(By Raheel Adnan) Majority of Karakoram climbers start reaching Pakistan by this time of year and 2015 is no exception. After security clearance and permit issuance, first group of mountaineers will be starting the Base Camp trek tomorrow morning. Some teams are still in Skardu, sorting out official matters whereas others will be reaching Pakistan soon.
Swiss Team Resumes the Journey
Mike Horn, Fred Roux and Köbi Reichen drove from Switzerland to Skardu, Pakistan in SUVs. However, they were not allowed to start the trek to BC for two weeks due to issues in security clearance (clearance is mandatory for trekking in Baltoro region). The matter has now been sorted out as the team resumes the journey.
“At long last we are off to Askole! From where the hike starts and in 7 days we will be at Base Camp of K2. It has been a long wait for this moment. Everything worth doing is worth waiting for!” Mike Horn wrote this afternoon. “From here we are on foot”
Kobler & Partner GII Expedition was also in Skardu yesterday. The team was expected to leave for Askole, this morning.
Unlike Swiss team who drove to Skardu from North (via China), all other climbers travel to the city from Islamabad. The air service between Islamabad and Skardu is intermittent, majorly due to changing weather conditions. Hence, many teams are forced to embark a 20 hour road trip via Karakoram Highway.
After spending a busy day in Islamabad, Himex expedition flew to Skardu this morning. The team will be attempting K2, except one climber Billi Bierling who will be climbing Broad Peak.
“We should get our climbing permit in a day or so… and then leave for K2!” French climber Philippe Gatta wrote on Facebook.
Few other teams are still in Islamabad whereas many more teams will be reaching here soon. “After a stopover in Chicago with bad weather, we arrived in Abu Dhabi,” reported Peruvian Richard Hidalgo.
The Chilean GII climbers were scheduled to leave for Pakistan today. GII Ski team shall start the journey from Poland, tomorrow. The arrivals in Islamabad are expected to continue for more than two weeks from here.
Based in Pakistan, mountaineering enthusiast Raheel Adnan is a reporter for Explorersweb's mountaineering sections. He shares regular updates on Twitter and runs his own blog at Altitude Pakistan posting initiated climbing news from Himalaya and Karakoram.
Summer 2015 Coverage:
Summer 2015: Climbing Action in Karakoram Begins Soon
Gasherbrum I SW Face New Route: Czech Attempt 3
Swiss K2 2015: From Swtizerland to Skardu in Mercedes-Benz
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