The standard route is via the SW ridge as it is relatively free of objective hazards such as ice falls and avalanches. A typical expedition lasts 7 to 8 weeks with climbing permits costing about $7,500 USD for five climbers.
Gasherbrum II was first climbed on July 8, 1956 by Fritz Moravec, Josef Larch and Hans Willenpart of an Austrian expedition.
- 1956 First ascent
- 1975 Second ascent by a French group, 19 years after the first ascent. This expedition also saw the first death on the Gasherbrum. Three other expeditions summit including a Polish women's team headed by Wanda Rutkiewicz.
- 1979 A Chilean and a German expedition succeed in the sixth and seventh ascents.
- 1982 Reinhold Messner reaches the top with two Pakistanis, Nazir Sabir and Sher Khan.
- 1983 Jerzy Kukuczka with Wojciech Kurtyka eastern ridge ascent, new route. Alpine style ascent without the aid of oxygen.
- 1984 Messner and Hans Kammerlander traverse Gasherbrum I and Gasherbrum II without returning to base camp in between.
- 1984 First descent by ski by team CAF Besancon (France) lead by Daniel Croisot, summit by Wim Pasquier and Patrice Bournat, ski from the summit, joined by Dr Dominique Dock from 7800m, totally skied the face down to base-camp set at 5200m. 1 month after meeting with Messner and Kammerlander, returning from their 2 summits.
- 2005 ? number ski descent by Jørgen Aamot (Norway) and Frederik Ericsson (Sweden)
- 2005 A six-member Turkish expedition, including two women, made history on July 22 when its members scaled Gasherbrum-II.
- 2007 Three Italians, Karl Unterkircher, Daniele Bernasconi e Michele Compagnoni, reach the top opening a new way on the north face, in alpine style
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