This update is a week old. I tried to send it on the 4th but for
some reason the email wasn’t sent. And after that I haven’t had internet
access until now.
Anyway, from now on the
updates will come regularly. /Fredrik
Expedition - Update 1
A lot has happened the
last few days. Some good and some bad.
I arrived in Islamabad
last Sunday without any problems. I didn’t miss any flights, all my bags
arrived, even the gear that I sent by cargo a couple of weeks ago was in
Islamabad waiting for me. Chocking!
But as always on my trips,
some things doesn't go as planned. This time it wasn't me but my climbing
partner Michele who got into trouble. When I was about to board the plane in
Frankfurt I got an sms from Michele saying: “Do you have Pakistan Visa? I stop
in airport because I don’t have Visa“. Apparently Michele had forgot to get
the Visa that one needs to enter Pakistan. That turned out to be a small
problem. Michele went to the Embassy of Pakistan in Milano last Monday and got
the Visa in one day and could get on a plane for Pakistan two days later. So
today when he joined me here in Skardu we could just laugh about that
A much less entertaining
thing was the news we got from the Ministry of Tourism. The other day I went
there on what I thought was the regular "sign some papers and smile" exercise
and I would walk away with the climbing permit for K2 and trekking permit for
Laila Peak. But that was not the case. We got the climbing permit for K2
alright but they didn't give us the trekking permit to go to Laila Peak. I
tried to ask them why and the funny thing was that they didn't have an answer.
They just said NO. We put in a second application for the trekking permit but
it didn't help. The answer was the same. I'm very disappointed that we can't
go to Laila Peak since that, along with K2, was the big goal of this trip.
It's hard to see anything positive in that now but I guess in a few days I
might find something.
Other than that I have
started to feel some movements in my stomach and lost my appetite. I must have
caught some sort of bug which is not uncommon when you travel to Pakistan. So
far it's not so bad and I've started to eat antibiotics. Hopefully it will be
all gone in a few days.
The good things then..
Well, we are on the way towards K2. It has been my dream for many years now
and finally it is happening. So things could be worse.
Tomorrow we will drive up
to Askole and from there we will start the six days long trek towards K2 base
camp. More news when we arrive in base camp around June 11.
Tierra, Osprey, Hestra, Grivel, Adidas Eyewear
Tissot, Giro, Scarpa, Primus,
Garmin, Honey Stinger, Ortovox, Exped, Jämtport
Background: K2 and
Laila Peak Ski Expedition 2009
This summer I’m going to
Pakistan with my Italian friend Michele Fait to try to climb and ski the
world’s second highest mountain K2 (8612m).
As acclimatization for K2
we will make an attempt to ski Laila Peak (6069m).
The expedition starts on
May 30 when we will fly to Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. We will spend a
few days in the city for meetings with the Pakistan Alpine club to organize
climbing permit and with our trekking agency Karakurum Magic Mountain (KMM).
KMM helps us with all the logistics in Pakistan and will set us up with a base
camp team that will cook food for Michele and I when we are in base camp.
From Islamabad we have a
one hour flight up north to Skardu, the last town before we hit the mountains.
Skardu is our last opportunity to pick up gear and food that we need for our
two months stay in the mountains. Epi gas for our Primus stoves, chips and
chocolate bars are some of the things we will buy in Skardu. From Skardu a
five hours drive takes us to the small village of Hushe at the end of the
road. From there on we will continue on foot. Around June 6 we start the two
days trek towards Laila Peak.
is one of the most beautiful mountains in Pakistan - if not the world -with
its summit forming a perfect needle shape. The peak is synonymous with its
northwest face which drops down the mountains at almost uniform gradient
forming a giant ramp. Its northern and eastern sides consist of contrasting
steep granite. The mountain is located east of
the Gondogoro glacier and west of the Chogolisa Glacier in the Masherbrum
Mountains of Baltistan. Most people have set eyes on the peak after crossing
the Gondogoro La from Concordia.
The first ascent was by a four man British
team including Simon Yates, Sean Smith and Mark Miller who climbed the peak in
1987 via the west face from the Gondogoro Glacier. Simon Yates dedicated a
chapter in his book The Flame of Adventure on the ascent of Laila Peak.
With approximately 1500m ascent the
mountain can be climbed in alpine style in one day but many people will choose
to bivi on route then summit and descend on the second day. Climbing is
mid-grade with an inclination of no more than 55 degrees.
In 2005 Jörgen Aamot and I made two
attempts to climb and ski the northwest face of Laila Peak. On both occasions
the top section was too icy to ski so we turned around at 5950m and skied down
to the Gondogoro Glacier (4500m). It’s my favorite ski descent of all times.
Until this day no one has skied from the summit of Laila Peak.
This summer we will spend about two weeks
on Laila Peak. It will be the perfect warm-up for K2 and hopefully we can ski
from the summit this time.
K2 is the second highest mountain in the
world and is located on the border between China and Pakistan. Reinhold
Messner called K2 the "Mountain of Mountains" after his ascent in 1979. This
pyramid of a mountain is right in the heart of the Karokoram Range and can be
seen in its entirety from Concordia. It is at the head of the Godwin Austin
Glacier which unites with a second glacier at Concordia to form the famous
Baltoro Glacier. It is said to be the ultimate climb, since many consider it
to be much more technically challenging than Mount Everest.
The name K2 is derived from the notation
used by the Great Trigonometric Survey. On 10 September 1856, Thomas
Montgomerie made the first survey of the Karakoram from Mount Haramukh, some
130 miles to the south, and sketched the two most prominent peaks, labeling
them K1 and K2.
In 1954 the Italians Lino
Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni were the first to summit K2. They climbed the
Abruzzi ridge. After the 2008 season K2 has been climbed 298 times but so far
no one has managed to make a complete ski descent of K2.
K2 is known as the Savage
Mountain due to the difficulty of ascent and the high fatality rate among
those who climb it. For every four people who
have reached the summit, one has died trying. Among the eight-thousanders, K2
has the second highest climbing mortality rate.
After Laila Peak we will arrive at K2 base
camp around June 20. Then we will use about three weeks for acclimatization
before we try for the summit. The route we will try to climb and ski is called
The Cesen Route and is the south-southeast ridge.
I will post news and photos regularly from
the K2 Expedition so that you follow our progress.
Sponsors: Dynastar, Tierra, Osprey,
Hestra, Grivel, Adidas Eyewear
Supporters: Tissot, Giro,
Scarpa, Primus, Garmin, Honey Stinger, Ortovox, Exped, Jämtport
weather, high altitude double boot for extreme conditions The Olympus
Mons is the perfect choice for 8000-meter peaks. This super lightweight
double boot has a PE thermal insulating inner boot that is coupled with
a thermo-reflective outer boot with an integrated gaiter. We used a
super insulating lightweight PE outsole to keep the weight down and the
TPU midsole is excellent for crampon compatibility and stability on
steep terrain. WEIGHT: 39.86 oz • 1130 g LAST: Olympus Mons
CONSTRUCTION: Inner: Slip lasted Outer: Board Lasted OUTER BOOT: Cordura®
upper lined with dual-density PE micro-cellular thermal insulating
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See more here.