The Pakistan climbing season has already kicked off as the "Killer Mountain" swings back in action with no fewer than two climbing teams working on two different faces.
Being world's ninth highest and second deadliest mountain in the world, Nanga Parbat soars to an unfathomable height of 8,125m above sea level and marks the culmination of the Western off-shoot of the Himalayas.
The Russian/American team headed by the world renowned Romanian Zsolt Torok (K2 attempt in 2010) is climbing Diamir face with Americans Kathy Koslicki and Bob Semborski.
Edging up the old route followed by numerous mountaineers before, Zsolt is not finding it any easier to tackle the formidable Diamir Face of the 8000er. They were rattled by a huge glacier on Thursday that blanketed the Base Camp and the Camp-1 at almost 6000m.
Zsolt has called in for help from the local porters for rebuilding the Base Camp from scratch.
For the moment, the Romanian hard climber has managed a few acclimitisation trips over the mountain and had to bivouac in a survival blanket at 4 am in the morning.
Click here to Zsolt informed the Base Camp that he was stuck in deep snow and was hit hard by ceaseless snow storm and had to spend the night in order to save himself.
He has managed to reach 5900m so far and the mainstream expedition is yet to kick
off. The team is currently waiting for resumption of activities at the Base Camp which is again under construction.
Zsolt is considered as one of the experienced climbers who know the Karakorums better than most of the Russian climbers who visit Pakistan to scale the giant peaks.
Approaching Nanga Parbat Base Camp Layout of the mountain The core of Nanga Parbat is a long ridge trending southwest-northeast. The ridge is an enormous bulk of ice and rock. It has three faces, Diamir face, Raikot and Rupal.edit.
The southwestern portion of this main ridge is known as the Mazeno Wall, and has a number of subsidiary peaks. In the other direction, the main ridge arcs northeast at Raikot Peak . The south/southeast side of the mountain is dominated by the massive Rupal Face, noted above.
The north/northwest side of the mountain, leading to the Indus, is more complex. It is split into the Diamir face and the Raikot face by a long ridge. There are a number of subsidiary summits, including North Peak some 3 km north of the main summit.
This is with reference to a news report carried on June 9. It is going to give a rude shock to the people of Chitral. The last time they got one was when the government declared Sharia in Chitral when Sufi Mohammad asked for it in Swat.
The report mercifully mentions ‘ambassadors, diplomats, international NGOs’ when describing a ‘foreigner’ to avoid the word ‘tourist’.
Even if the Home Department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa spares tourists from obtaining an NOC ‘a fortnight or at least 12 days in advance’ (impossible for any tourist), the soldier manning the barrier is unlikely to differentiate between one category of foreigner from another when demanding an NOC.
The order will have little impact on the daily lives of people living in D.I. Khan, Tank, Hangu and other parts of Malakand mentioned in the report. It will have a serious impact on the functioning of small hotels and on the lives of guides, porters and shopkeepers of Chitral.
This is a district wrongly placed in the Malakand division of Khyber
The people of Chitral have struggled hard to keep their cultural values intact and have consequently succeeded in maintaining peace and harmony in their district despite what is happening in the rest of
Malakand and on Chitral’s direct border with Afghanistan.
Their scenic valleys and majestic mountains have been a major attraction for adventure-loving tourists from all over the world
who have been contributing immensely and directly to the local
There are no other profitable avenues available
in this harsh terrain where only six per cent of the land is cultivable, mostly
with a single crop. Then there are places which are too high for any crop to
grow at all and where people live mainly off animal products and from money
earned by working as porters for trekking groups.
It is time the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government
treated Chitral as a special area when looking at it as part of the Malakand
division. Failure to do so will cause resentment among the peace-loving
Tourists who have entered Pakistan with a valid visitor’s visa are going to get a huge shock when they are asked to get an NOC “12 days in advance” by the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The negative impact of this order will really be felt on tourism in the next season when the current lot of visitors to our country returns with horrible stories about their vacations in Pakistan.
For the many city dwellers like us, the late arrival of Mangoes in the current season might have gone unnoticed, but the delay has had severe repurcussions on the exports.
Being the second largest exported fruit in the country, Mango brings in a huge chunk of foreign exchange in the Government exchequer and the crop for this summer now stands almost two weeks behind the schedule.
The reasons cited by the agricultural experts range from Global Warming to
unpredictable weather which included incessantly long winters and endless rain
spells in the months of March and April.
Mangoes are grown in the southern districts of Punjab and almost all of Sindh but the two provinces do not share the same season of ripening.
Mango from Sindh normally hits the market almost a month ahead of the crop from Punjab and triggers the pace of the exports before the Mangoes from Punjab make their debut.
According to the assessment of mango growers and market forces, the crop is showing a 30 per cent deficit in terms of production in Sindh. The deficit is primarily blamed on last year’s monsoon downpour, which caused serious damage to the mango farms in
Arrival of crop, this year, was delayed and even varieties like ‘daseri’ and ‘saroli,’ which are available in the market by second or third week of May, were delayed.
Subsequently, the Sindhri, which is the most popular variety of mango and liked world over, also arrived in the market after a delay. This variety stands out due to its size, taste, look and shelf-life.
