LHASA-Chinese and Pakistani mountaineers gathered together here on Thursday to commemorate 11 years since the China Tibet Mountaineering Expedition achieved the feat of summitting all 14 mountains standing over 8,000 meters.
“They are the only expedition team on earth to have achieved such a feat,” said Abu Zafar Sadiq, President of the Alpine Club of Pakistan, congratulating the team on their achievement.
The Pakistan side also shares in this achievement. In 1997, a joint China-Pakistan expedition scaled Nanga Parbat, the ninth highest mountain in the world at 8,125 meters.
However, cooperation between the two countries in mountaineering began two years before that climb.
In 1995, the Chinese expedition headed to Pakistan to climb Gasherbrum II. Their summit was supported by the government of Pakistan, who sent a crew of eight to their assistance, including a liaison officer, a guide, three supporting members and three cooks. With their help, the expedition successfully summitted Gasherbrum II, the world’s 13th highest mountain.
That was the first time a Chinese flag flew in the chilly winds of a Pakistan mountain, and that marked the beginning of mountaineering cooperation and friendship between the two countries.
Since then, climbers of the both nations have engaged in nearly 10 climbs together, scaling the Broad Peak (8,051 meters), K2 (8,611 meters), and Gasherbrum I (8,068 meters), in 2001, 2004 and 2007 respectively.
Looking back on these achievements, Nomia Tsering, vice president of the Chinese Mountaineering Association, believed the joint expeditions contributed to both the development of mountaineering and to the deep-rooted friendship between China and Pakistan, which he said will surely be “greater than the highest peaks” after future exchanges and cooperation.