Category Archives: PAKISTAN

27 KILOMETERS

27 Kilometers is the distance from my home to my workplace. This distance is significant for many reasons. I shall endeavour to write why is that the case. Today the 31st of May as I drove back I, as usual, observed and saw people rushing to places where they had to be. It is a very interesting journey which varies in the time it takes me to reach home. The traffic is a mess especially when people are driving using all types of transportation to their homes. I must admit though I have never been piqued or irritated or affected by what happens every day on the road. It is 27 Kilometer of sights outside the car and sound of my favourite shuffled music inside the car.

ADVOCATE

Today’s drive was special. I listen to music while I drive. This has been my habit as long as I can remember? I always have enjoyed it. Today was no different. Thanks to all kinds of smartphones we have these days one can listen to absolutely anything with good connectivity depending on your mood and taste. Jagjit Singh was the star today. He is one of my favourite singers. I never get weary listening to him. He keeps me awake. I get lost in Time, with both eyes on the road with full senses. While listening to his song ” Baat Nik lay gee toh dhoor tak jaye gee” I thought of writing this post. Instantly I knew what it would be titled – 27 Kilometers. The distance is very significant for many reasons. The madness, the serenity, people travelling in buses cars lost in their thoughts, distress and worries. One can never fail to see in their eyes what they are thinking – how will be next day in their life and responsibilities. Kids returning from school exhausted and fatigued half asleep. Bikers overloaded hazardously as if hanging by the thread. There was a biker with his wife holding her small kid with a feeder in his mouth not bothered what was happening around him. There are no traffic laws between 1600 to 2000 hrs and even after that, not that it is a model any other time of the day. Today when I decided that I would cover the distance of 27 Kilometers with my observations, I suddenly came over with extra keenness and zest to see all sides of objects and people. I enjoyed every bit of the drive. 

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There are few bottlenecks on the ’27 kilometer’ stretch where traffic suddenly swells up. It is there you witness the entire spectrum of madness ranging from stupidity, insanity, pandemonium and chaos. Not all is bad, saner elements who are not many are seen in this milieu. You thank God for that.

The best part of 27 Kilometers is that a good 20 kilometer is a straight stretch of 5 lanes Islamabad Highway. No matter how many lanes Nawaz Shareef will make the people of twin cities know the driving skills and gift of their driving licence of turning 2 lanes to 4 and 5 to 8. So this is the stage where all circus takes place and all entertainers give their performance. All you need to have that special perception. The poor, the handicapped, the needy the wayside hawkers and makeshift sellers, pregnant women, mothers with half sleep children clinging to their shoulders. Some mothers feeding with barely visible breast when the traffic light turns ‘Red’ along the median. other resting under the shade in sizzling plus 42C temperature. I have been told and I have made a point to especially observe the babies and seldom seen any of them awake or crying. They all seem sedated.

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Airport Cross on the Expressway is a major traffic jam point where I have experienced long delays. It is here one is treated with sights and sounds of all kinds of scenes. Today was no different. The change was how I was looking at them. Young boys who appear along long lines of traffic extending into many lanes with trays on their shoulders with fresh coconut slices occasionally sprinkling water on them creating that special cooling effect on passengers in buses and coaches, enticing them to buy the dust and germ laden eatables – but who cares. Their power of observation and marketing skills of few hours a day  fetches them at least Rs 800 to 1000 every day ($10). They seem to be part-timers as they are only seen in the evening. Men with restricted growth, serious handicaps both accidents related and birth defects are seen more in the evening. Morning is all women and their children who only beg, all clad and wrapped up in chadors. Few pregnant women who in this summer heat are bone-tired. I see their open air job will soon see the end of their Expressway earning. The Karal interchange will render this crossing “Signal Free” But there are many other places to market their skills

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There is no traffic law to deter. The worst violators are advocates, press walas, well to do people their cars and SUVs being driven by arrogant drivers who do not stop flashing their lights for a way in the midst of jam. It is a sight of hubris with mum and dumb sahibs least bothered to caution their drivers. Some slumber and the women all in the comfort of tinted glasses and temporary screens covering their windows of their cars in a hurry to reach home. It is a revolting and disgustful sight. Then you have the truckers who have the ability to overtake each other least disturbed. Their ‘overtaking’ urge takes better toll of their mental health. I do not know why they do not give way, they will continue overtaking till they see no other truck ahead of them. These drivers are a mafia in their own circle intoxicated with opium filled cigarettes lost in the lawless road laws.

