At 8,034m above sea-level, the second highest peak of the Gasherbrum massif is the world’s 13th highest mountain. Generally reckoned to be one of the easiest of the 8,000ers - alongside Broad Peak, Cho Oyu and Shishapangma - it’s often the first that many people climb, serving as an introduction to Everest, or K2. More experienced alpinists looking for a serious challenge may want to consider tackling this as a double-header, with Gasherbrum 1.
The stepping stone mountain
Gasherbrum II, initially named K4 by the Great Trigonometrical Survey, is often viewed as a stepping stone mountain - an introductory 8,000m pea that can pave the way for higher, more technically difficult climbs like K2, or Everest.
For more serious mountaineers, it’s often been the site of speed records. In 1997, the legendary Russian / Kazakh climber Anatoli Boukreev set one of the fastest ever times for ascending an 8,000er from basecamp here. Reinhold Messner and Hans Kammerlander famously ascended Gasherbrum I and II without returning to basecamp in 1984. And of course, our leaders Nims and Mingma David, climbed Gasherbrum I and II back to back on their way to setting their own speed record in 2019. Elite Exped’s Gasherbrum II expedition is based on the plan they used for that successful summit attempt.