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When the sun shines, it smokes up there. The demons blow their horns and fairies cook their bread. (Local Legend)

The "Naked Mountain" as interpreted in the local language, is the "Ninth" in highest in the world and second highest peak in Pakistan. Standing at the extreme western end of 24,000 Km Himalayan Range - just beyond the deep Indus Valley, culminates in an ice crest, 8125 M high. No other peak within 100 Km comes anywhere near to it's size. It's incomparable Rupal Face (southern side) is one of the greatest precipices in the world - a sheer drop of 5000 Meters.

A study by the Geological department of Peshawar University in calibration with European and US Universities reveal the fact that Nanga Parbat was became after the collusion of Asian and Indian plates some 400,000 year back. There is no major volcano beneath the Nanga Parbat whoever there are some sulfpher deposits.  Nanga Parbat is the fastest growing mountain on Earth and it is still growing. 

Also notorious known as the "Killer Mountain", it once took a toll of 16 human lives 7 climbers and 9 high porters in one time.

The first visual record of this mountain was a canvas painted by Rudolf Schlagintweit brothers - German travelers in 1852. In 1857 one of them was murdered in Kashgar. Thus the curse of Nanga Parbat had begun.

Nanga Parbat Mountaineering History began in 1895 when a British expedition led by A. F. Mummery attempted to find a way up the southern and western slopes. The party hit by an avalanche and the party disappeared. These were the first casualties on the Nanga Parbat. In June, 1953 Hermann Buhl a member of an Austro German expedition led by K. M. Herligkoffer successfully manages to climb the main peak of Nanga Parbat massive. It was Hermann Buhl, who took 40 hours of solo climb conquered this peak and making his name in the history of mountaineering.

This year Mountaineering parties from Japan, Slovenia, Italy, Austria, Kazakhstan and Spain are climbing this beautiful mountain. Latest information available from the base camp reveal that some of the climbers including Jean Christophe Lafaille and Ed Viesturs successfully submitted this mountain on its 50th anniversary. Thus celebrating the Hermann Buhl magnificent efforts by scaling again this mountain on its 50th birthday, 2003. There are report that Reinhold Messner the first person to climb all 8000 meters peaks in the world is returning to Pakistan in 2003 for Nanga Parbat, there he will try to find his brothers Gunther and Reinhold remains who lost their life in 1970 after coming down from Nanga Parbat successful bid and enrolling their names as 5th and 6th person to scale Nanga Parbat. Mr. Tomaz Humar who recently left for Nanga Parbat to climb it from Diamer Face in Solo Style.

2003 is the Golden Jubilee Year of Nanga Parbat first summit. There is no Government level celebration is taken place until now. It is a sad movement, we have wasted this historical year.  A free advertisement opportunity.

2004 is the Golden Jubilee Year of K2 the second highest peak in the world. Do we also going to waste free advertisement opportunity? 2003 is also the Golden Jubilee year of Mt. Everest the world highest peak. The Nepali Government is advertising it from last couples of years. They got it result by attracting more then 50 mountaineering expedition only on Everest. Every one was trying to reach its summit on its Golden Jubilee Year.

Six months ago on 3-12-2002 a bold step taken by the Secretary Tourism by, announcing 50% discount on peak fee for year 2003 and 2004 and no peak fee for peaks below 6500 meters highly appreciated by the World Mountaineering Community and Tour Operators of Pakistan. In result this year Pakistan have attractive more then 54 mountaineering expedition from around the world. Which is double then the size of last year.

Last year 27 mountaineering and 42 trekking parties visited Pakistan and the Government of Pakistan earned US dollars 136,300 and US dollars 5200 respectively.

This year despite SARS virus epidemic and Iraq war Government of Pakistan have not only manage to double the mountaineering and trekking groups to Northern region of Pakistan but also show to the World that Pakistan is peaceful and touristís friendly country. We must not lets pass quietly the Golden Jubilee Year of Nanga Parbat 2003 and  Golden Jubilee Year of K2 2004. There are need that combine efforts should be done by the Ministry of Tourism, Pakistan Tourism Development Cooperation with the help of Tour Operators to attract more tourists. Pakistan has lots of incredible tourism potential and year like Golden Jubilee year must be taken seriously.

In the end I would like to suggest that Pakistan should take following steps to celebrate Golden Jubilee Year of Nanga Parbat and K2 respective.

Immediately organize a group of Pakistan trekkers, media peoples to visit Nanga Parbat region and hence celebrate the Nanga Parbat Golden Jubilee Year.

Government of Pakistan must build a memorial of Nanga Parbat at Karakoram Highway from where Nanga Parbat is easily visible. This will remind the general tourist that we did not forgot the Nanga Parbat Year.

Before this year end Government must organize a International Tourism Conference in Gilgit to celebrate Golden Jubilee Year.

For celebrating Golden Jubilee Year of K2 in 2004 same events must be organize in Skardu. Plus Government of Pakistan should invite climber at K2 base camp from Around the World those who climb K2 and celebrate its Golden Jubilee Year.

India Pakistan Joint Peace expedition to K2 in 2004 should be organized.

Government of Pakistan should announce opening of Region Mountain region and make then restricted region to attract more mountaineers and trekkers. It is said that about half the numbers of the Pakistanís mountains are forbidden to foreigner travelers and mountaineers.

Source: Asghar Ali Porik JASMINE TOURS Department of Tourist Services License #333 jasminetours.com

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