SA Quake Update: More climbers needed in Indian Kashmir!

Posted: Nov 21, 2005 04:53 pm EST

( Early this month, ADEPTs Director Dr. Gauthamadas issued a desperate appeal to all climbers through Snowfall, freezing temperatures and lack of resources combined were making it virtually impossible for local medical teams to reach all the victims of the October 8th earthquake.

In a months time most of the villages will become inaccessible except to seasoned arctic explorers and climbers, said Gauthamadas. His appeal, plain and simple: Dear Explorers, now is the time for you to do what you do best.

More climbers needed spread the word!

ADEPTs creative solution to the crisis: assemble a team of experienced mountaineers and have them carry medical supplies and food to affected villagers through snow, ice, and debris fields. Once on sight, the teams are to provide first aid and medical assistance to villagers and carry the critically ill to the main hospital in the Baramulla region.

The response from the climbing community has been instantaneous: In less than two weeks, a dozen climbers have already joined the team. However, there is work for many more.

We need to recruit more volunteers, UK volunteer Douglas Briton called out yesterday. Douglas is also requesting all climbers spread the word through internet forums, printed media, boards at climbing walls and sport shops, etc. The idea is to reach everyone and anyone that can provide assistance. Climbers won't volunteer unless they know we need help, he said.

Christmas in Kashmir welcome to a troubled land

The volunteers should be ready to leave everything behind for about three months and spend Christmas and winter Kashmir. But the region is not without its dangers, and people should be aware of these. Last year, hundreds of people died in several avalanches following record snowfalls.

Once ADEPTs crew has enough volunteers, local authorities will have to find a way to actually grant their access to Kashmir. A conflicted area disputed between India and Pakistan for years, the region hosts armed groups of its own and is generally closed to foreigners. Military forces that control the zone are now considering admitting volunteer climbers, but paperwork is extremely slow despite the desperate situation for those looking to survive the upcoming winter.

We are taking up the issue of permissions with the office of the Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir, Briton said. As soon as we get the permits, we will take up the issue of security with the army. References and letters of invitation are not a problem, but they will be of no use unless we can get the permits and sort out security issues. We are totally on the ball here, but, as you know, these things move at their own pace, emergency or not.

Door-to-door healing

ADEPT and its partners are providing medical attention throughout the Baramulla district, Indian Kashmir. The aid groups cover a large amount of neighboring villages, at distances ranging from 30 to 80 km from the town of Baramulla. Usually, their medical teams drive two to three hours to the nearest road access point and then set out on foot to the villages two to four hours over land-slides and mountain slopes. Upon reaching the village they move door-to-door offering treatment.

Despite the difficult terrain, ADEPT has treated more than 8,000 patients in the last few weeks alone. However, the medical teams wont be able to reach the villages once the roads and tracks are covered with snow. Then - it will be your turn, guys.

How to help?


Climbers, trekkers and volunteers ready to help in Indian Kashmir or seeking further information, please contact ADEPT crew at:

Academy for Disaster Management Education Planning & Training
#403, 4th Floor, 'B' Block, Prince Gardens
40 Thambusamy Road, Kilpauk
Chennai 600010 - India
Tel: 52602403(D), 52602407
Fax: 52602404

Alpinclub Sachsen team:

Mail if you want to help. Find also a bank account set up for donations to the project at

Alpinclub Sachsen e.V.
Donation account Pakistan
Account Holder: Alpinclub Sachsen e.V.
Account Number: 030 866 28 02
BLZ 850 800 00
Dresdner Bank AG IBAN DE39 850 800 00

Field Touring Alpine:

Send your donated gear via:

Post (within Australia):

Drop gear off at any Mountain Designs Store in WA or to any Mountain Designs stores located in the capital cities of:
Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne or Perth. For a full list of recipient stores please, check FTA's website (check first link in links section).

Post (in the US - before November 18th):
The American Alpine Club
Pakistan Relief Fund
710 Tenth Street, Suite #100
Golden, CO 80401

Further information in the UK:
Contact Roland Hunter
Ph: 0207 498 0953
A drop off network is currently being finalized For UK donors.


Alpine Club of Pakistan:

Contact ACP for further information, or donate via the following back account:

Lt Col (Retd) Manzoor Hussain,
Alpine Club of Pakistan
National Bank of Pakistan Cantonment Branch,
Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

Greg Mortenson's Central Asia Institute:

Contact Central Asia Institute at:
PO Box 7209
Bozeman, MT 59771
Phone 406 585 7841
Fax 406 585 5302

#Mountaineering #Mountaineering

ADEPT and its partners are providing medical assistance in the Baramulla district, Indian Kashmir. Despite the difficulties, ADEPT has tended to more than 8,000 patients in the last few weeks alone. However, the medical teams fear they wont be able to reach the villages once the roads and tracks are covered with snow.
ADEPT's medical team on their way to the affected villages some weeks ago - in still nice weather. The area will be covered in snow and avalanche-prone very soon. All images courtesy of ADEPT.

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