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I am glad to see that for once the work speed on road and underpass on the Expressway  is going at an unusually fast pace. I give another 2/3 months for this to be completed. I have many friends who have plans to shift to many housing colonies mushrooming along the road.

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I am putting pictures on this blog post which were taken during the drive with my cell phone. Please overlook any low-quality standard pictures. Today my friend Tabani also called from Karachi and at that very moment I had photographed posters of Baby Bhutto who had travelled on the road to give his Roman Urdu Speech somewhere. Tabani was in a rage over the politics and Bilawal who has no pride in his father’s name – Asif. He suffixes Bhutto and his grandfather’s name Zardari. He is the one who will decide the fate of Pakistan. The public or the “Awaam” are lost in Bilawal’s rhetorics. The next week we already have a big news – Nawaz Shareef’s heart surgery went successfully. Hope some better-uncorrupted heart now surfaces. But we want the Panama Leakage to established first.

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ISLAMABAD THE BEAUTIFUL

‘Sher Ali Photography’  and the Facebook Page ‘The Silent Traveller’ is owned by SHER ALI SAAFI. A Software Engineer who has discovered finally his new found love after realizing that sitting in front of a computer is not what he will do forever. He decided to embark on travels and share his valuable and interesting experiences with the readers through his pages. His passion is landscape photography which he has combined with his interest in travelling far and wide capturing some beautiful and unseen landscapes with panoramic breathtaking views. His adventure and love for what he was aiming eventually to achieve not far from his home started from his trips to Margalla Hills which overlook Islamabad. It was for him a perfect setting  to raise the bar of photography. The travels he made had joined his passion of photography. The synchronisation of his love of both interests produced  hundreds of beautiful pictures which we can now access through his Blog and Facebook Page. The pictures posted below is a testimony to his work as well as my way saying THANK YOU SHER ALI SAAFI. Enjoy. .

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Romantic atmosphere at Margalla road / Photo: Sher Ali Photography

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Beautiful view of Islamabad after sunrise / Photo: Sher Ali Photography

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Margalla road view after rain / Photo: Sher Ali Photography

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View Towards Faizabad interchange from Zero point, Islamabad after rain / Photo: Sher Ali Photography

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View of Islamabad from Loh-e-Dandi top / Photo: Sher Ali Photography

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Beautiful view of Islamabad after sunrise / Photo: Sher Ali Photography

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View towards Shah Faisal Mosque from Zero point after rain / Photo: Sher Ali Photography

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Witnessing the sunrise from Margalla hills / Photo: Sher Ali Photography

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Gorgeous sunrise view from Margalla hills / Photo: Sher Ali Photography

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Last sunset of 2015 at Shah Faisal Mosque / Photo: Sher Ali Photography

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Full moon over Pakistan monument / Photo: Sher Ali Photography

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Stunning sunset view from Pakistan monument / Photo: Sher Ali Photography

 

Pakistan’s Top 10 Glaciers

1.SIACHIN GLACIER. The Siachen Glacier is in the eastern Karakoram Range in the Himalaya Mountains along the disputed India-Pakistan boundary. It is the longest glacier in the Karakoram and second longest in the world’s non-polar areas. It is 75 Kilometres long. It ranges from an altitude of 5,753 m (18,875 ft) above sea level. 