25 percent of orchards in lower Sindh’s districts including Umerkot, Sanghar, Mirpurkhas and part of Tando Allahyar are almost gone due to last year’s rain related damages. Those located in Hyderabad and Matiari remain safe.
Last year, the production was said to be around 379,000-metric tons. Mirpurkhas division, which is the biggest producer of ‘Sindhri’ was unable to live up to the expectations after being hit by heavy rainfall, and the
subsequent delay in drainage.
Middle Eastern countries like UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman are the biggest markets of the Pakistani Mangoes.
Disabilities may be a matter of concern for some who go through the various discrepancies in life in attempts to coup with the disadvantages and discrimination.
For Swede Anneli Wester, her handicap of living with just four fingers on the right hand have given a new meaning to life. After spending a night at the top of Muztagh Atta, the highest mountain on the Chinese side of Karakorum, Wester is all set to spend a night on top of Gasherbrum-1, a feat which remains unprecendented in the history of mountain climbing.
Wester had a troubled past when she had to go through child abuse and a broken family saga and in a failed attempt of trying to kill herself, Wester suffered colossal injuries on both hands and was deprived of all the fingers on the left hand.
She graudally pulled herself together from the ordeal and spend seven years couping up with the mental trauma she had to go through. with a Masters degree in Law, Wester soon realised the fake surroundings and illicit drama of the corporate world and decided to pursue a career in Hard Climbing, fighting her handicaps.
She has now landed in Pakistan and after spending a few days in the siltering weather of Pakistani Capital, she is now in Skardu, organising her gear for the mindless feat.
Elabrating the reasons behind her decision to be the first climber to spend the night on top of an 8000er, Wester said:
"It actually started by focusing on possibilities for me to climb a mountain. I used to have very poor legs and I couldn’t walk long distances. I had to shorten the distance between camps, and also between high camp and the summit. It was also a matter of safety, there is a lot of theft in the mountains and I was afraid someone would steel my gear if I left it in the tent when going for the summit.
So one day I started to play with the thought of carrying everything up with me and it didn’t take long until I realized this is the way to do it".
sharing some insights about her troubled past, Wester said:
"I had been trough bad abuse when growing up, and my mum was a bit of a broken soul, and my reaction to this was to hurt myself. I burned my self so badly that I have lost 6 fingers. Mistreatment from the health care made it even worse. After seven years I started my struggle back to life. I was in a terrible condition, both physically and mentally and every day was a battle. As I said, I’m very creative and have now put all my energy and focus on life. Slowly, slowly I have found ways to cope. It's a miracle that I survived those years, but it's an even greater miracle where in life I'm today. I use the same methods in climbing, or whatever I do out there, as I did returning back to life. I’m still disabled in many ways, both physically and mentally, but focusing on possibilities and what I can do instead of what I can’t do it seems to me like there are no limits out there".
Pakistan Explorer (www.pakistan-explorer.com) wish her all the best in her meteroic endeavour. Good luck Anneli!
| |Season is finally warming up for the summer expeditions in the rigid Karakorum as no less than two dozen expeditions and several renowned climbers are now heading to the mountainous region of the western Himalayas and Karakorum.
As the Monsoon kicks in, the expeditions on the Everest, Dhaulagiri and Shishapangma will now be off-limits for the sturdy climbers for the moment and their schedule will now be finally moving to the Pakistani 8000ers which will be basking in sunlight for another three months.
The Pakistani List of Expeditions has now been finalised and though no new routes have been sighted so far, K-2 will be getting the lions share with most of the expeditions pitched to climb the “Savage Mountain”.
Following is the list of climbers and expeditions set to conquer the invincible K-2 in the current season.
K2, South East Ridge (Abruzzi)
1. Canadian Al Hancock will be making his first attempt of the K-2 and will be accompanied by a diligent team of climbers who will be eager to take down the 8,611m peak in the remote Karakorum. Hancock has a strong resume and has climbed all the seven highest peaks in seven continents throughout the world and is only the 13thCanadian to achieve the accolade.
2. Peter Guggemos will also be making an attempt via the Abruzzi Ridge along with another team of climbers.
3. Czech-Slovakian Expedition headed by Peter Hamor teaming up with Pavel Bern and Tomas Petrik will be landing in the Base Camp on Godwin Austin Glacier, also hoping to reach the summit via the Abruzzi Ridge.
4. Hong-Bin Kim heads off to K2 for his Expedition of Hope Creation and the expedition is likely to kick off in the first week of June this year.
5. Another Korean expedition titled “2012 Korea Expressway Corporation K2 Expedition” will be headed by Mi-Gon Kim and will pitch their attempt in the first week of July.
6. French born, Sophie Denis will also be in the Base Camp for her attempt to scale the gigantic rock structure. A Banking professional, Denis left her successful career leading a world-renowned bank as the Vice President and is now a full-scale mountaineer at the moment.
7. Russian/Iranian/Danish K2 Expedition led by Oxana Morneva will be another expedition led by a female and are likely to start off their attempt in the first week of June.
8. Santiago Quintero and Carlos Wilke will be returning to climb K-2 and will start off in first week of June.
9. Gia Tortladze and Iranian climber Azim Gheychisaz will also be part of the aspiring climbers who will be hoping to reach the summit of the second highest mountain in the world.
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