Three-vine bridge near Askole, Pakistan

Three-vine bridge near Askole, Pakistan

Imagine braiding thousands of weeping willow strands into 3-cm. ropes, then twisting several ropes into three 15-cm. hawsers. The hawsers become the tread and handrails of the bridge, with more of the smaller strands tying them together. This bridge connected two villages across the Braldu River, 2 days' walk downstream from the Baltoro Glacier. The bridge has since been replaced with a more modern version. Don't tell anyone, but this is an illegal picture. Because of the border conflict with India, bridges in Baltistan are considered strategic military assets, and photographing them is prohibited. Photo taken by Bill Noble in June, 1988. (I was out on the bridge - the guy on the left.)
Eric Sandbo
on Sep 7, 2009 12:28 pm
Image Type(s): Informational
Image ID: 550448


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Karrar Haidri

Karrar Haidri - Sep 7, 2009 2:18 pm - Voted 10/10

Great Shot

and Information.Thanks for Sharing ! Cheers

Eric Sandbo

Eric Sandbo - Sep 8, 2009 1:41 am - Hasn't voted


I scanned the slide over a year ago; I don't know why I haven't posted it before.


BLong - Sep 29, 2009 1:17 pm - Voted 10/10


Awesome shot! Thanks for sharing. Is this one of the bridges discussed in Three Cups of Tea?

Eric Sandbo

Eric Sandbo - Oct 2, 2009 9:00 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Wow

Well, now I'll have to read the book. I don't know.
In '88 the road to Askole had been closed by avalanches for a few years. We were on the way to Trango, and Askole was three days into the hike. This bridge wasn't part of it; three of us detoured an hour or two just to visit and photograph the bridge.
I hope I can find my photos of another bridge that was essential to us - a skinny double log bridge across an 80-foot deep limestone slot with the Braldu River roaring through.


BLong - Oct 2, 2009 6:24 pm - Voted 10/10

Re: Wow

You should definitely check out Three Cups of Tea. Really amazing book!

Sounds like a great adventure

Eric Sandbo

Eric Sandbo - Mar 18, 2010 5:44 pm - Hasn't voted

Three Cups of Tea

I got around to reading it last month. The bridge that now stands here was Greg Mortenson's first project. Here's a satellite view of the replacement bridge. Just SE, on the second plateau, you can see Korphe village and the new school. has a
photo of the school.

Click this picture to see it full-screen, and you'll see the bridge is in pretty sad shape. At the time of the book, this 3-vine bridge was already gone and replaced by a rickety box suspended from pulleys running along a taut cable. Our party found similar arrangements a few days up the Braldu, across a tributary stream.

Romuald Kosina

Romuald Kosina - Jan 18, 2010 1:06 pm - Voted 10/10


Thanks for this picture in "Bridges in mountains"!!!

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