2. BIAFO GLACIER. The Biafo Glacier is a 63 km long glacier in the Karakoram Mountains of the Biafo hispar GlacierNorthern Areas, Pakistan which meets the 49 km long Hispar Glacier at an altitude of 5,128 m (16,824 feet) at Hispar La (Pass) to create the world’s longest glacial system outside of the polar regions. This highway of ice connects two ancient mountain kingdoms, Nagar (immediately south of Hunza) in the west with Baltistan in the east. The traverse uses 51 of the Biafo Glacier’s 63 km and all of the Hispar Glacier to form a 100 km glacial route.

3. BALTORO GLACIER. The Baltoro Glacier, at 62 kilometers long, is one of the longest glaciers outside the polar region. It is located in Baltistan, in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan, and runs through part of the Karakoram mountain range. The Baltoro Muztagh lies to the north and east of the glacier, while the Masherbrum Mountains lie to the south. At 8,611 m (28,251 ft),K2 is the highest mountain in the region, and three others within 20 km top 8,000 m.

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4. BATURA GLACIER. The Batura Glacier is fourth longest glacier in the world. The total area of Batura Glacier is 290 Square Kilometers and 58 kilometer in length.

5. HISPAR GLACIER. Biafo Glacier (60 km. long) and Hispar Glacier (61 km. long) meet at the 5151 m. Hispar Pass to form one of the longest glacial systems outside the polar regions. This highway of ice connects two ancient mountain kingdoms; Hunza in the west with Baltistan in the east. Because the Biafo-Hispar region is very remote it serves as the last stronghold for many animals; including Himalayan bear, ibex, markhor and the snow leopard. 

6. CHOGO LUNGMA GLACIER. With a length of about 47 km it is one of the greatest in the world outside polar regions.

7. RIMO GLACIER. It lies in the northern part of the remote Rimo Muztagh, a subrange of the Karakoram range. It is located about 20 km northeast of the snout of the Siachen Glacier and is the world’s 71st highest mountain. Rimo means “striped mountain”.[3] The Rimo Glacier, originating here, drains to the Shyok river. 

8. PANMAH GLACIER. Panmah Glacier is a glacier(s) and is located in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. The estimate terrain elevation above seal level is 4061 metres. It is 44 kilometers long. 

9. KHURDOPIN GLACIER. It is 41 Kilometres long. 

10. SARPO LAGGO GLACIER. The glacier is 33 kilometres long. 

PAKISTAN ~ The 11 Most Breathtaking Places

11. SHOGRAN

Located in the Kaghan Valley, Shogran is a plateau that lies at an astounding 7,749 feet above sea level. Make your way through glaciers and waterfalls, lush grasslands and steep hills as you trek towards Siri, Paye, Makra Top or Dona Meadows.

10. KARAKORAM HIGHWAY

The Karakoram highway makes its way through an enchanting landscape of cascading rivers, terrifying ravines and snow capped mountain peaks. The gateway to China, the highway that takes you through the original Silk Road, the colorful Kashgar bazaar, all the way to the Khunreb Pass, a journey of a lifetime indeed!

9. NEELUM VALLEY

A stand out attraction of the vastly beautiful Azad Kashmir, the 200 km long Neelum Valley will leave you wondering if you are in heaven. Blue rivers, delectable landscapes and yawning greenery will see you floating in the clouds for days on end.

8. HUNZA VALLEY

Home to some of the highest and most beautiful mountains in the world, Hunza Valley will make you feel closer to God. Enjoy views of the Rakaposhi, Ghenta Sar, Ulta Sar and Ladyfinger Peak as you make your way across Hunza. The Duikar View Point in Hunza provides the best sunset and sunrise views anywhere in Pakistan.

7. LAKE SAIF-UL-MULUK

This is one for the romantic in you! Located 8 kilometers north of Naran, this scenic lake is surrounded by snow clad mountains and waterfalls that will make your heart melt. Malika Parbat one of the highest mountain peaks in Pakistan can also be seen from here.

6. FAIRY MEADOWS

Fairy Meadows, locally known as Fantori, are situated at an elevation of 10,826 ft and offers views of the Nanga Parbat, the 9th highest peak of the world. Thick Alpine forests and the enchanting mountainside provide the perfect backdrop to these jaw-dropping grasslands.

