Friday, 29 May 2015

Modern Mountaineering and Trekking

      The wild animals such as snow leopards, ibex, and elusive Marco Polo sheep were the only visitors on the mountains of north Pakistan.
One of the first real mountaineering expeditions was in 1892. Sir W martin Conway, with the painter A D Mc Cormick took a Swiss guide from Saas, set off from Hunza crossed the Hispar Pass (5600 m) and gave the name of Snow Lake to great white expanse below the Hispar Pass. They descended the Biafo Glacier to Askole, then explored to Baltoro Glacier and gave to the confluence of glaciers at its head the name the Concordia after the place of de la concorde in Paris. They made an attempt on Baltoro Kangri (7312 m) reaching the spur on the north side, which they called the Pioneer Peak.
    In 1895, A F Mummery, the veteran of the Alps, made the first attempt on Nanga Parbat. He approached b y the Rupal Valley, climbed Tarashing Peak and crossed the Mazino Pass to (5575 m). Only to be killed on the Diamer Face. Thereafter Nanga Parbat was left to the Germans, who made five attempts. On in 1930s losing 30 climbers and porters giving it  nick- name the Killer Mountain.
  Fanny Bolluch Workman, the indomitable American who ostensibly travelled for her health, Pioneer trek king for pleasure with her husband William Hunter Workman between 1898 and 1912. The Workman made made eight expeditions to the Karakorum and Kashmir and explored the Biafo Lungma Glacier. They wrote several books, speculating the Snow Lake, which they guessed to measure 300 square miles (777 km) might be an icecap, like those in the Polar Regions from where glaciers flowed out in all directions. Fanny held the world altitude record for women for 28 years in 1906 climbed to Spantic (6932 m) in Nagar which the Workman named as pinnacle peak. Workman Peak looking the Hispar pass, which the Workman team climbed in 1899, is named after them.
Hispar and Chogo
   Other expeditions followed, Oscar Ehenstein’s to K2 in 1902, ACF Ferbers to Mustagh Pass in 1903, 1909 push to Concordia by the famous prince Luigi Amedeo of Savoy, the duke of Abruzzi gave his name the southern ridge of K2, and his expedition almost climbed Chogholisa (Bride Peak), reaching the altitude of 7488 metres, which stood as a record for thirteen years. The most lasting result of the Abruzzi expedition  Vittorio Sella’s magnificent photos, still considered some of the best of the areas.
   The Tom Logstaff expedition in1909, during which he and Arthur Nave ‘discovered’ the Siachin Glacier crossed the Saltoro Pass from Saltoro to Siachin and crossed the Ganse Pass from Kharmong to Khaplu. Filiop de Fillipi explored the Rimo Glacier and the source of Shyok and Yarkhun River in 1914.
   In 1929, the duke of Spoleto led an Italian group that include Ardito Desio to Baltoro Glacier. Desio crossed the Mustagh Pass, explored the Shaksgam Valley and scouted the easier Sarpo Logo pass later crossed by Eric Shipton and H.W Tilman in 1937. Desio returned to the Baltoro in 1954, leading the Italian expedition made the first ascent of K2, and was back by helicopter in 1988, to take another measurement of K2.

     The exploration of the Hunza mountains began only after the world war 1. In 1925, Dr. Philip Christian Visser trekked the Batura Glacier and Shimshal Valleys and added to the myth about Snow Lake by suggesting that the Vijerab Glacier flowed out of it. Colonel R C F Shemberg lent  the myth even more credibility when he visited Shimshl in 1934 and gave the Braldu Glacier thinking followed out of Snow Lake and was of the same drainage River. No until shipton and Tilman’s expedition in 1937 was the knot of the mountains and glaciers around Snow Lake finally stored out.


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