Pakistan climbing: The 2006 early birds expedition list
(K2Climb.net) Pakistan's Ministry of Tourism has just published a first draft of climbing expeditions in 2006. Saltoro Summits forwarded the list - which happens to be very short: Only three teams have signed up yet. However, a large number of additions are expected in the upcoming weeks.
The earliest birds – at least at applying for a climbing permit – are the members of a Korean team led by Lee Bum Je. Their goal will be the scarcely visited Luphgar Sar East, which adds up another example of Korean climbing evolution: In addition to the classic, Himalayan style teams on 8000ers, young Koreans are adding difficult routes in Alpine style on the Karakorum spires.
House is back – with plans for K6
Another ‘spire-climbing’ team will be lead by American Steve House. After succeeding on the Rupal face of Nanga Parbat in 2005, House is headed back to Charakusa valley in 2006, where he opened a beautiful line on K7 in 2004. This year, Steve is going for the peak next to K7: K6, whose main summit is 7281m.
The peak has been attempted several times since an Austrian team accomplished the first ascent in the seventies. K6 has an spectacular north face - a tempting challenge for House.
Finally, Pakistan’s Ministry reports on an Austrian team led by Gerhard Wegmair going for Nanga Parbat.
In addition to the expeditions listed, the big commercial expedition outfitters will soon close their Karakorum expedition teams. Foreseably, the Gasherbrums and Nanga Parbat will both have guided teams in 2006. There will teams on Broad Peak too – Carlos Pauner, from Spain, hopes to be among them.
The Jewel of the Crown: K2
K2 will attract a great deal of the summer attention. Australian outfitter Field Touring Alpine confirmed weeks ago they are launching a large team for the Broad Peak/K2 double-header. In addition, several teams might be considering K2, including the Russian ace-team planning to attempt a new route on K2's exposed West face.
Further information at: http://www.mounteverest.net