5. DEOSAI NATIONAL PARK

Deosai, “The Land of Giants” is just that. The Deosai Plateau is the second highest plateau in the world and boasts a wide range of flora and fauna. 3,000 km2 of lush greenery and the 2.3 km2 Deosai Lake, make it a must-visit place for all nature lovers!

4. K2

K2 is the second highest mountain peak in the world. Located in Gilgit-Baltistan, you have to see it to believe it. Also known as the “Savage Mountain” famous for killing people trying to reach its summit, all the hazards in the world haven’t stopped people from taking a crack at it though.

3. MUBARAK VILLAGE

This fishing village located 30 km from Karachi offers views of the Arabian Sea that will take your breath away. There aren’t many modern facilities available here, but that hasn’t deterred tourists from visiting and enjoying the beauty of Mubarak Village.

2. ANSOO LAKE

Named Ansoo (tear) due to its unique teardrop like shape, this amazing sight will leave you gasping for air. One of the highest altitude lakes in Pakistan, Ansoo Lake is one for the purist. Not easily accessible in either winter or summer, you’ve got to earn the right to enjoy Ansoo in all its magnificence.

1. SNOW LAKE

Located at the blinding height of 16,000 feet above sea level, few have dared to visit and enjoy the splendor of the Snow Lake. Almost 100 kilometers of flowing ice, one of the longest in the world, make this lake a sight to behold!

The Throne of The Giant

The Wilderness – Deosai Plains

Deosai Plains is known to be one of the top three highest plateaus in the world situated over 4000 meters (14,000 feet) located in Pakistan lying between three well known points Minimurg in the East, Astore Town towards north west and City of Skardu in westerly direction. It is approximately over 60 KM long and 40 KM wide land mass of gradually rolling hills and plain grounds. In 1993 it was declared as a National Park to preserve the wild life specially the Brown Bear whose population started dwindling. With strict enforcement from wild life authorities it is believed the number has risen to about 50. The growth in number is gradually rising. Other animals and birds are also rising steadily. I consider it one of the treks which should be part of any trekkers plan when visiting Pakistan.

Himalayan Trekking – The Deosai Plains 13700 feet / 4150 Meters

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In May 1960 U2 spy plane was shot down by Soviet Union while flying over Svedlovsk, Soviet Union. The plane flew from an Air Base near city of Peshawar. It has been said that the Americans asked the Pakistan government hand them over the area of Deosai Plains to facilitate construction of an airbase against the Soviets. The permission was not granted. Deosai is in my opinion a mini natural wonder. A plateau higher than 4000 Meters in height offers a unique experience to tourists. Easily accesible from two directions is a tourist paradise. Since being declared a National Park the most prominent habitant of the park , the Brown Bears have seen a steady increase in population. A welcome sign and support from WWF.

Drive to Deosai Top

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In 2000 I was posted at Skardu, located in Northern Areas of Pakistan. The nature of my job provided me abundant opportunities to travel to perform my duties and at the same time see the beauty and the wilderness of Pakistan’s Northern Areas. It also afforded my family to join me on holidays and enjoy. One of the memories they cherish is their trip to the Deosai Plains.

Shangrila on Lake Kachura

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On Gilgit -Skardu Road about 30 KMs short of Skardu city is a quiet and beautiful resort of Shangri-La. For trekkers visiting Deosai an option is available to spend quiet night here at serene surroundings of Shangri-la. The resort has also has a fuselage of an aircraft which had crashed nearby and used as a restaurant.

Image Credit : rizwanmedia.forumotion.com

Sadpara Lake Skardu

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A few kilometers outside the city of Skardu on the way up to Deosai Top you drive hugging the mountain along the beautiful Sadpara Lake. It is situated about 9 KMs from the city. Here are some of very ancient Buddhist engravings on the rock walls. A popular resort for those interested in trout fishing. lately a dam has been built on this lake to cater for electricity needs of Skardu city. There has been resentment against its construction.

