Gasherbrum is a remote group of high peaks in the Karakoram, located at the northeast end of the 36-mile Baltoro glacier. The group forms a semi-circle around its own South Gasherbrum Glacier. A French Expedition led by H. De Segogne made first attempt in 1936, but they could not climb beyond Camp V at a height of 6797 meters. However, in 1958 an American Expedition led by Nich Clinch made the first ascent of Gasherbrum I. Pete Schoening and Andy Kaufman were first to reach the summit.
The peak was also the venue of the world’s first 8,000 meter climb in pure Alpine Style. This means that the start of the climb is done from the bottom of the mountain and all gears are carried on the way, if any bivouacs, they will be found on the way. No route preparation is done. Supplemental oxygen is not used. Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler achieved this unprecedented feat in August, 1975. On 8 August 1975, they began their climb. They had no rope with them, no supplemental oxygen, just personal climbing gears. On August 10th they summitted the peak and thus introduced pure Alpine style climbing to the Karokaram.
Gasherbrum I is one of the “least popular” of the 8000 meter peaks. It still has less than 200 ascents and is in tenth spot on the ascent-list for the 8000 meter peaks. It is also one of the peaks with least deaths, but this probably has to do with the fact that only really experienced mountaineers attempt a peak as difficult at Gasherbrum I.
The most common way to climb the peak is to attack on the western side and all routes here leads to “The Japanese Couloir”, which is located on top of the north-west face. The first ascent (1958) was made via Spur Peak and then via the long south east ridge to the summit.