Khurpa Care offers professional and basal training courses for mountain climbers.
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Zahid Rajput runs the Khurpa Care, an academy breadth he instructs bodies in abundance climbing. The amount of a (Khurpa) advance is about Rs150,000 per year. PHOTO: COURTESY ZAHID RAJPUT
SKARDU: If you are a backwoodsman or appetite to apprentice the art, accomplish your way to Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B), says Zahid Rajput of Baltistan breadth K-2 – the world’s additional accomplished aiguille – is situated.
While adopted groups accept alternate home afterwards 10 adopted trekkers and their Pakistani adviser were gunned bottomward at the bottom of Nanga Parbat aftermost month, Baltistan charcoal as peaceful as before. And with as abundant to action – abnormally to those attractive for alleviation in the adumbration of mountains.
Ain’t no abundance aerial enough
The Baltistan arena contains four peaks which angle aloft 8,000 metres – K-2 (8,611m), Gasherbrum-I (8,068m), Broad Aiguille (8,048m), and Gasherbrum-II (8,035m). Many others angle at aloft 7,000 metres, such as Masherbrum and Gasherbrum-IV.
A trainer by profession, Rajput runs an academy breadth he instructs bodies in abundance climbing. Since 2006, 500 bodies accept anesthetized through Khurpa Care, his academy based in Skardu.
“Those who enrol are mostly climbers, guides and porters,” explains Rajput, who was accomplished by “acclaimed Italian and US trainers.”
He affairs on captivation yet addition training affair in the advancing anniversary for those gluttonous to become porters and trekkers to acquire a living.
Khurpa Care additionally imparts chargeless ‘basic training courses’ for those demography their aboriginal accomplish and fumbles aggressive or trekking. “But the accumulation should accept no beneath than 10 people.”
Knowing those ropes
The abridgement includes courses in aboriginal aid, cocky rescue, acquaintance about pollution, climbing, bloom and sanitation and camping techniques, amid others.
“A able advance is completed over four years – anniversary year requires at atomic eight to 10 canicule hands-on training in the field,” shares the teacher, who afresh went for a refresher advance in Nepal. “The amount of a (Khurpa) advance is about Rs150,000 per year.”
Known for actuality a analogously easier abruptness to scale, trainers generally accept the 5,700-metre alpine Gondogoro La Pass for newbie trekkers.
In some cases, abject camps at an about acme of 6,000 metres can additionally be the destination for learners. “It commonly takes them about 10 to 12 canicule to ability the acclivity and acknowledgment to arena level,” said Rajput.
Explaining the aberration amid biking and climbing, Rajput says the adventure up to the abject affected is alleged biking while the bit above requires absolute climbing.
Most trainers cannot abode abundant accent on the use of braiding in abundance climbing. “It allows you to abide affiliated with the blow of your aggregation associates in an expedition,” credibility out Rajput. At atomic 60 metres of braiding is appropriate to affix a accumulation of three climbers.
Easy on the pocket
The ‘game of the affluent’ as it is colloquially accepted does not crave as abundant advance in G-B as it would in a developed country.
In G-B, associates of campaign groups generally resell genitalia of their accessories such as shoes, ropes, and accouterment at analogously affordable ante to retailers, who again advertise the articles in stores. A brace of acclimated shoes amount about Rs5,000, while a anorak and a brace of trousers would be priced at Rs3,000. About 60 metres of braiding would advertise for Rs10,000.
“These are about bisected the aboriginal prices,” addendum Rajput.
The boondocks breadth Rajput lives – Skardu – is attainable by alley as able-bodied as by air from Islamabad. There is a flight to Skardu airport about daily; the adventure takes an hour. For Pakistani passengers, a acknowledgment flight costs Rs16,000 from the federal capital.
If you adopt to adventure by bus, it costs Rs3,000 for a 22 to 25-hour continued journey. Landslides on the Karakoram Highway are not uncommon, but bulldozers usually bright the alley almost quickly.
Risky ascents up betraying slopes accept accomplished Rajput to about-face a claiming into an opportunity. However, he has beneath ability to about-face poor affairs such as agitation upside bottomward to his advantage; alone the government has that affectionate of sway, the trainer credibility out.
“We agreement the assurance of every day-tripper in Skardu and abroad in G-B,” Mehdi Shah said while cogent affliction over the Nanga Parbat massacre.
Fun facts about G-B
Eighteen of the 50 world’s accomplished peaks are amid in Gilgit-Baltistan. These heights include
• K2, 2nd-highest aiguille in the apple at 8,611m.
• Nanga Parbat, 9th-highest in the apple at 8,125m
• Gasherbrum-I, 11th-highest in the apple at 8,080m
• Broad Peak, 12th-highest in the apple at 8,047m
• Gasherbrum-II, 13th-highest in the apple at 8,035m
• Gasherbrum-III, 15th-highest in the apple at 7,946m
• Gasherbrum-VI, 17th-highest in the apple at 7,932m
• Distaghil Sar, 19th-highest in the apple at 7,884m
Outside the poles, three of the world’s seven longest glaciers are amid in G-B – the Biafo Glacier, Baltoro Glacier, and Batura Glacier.
The best outstanding of these three rivers of ice is the 62-kilometre (km)-long Baltoro. This ample glacier, fed by some 30 tributaries, has a apparent breadth of 1,291.39 aboveboard km.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2013.
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