Bara Pani (More Water) on The Deosai

During the months between November and May the Deosai receives lots of snow and when thawing starts early June everything starts turing green, flowers start blossoming in hundreds of varieties and the plain offers a great spectacle at the height of 4000 meters. The radiance of colours of Deosai always leave an ever lasting imprint. The nature is unspoiled at Deosai, the beauty is in the wilderness. This is the time when all the melting snow in form of small streams join a crossing made over fast flowing water called Bara Pani. The bridge is not the best of bridges as is the case in so many other places in the North. But this is the fun of crossing Deosai. You can be lucky to get a sighting of a Brown Bear. They say ” Do not leave anything on Deosai except your foot prints. Do not bring anything except pictures”.

Another View Bara Pani

Chillam on Way to Deosai

Sheosar Lake

In the local dialect Sheosar Lake means White Lake. It is situated at the height of 4150 meters. It is about 2.5 KMs long and 1.8 KM wide. When approaching Deosai from the direction of Astore the first stop is at Sheosar. This place offers great views of the plateau and one can see Nanga Parbat’s Rupal Face the highest wall on the face of the earth. Nanga Parbat is 9 highest mountain in the world at 8126 Meters.

Mountains to Climb

Mountains to Climb

Messner on Nanga Parbat Summit

“The top of a mountain is just a turning point.” (Reinhold Messner)

This is my story as a Liaison Officer with Reinhold Messner’s 1978 Nanga Parbat Solo Expedition in the Himalayas, Pakistan. After the successful attempt of Nanga Parbat, Reinhold wrote his bestseller book “Aliengang Nanga” which was later translated to English “Solo Nanga Parbat”. The book now is a collectible item. I feel honoured and privileged to have been part of history in mountaineering that year. The last page of the book contains a hand sketch which I made tabulating each hour and route Messner followed up to the summit the next five days. This was the first ever solo expedition to an 8000 Ms peak in alpine style. No one ever before at that time had climbed an “eight thousander” solo, in alpine style and that to without oxygen. It is a story of true grit, determination, courage and resolve to surmount something which was considered impossible till then. The book itself covers my role in detail as well. My friendship and association with Reinhold provided me with yet another adventure in climbing with him the following year. This time it was To Mount K2, the second highest mountain in the world. About that at a later time.


Reinhold on Top of Nanga Parbat
World’s Best Climber

Solo Nanga Parbat 1978

Since my childhood I have been captivated by the power and beauty of mountains. High peaks have always mesmerized me. The yearning what lay beyond each mountain crest and the panoramic view each summit presented left an un-quenched thirst. The never ending crest lines, peak after peak kept me going no matter how tired I would become. Little I knew that many years afterwards my moment will come. It came in 1978 when I was detailed as a Liaison Officer with Reinhold Messner, one of the greatest climber in history. Pakistan is truly blessed with the most beautiful mountains. In Karakoram mountain range in a 20 square mile area around Concordia near K2 there are at least over 23 peaks over 7000 meters, the highest concentration of high peaks in so small a place anywhere in the world. There, amongst them four 8000 meter peaks as well. The spectacle of these peaks in my opinion represents the purity of nature. For thousands of years these majestic mountains have stood to be admired and challenged by world’s greatest mountaineers.

This is the story of first ever solo attempt on a 8000 meter peak. None other than Reinhold Messner was going to attempt it. In 1970 Reinhold Messner and his younger brother Gunther Messner attempted and successfully climbed the world’s highest wall (over 4000 Ms), The Rupal Face of Nanga Parbat. On reaching the summit Gunther who was completely exhausted asked Reinhold that it was not possible for him to descend from the Rupal side and considering the situation the brothers decided to go down towards Diamer. Some where during the descent Gunther who was trailing some distance behind was caught in an avalanche and died. His body was never found until October 2005. He was buried near the base of Nanga Parbat. When Reinhold returned in 1978 for his solo attempt, first ever of its kind on a 8000 meter peak I asked Reinhold specific question if he was climbing Nanga to prove a point. He never answered but I knew he had something special going on with the ‘Killer Mountain’.

