Islamabad, start of the celebrations

January 22, in Islamabad take place the press conference to present the official team of Pakistani Expedition to K2 sixty year later.
With this press conference start officially the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the first scent of K2.

Take part to the conference: Agostino Da Polenza, President of EvK2Cnr Committee, Raffaele Del Cima, director SEED, A climate research and mountain development project under the framework of Pakistan-Italy Debt-for-Development Swap Agreement (PIDSA), Saeed Akhtar Rizvi, Secretary Tourism Gilgit-Batistan, Khadim Hussain, Secretary Forests and Wildlife Gilgit-Batistan, Amjad Ayub, president Pakistan Association of Tour Operators (PATO) and Munir Ahmed, climate communication expert
January 22, 2014
Islamabad: ‘K-2 is the best brand that Pakistan should market globally to promote adventure tourism, it would bring not only forex to strengthen Pakistan’s economy but would also promote country’s soft image’, said Agostino Da Poenza, world’s one of the top mountaineers and EvK2CNR president.
Da Polenza was addressing the press conference to launch the year-long celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the K2 first ascent by the Italian expedition in 1954. Along with him were Raffaele Del Cima, director SEED, A climate research and mountain development project under the framework of Pakistan-Italy Debt-for-Development Swap Agreement (PIDSA), Saeed Akhtar Rizvi, Secretary Tourism Gilgit-Batistan, Khadim Hussain, Secretary Forests and Wildlife Gilgit-Batistan, Amjad Ayub, president Pakistan Association of Tour Operators (PATO) and Munir Ahmed, climate communication expert.
Da Polenza said Italians have over a century old love for the land, people and culture of the Karakorum on the Pakistan side. Climbing up the K-2 peak is always a dream for the mountaineers, but Pakistan need to take the concrete steps to project its treasure. To realise the dream of five mountaineers from the Gilgit-Baltistan, the Ev-K2-CNR would financially support an expedition to attempt scaling of the K2 peak in the coming summer. Da Polemza said.
Raffaele Del Cima, the director SEED project, said the governments of Pakistan and Italy have been investing in Gilgit-Baltistan for the last four years in climate, geology and glaciology research besides strengthening the Central Karakorum National Park (CKNP) with requisite infrastructure to promote eco-friendly tourism. It is the high time to promote tourism to the CKNP and expeditions to K-2. The SEED-EvK2CNR has partnered with the Pakistan Association of Tour Operators (PATO) to link the GB eco-tourism services to the mainstream markets, for that sake two festivals have been planned one each in Lahore and Karachi the month of March this year. The specially produced brochure would help market the tourism itineraries to Europe and other parts of the world, Del Cima said.
Saeed Akhtar Rizvi, Secretary Tourism Gilgit-Batistan, Khadim Hussain, Secretary Forests and Wildlife Gilgit-Batistan and Agostino Da Polenza, president EvK2CNR also signed two MoUs to promote and strengthen tourism and cultural marketing.
Saeed Akhtar Rizvi said Gilgit-Batistan has great potential of tourism and on the other hand the locals are starved for resources to promote their culture and craft. The Italian cooperation has contributed significantly in the fields of research and management plans.
Amjad Ayub of PATO said the tales about the mountains in the GB could fetch many visitors to help sustain the diminishing tourism, we are all eager to mark the K2 first ascent celebrations and extend the traditional Gilgit-Batistan hospitality with the professional excellence of the PATO member tour operators.

Glaciers: the karakorum anomaly

SKARDU, Pakistan – The global trend of progressive glacial retreat has one exception, which the scientific community dubbed as the “Karakorum anomaly”. In 2012 Julie Gardelle, Etienne Berthier and Yves Arnaud from the Universities of Grenoble and Toulouse recorded a mass increase of those glaciers of +0.11± 0.22 m per year by comparing data from a digital terrain model from 2000 with the most recent ones of 2008.

“It cannot be considered as an actual increase”, says Prof. Claudio Smiraglia. “The reasons for the anomaly might be due to the specific climatic conditions of the area, where precipitations are not limited to the summer monsoons, as is the case with the neighboring Himalaya, but they also occur throughout winter.” However, the magnitude and causes of such phenomenon beg for more detailed research, in spite of the actual difficulties in operating in one of Earth’s most remote areas.

Further proof of the significant stability of the Karakorum glaciers in recent decades comes from hydrology: scientific studies suggest that a slight reduction of the strongly cryonival [ice and snow, ed.] ownflow from the Indus high basin,” explains Renzo Rosso, Professor of Hydrology at the Polytechnic University of Milan. Climatic causes are probably at the heart of the phenomenon, but this anomaly may as well preserve the 18,000 square kilometers of ice cover of this area for a long time. “As part of the joint projects with EvK2Cnr, we are drafting scenarios projections with several climatic models,” continues Rosso, “which show how climate change could affect the Karakorum ice around the middle of the century.

