Gilgit-Baltistan Wildlife Management Board approves Management Plan for Central Karakoram National Park

26 February 2015- 4:00| Author Yasir Abbas | SKARDU PAKISTAN
Final approval of the Management Plan for Central Karakoram National Park (CKNP) Gilgit-Baltistan has been given in the 4th meeting of Gilgit-Baltistan Wildlife Management Board held on 26 February 2015 under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Gilgit-Baltistan in Conference Hall Gilgit. Meeting was participated by the Secretary Forests, Wildlife and Parks Gilgit-Baltistan, Secretary Tourism, Sports, Culture and Youth Affaires, Conservator Parks and Wildlife Gilgit-Baltistan, Director CKNP, representatives from Planning and Development Department as well as other relevant line departments. During the meeting Management Plan was presented to the board members. CKNP management plan document was prepared and completed by EvK2CNR and Directorate of CKNP during the last 5 years in the framework of KT-II and SEED projects with the contribution of the SEED project partner organizations, Forest, Parks and Environment Department GB and other line departments, various researchers form Italian universities and KIU. It was accomplished in 4 steps including Preliminary studies in Step- 1, Research and Planning in Step-2, Consultation and final document development in step-3 and Monitoring and revising in step-4. Planning process was started in 2009. In June 2012 initial findings were shared. June 2012 to 13 planning continued also taking into consideration the feedback received from the International workshop held at Islamabad in November 2012. In March 2013 Draft of the 1.1 version presented to the Government of GB in Gilgit and in November 2013 provisional approval was given by the Government. In the meanwhile from March 2013 to April 2014 communities and stakeholders were consulted and document was shared with the communities feedback was received and incorporated into the document. On these bases Management Plan integration and Operational Document was also developed and presented where interventions about 10 sectors have been identified which includes Wildlife, Vegetation, Tourism, Aromatic/medicinal plants and Non-wood forest products, Pastures and Livestock, , Mining, water, Local communities involvement, Research and agriculture. This Management Plan is a comprehensive document having major contents in 4 parts including as Part – 1: Baseline for the Management Plan, Part-2: Park Management Guidelines, Part-3: Thematic Management Guidelines and Part 4: Research Protocol. During the session the document was appreciated and considered as an incredible milestone for the sustainable management of the largest protected area of Pakistan.

Management Plan Book

Visit of Minister Forests, Wildlife, Environment and Finance Gilgit-Baltistan to CKNP Headquarters Skardu

20 February 2015- 1:40| Author Yasir Abbas | SKARDU PAKISTAN

Honorable Minister Forests, Wildlife, Environment and Finance Gilgit-Baltistan Haji Sanaullah visited the Directorate of Central Karakoram National Park (CKNP headquarters) Skardu today on February 20, 2015. Conservator Forests Baltistan, Divisional Forest Officer Skardu, Divisional Forest Officer Wildlife and other officials were also present during the visit to CKNP. Honorable Minister was warmly welcomed to the Headquarters by the Director CKNP and Staff. Minister Forests met with all staff during the visit. Joint efforts of CKNP and EvK2CNR for the better management of the largest Protected Area of Pakistan were discussed and appreciated during the session. Director CKNP, Abid Ali gave a detailed presentation to the honorable minister. During the briefing activities of CKNP as well as partner organizations in the framework of PC-I, SEED and other projects were presented to him. Salient features of the “Park between Earth and Sky”, Integrated Park Management Plan for CKNP, “CKNP Waste Management Fee” were also explained. Director CKNP threw light on the next phase of the PC-I for the sustainability of the interventions carried out or in progress under PC-I, SEED project as well as other partner organizations EvK2CNR, WWF-P, AKRSP and MGPO.

2066 Ibex, 149 Markhor and 51 Ladakh Urial have been sighted in CKNP valleys during winter wildlife assessment from December 17, 2014 to January 12, 2015

