Climbing Season 2015: Foreign Climbers Took message of Peace and Love

Climbing season 2015 in Karakorum was not very successful due to terrible weather conditions on the mountains. There were only two summits on BroadPeak, three summits on Gasherbrum I and thirteen summits on Gasherbrum II; K2 remained unclimbed and no one attempted Nanga Parbat, no one has attempted Nanga Parbat in summer since the terrorist attack on Nanga Parbat base camp in 2013.

American climber Nick Rice showing love for Pakistan
American climber Nick Rice showing love for Pakistan

Media plays a role in shaping perception of people, and they perceive it to be true whatever the media headlines feed them. The hype created by media played its part and tourism was substantially reduced in 2014 in Pakistan. Pakistan authorities took security measures in Gilgit Baltistan, high altitude police was introduced and armed policemen were sent with teams attempting Nanga Parbat in winter 2014-2015. Traffic on 8000ers in Pakistan once again increased in 2015, record number of climbers attempted K2 this year and several attempted other 8000 meter mountains but once again no one attempted Nanga Parbat this year.

Climbing season 2015 has changed the perception of climbers community about Pakistan, they took the message of peace and love. They found people very friendly and cooperative.

Carla Parez (lady climber from ecuador, she was attempting Broad Peak this year) wrote:

Beautiful place… Beautiful people…. A very different culture that has enriched me very much… Far from what media sells us. .. why we get convinced so easily by media?

Carla Parez on Broad Peak.
Carla Parez on Broad Peak.

Steve Swenson (American climber made first ascent of Changi tower and opened new route on K6 this year) wrote:

Once in Baltistan we didn’t have to be that concerned about security because the people here are peaceful Shia Muslims. The majority of people in the whole of Pakistan are Sunni Muslims and the majority of those people are peaceful as well. The perpetrators of all the violence along the border with Afghanistan are militant Pashtuns, a small part of this ethnic group of Sunni Muslims who do not live in Baltistan. Once we reached Skardu we were surrounded by friendly and peaceful people who have gone out of their way to make every one of my trips to the mountains here an absolute pleasure. Although we felt it was unnecessary, the Pakistan Government in the province of Gilgit-Baltistan assigned a police officer to each expedition to let us know they were doing everything they could to ensure our protection.

Steve Swenson with Rasool. (Source: http://steveswensonsblog.blogspot.com/
Steve Swenson with Rasool. (Source: http://steveswensonsblog.blogspot.com/

Vanessa O’Brien (British-American lady climber, was attempting K2 this year) told Newsweek:

“Pakistan is a beautiful country, Its people are hospitable and have a good sense of humor. I came here with a lot of misconceptions and it was very different than what I was expecting to be.”

Mike Horn (Swiss climber who drove to Pakistan from Switzerland to attempt K2) said in a video:

“I often get asked, why do I wanna go to Pakistan? As contrary to what media says and what we read, Pakistan has been a peaceful place, place has been kind to us. They have opened their arms, they have opened their hearts, and people with very little gave us everything they have, and that is what makes Pakistan an interesting place to visit.”

Mike Horn on K2 Cessen route.
Mike Horn on K2 Cessen route.

For live updates on mountaineering: @NorthmenPk on Twitter and https://www.facebook.com/TheNorthmenPakistan on fb.

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