This development will have significant impact on people, ecosystems and the economy: the melting of such vast glaciers could indeed provide more water for civil uses, although it could also lead to issues concerning hydrological risks.”

K2 60 years later

prova per newsK2 …
Is, probably, the most frightening, loved and admired mountain. A peak dreamed, in the last one hundred years by very different people, a peak able to attract with his magnetism the imagination of mountaineers , scientists, adventurers from all over the world. If at the beginning of the century to reach the base of the mountain was an epic adventure, today , while climb it still remains an effort for the few, reach the base camp admiring it severe silhouetted against the Pakistani sky is a reachable dream.

In 1954 …
… Achille Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli, led by Ardito Desio, reached for  the first in the history, the summit of K2. The success of the expedition was been possible thanks to the determination of the Italian team, but also thanks to the support of the Pakistani people.

In 2004 ..

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of first ascent,  EvK2Cnr Committee, founded by Desio and supported by the Italian Government, led two alpine expedition, one scientific expedition and the helps of other organizations and associations, organized some activities to promote the anniversary. During that summer over 6000 trekkers, climbers and tourists visited the heart of the mountains of Karakourm.

Today …
… 60 years later, the Government of Gilgit Baltistan (the north Pakistani region), the CKNP, the SEED project for the implementation of the Central Karakorum National Park, the EvK2Cnr Committee,Pakistan Tour Operators, and some other organizations celebrate the 60th anniversary of first ascent with a series of initiative. The target is to promote this area.

The alpine Pakistani expedition…
For the first time an official Pakistani team will attempt to the summit. EvK2Cnr Committee, in order to remember the determinant contribution of Pakistani People during the first ascent, will support the team.

The events to celebrate the 60th anniversary …
Among the set of events organized during this summer there are the Silk Route Festival, the Silk Route Film Festival, an exhibition dedicated to Filippo de Filippi, one of the first explorers of Karakorum, and several other initiatives.

The adventure for mountaineer and trekkers from all over the world …
The Pakistan tour operators, in order to celebrate the 60th anniversary, organize a set of new treks and tours to visit Karakorum and reach K2 base camp. Pato guarantee  professional services, experienced guides, qualified staff with appropriate levels of security to international standards.

K2 60 years later, a Pakistani expedition will attempt the summit

K2 PakistaniSKARDU , Pakistan – A team of Pakistani climbers will attempt the summit of K2 next summer, exactly 60 years after the first ascent of the second highest mountain in the word (8611 m). In the past, some strong Pakistani climbers reached the summit of the famous 8000er, often working as high altitude porters for foreign expeditions, but the mountain – considered by the most the hardest one to climb in the world – has never been climbed by a completely Pakistani expedition. Next summer a group of Pakistani climbers will try to reach the summit of K2. The expedition, carried out with an Italian support in the backstage, will attempt the route of the first climb, accomplished in 1954 by the Italian team led by Ardito Desio.

Q-VETTA copia1954 , 2004, and 2014: here are the years of three historic expeditions on K2, tied each other in the sign of mountaineering , exploration and science. The first ascent of the mountain was accomplished in 1954 by the famous Italian expedition led by Ardito Desio: Achille Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli reached the summit on July 31st climbing the Abruzzi Spur. It was a “conquest” not only from a climbing point of view, but also from a scientific one, since many important surveys were carried out by the expedition in the area of Baltoro Glacier.

In 2004, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first ascent, the Italian EvK2Cnr Committee organized a large scientific and mountaineering expedition, with a wide program of surveys and measurements on the 2 highest mountains in the world: Everest and K2. Now, in memory of the 60th anniversary of the first climb and as a sign of friendship that has joined Italy and Pakistan for the last decades, EvK2Cnr will support the Pakistani expedition that will be organized for the summer 2014.

The ” Pakistani K2 expedition 2014-60 years later” was presented in Islamabad at the end of January, during a press conference. The expedition will be organized within the Pakistani celebrations of K2 first ascent, aimed at promoting all over the world the beauty and tourist offers of the Karakorum National Park.