16 February 2015- 2:00 | Author Yasir Abbas | SKARDU PAKISTAN

2266 ungulates have been sighted in CKNP valleys during the winter seasonal wildlife assessments in about 24 valleys in 4 Districts from December 17, 2014 to January 12, 2015. Among the total; Ibex were 2066, Markhor 149 and Ladakh Urial 51. Himalayan Ibex is widely distributed in all over the park valleys having maximum population in Hushey, Thalley, Baraldo and Hisper while Astor Markhor is confined only to Haramosh, Danyore-Juglot Gooro (District Gilgit) and Shanas area (Skandarabad-District Hunza Nagar). Ladakh Urial population is also confined only to one Catchment Division in North eastern part of park i.e Dumurdo Upper Braldo Shigar valley. Assessment was conducted through field staff as per Plan developed, keeping in view the CKNP standard wildlife research and monitoring Protocol. In Hopper valley survey was carried out jointly with WWF-P Gilgit while in rest of the planed valleys by CKNP field staff in collaboration with Department of Wildlife Gilgit-Baltistan and respective VCC/LSO representatives. As per CKNP Standard Protocol wildlife is assessed frequently every month and seasonal surveys are conducted twice a year in winter (December/January) and spring (April/May) aimed to provide a reliable monitoring of populations of large mammals, to assess their conservational status and to potentially plan trophy hunting activities. As an understanding of ecological and conservational principles, as well as reliable ecological data, are fundamental requirements for successful conservation and management actions. Information on population size and distribution of a species is important to assess its status, i.e. declining, or stable, or increasing. If numbers of a population are known, its management could be properly addressed. This action is particularly important for a protected area like CKNP where several “threatened” species are present and subjected to moderate trophy hunting as well in future.

CKNP game watchers have been trained and made capable in wildlife monitoring and standard methods for data collection as Standardized long term series of data are indeed vital for management purposes as well as to know the status. Game watchers have been provided with binoculars, a compass, a GPS, Spotting scope (only to potential valleys staff), data sheets and other required field gears like sleeping bags, rucksacks, jackets, shoes etc. They visit monthly each valley/sub-valley, always in the same sequence; monthly counts of ibex, using the prescribed format of field sheet and geo-referencing the location of each sighting. For each direct observation, number of individuals and group structure is also noted down.  Data is collected on winter mortality of wild ungulates, on the basis of carcasses found in the following spring season, using the prescribed data sheet. Presence of Carnivores and Predation is also assessed through prescribed formats provided to Game watchers for better management by introducing Livestock insurance and vaccination schemes. Staff corresponds the field observations to the Ecologist and on the basis; a proper database is being built on distribution, movements and minimum numbers of ungulates and other “prey” species in the Park valleys.


Visit of Chief Secretary Gilgit-Baltistan to CKNP Headquarters Skardu


20 November 2014-14:00 | Author Yasir Abbas | SKARDU PAKISTAN

Honourable Chief Secretary Gilgit-Baltistan Sikandar Sultan Raja, Secretary Forest, Wildlife and Environment Gilgit-Baltistan, Khadim Hussain Saleem, Commissioner Baltistan, Deputy Inspector General Baltistan, Deputy Commissioner Skardu visited the Directorate of Central Karakuram National Park (headquarters) Skardu on November 19, 2014. Conservator Forests Baltistan, Divisional Forest Officer Skardu, Divisional Forest Officer Wildlife, Assistant Commissioner Skardu, Site Engineer EvK2CNR and other officials were also present during the visit to CKNP. Honorable Chief Secretary was warmly welcomed to the Headquarters of CKNP by the Secretary Forest GB, CKNP Directorate staff and other officials of Forest department. Chief Secretary visited every office of headquarters and met with staff. He also visited the new portion of the headquarters building where site engineer EvK2CNR, CKNP staff and Secretary Forest GB briefed him about the building plan and execution work. Joint efforts of CKNP and EvK2CNR for the better management of the largest Protected Area of Pakistan were discussed and appreciated during the session. In the briefing by Secretary Forest, Directorate staff, Site Engineer; activities of CKNP as well as partner organizations in the framework of PC-I, SEED and other projects were presented to him. Salient features of the “Park between Earth and Sky”, Integrated Park Management Plan for CKNP, CKNP Entry and campsite flat fee were also explained. Secretary Forest GB threw light on the next phase of the PC-I for the sustainability of the interventions carried out or in progress under PC-I, SEED project as well as other partner organizations EvK2CNR,WWF-P,ARKRSP,MGPO. Honorable Chief Secretary advised to keep the matter on priority before ending the ongoing project.



948 tourists visited CKNP this year as per CKNP Registration data


30 September 2014-12:00 | Author Yasir Abbas | SKARDU PAKISTAN

As per CKNP Visitors registration system this year (till ending September 2014) total 948 tourists visited the Central Karakoram National Park (CKNP). 585 visitors entered in park via Askoli, 95 from Hushey, 1 from Hisper while 267 from Minapin. Keeping in view the peculiar nature of the park, longer duration of stay inside the park, garbage produced in camp sites by the trekkers and expedition members as well as the sustainability of work done by partner organizations particularly EvK2CNR and MGPO for the camps and waste management, Ev-K2-CNR and Directorate of CKNP jointly developed a comprehensive plan for fee implementation of fee system. This year on the basis of said plan fee was imposed by the Secretary Forests Wildlife and Environment Gilgit-Baltistan vide letter No. FW&E-CKNP 3(4)/F/2013 dated March 6, 2014 for the visitors as per prescribed rates and Nationalities mentioned in the notification. Directorate of CKNP implements the visitor registration and park fee from the month of May 2014 till September 2014 through staff deputed at Visitor Registration Centers Askoli Maidan, Hushey and Hisper. The assessment has been made to record overall flow of visitor in park via, as per assessment this year 267 tourist entered into Park via Minapin.  Details of the progress made so far regarding the visitors registration along with the fee payment is as under:

