The Great Karakoram Traverse 2012

Karakoram is the heaven for mountaineers and trekkers. It has the highest concentration of eight thousanders (8000+ peaks) in the world including K-2; world’s second highest. This whole range is also the most glaciated region in the world.

Dr. Ahsan Akthar and Muhammad Zeeshan from Faisalabad along with a few other trekkers from Faisalabad and Muhammad Kashif from Islamabad have embarked their journey to the great traverse in the heart if Karakorams. This group is being lead by Dr. Ahsan who is one of the most renowned and admirable trekker of Pakistan. He did attempt Khordopin pass last year and successfully crossed Lupke La in 2010. It was the Lupke trek in which Salman Rashid met this guy and mentioned him in one of his articles here which shows a glimpse of this man’s life and background.

The group has prepared a 5 weeks (35 days) plan in which they plan to cover the following passes (La is the local word for pass).

  1. Haramosh La (4800m)
  2. Sokha La (5700m)
  3. Sima La (5833m)
  4. Skam La (5407 m)
  5. Khordopin La (5790m)

This great traverse in a single stretch has not been attempted by anyone before in my knowledge. Haramosh pass will be their first target that the group will attempt from Kutwal side. This pass will take them to Arandu from where they will attempt Sokha La which is a very technical pass and had last been crossed in 1927.

Trekking community in Pakistan is keenly following their trek which is certainly THE trek of 2012. In this blog post, I will keep fellow trekkers and readers updated about the progress of this trek.

Update May 25th – Team left Islamabad for Gilgit through NATCO

Update May 26th – Team  has reached Gilgit – High altitude porters from Shimshal joined them

Update May 27th – Team  spent their day doing shopping in Gilgit

Update May 28th – Team has  left Gilgit for Sassi

Update May 29th – Team has started their trek from Sassi for Kutwal Lake.

Update May 31st – Team is at the base of Haramosh and is yet to cross Haramosh Pass.

Update June 2nd – Team is struck at the Kutwal lake campsite because of heavy rainfall and bad weather. They will continue with their plan as soon as the weather gets clear.

Update June 4th – Team has successfully reached the top of Haramosh pass today. Weather finally got clear and the group made it to the pass after a very tough climb. They will spend the night at Haramosh Pass.

Update June 6th – Team has descended from Haramosh La and is near Arandu. They are preparing for their next target which is Sokha La. This 5700 meters is a very technical pass and was reportedly last crossed in 1920s.

Update June 10th – Four team members including Muhammad Kashif have returned to Skardu from Arandu. They had to discontinue the trek because of time constraints. Dr. Ahsan and Zeeshan have descender to tissar village to arrange more porters. They will continue with their plan and will attempt Sokha La.

Update June 15th – Team climbed Sokha La but could not cross it to Snow Lake because of large cracks in the snow walls and the big cornices. They have returned from the pass and and is returning to Skardu to do Skam La and Sim La from Biafo glacier.

Update June 17th – Team has wrapped up their trek after reaching Skardu and getting weather updates. They were left with less than two weeks to do the remaining three big passes (Sim, Skam and Khordopin) and it didn’t seem feasible considering the bad weather forecasts. Though the team couldn’t complete their trek as per the plan but their passion, commitment and courage are remarkable. We wish them good luck for the future endeavors.


17 thoughts on “The Great Karakoram Traverse 2012

  1. Hi, This trek has been successfully done in 2001 -02 by Dr. Fuad Khan from Peshawar. It took them a total of 45 days.

  2. Sikandar :
    Hi, This trek has been successfully done in 2001 -02 by Dr. Fuad Khan from Peshawar. It took them a total of 45 days.

  3. Dear Sikandar!!! Pls provide us the contact to the Dr.Fuad Khan ,we wanna have some expert advice of him on this traverse,if he really had done it in 2001 or 2002 Thanks.
    We climbed the Sokha la to the top ,but could not cross it to the snowlake due to large cracks in the snow walls and the big cornices .
    Thanks everyone for the best wishes .

  4. Dr. Fuad Khan, Owais Khatak and Razi Uddin Khan tried the Khurdapin pass, but could not cross it.

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