K2 2004 rettangolareThe conference was attended by the Secretary Forests and the Secretary Tourism of Gilgit Baltistan. Both said to be excited for the coming celebrations and expressed the intention to give financial and administrative support, in particular to the expedition. They also praised the work done by the Concordia Rescue Team, the first mountain rescue service in Karakorum created by the EvK2Cnr Committee in 2012 and composed by Pakistani staff specifically trained for high altitude rescue, emphasizing the will to make it become a permanent service in Gilgit Baltistan. The Secretaries signed also two agreements with Evk2Cnr to guarantee 6 years of collaboration for the tourism and socio -economic development of the area.

At the press conference in Islamabad was also announced a special event that will be organized in the framework of the K2 celebrations: next July 31st  a great party will be held in Skardu: all the summiters of K2 since 1954 to date will be invited.

As in 1954 and in 2004, also the 2014 expedition will have a scientific program: a group of researchers from the Italian National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics of Trieste will carry out a scientific survey to measure the thickness of Baltoro Glacier.

“I think it’s important to keep the memory of Italian and Pakistani history with such a great event for sport and mountaineering  but also for culture and science – said Agostino Da Polenza, president of EvK2Cnr – . I met the climbers that will attempt K2 last summer on the Baltoro Glacier, after their climb on Broad Peak, and they seemed to me very determined and motivated”.

The climbers of the expedition “K2 60 years later” will be 6, coming from different villages like Hushey , Shigar and Sapara. According to plans , they will reach K2 Base camp early in the season in order to prepare personally the climbing route with fixed ropes, also for the benefit of anyone who will attempt the climb during the summer.

The expedition leader is Muhammad Taqi. The rest of the team is composed by Ali Durani, Hassan Jan, Ghulam Mehdi, Muhammad Hassan and Ghulam Nabi. The youngest of the group is 23 years old and the oldest 38. Their curricula include several expedition to 8000 meters mountains, sometimes as climbers, sometimes as high altitude porters. They are also working for the Concordia Rescue Team.

“Most of them attended the mountaineering and rescue training courses we have organized for the last 5 years in Gilgit Baltistan” said Maurizio Gallo, responsible for EvK2Cnr activities in Pakistan.

The coming Pakistani expedition to K2 will be in line with the activities promoted over the last years by EvK2Cnr in this area: the climbers, descending the mountain, will collect waste along the Abruzzi Spur, and will provide help and assistance , if necessary, as high altitude rescuers.
The collaboration of EvK2Cnr and the Government of Gilgit Baltistan has been working since several years, with projects like Seed and Karakorum Trust for the sustainable development of the area.

The first ascent of K2: a story worth to tell

news hitorJuly 31st, 1954. For the first time ever, two men set their foot on the summit of K2, the second highest mountain in the world. They were Achille Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli. That day, K2 became “the mountain of Italians”. The current rhetoric of mountaineering has lost this kind of epic language and feel, typical of the postwar years, but at the time the ascent sonded like a conquest , a glorious achievement. And even today , the first ascent of K2 remains a story worth to tell.

The 1954 expedition, carried out under the patronage of Italian Alpine Club, the National Research Council, the Military Geographic Institute and the Italian Government, was led by Ardito Desio. Geologist and explorer, Desio had already led two expedition in Karakorum before, perfoming the first topographical surveys in that unexplored area and carrying out important geological and geographic studies among those mountains. The 1954 expedition was planned with the same scientific and exploratory purposes , beyond having a clear mountaineering goal.

The team was composed by 13 climbers from different Italian regions and 5 researchers. Several Pakistani porters helped them in transporting the equipment  to the base camp, and some of them partecipated  to the climb of the mountain . The climbers were: Achille Compagnoni, Lino Lacedelli, Walter Bonatti, Ugo Angelino, Erich Abram, Mario Fantin, Cirillo Floreanini, Pino Gallotti, Guido Pagani, Mario Puchoz, Ubaldo Rey, Gino Soldà and Sergio Viotto. Scientists were: Desio, Paolo Graziosi, Marussi Antonio , Bruno Zanettin and Francesco Lombardi.

They chose to follow the Abruzzi Spur, on the south east face of the mountain, to reach the 8611 m. summit  of K2: 9 camps were installed on the route to the summit. In early June, the expedition was already installing the first higher camps. On June 21st Mario Puchoz died in camp 2 because of pulmonary edema. The expedition continued after this tragedy and climbers took turns on the mountain to set camps and fixed ropes. It was a great teamwork that led Achille Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli to reach the summit on July 31, 1954. A key contribution in achieving this success was given by Walter Bonatti and Amir Mahdi, who risked their life to bring the oxygen tanks – needed to climb to the summit – to their companions: they were forced to bivuac without shelter at 8100 m. in the night between July 30 and 31.

The following day climbers from camp 7 (7600 meters) saw Compagnoni and Lacedelli reaching the summit of K2. They planted in the snow an ice axe with the Italian and Pakistani flags.

