Baltoro Kangri – Golden Throne in the North


PakPeak Baltoro Kangri (also known as the Golden Throne) is a mountain of the Karakoram  range in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. With an elevation of 7,312 m (23,990 ft) Baltoro Kangri is among the top 100 highest PakPeaks.

PakPeak Sia Kangri on the left and Baltoro Kangri on Right.

Almost 60 km long Baltoro Glacier which is one of the largest glaciers outside polar regions rises from the foot of Baltoro Kangri.Baltoro Kangri  lies to the south of the PakPeak Gasherbrums and east of PakPeak Chogolisa (7,665 m). In the north of Baltoro Kangri is the Abruzzi Glacier emerging from foot of  PakPeak  K2.

Baltoro Sub Group of six PakPeaks with PakPeak Chogolisa and PakPeak Sia Kangri in view. (Source: Peak Baggers)

Boltoro Kangri is part of  PakPeaks Chogolisa Group that consists of almost 18 PakPekas including five Baltoro Kangris (I,II,III,IV and V) and PakPeak Pioneer as sub peak / subsidiary  of Boltoro Kangri I.For ease of reference these six closely located PakPeaks can be mentioned separately as a Baltoro Kangri Sub Group within the larger PakPeaks Chogolisa Group.

First Climbing Expedition – Tokyo University Ski Alpine Club 1963 

Pak Peak Gasherbrum IV, VII, VI with Baltoro Kangri on the right. (Source: Wikipedia)

In 1963, a Japanese expedition made the first ascent of Baltoro Kangri. The expedition consisted of nine members from Tokyo University Ski Alpine Club led by Seihei Kato.The details  were reported as fol:-

“ Our objective was 23,990-foot Baltoro Kangri, formerly often called Golden Throne. Our party was composed of Professor Seihei Kato, leader; Dr. Hyoriki Watanabe, deputy leader; Sumio Shima, Keiko Fujimoto, Kiyoki Okada, Takeo Shibata, Shoji Seki, Masaru Kono, Matoo Yanagisawa, Naoyuki Morita, Yoshichika Takenouchi, Tokutaro Noguchi; and the Pakistani liaison officer, Captain M. Afsar Khan.

Travel to Skardu in Baltistan was accomplished on June 16. Three days later, crossing the Indus River, we set out with more than 200 native porters. During the march along the Shigar River, unfortunately the leader had to go back to Skardu because of the deterioration of his arthritis. The party, led by the deputy leader, reached Askole after eight days, where it was forced to stay a few days because of the unexpected flood of the Braldo River and the damage to the rope bridge over the Dumordo valley.

However, the march was continued along the Baltoro Glacier until the party reached Base Camp (17,000 feet) at the foot of the South Gasherbrum Glacier on July 12.Mountaineering activity started immediately. Although the establishment of the advanced camps required us to swim in deep snow and do acrobatic feats on the bottomless crevasses, we set up successively

 – Camp I, Upper Abruzzi Glacier (18,375 feet) July 16;

 – Camp II, on the way to Conway saddle (19,675 feet) July 20;

–  Camp III, above Conway saddle (21,325 feet) July 26;

–  Camp IV, beneath ridge of eastern peak of Baltoro Kangri (22,800 feet) August 2.

Native porters were used only up to Camp II; afterwards we carried all loads ourselves because we considered it more efficient to do so.Early on August 3, the two attack members, Shibata and Kono, left Camp IV, blessed with fine weather. Deep snow and a steep ice wall lay in ambush on their way to hinder their quick approach to the summit and forced them to bivouac on the main ridge of Baltoro Kangri.

Next morning, after four hours of gasping struggle against the steep snow flank, they were at their goal. It was August 4. Another two climbers, Shima and Fujimoto, who started from Camp IV on the same morning followed the same route and stood on the summit 30 minutes after the first conquest. The party left Base Camp on August 12 and came back to Skardu on the 24 th August.

References :

www.peakbagger.com

www.wikipedia.org

www.americanalpineclub.org


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Deaths on K2


K2 due to its high fatality rate is called as the savage mountain. Most fatal accidents in K2 ‘s history include 1986 Disaster (thirteen dead) , 1995 (six dead) and 2008 (eleven dead).The reasons for K2’s lethality includes rock fall and avalanches, unpredictable weather, steep altitude, limited numbers of routes and lack of oxygen. According to 8000ers.com so far only 302 people have completed the ascent and at least 81 people have died attempting the climb.

