Mountaineering Expeditions Report
Pakistan's 2009 summer climbing season has finally ended. 63 expeditions applied for the climbing permit for 2009 summer season 18 got cancel due to security concern in Pakistan and financial problem at their own ends. 45 mountaineering expedition arrive with 335 climbers in Pakistan this year. 5 climbers Michele Fait – Italy (K2), Wolfgang Koblinger – Austria (Nanga Parbat), Go Mi-Sun – South Korea (Nanga Parbat), Cristina Castagna – Italy (Broad Peak), Luis Maria Barbero – Spain (GII) lost their lives, all on the 8000ers Peaks.
63 expedition applications
This year 63 expedition applications were filed for climbing permits in Pakistan. 18 expeditions with climbers cancel the plan to visit Pakistan. 43 were granted expedition arrived in Pakistan.
K2 - Chogori 8611 m
2008 was a successful year on K2 but also a deadliest year when lots of climbers lost their lives.
2009 was not a successful year for K2 only one climber Mr. Jorge Egocheaga Rodrigues from Spain claim summiting K2 solo. 7 expeditions applied for the permit one got cancel but six expeditions arrive in Pakistan with 56 climbers. One climber Mr. Michele Fait from Italy lost his life on 29/06/2009.
Broad Peak 8047 m
In 2009 summer season 12 expeditions applied for permit on Broad Peak 4 expedition cancel 8 expedition arrived in Pakistan with 85 climbers only one person Mr. Josep Permane Sabate got success (27/07/2009) on Broad Peak in 2009. Ms. Cristina Castagna Italian died on July 23, 2009.
Gasherbrum II 8035 m exclusively
2009 was again a bad climbing year for GII. 9 Expeditions applied for the peak 2 expedition cancel their plan to visit Pakistan and 7 expedition came to Pakistan with 64 climbers, out of which only two was successful in putting its 6 members on the summit (most of them on fore summit). Mr. Luis Barbero lost his life while descending from the mountain on July 20, 2009.
Gasherbrum I 8068 m exclusively
2009 three expedition applied for Gasherbrum I exclusively one expedition cancel, two arrived with 16 climbers, out of which 3 reach the top.
Gasherbrum I 8068 m, Gasherbrum II 8035 m Gasherbrum IV 7925 m, Gasherbrum VI 7004 m
2009 four expedition applied for Gasherbrum double header (GI, II) two expedition applied for triple header (GI, GII, GIV and GI, GII and GVI) one double header expedition cancel, three arrived with 40 climbers, out of which 6 reach the top.
Editor note; Boyan Petrov summit both GI and GII his stat is added in triple header note. Some of the climbers reach the fore summit; stats reflect the record from ACP and Ministry of Tourism, Pakistan.
Nanga Parbat 8125 m
2009 is a 100% successful year on Nanga Parbat Expeditions. 4 expeditions applied for the permit one expedition cancel and remaining 3 expeditions arrive in Pakistan with 40 climbers. All three expeditions declare successful, out of 40 climbers 19 climbers reach to the top. Including 4 Pakistani Mr. Wolfgang Koblinger from Austria and Ms. Go Mi-Sun from South Korean summit's 11 8000m meters peaks including Nanga Parbat lost their life while descending from the mountain on July 10, 2009.
Spantik 7027 m (Golden Peak)
2009 Nine expeditions applied for the permit 2 expedition were cancel 7 expedition arrive with 38 climbers, 20 climbers 1 from Austria, 3 each from Japan and Spain respectively, 9 from Iran, 1 each from Pakistan Germany and Netherlands claim success.
Expeditions to the remaining 12 mountains;
Rakaposhi 7788 m,
3 expeditions try their luck on Rakaposhi with 6 climbers were unsuccessful.
Latok I 7145 m
3 expeditions got permit for Latok Peak among them are USA Freak Power Latok I 7145 m, was unsuccessful, Spanish Lotok I 7145 m expedition was unsuccessful, one climbers died and South Korean Latok Expedition was canceled,
German Malangutti 7023 m was cancel, French Shispare Expedition was cancel, American Kuksar II 6925 m expedition was canceled, USA and Slovenia Masherbrum 7821 m expedition was canceled,
Korea Cheong Jook Alpine Club Tahu Rutum 6651 m, was unsuccessful, Japan Kunyan Chich 7400 m, was unsuccessful, K7 6934 m, result is awaited, Canadian Pumari Chish 6800 m, was unsuccessful
Successful Double Header's 2009Boyan Patrov
from Bulgaria climb GI July 26, 2009 and GII August 1st, 2009
Ms. Eun Sun Oh
from South Korea climb Nanga Parbat on July 10, 2009 and GI on August 3rd, 2009.
Pemba Tshiring Sherpa
from Nepal climb Nanga Parbat on July 10, 2009 and GI on August 3rd, 2009.
