ISLAMABAD - Popularity of Pakistan’s captivating mountains is growing across the globe at a rapid pace as for the first time in recent history over 1400 international climbers have applied to attempt its 6,000 to 8,000-metre peaks, this summer. “This number is quite staggering as compared to the last year when 550 climbers tried their luck,” Karrar Haidri, secretary Alpine Club of Pakistan (ACP) said on Wednesday. “Several teams have arrived in Pakistan, while multiple outfits have already set off on the trekking mission,” he added. According to Haidri, around 57 expeditions across 23 peaks with a combined total of 672 climbers [576 male and 96 female] had been issued permits. “So far, the permits have been issued till August. But as the summer season will continue till September, the rest of the expeditions will get permits with due course of time,” he added. He said a stunning 400 international climbers will be attempting K2 this season. “This is quite encouraging as with such a large number of mountaineers in our country, we are in a position now to lead on the global climbing stage,” he added.