The Great Loop – (Askole-Concodia-Gondogoro La)

Part I – K2 Base Camp Trek ( Skardu – Askole – Concordia)

Almost one week long Askole-Concordia trek to K2 Base Camp has the status of being one of the most spectacular in the world.

In the words of Fosco Maraini beyond Askole, the last human habitat, one enters into “The Greatest Museum of Shapes and Forms”.

  • Askole
  • Korofan
  • Jola
  • Payu is almost 34 km from Askole and takes couple of days to reach after passing by Korofan and Jola.
  • Beyond Payu, alled as the gate keeper , highest peaks of the Karakoram start coming in sight and trek moves along  64 km long Boltoro Glacier, one of the biggest outside the polar region.
  • Liligo is 10 kilometers from Payu
  • Urdokas is further 10 km ahead
  • Goro is 12 km ahead  of Urdukas
  • Concordia – It takes 4 to 5 hours from Goro to reach Concordia.

Part  II- Concordia

The name Concordia is of Latin origin, meaning ‘harmony with the heart’ and was first used by a British mountaineer for a place where two or more glaciers meet. Famously called as the “The Mountaineer’s Paradise”, Concordia is at the end of weeklong Askole – Baltoro trail that leads to K2 Base camp. Concordia is an amphitheater of mountains and a major crossroads where two glaciers and several trekking routes meet. It is the confluence of 65km long Baltoro Glacier and the Godwin-Austen Glacier.

  • From Concordia, on all side, within a distance of 24 kilometers, rise up ten of worlds thirty highest mountains hence honoring the site with the largest concentration of the highest peaks on earth.
  • Concordia offers short treks to base camps of four 8000ers pak peaks all lying within a radius of 21km.
  • K2 (5–6 hours) in North ,
  • Broad Peak (2–3 hours)
  • Gasherbrum I&II (7–8 hours) in east all lying within a radius of 21km.

Part III – GONDOGORO LA / PASS (5615m) 

View of Hushe valley from Godogoro Pass

Gondogoro Pass – Located 25 km south of K2, the 5615m high Gondogoro pass connects Concordia to the Hushe Valley. It also connects the Gondogoro Glacier on the southwest and the Vigne Glacier on the northeast .On the southwest side, the route down from the pass descends into the Hushe village which contains the uppermost settlements of the Ghangche District.

Gondogoro Pass (or La as it is in the local language) is a very impressive pass. Many teams choose to walk out this way because of the outstanding views from the pass summit. PakPeak Masherbrum (7821m) is very close and to NW one see the whole Gasherbrum group, PakPeak Chogolisa (7665m) and  PakPeak Baltoro Kangri (7800m). To the north PakPeak K2 and Broad Peak are visible. In the south the extraordinary PakPeak Laila can be seen.

  • From Concordia to Ali Camp (One Day)

From Concordia it’s a long day’s walk to Ali Camp. First you walk past PakPeak Mitre and head up the next valley/glacier on your right hand side. Watch out for rock falls when entering the valley.When approaching Ali Camp, watch out for crevasses. Ali Camp has a 100 Rs./night fee. Ridiculous prices for “nature preservation” (there’s loads of garbage all over the place), “guiding services” (I never saw any guides when I walked over the pass) and “security” (some bad plastic ropes, attached in extremely bad way is to be seen close to the summit of Gondogoroa Pass) has to be paid. For 1-3 persons it’s 2500 Rps. For 4-8 persons it’s 4500 Rps. The pass is privately owned.

  • From Ali Camp To Gondogoro La (3-4 Hours)

It could take 5-7 hours to reach the pass from Ali Camp. For an acclimatized mountaineer, this is about 3-4 hours. It can be very windy on top of the pass, as it is a lot of elevation drop on the SW side. It’s quite steep on this side (40-45 degrees). There are glaciers in the middle of the glacier further down.

  • From Gondogoro La to Xhuspang/Shispang (Camp Site)

The path gets really good before the little camp site of  Xhuspang / Shispang , where you also can get very basic meals.

  • From Xhuspang/Shispang to Shaishcho (Camp Site)

The glacier gets more difficult to travel after the camp and when you have passed the first rocky part and entered the main valley, stay to the left all the time. Doing so makes you avoid all the large crevasses and the left hand side is also the side you leave the valley on. When at the bottom of the first valley, take a left and enter some very nice meadows with yaks. Excellent views of sharp peaks. Some tricky, slide sections have to be passed. The walk gets easier again when heading down the lower part of the Gondogoro glacier towards Shaishcho. In this little settlement you can eat and pitch your tent under nice-smelling wild roses.