Dawa Onga Sherpa
from Nepal climb Nanga Parbat on July 10, 2009 and GII on August 1st, 2009.
First Ascent of Karim Sar 6180 m 2009
2009 First Ascent of Karim Sar (6180m)
I first caught sight of Karim Sar (6180m) in 2007.
My friend Lydia and I were on top of a small, previously unclimbed peak between the Baltar and Toltar Glaciers in the Northern Areas of Pakistan, with our new Italian friends, Giampi and Lorenzo Corona. The peak was a consolation prize for both teams after failing on our primary objectives.
From our huddle on the summit we could see a lovely ice capped mountain to the south. Lorenzo and I identified it as the peak his friend Ivo Ferrari was attempting with his two mates: Lorenzo even had the expedition postcard! I took photos and stored the peak away in the back of my brain.
Two years later (2009) and our Pakistan plans were to attempt the first ascent of the south face of Kampire Dior (7000m) via the Batura Glacier- an ambitious, remote and lengthy expedition. But in May the Taliban invaded the Swat Valley, our expedition outfitter became reluctant to take us to an area close to the Afghan/Pakistan border, and there was talk of a compulsory and expensive accompanying government liaison officer. Two team members pulled out. Time to change plans! I remembered Karim Sar and emailed Wolfgang Heichel to establish it’s status. Still unclimbed, he said!
On June 5th 2009 Paul Hersey and I arrived in Islamabad to discover security in the city at an all time high. Soldiers with AK47’s, roadblocks and a wary population had emptied the streets and our anxious guide Baig (Nazir Sabir Expeditions) saw us as a potential target for every kidnapper, suicide bomber and insurgent in Central Asia. He wouldn’t let us out of his sight.
We drove north up the Karakoram Highway against an endless tide of refugees fleeing the Swat Valley, Baig breathing a nervous sigh of relief when we reach the relative safety of Gilgit. Three days later we were ensconced at basecamp beside the Shilinbar Glacier, under the south face of Karim Sar. The face was a confusing mass of steep snow slopes, hanging glaciers and granite rock bands culminating in the summit ice cap. With an elevation of 2600m, it’s was a daunting sight!
A week later we arrive back at basecamp, cold and damp after an extended acclimatisation sortie into the head of the glacier. Paul had struggled with the altitude and we’d moved slowly in snowy, unsettled weather. I had a headache and was feeling the cold. Summer was late to arrive and there was infinitely more snow than the two years previous (we learned later the Karakoram hadn’t seen as much winter snow in 30 years!)
At base camp Paul came down with an undiagnosed illness, recovered, and then decided he didn’t want to go onto the mountain. I felt a strong mix of despair, anger and anxiety…the expedition was heavily sponsored, and for me, giving up without an attempt wasn’t an option. I decided to try the mountain alone and succumbed to some angst ridden, sleepless nights. I was scared of the prospect!
The morning of my departure for the summit Paul announced he would come back up the glacier to advanced basecamp (4200m). I felt a flood of gratitude – even if Paul was thousands of feet below me, it would be a huge relief to know he was there in some capacity.
Moving up through a dangerous section of the icefall Paul climbed with a new speed and confidence. The next morning he agreed to come a few hundred metres up the face to belay me through a rock band, but when we got beneath the short granite pitch I realised ice cliffs 1500m above ringed the terrain. I decided to follow a gully system out to the left which appeared to finish on a small saddle at about 5100m. The gully was overhung on the right by a massive, but seemingly stable ice cliff and the route seemed the better of two evils.
To my surprise Paul decided to continue, even though he had no overnight gear. I arrived at the saddle at about 3pm, dug a tent platform and watched him slowly work his way up the steepening slope. The location was breathtaking: Rakaposhi and Diran to the south, Sangamarmar only a couple of kilometres east and way in the distance, the massive Hispar Glacier.
We both spent a sleepless night: Paul because he was in a large plastic pack liner, and me because I was so damn nervous. But 4am arrived and I brewed up, handed my sleeping bag to Paul and headed up a steep snow slope to the first obstacle – a small granite rock band covered in loose snow. I bridged up a gully for a few metres, had an “I can’t do this” moment, and climbed back down. Thwarted only half an hour from the tent! Taking a deep breath I tried again and this time made the 20m to the top.
Another steep snow slope led to a 100m high granite cliff. I headed right to circumvent it, then realising I would have to traverse a steep rock gully with a large drop beneath it, scurried back to the left. Above me were two ice cliffs, and between them a steep narrow gully of snow about 100m high. I front pointed up the gully and half an hour later found myself in a wide cwm, rimmed by huge ice cliffs 300m above.
The cliffs seemed quiet, but it was early, and as there were plenty of big ice blocks strewn around I decided to climb up onto a broad ice rib on the right of the cym. I tried to hurry but with snow was almost up to my knees progress was glacial. However, up on the rib conditions were better and I sped up dramatically (in my mind, anyway).
