Islamabad, June 27 (IANS) A record 1,400 international climbers, including the first female Arab mountaineer, are expected to summit some of the worlds highest peaks located in Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan region this year.
Last year, there were only 550 registered climbers, Dawn news reported.
The Gilgit-Baltistan tourism department has already issued 700 permits to international climbers, and as many were expected to be issued this summer, an official told Dawn.
The climbers, coming from Europe, the US, the United Arab Emirates, China, Russia, Poland, Japan and Norway, are eyeing to summit various peaks, including five eight-thousanders (i.e. mountains towering above 8,000 metres) and 20 seven- and six-thousanders.
Meanwhile, 40 Pakistani mountaineers are also in the race and as many as 3,000 local porters have been hired by several expedition teams to carry the supplies.
Pakistan boasts five of the world’s 14 eight-thousanders, including the world’s second-highest peak K2 (8,611 metres), followed by Nanga Parbat (ranked ninth at 8,126 metres), Gasherbrum-I (11th at 8,080 metres), Broad Peak (12th at 8,051 metres), and Gasherbrum-II (13th at 8,035m).