Best Adventure Destinations
Photograph by Guillem Lopez, Alamy
Mustagata is known to be the easiest climbable 7, 500-meter peak—to the extent that the 24, 757-foot mountain is known at all. It is located in China’s Pamir Mountains at the junction of the Himalaya, Karakoram, Hindu Kush, Tian Shan, and Kunlun ranges—a region climbers most closely associate with the world’s second highest peak, K2. But Mustagata, unlike its exceedingly dangerous neighbor, is one of the safest high-altitude mountains, and it’s now starting to make it onto climbers’ and outfitters’ hit lists.
The route to the summit is nontechnical and conducive to snowshoeing or skinning up and skiing or snowboarding back down. The peak is located within Mustagata National Park, home to a surprising diversity of wildlife given the high altitude, including marmots, ibex, snow leopards, sheep, and goats. The region is also inhabited by two nomadic tribes, who live in yurts and ride camels and horses. At the summit, reachable in a four- to eight-hour push from the highest camp, views of K2, Pakistan, the Tien Shan range, and Afghanistan make the climb well worth the effort.