After climbing several hundred metres, interspersed with some sizeable crevasses, I came to a large rock band forming the base of the summit pyramid. From base camp it looked as if this could be navigated on the left, but I now realised to do this I would have to traverse a long section of steep ice with an enormous drop into the Bar Glacier 1500m beneath me. Far too scary!On the way up
I accepted glumly I’d have to drop 100m, traverse right under the rock band and try to summit from the east side. I pigeon holed nervously downward and started the traverse. The exposure was frightening and with every step loose wet snow would swish down alarmingly, gathering speed until it shot out over the ice cliffs. I held my breath most of the way across. After what seemed like an eternity the traverse ended and I was able to start climbing up towards the ridgeline. By this time I was in the full sun, and feeling tired. I wondered what Paul was doing.
At midday I hit the summit ridge above the east face and could see the top. The only thing between me and it seemed to be a 60-70deg ice slope leading up for about 100 metres to the last small snow step. “I can rappel that,” I thought, and whizzed up the ice with renewed vigour. A five-minute wander along the ridge had me on top. “Yippee! Now I can go down,” was my reaction. But not before identifying Beka Brakkai Chhok several kilometres away (on which I spent two fruitless expeditions in 2007 and 2008), and our base camp, 2600m below.
Two raps off V-threads got me close to the base of the ice slope, and another three off rock bollards saw me back at the start of the traverse, my heart in my mouth. The snow had deteriorated further and by the time I reached the far end and climbed back up onto the broad rib, I was in tears.
But progress down the rib was rapid and I soon cheered up. In no time I was back in the cwm. I sat down behind a large block of ice and had a couple of those gu-things and started to feel smug and pleased with myself. I set off again with a big grin!
Reversing the steep narrow gully between the ice cliffs required concentration, followed by a nasty traverse back to the slope above camp. I spent forty minutes cold welding a number six BD stopper into a rotten crack for an anchor, then 30m later repeated the procedure to rappel the final rock band. At this stage I could see the tent, and soon Paul stuck his head out the door, waved and disappeared again.
I felt such an enormous sense of relief when Paul hugged me I burst into tears for the second time. He had water melted and food ready and I was so appreciative, knowing how hard he had had to work to get to that height, sleeping in a plastic bag and all. After forty minutes he left to descend to ABC 1000 metres below-two nights in a plastic bag definitely beyond the call of duty! I fell sound asleep on my stomach in our BD First Light. On dusk I woke again, made another brew, and then passed out till 7am.
Descending the gully next day my legs were like jelly. Two 1000m days in succession, breaking trail, were beginning to take their toll. Paul was waiting at ABC, and we packed up and made our way slowly back to basecamp, Baig and our cook Naseer.
Back in Islamabad several days later, I was happy to spend the time before our flight watching Wimbledon on cable in my hotel room. While we’d been in the mountains there had been further bombings in nearby Peshawar and Rawalpindi and Nazir Sabir Expeditions was adamant we keep a low profile. But when Paul and I did venture into the city, time and time again we were approached by locals thanking us for visiting Pakistan in troubled times.
For me the expedition was extremely satisfying: a first ascent of a beautiful mountain, the opportunity to see Pakistan history in the making, and to support a struggling mountain based industry. Many thanks once again to Nazir Sabir Expeditions for their superb logistical support and to Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC Hilary Expedition Grant), The Mount Everest Foundation, WLGore Ltd (Shipton Tilman Award),Mountain Hardwear, Southern Approach/Black Diamond, Berhaus, DHL and the New Zealand Alpine Club for providing the funding and equipment to make the expedition happen.
Mountain Royality Fee discount continue for 2010Government of Pakistan
Ministry of Tourism
Green Trust Tower, Blue Area,
Islamabad the December 17, 2009
No. 7(11)/2009-OP. In supersession of all previous notifications regarding announcement of concessions for Mountaineering, Ministry of Tourism, Government of Pakistan has decided to continue reduction in royalty fee during the calendar Year 2010 as per details given below:
i) Zero royalty fee for peaks upto 6500-M.
ii) 10% royalty fee on mountains situated in Chitral, Gilgit and Ghizer except on Spantik/Golden Peak.
iii) 05% royalty fee on all peaks during winter season(December-February)
iv) 50% discount on royalty fee on all peaks except as mentioned in (i) and (ii) above as per following beak-up:
S.No. Height of Mountain 50% Discounted Fee for the Year 2010 (US$)
Full Team of 7 members Each Additional Member
1 K-2 8611 – M 6000 1000
2 8001 – 8500 – M 4500 750
3 7501 – 8000 – M 2000 250
4 7001 – 7500 - M 1250 150
5 6501 - 7000 - M 750 100