Nanga Parbat is the second-highest mountain of Pakistan. It is in Gilgit Baltistan, between Chilas and Astore. Nanga Parbat means “Naked Mountain”. It is the ninth highest peak in the world, at 26,660 feet (8,130 m) high. In 1953, an Austrian German named Hermann Buhl was the first to climb it.
Nanga Parbat (8125 m.) is the western most bastion of the Himalayas. One has to travel completely around the globe to come back to the Himalayas to see such high peaks on our planet.
This immense massif made a never-to-be-forgotten childhood impression. I first saw this peak rising into the heavens when was only five years old! It is a sight that is as vivid as it was then; 36 years ago.
Nanga Parbat is also a killer mountain. Many climbers died on it before it was summited by the great Hermann Buhl without supplemental oxygen in 1953. His epic climb is still unsurpassed.
Nanga Parbat is also located where the continents have collided. Here the Indian plate is going under the Asian plate at a rate of about few inches a year. Consequently, Nanga Parbat is still rising. In fact it is the fastest rising mountain in the world!
This is a land of superlatives. The view of Nanga Parbat from the Indus River is one of the most awesome sights in the world. This largest land escarpment in the world consists of a rise of about 7000 m. from the base of the mountain to its summit. On the other side of Nanga we have the famous Rupal Face; the tallest wall in the world with a sheer 4500 m. cliff!
Nanga Parbat is in the west of the Himalayas, and is the most western of the mountains higher than eight thousand meters. It lies just south of the Indus River, in the Astore District of the Northern Areas in the region of Kashmir. Not far to the north is the western end of the Karakoram mountains.
Nanga Parbat is the highest peak in the Nanga Parbat Range. The range covers an area of 120 mi (190 km) in length and 12 to 24 mi (19 to 39 km) in width. In the east it joins the Pir Panjal Range.
The steep incline of its peak that rises above the ground far below make Nanga Parbat a difficult and dangerous climb. Many deaths in the mid and early 20th century gave it the nickname of “killer mountain”.
Fairy Meadows (base Camp I)
Fairy Meadows, named by German climbers and locally known as Joot, is a grassland near one of the base camp sites of the Nanga Parbat, located in Diamer District, Gilgit-Baltistan.
Once again we are taking the same Naran Jhalkhand Road (or one can take KKH from Mansehra passing through Butgram, which eventually ends up the same way but as Naran Jhalkhand Road is fully operational its a better route) but this time we will be passing through the Babusar Pass or Babusar Top a mountain pass at the north of the 150 km. long Kaghan Valley connecting it via the Thak Nala with Chilas on the Karakoram Highway. It is the highest point in the Kaghan Valley that can be easily accessed by cars.
Landing into Chilas one joins the mighty Karakorum Highway a marvel in its own dug, drilled and carved by Pakistani and Chinese friendship, Karakorum Highway is a subject on its own and requires a lot in detail that will soon be published in upcoming episodes of this saga. Continuing this journey to Raikot Bridge where you get off the mian KKH and starts to swirl around the scenic beauty lurking up to the sky with every turn providing a breath taking scene for the first timers every step is a point to stop and capture the feeling of what nature has given us…