Rakaposhi (7788m) is valley’s most famous peak. The huge massif dominates the skyline for a vast stretches of the Karakoram
highway, first seen North Of Aliabad yet still visible as far south as Gilgit. The peak is located in the Rakaposhi-Haramosh range
which forms the south-western corner Of the Karakoram and is part Of the Lesser Karakoram. The mountain is extremely broad
measuring almost 20km from East to West. It is the only peak on Earth that drops directly. uninterrupted. for almost 6000m
from the summit to the base. Besides the highest peak of the Rakaposhi massif is Rakaposhi East (7010m). The peak also holds
significant value to Geologists as it is the prow of the Eurasian land mass with Nanga Parbat representing the prow of the
Indian land mass.
After six failed expeditions the peak was first climbed by a “British-Pakistani forces Himalayan Expedition” in 1958 via the SW
Spur. In reality this was a British expedition aided by the help of all available high-altitude porters in the Hunza region. Six
camps were required to get within range of the summit and climbing was impeded by incessant snowfalls. avalanches and
blizzards. On summit day a violent blizzard was blowing, half-flattening Captain Michael Banks and Lieutenant Tom Patey’s tiny
two man tent and driving drifting snow high into the air. Despite the severe conditions Banks and Patey. two of the seven
climbers in the expedition made a bid for the summit. thirty-six days after setting up base camp. In poor conditions both
reached the summit five hours later without oxygen. The cold weather had taken its effect though. Banks had frost-bitten feet
whilst Patey had frost-bitten hands but fortunately it was not severe. Not surprisingly they did not linger and descended
quickly back to their tent and returned to base camp three days later. It was not until 1979 that the mountain was again
climbed. TO date there have been eight ascents via three routes with all climbing done in a siege style bar one (Canadian team.
North Ridge, 1984).