Skardu (2200m)

Published on by P. Gatta

June 9: Islamabad (500m) - Besham (600m)
We left Islamabad after lunch hoping to reach Besham before the night. Most of the road was ok but many sections were very rough and took a lot of time. The scenery was nice and changing with the altitude, between 500m and 1600m. We finally reached Besham at 11pm after 8hr drive. We spent the night in a protected area.

June 10: Besham (600m)  - Skardu (2200m)
We left Besham at 6am with the hope to reach Skardu before the night. Unfortunately the road was worse than the first day, we had many mechanical issues and no A/C. The bus driver tried to catch up some time driving too fast on a dangerous "road". We followed the Karakoram Highway (KKH), only 80km away from the Swat valley. We had a armed police escort for a while but never felt in danger. The weather was a bit more cloudy so we barely saw the Nanga Parbat (8126m) but at least it was less hot in the bus. We finally made it to Skardu...in an "exiting" 18 hours. I can't imagine this trip during the mousson, so on the way back we will take the plane.

June 11: Skardu (2200m)
Since we arrived at 2am, the night has been short. We spent the day to buy last minutes item and pack everything for tomorrow. Everything has to be packed in 25kg bags for the porters.
The weather in

Skardu is amazing, there are sand dunes a few miles away and high mountains with snow right behind. The sun is strong but not too hot and the strong wind blows the sand from the dunes.

Next days
Tomorrow we will take a 4 wheels drive for another 7 hours to Askole. Then on the 13th we will start the trek to the base camp that we should reach on June 19th.
I won't be able to update this blog until then but Phil Crampton should do it here:
http://www.altitudejunkies.com/dispatchgasherbrum09.html

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9 Juin: Islamabad (500m) - Besham (600m)
Nous sommes partis d'Islamabad apres le dejeuner. Dans l'ensemble la route est bonne mais certaines sections sont en tres mauvais etat et prennent beaucoup de temps. Les paysages sont agreables et changent avec l'altitude (entre 500m et 1600m). Nous sommes finallement arrives a Besham a 23h apres 8 heures fatigantes. Nous avons passe la nuit dans un hotel dans une zone protegee.

10 Juin: Islamabad (500m) - Besham (600m)
Nous sommes partis de Besham a 6h du matin avec l'espoir encore une fois d'arriver a Skardu avant la nuit. Malheuresement entre l'etat de la route, les pannes mecaniques et l'absence de clim, le voyage a ete un peu plus rustique que prevu. Le chauffeur a essayer de rattraper le temps, conduisant a la limite sur une route/piste qui pardonne pas. Nous avons suivi la Karakoram Highway (KKH) a seulement 80 de la vallee de Swat. Une escorte armee nous a suivi pendant un moment mais on ne s'est pas vraiment senti en danger. Le temps etait plus couvert, nous cachant le Nanga Parbat (8126m) mais au moins il ne faisait pas trop chaud dans le bus. Nous sommes finallement arrives a Skardu apres 18 heures assez intenses. Je peux pas imaginer cette route pendant la mousson donc au retour on prendra l'avion.

11 Juin: Skardu (2200m)
Avec notre arrivee a 2h du matin la nuit a ete courte. Aujoud'hui nous avons fait les derniers achats et prepare le chargement pour demain. Tout doit etre emballe dans des sacs de 25kg pour les porteurs.

La suite
Demain nous prenons un 4x4 pour 7 heures palpitantes de plus. Le 13 juin on commencera le trek vers le camp de base que nous devrions rejoindre le 19. Je ne pourrai pas mettre a jour le blog d'ici la, mais Phil Crampton essayera ici:
http://www.altitudejunkies.com/dispatchgasherbrum09.html

Comment on this post

John Lester 06/21/2009 09:45

Nice blog.

paul niland sterling rope 06/15/2009 19:24

Hello Philippe - Glad to see you have arrived and are slowly making the adventuresome journey - I along with everyone at Sterling Rope wish you a safe and successful expedition.