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21, 2001: Departure of the Saxon Karakoram Expedition
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
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.
the Karakoram highway, 6/25 & 6/26/01
25.06.01 in the morning, our members of the adjoining
Trekking tour have arrived.
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.
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.
the afternoon we got our equipment, so we can start
o'clock, our bus started on direction to the Karakoram
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.
1,500 Pakistani soldiers are still working around the
clock to repair damages from landslips, rock falls and
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.