Forum Index > Trip Reports > Throne room of the mountain gods (Karakorams, July 2013)
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iron
getting old



Joined: 10 Aug 2008
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iron
getting old
PostSun Aug 11, 2013 3:53 pm 
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superb GW. i love the shots and compositions of all the people. tremendous lighting in the shadowy corridors! thank you for the incredible effort to tell this story.

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man, you go through life, you try to be nice to people, you struggle to resist the urge to punch 'em in the face, and for what?

--- moe sizlack
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Ski
><((((°>



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Ski
><((((°>
PostSun Aug 11, 2013 4:04 pm 
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ahhh....

waiting for the light.

gotta love it.

smile.gif

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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bobbi
stillaGUAMish



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bobbi
stillaGUAMish
PostSun Aug 11, 2013 6:03 pm 
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GaliWalker wrote:

a man and a mountain....the perfect pairing up.gif

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bobbi ૐ

"Today is your day!  Your mountain is waiting.  So…get on your way!" - Oh, the Places You’ll Go! By Dr. Seuss
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Prosit
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Prosit
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PostSun Aug 11, 2013 7:32 pm 
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A remarkable and important journey.  Congratulations on your success.  Thanks for the good story telling, and your images are extraordinary; very nice work Galiwalker.

I spent 7 weeks in Hunza back in '92, but never made it over to the Baltoro.  This takes me back though, to remember exquisite places and some very fine and interesting people.

Thanks.
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hikermike
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PostMon Aug 12, 2013 8:07 pm 
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OMG!!!!
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Tall Hiker Man
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PostWed Aug 14, 2013 10:05 am 
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Incredible. Thank you!
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JimK
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PostWed Aug 14, 2013 10:18 am 
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What a stunning trip and report.

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Hiking Northwest
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GaliWalker
Have camera will use



Joined: 10 Dec 2007
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GaliWalker
Have camera will use
PostWed Aug 14, 2013 1:39 pm 
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Thanks all, for the nice comments. I feel I must reciprocate by including some bullet points... smile.gif

- I lost 7lbs on the trip. Given the great meals we were provided by our tour company I was amazed that I didn't gain any!
- This place, amongst others in the Himalayas, spawned the myth of Shangri La, where people lived extremely long lives. I would like to turn that hypothesis on its head: the people who live there aren't very fit old people, but instead are very fit young people who look old, because of the extremely harsh lives they lead. Some of our extremely fit porters looked to be in their 50s but were younger than my 41.
- While we spent the really cold nights on the glacier in our comfortable tents, the Balti porters had slightly different sleeping arrangements. Their sleeping quarters consisted of a circular ring of stones, piled up to a height of 2-3ft and about 15ft in circumference. They would throw a rug over the floor and cover the top with a plastic sheet. Inside, they would pack themselves head-foot like sardines for warmth. Since I'd managed to strike up a good relationship with them, on one occasion I was invited to join them in their pad. As I politely declined, they laughed uproariously. doh.gif There were many such human moments, which will probably stay with me just as much as the mountains will.

Edit (Aug 16, 2013): A couple of days ago I was sent an email informing me of the deaths of one climber (Czech) on Gasherbrum-I and another two (from New Zealand) on K2. The Czech climber was in a group who camped right next to us for three days of the approach, while I had made friends with the liaison officer for the K2 group, who hiked alongside us for four days. Very, very sad. frown.gif

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'Gali'Walker => 'Mountain-pass' walker
bobbi: "...don't you ever forget your camera!"
Photography: https://www.flickr.com/photos/shahiddurrani/albums
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Treehugger5
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PostMon Aug 19, 2013 8:23 pm 
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Ancient Ambler wrote:
I am rendered almost speechless by your amazing trip and TR.  Your excellent narrative and stunning photography really captured "the finest mountain scenery on the planet" and I was particularly captivated by your keenly realized people shots, as well.  Your TR obviously represents a tremendous amount of work.  Thanks for sharing your dream trip with us.


I can't really say anything to better this.  Exactly.  When I see pictures like this, I wish the entire world could do things like this--to remind each one that there is a whole planet full of completely different worlds within worlds and one needs to gaze upon them, breathe the air in them, smell the smells in them.  What a difference it might make for perspective in the human essence.

