We have all heard of K2 and Nanga Parbat and several other mountains that Pakistan is blessed with. In fact, of the 13 mountains in the world above 8,000 metres, Pakistan has five within its borders.
There are, however, hundreds of lesser-known peaks, between 6,000- and 8,000-metre high, which means that they are still higher than any mountain in Europe, Africa, North America, South America and Australia.
1. Tirich Mir
The highest mountain in the world outside the Himalaya-Karakoram ranges and the highest in the Hindukush, the 7,706-metre Tirich Mir can be seen from Chitral bazar as well as from Afghanistan. First climbed by a Norwegian expedition in 1950, the mountain gets its name from the Wakhi word for ‘shadow’.
SOURCE: ISHTIAQ AHMED
2. Snow Dome
At 7,160 metres, Snow Dome often falls under the shadow of several neighbouring peaks higher than itself, including the mighty K2. It is known – as its name suggests – for the massive snowfield on its summit. It can be spotted on the way to Concordia – the confluence of the great Baltoro and Godwin Austen glaciers from where one can see four of the world’s 13 peaks above 8,000 metres. It was first climbed in 1957.
SOURCE: MIKE MELLINGER
3. Diran Peak
Overshadowed by its much better known – and taller – neighbour Rakaposhi (7,788 metres), Diran (7,266 metres) is a relatively straightforward trek from Minapin, which is just off the Karakoram Highway. The peak can be viewed in its full glory from Rakaposhi base camp or even a camping site straddling the main glacier on the south face of the mountain. In the picture, Diran is the peak in the middle of the panoramic view. Diran was first climbed in 1968 by an Austrian expedition.
SOURCE: MUZAFFAR BUKHARI
4. Makra Peak
At 4,000 metres, Makra Peak would figure nowhere even in Pakistan’s highest 100 mountains. However, it is accessible for ordinary trekkers, through Shogran in the Kaghan Valley area, and can be climbed without technical equipment in half a day.
SOURCE: KHALID MAHMOOD AT THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE WIKIPEDIA
5. Ganga Choti
Located near the city of Bagh in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, the 4,060-metre Ganga Choti offers spectacular views into Indian Held-Kashmir on the east, and can be climbed without any technical equipment. The nearest town to it is Sudhaan Gali.
SOURCE: THE TREKKERZ
More of a hill than a mountain, at 3,000 metres, this is the highest point in the beautiful Galiyat region in KP’s Hazara division. The walk up to the top can be done in a couple of hours and starts from near the Governor House in Nathiagali. On a clear day you can see across the Jhelum on the east into Indian Kashmir and a look north will get you a view of the majestic Nanga Parbat.
SOURCE: ASIF SAEED
7. Ladyfinger Peak
A near-vertical rock spire in the western Karakorams near the city of Gilgit in Gilgit-Baltistan, Ladyfinger Peak has a vertical drop of almost 600 metres, from a height of 6,000 metres, and has been the location of some out-of-this-world paragliding experiences. In the photograph, Ladyfinger Peak is to the left of the rock massif, a rock spire standing alone.
SOURCE: CREATIVE COMMONS/ ANTHONY MAW
8. Musa Ka Musalah
At 4,076 metres, this mountain in the Kaghan Valley offers an easy and very scenic hike up to its summit. It translates into “Moses’s Mat”, and is named after a local legend involving a local shepherd who would pray on its summit.
SOURCE: TANVIR JOGI