We left Rawalpindi on 11 July 78 and after 10 days using almost all the modes of transportation reached Diamer Base Camp on 20 July 78. Reinhold has inspired me in many ways. During our trek to the Base Camp I found him to be physically very fit. Singular in his purpose, never allowed distractions to sway him from his goal. Very selective in making judgments on climbing matters. Respected the local customs and was never shy of mixing up with the villagers en route. He respected the locals inhabitants of Diamer Valley a lot. A large hearted man who cared for the poor. They were the ones who found Reinhold unconscious in 1970. This was the period when the Karakoram Highway was closed for all kind of foreigners travelling on the road. He was taken to Gilgit from where he was flown out. His toes which were frost bitten were amputated. Any thing connected with mountains was sacred to him. He would drink muddy water of the rivers flowing down from the mountains, he would call it ‘Holy Water’ which he said was pure. While climbing alone he told me he would hear voices to guide him what and which route to adopt. This phenomenon was experienced above 7000 Meters and it happened to him on Nanga as well. It was like an intuition, he heard voices, and he felt its presence the higher he was on the mountain. He called this zone as the Death Zone.

In Base camp which was located around 14000feet most of the time was spent at reading writing and getting acclimatized. We would take turns in cooking. We were only three members, Ursula was our doctor of the expedition. During the stay at base camp Reinhold climbed Gnalo Peak which was over 6000 meters to check his fitness and acclimatization. Nothing was left to chance. Each item in the ruck sack was checked for its use up on the mountain. The camera rolls were even taken out from its packings. Messner always said the higher you go in Alpine style of climbing the weight of every item you are carrying gets doubled and tripled. Now we were waiting for the weather to get cleared. Messner kept a close watch on the weather pattern

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Reinhold Messner was the first mountaineer to climb all the fourteen 8000 Meter Peaks. In 1978 he was the only person who had climbed four 8000Ms peaks. In 1978 he and Peter Habler of Austria became the first climbers to climb Mt Everest in Alpine style without Oxygen. During later years Messner visited Pakistan many times and most notable was his ascent of K2 and Gasherbrum Traverse ( G1 and G2) which was going for two 8000 Meter peaks in one attempt without coming back to base camp. Two Pakistani climbers accompanied him.

On 6 Aug 78, Reinhold moved to the base of Nanga and bivouacked there so that he could start the climb very early next morning. On 7 Aug Messner started his ascent at 0445 hours. I could not sleep well during that night. I woke up at 0500 hrs and followed Messner on his way up with my binoculars. I mapped his entire ascent and descent on a hand made sketch showing details of every hour the distance traversed. On first day he reached his first halt at about 1100 hours. This was few hundred meters above a very big ice wall. A position which he chose and was to save his life the next day. On 8 Aug at about 0505 hrs while me and Ursula were in our tents i felt a massive earthquake and then a very loud bang. Came out and saw very big avalanche on Nanga Parbat. A gust of wind blew our tents and it was followed by snow particles on our face a distance of 4-5 KM away from avalanche site on a clear blue sky day. When the snow settled we were relieved to see Reinhold leaving his bivouac. The sketch which I drew has been printed on the last page of Reinhold’s best seller book SOLO NANGA PARBAT. It is a collectable book. Messner climbed Nanga Parbat on 9 August 78. History had been made. He stayed a night and a day in last bivouac. On morning of 11 Aug we started getting very worried. At about 0515 hours Ursula shouted and broke good news that she observed Messner coming down from a different route. He took just 5 hours to reach the base of the mountain. He had frost bitten fingers and in lot of pain. We however, toasted his success with a can of beer I borrowed from the Austrians. After allowing Reinhold to rest for a couple of days, we started a trek back from a different prohibited route not allowed for foreigners. Seeing Messner’s condition I decided to go around the rules and take a chance. We left the base camp early and by afternoon we reached a deserted shepherd village and slept on roof tops of empty hutments.

