Muztagh Ata is one of the most popular ascents above seven-thousand (7546 m); it comes on the right side of the Karakoram Highway to Kashgar. This beautiful peak is well known for ski climbing among 7,000 m peaks. Access to the mountain is very easy. In just a few hours you can reach the base camp from the paved Karakoram Highway. The beauty of nature is stunning in this part of the world and the mountain itself is located in an interesting area close to the ancient Silk Road.
The name Muztagh Ata means “Father of Ice Mountain” in the local Uygyr language and it is easy to understand how it got its name as it completely dominates its surroundings. It’s not only a high peak; it’s also large in terms of the circumference of the base. Its glaciated summit looms about four kilometers over the beautiful Subashi Valley and the deep blue Karakul Lake completes the picture.
The first recorded attempt to climb the peak dates back to 1894 by the famous explorer and cartographer Sven Hedin who first tried to ascend on the back of a yak. The yak died and Hedin continued on foot towards the summit. He failed and so did other expeditions in 1900, 1904 and 1947. The last was lead by famous and experienced climbers Bill Tilman and Eric Shipton. They got close to the summit but had to turn back due to deep snow and extreme cold. Muztagh Ata was finally climbed by a huge Soviet-China team in 1956. Beletskiy was the formal leader and they ascended via the west ridge.