  • From Shaishcho to Hushe

It’s a very easy 3 hour walk to Hushe.

  • From Hushe to Skardu 

The Hushe – Skardu road is of awful condition for the first couple of hours. From close to Khaplu the road is asphalt all the way into Askole. Count on few  hours from Hushe to Skardu.

Well come back after completing the great Loop.

 

 

 

Gorakh – Highest Pak Peak of Sindh

Gorakh Hill – Highest PakPeak of Sindh

Gorakh (Sindhi: گورک‎), (Urdu: گورکھ‎) is a Hill Station of Sindh, Pakistan. It is situated at an elevation of 5,689 ft (1,734 m) in the Kirthar Mountains, 94 kilometres (58 mi) northwest of Dadu city.

The name Gorakh is derived from the Brahvi language in which, word “Gurgh” means Wolf and that Balochi language word “Gurkh” is later dialectic adaptation of Brahvi language word Gurgh meaning wolf.

Gorakh Hill Station is situated on one of the highest plateaus of Sindh, spread over 2,500 acres (10 km2) of land.

Gorakh’s elevation gives it a special climate, with sub-zero temperatures during winter and generally below 20 °C in summer, with about 120 mm of average annual rainfall.

The Government of Sindh is in the process of constructing a new road from Dadu to Gorakh Hill. There is a new rest house for visitors on the hill. Tourists can arrange their own transport from Sehwan Sharif to the hill station.


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Top Ten Pak Peaks

PakPeak-1 ( K2/Chogori/Godwin Austen-8611m)

Chogori also called as K2 or Godwin Austin Peak is second to one only. Located on the China –Pakistan border it is part of Karakoram Range.K2 due to its consistently steep pyramid, dropping quickly in almost all directions and difficulty of ascent is known to have one of the highest fatality rate. Locally the term 2 in its name is associated with the killing of at least two persons per year on average.The mountain experiences extreme storms of several days’ duration and has never been climbed in winter. Ashraf Aman was the first Pakistani mountaineer to climb K2 in 1977 along with an Italian expedition.

Source: Wikipedia

PakPeak-2 (Nanga Parbat- 8125 m)

Nanga Parbat with 8125 m is second highest Pak Peak and the 9th highest in the world. It is located in the Diamir Group of mountains  and  Astore District of Giligit-Baltistan province.  As part of Himalaya Range it is the western-most of the 14 8,000 meter peaks. Nanga Parbat translates to “Naked Mountain” in English. Known as the “Killer Mountain,”  it was one of the deadliest of the eight-thousanders for climbers in the first half of the twentieth century. It has three faces, Diamir , Rakhiot and Rupal. Face.Nanga Parbat apart from Mount Everest is one of only two peaks on Earth that rank in the top twenty of both the highest mountains in the world, and the most prominent peaks in the world, ranking ninth and fourteenth respectively. Nanga Parbat along with Namcha Barwa on the Tibetan Plateau mark the west and east ends of the Himalayas.

Source : Tahsin Anwar Ali

PakPeak-3 (Gasherbrum  I – 8080m)

Gasherbrum I  or  K5  is also called as Hidden Peak due to its remoteness is located on the Pakistan-China border in Gilgit-Baltistan region. It is the third highest Pak Peak and ranked 11th in the world. As a part of the Gasherbrum massif, it is located in the Karakoram  region of the Himalaya.

Source : Dr Olaf Rieck

PakPeak-4  (K3,Broad Peak – 8051m)

 

Source : Kogo through Wikipedia

Broad Peak is a 8,051m (26,414 ft) mountain peak in the Karakoram Range in Gilgit-Baltistan. As the fourth highest Pak Peak it ranks number 12 in the world.The nearest peaks are Gasherbrum IV, Marble Peak, Angelsar s,  Gasherbrum III, K2, and  Gasherbrum II.The local name is Falchan Kangri and is called as Broad peak due to its peculiar flat top.

PakPeak-5 (K4, Gasherbrum  II – 8035m)

Source : Wikipedia

Gasherbrum II is a 26,362 ft / 8,035 m mountain peak in the Karakoram Range loctaed on the border of Xinjiang, China and Gilgit Baltistan Pakistan. Based on Pak Peaks data it ranks as the fifth Pak Peak and 13 th in the world. The nearby peaks include  Gasherbrum III, Gasherbrum II East, Gasherbrum IV, Gasherbrum I, Broad Peak, and Baltoro Kangri.