14 August was to be the toughest day of the entire expedition for me and Ursula. We started our march at 0600 hrs. From 12000 feet we climbed pass at 18000feet and reached the Karakoram highway at around midnight walking 25 miles (40 KM) at a height of 200o feet. The unforgettable part; it was a full moon night. When we laid down on our beds looking at stars it did not take long for all of us to go to sleep. Someone from the village brought us hot meal. With difficulty we drag ourselves out of our beds, ate hot meal followed by a cup of tea and soon we did not know where we were. Next morning I kept my fingers crossed not to be noticed with foreigners tagging along. I told Reinhold and Ursula to let me do the talking if some one started questioning. Our hop to get off the road was not very far. We drove for two hours and were back on out trail. Drove the whole day long and reached Islamabad at 0130 hours on 17 Aug 78. On 20th Aug Messner and Ursula left for home. He promised me he will return next year to climb K2 the second highest mountain in the world. He wanted me to be his Liaison General, that is what he called me. His parting words were ” Nobody could stop us, my friend”

This expedition leaves some good tips for readers who are interested in trekking and climbing. I always told officers under my command and young boys and girls to get out there. Enjoy nature. Physically and mentally test yourself. Go as a team, develop the spirit of comradeship. Team work in outdoor activity is a greatest tool to build character, to identify your own strength and weaknesses and of your colleagues. A great self confidence builder.

Frostbitten Toes from Rupal Face Expedition 1970

Cooking in Nanga Base Camp 1978

Reinhold Messner climbed Nanga Parbat’s highest mountain face in the world over 4000 meters high -The Rupal Face . Gunther Messner and Reinhold Messner both brothers successfully climbed Nanga and while descending from Diamer Face Gunther died in an avalanche. Reinhold was found by locals at the base of Diamer. He had severe frostbite and his amputated toes can be seen in the picture taken in 1978 when I was his Liaison Officer and he returned to climb Nanga solo. A first ever successful solo attempt of a 8000 meter peak.

REUNION WITH REINHOLD MESSNER

On 18 September, 2013 after more then three decades I met Reinhold Messner in Islamabad. We had a dinner together and recollected my association with Messner of 1978 Nanga Parbat and 1979 K2 expeditions. The narration of so many incidents brought life into the other guests who had joined us during that dinner, notable being the Ambassador of Austria in Pakistan, Mr Axel Wech. Messner recounted his never ending adventures all over the globe. From North Pole to the South Pole, from the Gobi Desert to South America. He has opened four Museums in Italy, Germany. I am proud to be part of his adventures in many ways. I re-presented his Nanga Parbat Ice Axe which he gave me after his first solo climb of an 8000 metre peak; a feat which had not been attempted before. He cherished and appreciated the gesture and that Ice Axe is now part of one of his museums. He proudly says and writes that I was his bet liaison officer ever. I wish Reinhold Messner great health, joy and long life.

PAKISTAN – THE BEAUTIFUL NORTH

THE NORTHERN PAKISTAN
THE NORTHERN PAKISTAN

A- Between Kaghan and kohistan

A- Hunza

A- Nanga Parbat, Diamir face

A- River Nelum, Nelum Valley

A- Shigar

A- Some where Kaghan Valley

A-Broghal Valley

A-Chitta Katta Lake

A-Darkot Pass

A-DEOSAI PLAINS, ALTITUDE 14,500 Ft

A-Karamorak highway

A-Mighty K2

A-Minimarg, Astore valley 1

A-Minimarg

A-Rush Lake near Gojal Pass, Pakistan

A-Shimshal Lake, near Skardu

A-Taobut, Nelum valley,AJK 1

A-Taobut, Nelum valley,AJK 2

A-Taobut, Nelum valley,AJK 3

A-Taobut, Nelum valley,AJK 4

A-Taobut, Nelum valley,AJK

A-Trek to Mkrra(Spider)Mountain, Kaghan Valley