I'd like to know more about the dwelling in pic 59, and am I mistaken or is that Himalayan Birch in no. 127?

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Elrond's Rocket of Rivendell~ hiker and runner extraordinaire
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GaliWalker
Have camera will use



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GaliWalker
Have camera will use
PostMon Aug 19, 2013 9:09 pm 
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Treehugger5 wrote:
I'd like to know more about the dwelling in pic 59, and am I mistaken or is that Himalayan Birch in no. 127?

Yes, the tree in #127 was a Himalayan White Birch. There were three or four of those and all quite large. In the heat of the day, the shade they provided was so welcome.

The dwelling in #59 was located above our campsite at Urdukas. Urdukas was one of the more spectacular campsites on the trek: located about 300ft above the lateral moraine, it had magnificent views over the Baltoro Glacier and the last green grass for the next few days. The tent platforms were cut in 1909 by the duke of Abruzzi, who led the earliest explorations of K2. The name Urdukas comes from urdwaa-kas, which means "a stone with cracks", because there was an abundance of huge boulders which formed natural rock shelters for the porters. One such shelter was home to the dwelling.

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'Gali'Walker => 'Mountain-pass' walker
bobbi: "...don't you ever forget your camera!"
Photography: https://www.flickr.com/photos/shahiddurrani/albums
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Magellan
Brutally Handsome



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Magellan
Brutally Handsome
PostMon Aug 19, 2013 9:25 pm 
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I finally got around to reading the whole thing.  Thanks so much Gali for taking the time to document this amazing trip.  Your people pictures really are amazing, and that is saying a lot after having admired your landscapes for years.

Masherbrum (25,660ft), the world's 22nd highest peak.  Karakorams, Pakistan (July 20, 2013)
Masherbrum (25,660ft), the world's 22nd highest peak.  Karakorams, Pakistan (July 20, 2013)

This shot would have made the trip worth it for me.  up.gif  up.gif  up.gif
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Treehugger5
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PostMon Aug 19, 2013 10:52 pm 
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GaliWalker wrote:
Yes, the tree in #127 was a Himalayan White Birch. There were three or four of those and all quite large. In the heat of the day, the shade they provided was so welcome.

The dwelling in #59 was located above our campsite at Urdukas. Urdukas was one of the more spectacular campsites on the trek: located about 300ft above the lateral moraine, it had magnificent views over the Baltoro Glacier and the last green grass for the next few days. The tent platforms were cut in 1909 by the duke of Abruzzi, who led the earliest explorations of K2. The name Urdukas comes from urdwaa-kas, which means "a stone with cracks", because there was an abundance of huge boulders which formed natural rock shelters for the porters. One such shelter was home to the dwelling.

Ahh. Birch are among my favorite trees. Graceful, exquisite beauty in the harshest of landscapes.

I have to ask: did you go in the dwelling? smile.gif

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Elrond's Rocket of Rivendell~ hiker and runner extraordinaire
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GaliWalker
Have camera will use



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GaliWalker
Have camera will use
PostTue Aug 20, 2013 8:41 am 
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No, didn't even go up to the dwelling - I wasn't feeling too well that day, but honestly, it never even occurred to me! doh.gif

White birch is also one of my favorites. In fall, which is right round the corner, when the leaves turn yellow, they are a magnificent sight. I've seen them like this in New England and northern Pennsylvania. To my untrained eye the white birch looks just like the aspen, which is my favorite tree along with our larch.

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'Gali'Walker => 'Mountain-pass' walker
bobbi: "...don't you ever forget your camera!"
Photography: https://www.flickr.com/photos/shahiddurrani/albums
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resilient
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resilient
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PostFri Sep 06, 2013 11:26 pm 
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Magellan wrote:
I finally got around to reading the whole thing.  Thanks so much Gali for taking the time to document this amazing trip.

ditto.gif

THANK YOU !!!
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marta
wildflower maven



Joined: 07 May 2003
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marta
wildflower maven
PostMon Sep 09, 2013 9:02 am 
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What an absolutely amazing journey, trip report and photos. Congratulations on making your dream come true through all the challenges. And Thank you for sharing.
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