Returning just in time for the 6,7 aftershock - German climber Jens Sommerfeld was right at home this time. Image Alpinclub Sachsen. (Click to enlarge)
Map of Kashmir courtesy of ADEPT. (Click to enlarge)
Awarded ExplorersWebs Best of 2005, this time Markus Walter's (image) brother Christan bagged the season's first summit in Pakistan - in a fist ascent!
"They carry our loads high up the Karakorum glaciers wearing ragged clothes and flip flops. Yet when one of us gets stuck on a mountain wall, they send an army to save us. That's why we should care about the major earthquake in Pakistan, wrote ExplorersWeb.
"The United Nations has called the aftermath of SW Asia's worst earthquake the world's toughest relief operation, worse than last year's tsunami, or this year's Hurricane Katrina. Image of Balakot school, by Sarfraz Khan, a Central Asia Institute field manager in Balakot. (Click to enlarge.)
"These children, whose learning stopped on October 8th, could become easy targets for extremist groups with duplicitous agendas and ideology," wrote Greg Mortenson. Image of Balakot school by Sarfraz Khan, a Central Asia Institute field manager in Balakot a couple days ago.(Click to enlarge.)
In some areas, an entire generation is lost. Image courtesy of Saltoro Summits.
An image is worth a thousand words. By Muzamil Jaleel, courtesy of The North Face team (click to enlarge).
The Germans continued their hands-on work at the light of headlamps, earth trembling below them. Image Alpinclub Sachsen. (Click to enlarge)
Daybreak begins with the Muecin chanting in the middle of the night, before 5:00 am. Heading to the restroom, our breath freezes. Above, a fairy tale starry sky straight out of the Arabian nights, contrasted below by a toilet straight out of Alcatraz I glance for shooting stars, and then return to my sleeping bag. Two hours later, I wake up again everything is trembling, the air filling with dust. It lasts only some seconds, dispatched the German doctors. The same Taurid shower was photograph..
Australian Karakorum expedition outfitter Field Touring Alpine donated all expedition tents they had stored in Skardu, and launched a vast campaign to collect tents and sleeping bags. Image courtesy of FTA.
FTA's Dave Hancock (to attempt K2 in 2006) and Stefan Fabien with the first trailer load of goods from the Perth Mountain Designs store. Outdoor enthusiasts across Australia are dropping their gear into pick up points to help Pakistan's quake victims. (Image: Tim Caporn/Deen Hotel, click to enlarge)
American Don Bowie, who attempted Broad Peak this past summer, was one of the first to volunteer when ADEPT called out for climbers to help in Kashmir. Don is currently the US response to the appeal. A total of 50 climbers have volunteered already. Image of Don this summer with K2 in the background, courtesy of Don Bowie (click to enlarge).
Within a month, The North Face team visited and distributed aid to almost 1000 families. In one day alone, 5 time Everest summiteer Willie Benegas (far right) and Dr. Zameer visited over 150 houses writing vouchers to families for foam and stoves. Image courtesy of The North Face. (Click to enlarge)
Over in Pakistan, a two-man team led by Canadian climber Claude-André Nadon (Cho Oyu and Cerro Torre summits, BP, K2 Everest attempts) was working 7 days a week and 15 hours a day to coordinate deliveries of over 8,000 shelter kits to isolated mountain communities in Northern Pakistan, right on the infamous Line of Control in quake-struck Muzzaffarabad.
In the midst of the devastation - aa amazing event began to unfold. November 7, the Pakistan - India disputed border that had been closed since their 1965 war re-opened. Image of Pakistan's minister of Tourism Doctor Sayid G G Jamal while addressing the Pakistan Alpine Club workshop, courtesy of Saltoro Summits (click to enlarge).
For the first time in decades, Pakistan could permit tourists' access through the line of Control, into India-controlled territories. Azad-Kashmir used to be a favorite spot for locals to spend their summer holidays. Image of Azad-Kashmir, by ISI, courtesy of Worldisround (click to enlarge).
The German surgeon and his assistant despaired, overcome with depression upon their arrival back in Islamabad. At one point, the doc had treated over 150 patients in a few days, but it was never enough. Image Alpinclub Sachsen. (Click to enlarge).
Government estimates put the reconstruction costs at US$ 5 billion - international aid agencies having committed just one fifth of it. The Red Cross received over $ 1.2 billion for the Katrina disaster and $ 500 million for the Indian Ocean Tsunami, but less than $2 million for Pakistan's disaster relief work by November. "In the face of this catastrophy, the dismal response from wealthy countries is a travesty of humanity," wrote climber Greg Mortenson.
Posted: Dec 29, 2005 04:08 am EST SUBSCRIBER CONTENT PREVIEW FOR FULL STORY: LOGIN OR SUBSCRIBE NOW - UP TO 3 MONTHS FREE
We have covered hundreds of expeditions in 2005. It's difficult to choose the best, as they all contributed in their own way, sharing their story - their very soul in fact - with us and the world. And yet, there are those who continue to linger in our minds long after their final debrief. We have chosen 8 expeditions who have contributed in an extraordinary way to the Spirit of Adventure in the year of 2005. Today number 4: Christian Walter and Jens Sommerfeldt, German Alpinclub Sachsen October 8, 2005 a 7.6 earthquake with...