Fifth ipcc report, is mankind the major cause of climate change?

STOCKHOLM, Sweden — “It is highly likely that human activity is the major cause of the global warming observed since 1950.” The first part of the fifth IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report on climate change (AR5), made public at the beginning of October, leaves little room for doubt on the underlying causes of this phenomenon that scientists, politicians and the general public have been talking about – and worrying about – for decades.

“The past three decades have been increasingly warmer. Each preceding decade since 1850 recorded lower temperatures,” scientists claim. “The atmosphere and the oceans have warmed up, the amount of snow and ice has decreased, the global mean sea level has increased and greenhouse gases concentrations have also increased,” said Qin Dahe, co-Chair of the IPCC Working Group I.

“Severe and long-lasting reductions of greenhouse gases are necessary in order to contain climate change,” added co-chair Thomas Stocker. The report includes four different scenarios that consider a temperature rise – for the period 2081– 2100, and relative to the period 1986-2005 – of 0.3–1.7°C in the most optimistic case, and of 2.6–4.8°C in the worst-case scenario. “It is almost certain that with the rise in global mean temperatures there will be an increase of extreme heat peaks and a decrease in cold peaks in most areas, both daily and seasonal ones. It is highly likely that there will be an increased frequency and duration of heat waves. Occasionally, cold winters will continue to occur,” some scientists add. In the Northern Hemisphere, the spring snow cover surface will also decrease by 7–25% from now until the end of the century. If the sea level will continue to rise in the upcoming decades (by 0.52–0.98 m in the worst-case scenario), climate change will also affect the carbon cycle and therefore increase CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

Lahore, Jilani Park CKNP Fair

On March 28-29-30, inside the Jilani Park and in the adiacent Lahore Chamber of Commerce offices take place the promotional fair of Karakorum Region. Stands and several events are organized to present the Central Karakorum National Park, its mountains, specially the K2, and Gilgit Baltistan resources.

THE PROMOTIONAL FAIR

The fair is organized by the Seed Project in collaboration with PATO, the directorate of CKNP and the Lahore Chamber of Commerce. The fair is dedicated to CKNP Park and its stunning mountains, some stands promote production activities typical of the area: mining of precious stones, wooden handicraft production and agricultural production.

PATO, the association of tour operators in Pakistan, give information related to trekking and tourist offers organized for the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the first ascent of K2, at the center of the new packages of the association. To the Great Mountain, its history and to the Mountaineering Pakistani Expedition 2014  is dedicated a special stand. In the Jilani Park there are special installation: a climbing wall, rafting and Paragliding corners. Is also possible to taste typical food from Gilgit Baltistan Region.

THE EXHIBITIONS:

Trough C.K.N.P Historical, cultural, environmental routes on the way to the mountains

This exhibit is dedicated to Central Karakorum National Park, to its flora and fauna and to its historical and cultural heritage. More than 20 panels with the support of multimedia documentations guide the visitors through the most peculiar routes inside the Park.

Rediscovering the Abode of Snow

Photo highlights from Filippo De Filippi 1913-1914

Scientific Expedition in Central Asia:  Karakoram – Himalaya – Eastern Turkestan
The Photo exhibition is dedicated to the great geographical and scientific expedition led by Filippo De Filippi. More than one hundred years ago he explored the Karakorum and Himalayan regions.  Some photographs  illustrate spectacular glaciers of the Karakoram

HERE THE LINK TO THE FLORENCE EXHIBITION OF 2012

THE KARAKORUM MOUNTAIN FILM FESTIVAL: A PREVIEW

A set of film, preview of the KARAKORUM MOUNTAIN FILM FESTIVAL, part of the  Silk Route Film Festival and organized by EvK2CNR in collaboration with the Orobie Film Festival, on May in Gilgit Baltistan. Mountains, wildness, alpinism, but also environment, nature, culture and history: a set of films to promote the mountain experience in all its aspect.

The SiIk Route Festival

Silk Route Festival: May 17th-18th Skardu; 19th-20th Gilgit; 21th-22th Hunza.
A series of initiative, organized by the GB Tourism Department are planned in order to promote this wonderful region.

Among the initiative of the Silk Route Festival:
The Karakorum Mountain Film Festival
Mountains, wildness, alpinism, but also environment, nature, culture and history: a set of films to promote the mountain experience in all its aspect.
Rediscovering the Abode of Snow
Photo highlights from Filippo De Filippi 1913-1914 Scientific Expedition in Central Asia: Karakoram – Himalaya – Eastern Turkestan