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  Pakistan Ski Expedition 2005: Laila Peak Base Camp


Laila Peak (6614 m)

Update: 2005-06-18  We are now in Laila Peak Base Camp at the altitude of 4150 meters. From Skardu we had a long jeep ride on small bumpy roads, through villages and military check points, ending up in Hushe. A small village with farmers that in the summer becomes porters for trekkers and expeditions.

Interesting talking to these people that have been working as porters for ages and helped legends like Reinhold Messner and Hans Kammerlander on their visits to the Karakoram. According to the local people in Hushe there have been only two successful climbs of Laila Peak, a total of only seven people have summited. No one has skied. We had two days of nice trekking surrounded by the mighty Karakoram Mountains to Dalsan, also known as Laila Peak Base Camp. It’s nice here at Laila Peak Base Camp; we are all alone and have pitched our tents beside a small lake. We have a kitchen tent where our cook Muhammad Ali is serving some delicious Pakistani food. Since we can’t see the mountain from our camp, we went on a short hike up the Gondogoro glacier yesterday, to get our first view of Laila Peak. It’s an amazing mountain and I can see why the Balti people named the peak after a beautiful woman.

 

We spent a few hours checking out the mountain for a route to climb and a line to ski. The condition on the mountain looks good and we are really looking forward to start climbing. But first we have to get rid of our stomach problems. We must have eaten or drunk something we shouldn’t have because for the last week both I and Jorgen have been running back and forth to the toilet. Thanks to ”Double Horse Toilet Tissues” we are still up and running. Hopefully we will be fit to start climbing within a few days. Fredrik

 

Updates

Background: The Karakorams in Pakistan contains some of the most spectacular mountains in the world. Here you’ll find Laila Peak (6614 m), which is said to be the most beautiful mountain in Asia. No one has ever skied that mountain. Fredrik Ericsson and Jörgen Aamot are, this summer, taking on that challenge, as the first in the world they will try to ski descend the steep slopes of Laila Peak.

That’s not all, after Laila Peak they will continue up the Baltoro Valley to make an attempt to ski descend an unskied line on Gasherbrum 2 (8035 m), the 13th highest mountain in the world.

Fredrik Ericsson is a skier and mountaineer that’s spending most of his time in the mountains around Chamonix, France. He has gained a position as one of the top ski mountaineers in the world after ski descents of Shisha Pangma (8013 m) in Tibet and Peak Somoni (7495 m) in Tajikistan. Fredrik has also first ski descents in Sarek National Park, Spitsbergen and the Hurrungane mountains in Norway. This year he’s looking forward to ski his second 8000-meters peak.

Jörgen Aamot grew up in the mountains of Oppdal, Norway. He’s teaching skiing, climbing and avalanche awareness at the Hallingdal College in Gol, Norway. During the last few years he’s gathered multiple first ski descents throughout Norway for example in the Lyngen Alps, Hurrungane and Sunndalen Alps. This will be his first encounter with the high mountains of Karakoram.

The Expedition: On June 8, Fredrik and Jörgen will fly to Islamabad in Pakistan. After a few days of sorting out permits and general preparations they will continue up north to the Karakoram Mountains. First they will travel with jeeps via Skardu to Hushe and from there continue on foot. Porters will help out carrying gear up to Laila Peak Base Camp which they will reach after 7 days. Thereafter they will use a couple of weeks for acclimatisation and climbing to make it up to the top of Laila Peak, 6614 meters. That’s when the big adventures start. Fredrik and Jörgen will try to ski the steep west face of Laila Peak, something that’s never been done before.

After Laila Peak they will continue up the Baltoro Valley via Gondogoro pass and Concordia to the Gasherbrum glacier where the Gasherbrum Base Camp is situated at 5200 meters. During the next few weeks they will try to climb Gasherbrum 2 (8035 m) which is the 13th highest peak in the world. Well on the summit Fredrik and Jörgen will try to ski descend the mountain via an unskied line.

 

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