The first Karakoram expedition of 2020 has begun. Our team consists of:
- Felix Berg, expedition leader
- Markus Hohle, Germany
- Patrick Münkel, Germany
- Gabriel Stroe, Germany
- Mirza Ali, Pakistan
The expedition leads into the Karakoram to Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan, where two unclimbed and unnamed mountains at 6000 meters altitude await us. They are located in the Shimshal Valley, a 75km long side valley of the Hunza Valley.
We come very close to the original meaning of expedition: There is very little information about the area, the goal of cartography is to check google maps (our main means of planning so far), with the GPS barometer watches we can measure the heights. And we get the best overview when we climb some of the mountain.
In the summer season 2020 we are the first foreign visitors in Gilgit-Baltistan. It is the first mountain expedition in Pakistan since the coronavirus lockdowns. Presumably this makes our expedition the first expedition for high altitude mountaineering worldwide in the summer 2020. In view of the current situation, we are taking precautions: All participants have been tested for Covid-19, wear masks and keep their distance along the trip to the base camp, and we also provide hygiene articles for the accompanying team. Some small restrictions and changes in personal behaviour allow us to enjoy the freedom of exploration in the mountains of the Karakorum.
The detailed expedition planning only started at the end of July 2020. As an alternative to the alpine walk-in expedition at Khan Tengri, which was not possible for Kyrgyzstan due to the deteriorating situation, this alternative idea was developed with helpful input from Mirza, who comes from Shimshal and knows the region there very well.
Our participants from Germany all arrived well in Islamabad today and are on their way to Karimabad, Hunza, where we want to meet today. Personally, I was in Pakistan on August 11th (opening was on August 9th) and very welcomed by Pakistani while preparing our expedition.
I am proud that we at SummitClimb.de are breaking the ice for expeditions. Thanks to our flexible and motivated team and let’s hope that some more expeditions will follow soon.
Best wishes from Hunza,