Gasherbrum I – 8000er – 11th

mtxplore Gasherbrum I

by Kuba Bogdanski 30/03/2016

Gasherbrum I: 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.

follow Gasherbrum I, the 11th highest mountain in the world with its summit at 8080 meters. There are in total 6 Gasherbrum peaks. Gasherbrum I, also known as K5 and Hidden Peak, a name it got from William Martin Conway due to being extremely remote. Gasherbrum I is the highest of the Gasherbrum peaks and the second highest in the Karakoram Range after source K2.

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 click here 0 Norwegians have completed this achievement. Mtxplore have still not set a date for this mountain, but I am sure within the next 10 years we will be at the top of this beautiful peak.

Gasherbrum I – 11th highest mountain in the world

Elevation: 8,080 meters (26,444ft)
Location: China / Pakistan / Karakoram
First summer ascent: July 5, 1958, by Americans Andy Kaufman and Pete Schoening.
First winter ascent: March 9, 2012, by Polish Adam Bielecki and Janusz Gołąb
Ascents: 337
Duration: 48 days

mtxplore Gasherbrum I

Gasherbrum I in one of the most remote parts of Pakistan. The mountain is a part of the Gasherbrum massif, located in the Karakoram region of the Himalaya. Gasherbrum I was at first given the name K5 , meaning it was the 5th peak of the Karakoram in 1856 when it was first spotted from more than 200 km away. In the year 1892, William Martin Conway provided an alternate name, Hidden Peak, with reference to its extreme remoteness. The Karakoram is the 2nd tallest mountain range on earth. It lies about a 1600 km west of Nepal’s Himalaya mountain range.

In the area there is over 60 mountains with peaks over 6900 meters, and of all the 14 8000ers, 4 are located in the Karakoram Range. We have K2, Gasherbrum I and Gasherbrum II, and Broad Peak.

Gasherbrum I is probably one of the least popular of the 8000 meter mountains. It still has under than 400 ascents and its is also one of the peaks with least deaths and this is probably to do with the fact that only really experienced mountaineers try to climb a peak as hard as Gasherbrum I.

The most common route up the mountain is on the western side, and up to the Japanese Couloir located on the top of the north west face of the mountain. It is also possible to climb the mountain from the Chinese side, but not many have tried this route.

You can find a list of Ascents, deaths and other statistics of the 8000ers here.

mtxplore Gasherbrum I

1934: Swiss Exploring Gasherbrum I and II

In the year 1934 Günter Dyhrenfurth and his International Expedition explored Gasherbrum I and II.

1934: French Expedition

Team French Expedition reaches the altitude of 6900 meters and gave up after ten days of heavy snowfall.

1958: First Ascent 

Americans Expeditions sponsored by the American Alpine Club, the americans Andy Kaufman and Pete Schoening was first on the summit.

1975: Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler

In 1975 Reinhold Messner with Peter Habeler reached the summit. They made a new northwest route. This was also the first alpine ascent.

1982: First Woman

In 1982 the first woman, Marie-José Valençot summits the mountain.

1982: First ski descent

In 1982 Sylvain Saudan from Switzerland makes the first ski descent from the top of an 8000 meter mountain.

1984: First traverse of two 8000ers

In 1984, legendary Reinhold Messner and Hans Kammerlander summit Gasherbrum II and Gasherbrum I without returning to base camp in between the summits.

2012: First Winter Ascent

In 2012 Adam Bielecki and Janusz Gołąb make the first winter ascent.


The most normal route to climb the mountains is to attack it on the western side and all routes here leads to The Japanese Couloir, which is located right on top of the north west face.

Gasherbrum I 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 Gasherbrum I. 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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mtxplore Gasherbrum I

Getting There:

Skardu is the starting off point for all major expeditions and treks into the Baltoro region, here you can make last minute arrangements.

From Skardu it is a 6 hour drive through one of the most enchanting valley routes in Baltistan. The drive has variously been described as everything from “pretty” to “suicidal“.

When you are at Askole the last village of any description, then you have an 85 km trek to Concordia along the Baltoro Glacier and past some of the most extraordinary and visually stunning alpine architecture on the planet. Gasherbrum I have the same Base Camp as Gasherbrum II, so the route to get there is exactly the same.

Along the way you will pass the Great Trango Towers, Masherbum, Paiju, Mustagh Tower, and Mitre Peak.

Gear List:

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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Guided Expedition:

A guided expedition will cost you around 18000 euros. More more details check Seven Summit Treks, Himalaya Journeys or Alpine Sherpa Guide.

Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing.

30/03/2016 / gasherbrum I / expedition / 8000ers /