Face - Karl Unterkircher On Gasherbrum II Summit July 20, 2007 - karlunterkircher.com

Gasherbrum II First Ascent North Face - Daniele Bernasconi Reaching Gasherbrum II Summit July 20, 2007 - karlunterkircher Youtube Video

Gasherbrum II North Face First Ascent From Chinese Side

Karl Unterkircher on Karlunterkircher.com: In July 2007, I, Karl Unterkircher, together with my comrades Michele Compagnoni and Daniele Bernasconi set off for this expedition so much desired, the Gasherbrum 2. ... After setting up Base Camp at 4800 meters we set about a first attempt at climbing the rock pillar. ... We decided the best way to continue would be in alpine style carrying all necessary things with us in our backpacks to the peak. From base camp we then did several ascents on lower peaks to favour our acclimatization.

On [July] 18th the weather looks good and we're off! We re-climbed the lines that we previously fixed on the pillar until we reached our tent on the plateau. The next day at 4 am we set off to challenge this most difficult and dangerous wall. We started with great difficulty beating a track, often sinking until our thighs into the fresh snow which had fallen over the last few days. We attack the wall to the left of the edge where the slope is more gradual, continuing with the gradient getting steadily greater and greater (approx: 55°). We make it to about 7000 meters where we stop at an interruption in the line of snow which drops vertically from the wall. We had to dig to create a small space for our tent on this immense and exposed wall.

On the 20th [we leave] at 9 am as first sun ray breaks through the clouds. From here the climb gets steeper still and we continue slowly to the altitude of 7600 meters where we get to a huge belt which separates G2 from G3. From here it is clear that we are over the most difficult part of the Gasherbrum 2. After 11 hours of continuous climb we finally make it to the peak. YES !!! It’s 20.00 Chinese time and 17.00 Pakistani time. Karl Unterkircher and Daniele Bernasconi completed the first ascent of Gasherbrum North Face on July 20, 2007. Compagnoni (the nephew of Achille Compagnoni) traversed off to the Normal Route at 7850m. The three climbers then descended the normal route to Gasherbrum Base Camp in Pakistan.


Gasherbrum II First Winter Ascent - Simone Moro Reaches First Sun At 7600m On Gasherbrum II On February 2, 2011 - Cory Richards Video

Gasherbrum II First Winter Ascent - Denis Urubko Leading Last Steps To Gasherbrum II Summit February 2, 2011 With Simone Moro Below - neverstopexploring.com

Gasherbrum II First Winter Ascent - Denis Urubko Hugs Simone Moro, Cory Richards And Denis Celebrate, Cory And Simone On Gasherbrum II Summit February 2, 2011 - Cory Richards Video

Gasherbrum II First Winter Ascent - Denis Urubko, Simone Moro, Cory Richards On Gasherbum II Summit February 2, 2011 - neverstopexploring.com

Gasherbrum II First Winter Ascent

Simone Moro, Cory Richards, and Denis Urubko completed the first winter ascent of Gasherbrum II on February 2, 2011. This is the first of the five 8000m peaks in Pakistan to have a successful winter ascent. The fast summit came just 22 days after reaching Base Camp with an extremely lightweight expedition.

Using a military helicopter they ride from Paiju to Gasherbrum Base Camp passing Trango Towers, K2 and Broad Peak. After setting up base camp, they climb up the Gasherbum Glacier with Gasherbrum II above. After only a brief rest at Base Camp, they decided to go for the summit when a 36-hour good weather window was forecasted in the next few days. They left base camp in a storm and climbed over consecutive days to Camp I (5900m), Camp II (6500m) and Camp III (6900m) when the weather improved. They left Camp III on February 2, 2001 at 3am. The sun greeted them as they reached 7600m, and they climbed on with Denis leading the last section to the summit. Cory: 'And suddenly as if in a dream we were there on top of Gasherbrum II in the heart of Winter.' Denis Urubko, Simone Moro, and Cory Richards completed the first Winter Ascent of any Pakistani 8000m peak on February 2, 2011 when they reached the summit of Gasherbrum II.

They made it back to Camp III that night in worsening weather and only to Camp I the next day. Cory: 'The following morning after our fifth night in freezing sleeping bags we began the descent to base camp in terrible weather, the worst we'd seen yet. ... As a massive avalanche off the slopes of G5 overtook us the world became chaotic and black.' All three of them were carried down about 150m and luckily all ended up mostly on top. Cory was mostly buried, but his face was out. Denis was mostly buried, but his face was out. Simone was able to get out of the snow and dig Cory and Denis out. Six hours later they made it back to Gasherbrum Base Camp.