The most beautiful mountains in the world have captivated climbers for centuries. Here, we examine their lethal appeal

“You are not in the mountains. The mountains are in you,” said John Muir, the renowned naturalist, author and environmental philosopher.

Laila Peak  is a mountain in Hushe Valley near Gondogoro Glacier in the Karakoram range. Located in Gilgit-BaltistanPakistan, it has an elevation of 6,096 metres (20,000 ft). Laila Peak has a distinctive spear-like shape and its northwest face has a slope of 45 degrees in more than 1500 vertical metres.

Like many peaks of this height in the Karakoram climbed in the 80s and 90s, the first ascents were done illegally without the relevant permits. Climbs therefore received limited initial acknowledgement. The first ascent was by a four man British team including Simon Yates, Sean Smith and Mark Miller who climbed the peak in 1987 via the west face from the Gondogoro Glacier. This was Simon Yates’ first big climb since the epic on Siula Grande in 1985. While technically being an ‘unofficial’ climb it became as official as any ‘official’ climb when Simon Yates dedicated a chapter of his biographical book “The Flame of Adventure” on the climb. This included a number of excellent photos of the climb. The party went on to make a first ascent of the nearby Nemeka (6400m).