Gasherbrum I

Gasherbrum I
(NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon, using EO-1 ALI data from the NASA EO-1 team, archived on the USGS Earth Explorer.)

Known until recently as Hidden Peak, Gasherbrum I is the eleventh tallest mountain on Earth. It is situated along the same horseshoe-shaped ridge on the border of Pakistan and China as Gasherbrum II, though Gasherbrum I is 46 meters (151 feet) taller.

An American team made the first ascent in 1958, following a ridge on the southwest face. When Andy Kaufman and Pete Schoening reached the broad, snow-covered summit after battling through deep snow, they used small hand mirrors to signal their success to teammates at a camp below.

There had been a total of 334 successful ascents as of March 2012, while 29 climbers had died trying—a fatality rate of about 9 percent. Gasherbrum I is the only eight-thousander that Americans climbed first. Austrians, in contrast, were among the teams to ascend five of the eight-thousanders first. Nepalese climbers were the first teams up four of them. French teams were the first up two eight-thousanders. And Chinese, Japanese, Swiss, Italian, German, New Zealand climbers were all among the first to summit one of the eight-thousanders.

The Eight-Thousanders

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