Nanga Parbat Circuit trek is a remote trail around the 9th highest mountain in the world. We cross three passes and the highest of these is the Mazeno La at 5,400m. We visit the three Base Camps used for climbing Nanga Parbat. These are Herligkoffer Base Camp for Rupal Face, Diamir Base Camp, and Raikhot Base Camp near Fairy Meadows.
Translated from Urdu, the words Nanga Parbat means "Naked Mountain". The summit of this mountain is at an altitude of 8,126m. It is the second most prominent peak of the Himalayas after Mount Everest. This mountain is an isolated massif and its location is south of the great peaks of the Karakoram. A distance of 190km to the North-East lies K2, Broad Peak, and Gasherbrum 1 and 2. We can see the bulk of Nanga Parbat from the Karakoram Highway (“KKH”) beyond the town of Chilas.
On the high altitude trekking trail around Nanga Parbat trek, we see all sides of the mountain and visit some of the Base Camps. We cross three high passes: Mazeno La at 5,400m, Karu Sagar pass at 4,900m and Khutsu pass at 4,840m. Mazeno La is a technical high pass whereas the other two do not need mountaineering skills to cross.
Nanga Parbat has a long, colourful, and deadly mountaineering history. Before the Second World War, there were several German expeditions resulting in 31 deaths. As a result, this peak was called the “Killer Mountain”. These early expeditions approached from the north. This route is prone to avalanche and bad weather.
The first ascent was by Herman Buhl in 1953 on the Rakhiot Flank to the East of the mountain. Herman climbed solo and without supplemental oxygen. This was the third summit of an 8,000m mountain after Annapurna 1 in 1950 and Mount Everest in 1953. These days most expeditions climb on the Diamir face following Kinshofer Route.