Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Destination: Hispar Glacier in Pakistan’s Karakorum Himalaya

Backcountry.com is stoked to help support customers Steve Su and Pete Takeda on their climbing expedition to Pakistan's Karakorum. This is the first update of a few we expect to hear from them.

September 3, 2007

Steve “CM” Su and I (Pete Takeda) depart Denver, bound for Islamabad via London. Our final destination is the Hispar Glacier in Pakistan’s Karakorum Himalaya. The area – due west of K2, and the famous Baltoro area - has many aesthetic peaks , many of which are unclimbed. We are leaving fairly late in the season to take advantage of colder temperatures and stable post-monsoon conditions – better we hope, for peaks in the 6000 to 7000 meter range.

September 4 – 6, 2007

We arrive in Islamabad 48 hours later. On the calendar its taken three days, with an overnight flight delay due to an engine malfunction on Heathrow’s tarmac . It seems that two of our bags have come up missing so its an extra day in Islamabad, capitol of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The city has the usual sights, sounds, and smells of a busy South Asian city. Though our guide Nafeez insists that the current political and social climate is fine, he suggests we, “stay and relax” in our room at the Regent Hotel while he, “arranges everything.” We notice that our van dropped us off at the entrance of the hotel, inching with stealth through a crowded parking lot and minimizing our public exposure. At night we see a US Consulate warning on the news. Frankly, I do not feel any feel any more concerned about my security than in any big city in the States.

September 7, 2007

We wait on our baggage. The British Airways desk asks if we can’t wait until Monday – three days from now for our bags. It’s ridiculous. The plan us to leave tomorrow for a 17 hour drive north, up the Karakorum Highway to Gligit. Then it will be a shorter drive the following day to Hunza and the trailhead at Hispar village. A four day hike should put us in Base Camp. But first we need our bags.

Oh the possibilities...see anything you'd like to climb?

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