PC: Dr Najeeb Ansari (Karachi)

Swat, dubbed as Switzerland of Pakistan is known internationally with reference to Malala Yousaf Zai, 2014 Nobel Peace Laureate. Domestically, valley is a favorite tourist spot with many destinations like Kalam, Baharin, Mahodand and Ushu to choose from. However it has another important feature, a mountain which is rightly called as K2 of Swat by the locals. PakPeak Falak Sar (5,918m) is a snow capped, pyramid shaped, beautiful peak  that completely dominates the land scape around it. It is the highest mountain peak in Ushu Valley of Swat and is part of Hindu Kush mountain range.

Third from Left: Ahmad Mutjaba,Hamza Anees & Adnan Saleem

Three climbers mainly from Lahore including Ahmad Mujtaba, Hamza Anees and Adnan Saleem made it to summit of PakPeak Falak Sar (5,918m) and became first Pakistanis to step on it. Ahmad Mujtaba  based in Lahore is an experienced climber who manages his climbing equipment brand. He along with Adnan Saleem, an avid you tuber summited PakPeak MalikaParbat (5,290m) in 2018. Hamza Anees climbed PakPeak Musa ka Musala (4,080m) in 2018 and PakPeak Khusargang (6050m) last year near Skardu, in a daring solo way. They left Lahore on 7 Aug 20 and reached back on 23 Aug 20. Owing to some dangerous developments beyond Camp II on PakPeak Falak Sar they had to spend two nights in a snow cave. Lack of proper communication with the base camp resulted in rumors about their whereabouts after reaching the summit. Thankfully after 48 hrs of chaos, three emerged at base camp safe and victorious.

The mountain itself have relatively short and mysterious climbing history.It was first climbed by W.K.A Berry and C.H. Tyndale-Biscoe of New Zealand in 1957 from its North ridge.The second ascent is unverified and attributed to Dr. Wolf Gang Stephen who reportedly also  climbed PakPeak Distaghil Sar and PakPeak Malika Parbat.In 1968, another ascent was made by a Japanese expedition from Yamaguchi University composed of Yoshiyuki Nagahiro and Toshiyuki Akiyama. According to entry in American Alpine Journal of 1968, after traveling by car from Peshawar through Saidu Sharif , capital of Swat, to Matiltan , they headed up the Falak Sar Valley. They established their base camp at at 3350 m on August 15. On August 20 reached the summit reported to be 5,918m. 52 years later on almost same dates PakPeak Falak Sar (5,918m) received its first Pakistani climbers.

Previous Pakistani attempts on Falak Sar included one in 2014 under veterean mountaineer Lt Col (Retd) Dr Abdul Jabbar Bhatti and another in 2019 by Ahmed Mujtaba and his team.