An international mountaineering team, comprising 20 climbers, has come to Pakistan to reach the K2 (8,611 meters) and Broad Peak (8,047 meters) peaks, a member of the Pakistan Alpine Club (ACP) announced on Sunday.
The expedition was organized by the US-based mountain guide service Madison Mountaineering, which includes 10 Nepalese, five British, four Americans and one Ukrainian. “The team led by famous American mountaineer Garrett Christian Madison visited Gilgit-Baltistan on Sunday,” said ACP Secretary Karrar Haidri.
The climbers are expected to complete their expedition by the end of August, he added.
According to Haidri, “Sixteen team members will attempt the K2 summit while as many will climb Broad Peak. Some of them will try to climb both summits, ”he added.
Pakistan relaxed its ban on Nepalese citizens two weeks ago over concerns over the Delta strain of Covid-19. “They (Nepalese climbers) are considered an essential part of any mountaineering expedition. Therefore, the Pakistani government allowed their entry under strict measures. They are required to provide proof of full vaccination and two PCR tests, ”Haidri argued.
He said the formalities for the expedition have been completed by the ACP on behalf of the Gilgit-Baltistan Tourism Department, which is the climbing permit issuing authority. Mountaineers have also been urged to strictly adhere to environmental conservation measures when on the Baltoro Glacier in accordance with ACP guidelines.
In addition to co-leader Lakpa Sherpa and Mingma Dorchi, the Nepalese team includes Sanu Sherpa, Pemba Sherpa, Chhiring Sherpa, Mingma Sherpa, Pemba Sherpa, Lakpa Sherpa and Tashi Sherpa.
Dorchi holds the six-hour speed record to connect the peaks of Everest and Lhotse in 2019 and has already climbed K2 twice. He has also led teams to Annapurna and Everest and will attempt to accomplish yet another feat this year by climbing K2, the secretary said.
Besides Garrett Madison, other American climbers are Conan Bliss, Alexander Pancoe and Chase Allan Merriam.
British climbers include Jonathan Gupta, Robert Smith, Robert Richard, Rebecca Jane Ferry and Kenton Edward. Ukrainian Oksana Litynska is also part of the squad.
He praised the Pakistani government’s decision to ease visa restrictions and facilitate tourists as highly commendable. “I believe this will end a period of nothingness [due to Covid-19] and there will be a lot of climbing activities in this country, ”he added.
Posted in The Express Tribune, June 28e, 2021.