PakPeak-6  (Gasherbrum IV – 7925m)

Photo Credit : Rizwan Siddique (needs confirmation)

PakPeak Gasherbrum IV  is a category B1 (7500-7999m) PakPeak.It is one of the peaks in the Gasherbrum massif  and is 17th highest mountain on Earth and the 6th highest in Pakistan. The Gasherbrums  are a remote group of peaks located at the northeastern end of the Baltoro Glacier in the Karakoram range of the Himalaya. The massif contains three of the world’s 8,000 metre peaks (including Broad Peak). Gasherbrum is often claimed to mean “Shining Wall”, presumably a reference to the highly visible west face of PakPeak Gasherbrum IV. However  the word comes from “rgasha” (beautiful) and “brum” (mountain) in Balti, hence it actually means “beautiful mountain.”

PakPeak-7   (Distaghil Sar- 7885m)

Photo Credit : Rizwan Siddique

The mesmerizing and mysterious Disteghil Sar Standing at 7885m, is the 8th highest peak in Pakistan and 19th highest mountain on earth. It is the highest mountain in the Hispar Muztagh, a subrange of the Karakoram mountain range, in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. The mountain has an about 3 km long top ridge above 7400m with three distinct summits.Read more about this Seventh wonder of Pakistan here.

PakPeak-8 (Kunyang Chhish – 7852m)

Photo Credit : Rizwan Siddique

Kunyang Chhish is the second-highest mountain in the Hispar Muztagh, a sub range of the Karakoram mountains of Pakistan. Alternate variations of the name include Kunyang Kish and Khiangyang Kish, among others. It is ranked 21st in the world and 9 th by Pak Peaks. Khunyang Chhish lies in the heart of the Hispar Muztagh, north of the Hispar Glacier, one of the major glaciers of the Karakoram. It rises on the southwest side of the Khunyang Glacier while Distaghil Sar (the highest peak of the Hispar Muztagh) dominates the glacier on its northern end.

  • Kunyang Chhish Main, 7852 m
  • Kunyang Chhish South, 7620 m, 700 m SSW, with a prominence of only about 100 m
  • Kunyang Chhish East7400 m, 2 km ESE, 240 m prominence.
  • Kunyang Chhish West, 7350 m, 1.5 km W, 170 m prominence. Also known asPyramid Peak.
  • Kunyang Chhish North, 7108 m, 6 km NNE, 517 m prominence

PakPeak-9  (Masherbrum,K1 – 7,821m)

Source: Summitpost.org

PakPeak  K1 commonly called as Masherbrum is located in the Ghanche District, Gilgit Baltistan of Pakistan. At 7,821 metres (25,659 ft) it is the 22nd highest mountain in the world and the 9th highest in Pakistan. It was the first officially mapped peak in the Karakoram mountain range, hence its name. The meaning of the name “Masherbrum” is not entirely clear. It may come from mashadar (muzzle-loading gun) plus brum(mountain), from the resemblance of the double summit to an old muzzle-loader. It may also come from masha (queen or lady), giving “queen of peaks.” Masherbrum is the highest peak of the Masherbrum Mountains, a subrange of the Karakoram range. It is a large and striking peak, which is somewhat overshadowed by the nearby 8,000 metres (26,000 ft) peaks of the main range of the Karakoram which includes four of the fourteen Eight-thousanders, namely K2, Gasherbrum I, Broad Peak and Gasherbrum II.

PakPeak-10 ( Batura I – 7795m)

It is Pakistan Number 10 Peak and is the highest peak of Batura Muztagh  which is the westren most subrange of karakorum Range. The other Batura peaks include  Batura II (7762m), (E) Batura III (7729m).

The Western Karakoram in winter conditions. The Batura Muztagh from the northeast showing the distant high peaks of (A) Muchu Chhish (7453m), (B) Batura IV (7594m), (C) Batura I (7785m), (D) Batura II (7762m), (E) Batura III (7729m), (F) Sani Pakkush (6952m), (G) Seiri Porkush (6872m), (H) Kampire Dior (7143m), (I) Pamiri Sar (7016m), (J) Kuk Sar I (6943m) and (K) Kuk Sar II (6925m). The lower peaks closer to the camera and on the right side of the image lie immediately south of the Chapursan Valley. [Photo] Lindsay Griffin

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