Felix Berg and Co.: Two first ascents in three days

Felix Berg in northern Pakistan

It’s running smoothly for the team of the expedition operator Summit Climb in the remote Shimshal Valley in northern Pakistan. Within three days, expedition leader Felix Berg, the well-known Pakistani mountaineer Mirza Ali Baig and their German clients succeeded in another first ascent. “This second mountain explored by our team is 6,105 meters high and today’s summit action was longer and technically more demanding,” Summit Climb announced yesterday, Saturday, via Instagram. On Wednesday, the five-member team had already first climbed a yet unnamed 5,770-meter-high mountain.

“Hunger for more action”

Shimshal Valley
Shimshal Valley

Felix Berg and Co. have thus successfully completed their previously planned program after only about a week in the valley. The expedition leader had informed me upon arrival in northern Pakistan that his team had time to climb until the end of August. According to Summit Club, the quintet is now looking for another goal: ” Blessed with good weather conditions, the fast-acting team is back in BC now, hungry for some more action during the final days in their isolated and peaceful valley.“ 

No climbing permit necessary

Actually, Felix Berg had wanted to climb with his clients the seven-thousander Khan Tengri, but the corona situation in Kyrgyzstan did not allow it. In the search for a substitute destination, Pakistan was chosen. On the one hand, according to Felix Berg, “because it is possible to travel here at all” – the government in Islamabad had reopened the country for foreign tourists from 8 August – and on the other hand, because Pakistan does not require a climbing permit for mountains lower than 6,500 meters. A simple trekking permit is sufficient.

Felix Berg’s selfie on the summit of Gasherbrum II (in 2018)

“That’s why we were able to organize our expedition in a short time and without a lot of bureaucracy,” the 39-year-old German expedition leader told me. Felix Berg was the youngest German to climb Mount Everest (with bottled oxygen) in 2004, followed by three successes on eight-thousanders without breathing mask: on Broad Peak in 2014, on Cho Oyu and Gasherbrum II in 2018.

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