by Kuba Bogdanski 23/03/2016
Broad Peak: The 8000ers / eight-thousanders are the only mountains with a death zone, where the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere is insufficient to sustain human life, therefore called the death zone. About 30% of the oxygen you find at sea level. They are all are located in the Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges in China, India, Nepal and Pakistan and are the only mountains in the world over 8000 meters.
Broad Peak, the 12th highest mountain in the world with its real summit at 8048 meters. Broad Peak is based in the Karakoram Range in Pakistan. The mountain is located along the western Baltoro glacier between K2 and Gasherbrum IV. There is a discussion if Broad Peak have one or two “real summits”. Most mountaineers agree on the fact that the central summit is not a separate one. The main summit and the real summit is at 8048 meters, the central summit is at 8016 meters and the north summit is at 7550 meters.
Each week we will present each 8000ers, and the reason behind this is our fascination climbing all the mountains on this list, something that has only been accomplished by 34 legendary mountaineers to date. 3 Polish and 0 Norwegians have completed this achievement. Mtxplore plan to summit Broad Peak in 2020 with the first Norwegian in the history on this legendary mountain.
Broad Peak – 12th highest mountain in the world
Elevation: 8,048 meters (26,404ft)
Location: China / Pakistan / Karakoram
First summer ascent: June 9, 1957, by Austrians Hermann Buhl, Kurt Diemberger, Marcus Schmuck, Fritz Wintersteller
First winter ascent: March 5, 2013, by Polish Maciej Berbeka, Adam Bielecki, Tomasz Kowalski and Artur Małek
Ascents: 296 (to real summit)
Duration: 51 days
The local name of Broad Peak is Faichan Kangri. It is called Broad Peak because of its wide summit. The English name was given in 1892 by explorer Martin Conway, in reference to Breithorn (German for “broad horn”)
Broad Peak have gained the reputation of being one of the easier 8000 meter peaks. Though the route is not that technically challenging, it is not a mountain to be taken lightly since the route is never flat and always steep.
From the first ascent in 1957 to today’s date, Broad Peak have been climbed 296 times and had 23 deaths. The death rate is therefore about 8%, which could be compared with Mount Everest which has a death rate of 9%. It is one of the safer 8000 meter peaks, but the risk of avalanches should never be taken easy.
Many expeditions use the easier climbing on Broad Peak to acclimatize K2. The main route to the summit, via the west ridge, is moderately hard, but like other mountains in the Karakoram range, weather is often changing and deciding if you can go up or not. There has been many expeditions that had to turn down this mountain because of the weather.
Broad Peak have the same problem as Cho Oyu where many people don’t reach the true summit, as the summit ridge of Broad Peak is around 1.5 km, or as at Cho Oyu, where the summit is huge. We at mtxplore only consider the true summits as completed summits.
You can find a list of Ascents, deaths and other statistics of the 8000ers here.
1957: First Ascent
1975: Central Summit – First Ascent
Polish expedition with K. Glazek, M. Kesicki, J. Kulis, B. Nowaczyk and A. Sikorski reached the Central Summit.
1977: Second Ascent
A Japanese expedition of 13 members reached the summit
1978: Third Ascent
1983: First ascent by a woman
First ascent by a woman, the Polish Krystyna Palmowska.
1984: First one day ascent of an 8000-meter
First one day ascent of an 8000-meter peak (solo) by Krzysztof Wielicki
2013: First Winter Ascent
Standard Route – West Ridge: Base Camp is established on the medial moraine of the Godwin-Austen Glacier at 4900 meters, followed by 4 further camps at higher intervals up the mountain. Attractive snow and rock scrambling moves you through the lower slopes onto the crest of the West Side. Further up the route hits the smooth lines of terrific glaciated slopes, with occasional ice walls to overcome above 7500 meters. A well defined ridge leads from the col at 7800 meters to the true summit, with amazing views towards K2.
Carsolio Route – West Ridge to South Face
The Long Summit Ridge Traverse
South West Face
Broad Peak Camps:
This is how the camps are normally placed up on the mountain.
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Normal Route Typical Itinerary:
This is an example of an itinerary would be on Broad Peak. Acclimatization, health and the performance of the expedition team may impact the actual schedule. High altitude mountaineering can change from day to day during an expedition.
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Broad Peak is a very long way from any point in Pakistan. Sooner or later you have to pass through Islamabad as this is the town where you get the permits for climbing Broad Peak. Then you would fly from Islamabad to Skardu. There are two routes to Broad Peak from Skardu – via Askole or via Gondogoro Pass. The first one is to recommend if you’re not acclimatized, so most people use Gondogoro Pass route for the way back.
This list is a guide only. There is a huge number of brands, options and version of all the gear. This is the recommendations and suggestions from mtxplore from our own experience on the mountains. We would love to hear your feedback, so please do contact us if you have any feedback. We love to talk about gear hour after hour.
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Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.