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Saxon Karakorum Expedition

June 21, 2001: Departure of the Saxon Karakoram Expedition 2001

On June 21st at 6 o'clock three of the members of the Saxon Karakoram Expedition 2001, Lydia Schubert, Olaf Rieck and Ralf Brummer, were bidden farewell by friends and families at the Leipzig Central station. Despite most of the equipment was already shipped some days before, there was still a considerable amount of "hand baggage".

The fourth member, Markus Walter from Dresden, will join them in Berlin. From there they fly via London to Islamabad. The fifth member, Christian Walter, departs some days later and will join the others in Islamabad.

On the Karakoram highway, 6/25 & 6/26/01

On 25.06.01 in the morning, our members of the adjoining Trekking tour have arrived.

There were some task to be done: get the air cargo from the customs, final shopping and the official briefing. We have prepared for this event for some months. There were huge amounts of application forms and documents that needed to be filled before the personal Briefing at the State Secretary could take place.

After all documents were checked in the outer office, Markus was informed on all rules for half an hour. Finally, the conversation turned to aspects the State Secretary was really interested in: e.g. football (soccer). After Markus explained him the difference between the Champions League cup of Bayern Muenchen and the European Cup of the French National Equipe, we got the final signature on our permit.

In the afternoon we got our equipment, so we can start tomorrow morning.


On 6.30 o'clock, our bus started on direction to the Karakoram Highway.

Firstly, we went through the promontory of the Karakoram and Himalaya, between 400 and 1500m altitude, with opulent green and many plants (e.g. Banana trees). Later, on the Karakoram Highway, the area gets more dry and leads into the valley of the river Indus. After 6 hours, we make a rest in Besham. The construction of the Karakoram Highway (KKH) was announced internationally in the fifties. But nearly all high developed countries this task was sees as not realizable. Finally, this highway was built by 25,000 Chinese and 15,000 Pakistani workers within 20 years.

Now, 1,500 Pakistani soldiers are still working around the clock to repair damages from landslips, rock falls and avalanches.

After driving another 150 kilometers and many thousand bendings we have a amazing spectacle in the evening: The Nanga Parbat in sunset. With 8125m it is the 9th highest mountain on Earth and to our location a difference in altitude of 7000 meters! Half an hour later, we reach the small town Chilas, half-way to Skardu, where we will spend the night.

Markus Walter

Chilas, 6/26/01 - 20.30 o'clock

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