Since this fee mechanism is new, implementing for the first time in the park thus some challenges and issues are faced by the staff mainly because of confusion created among the visitors, Tour operators, communities, even CKNP staff due to some letters regarding suspension of the said fee. However CKNP staffs strive their level best to implement the fee system with full spirit in order to help staging CKNP as an ideal tourism destination.



visitors registration

And it is the top of the K2! Climbers on the summit 60 years after the first ascent


UPDATED h 12:00 – BASE CAMP OF K2, Pakistan – It is the top! They went to the top of K2 Pakistanis Hassan Jan, Ali Durani, Rahmat Ullah Baig and Ghulam Mehdi Ali and Muhammad Sadiq, members of the expedition K2 60 years later. A few seconds ago came the news of the summit also Tamara Lunger, Klaus Gruber and 16 Sherpas. Michael Cucchi and Czech Radek Jaros are 80 meters away. We sentitio the “Summiter” live on the radio screaming: Pakistan zindabad! K2 expeditation zindabad! EvK2Cnr zindabad!
The news comes at a time of peak, vehement and happy. Different people are going up. Among the first to arrive Pakistani climbers and Sherpas, but there are also Italians Tamara Lunger and Klaus Gruber, while Cucchi should arrive shortly since the last update saw him 80 meters from the top.
The first official expedition in Pakistan is carried out with the support of Italy and EvK2Cnr. The team includes Michael Cucchi, Simone Origone and Agostino Da Polenza which follows from the base camp. Leading the way along the neck of the bottle and took turns through the Sherpas with oxygen and four Pakistanis Hassan Jan, Ali Durani, Rahmat Ullah Baig and Ghulam Mehdi achieved uphill from Ali and Muhammad Sadiq. Simone Origone has reached about 8200 and has returned to camp 4 with Muhammad Hassan.
“They had so much of that desire to climb – commented Agostino Da Polenza, president of the Italian EvK2Cnr, who is following step by step the whole expedition from the base camp of K2 – to prove their worth on their mountain, the arrival summit has become an escape chassis. In front of Sherpas and Pakistani. The first oxygen without the other. Alternate in the head to knock the snow, sometimes founded after the 8200 meters across which together have equipped with a fixed rope to secure the descent. ”
“Then on – continued from Polenza -, head down, with the sun that warms the bones finally protected by heavy suits and feather. Twenty paces then change. The lungs and the heart are in agony, the Sherpas are breathing a mixture of air and oxygen that leads them 2000 feet down, they are there to work, the Pakistanis are breathing the thin air of ottomilaquattrocento meters. Only air for them, their pride and passion for these mountains. Head down, towards the summit. Another two, twenty paces, then change. “

Mountaineers climb K2, a few hours to the top. Real-time updates


25 July 2014 – 21:17 | Author: 

UPDATED 06:00 h 26/07 – “The first to go should be under the area of ‘Shark fin’, normally from there in 2 or 2 and a half hours to reach the top. The nice thing is that we are in front of our Pakistanis, particularly Ali Durani, who is a boy of 24 years strong. He is going ahead with 3 Sherpas: he climbs without oxygen, Sherpas with the 3 “. This is the last update just arrived from Agostino Da Polenza from K2 base camp, where at this time the climbers are climbing the last stretch of the Abruzzi Spur route that separates them from the top.
UPDATE 02:40 h 26/07 – “Long phone call with Daniel, Simon has returned to Camp 4. Was left with a slight headache which has been increasing. He preferred to give up towards the neck of the bottle and return to camp safely where it is now. All others are continuing. To view Daniel sees a group of people now after the cross, some on the other through the top of the neck of the bottle. No downhill. See you again at 7 o’clock. ”
Simone Origone is then returned to Camp 4, where he is currently with Daniele Nardi, who had telephone contact with base camp. It was he who informed Agostino Da Polenza of the current state of the ascent of K2 expedition 60 Years Later and the position of the climbers on the mountain.
“The sun has risen from 15 minutes on the summit, and has already reached the shoulder and 4 from the field a few minutes – always wrote a little while ago From Polenza -. Daniel says that the temperature is already alzata.Conferma the good condition of Simon. ”
“For more than an hour operations started at the Concordia Rescue team for the recovery of the injured in field 2 of Broad Peak – From Polenza finally ends, giving news of what is happening on the mountain even in the face of K2. Two men Concordia Rescue Team in fact, left the base camp of K2 last night to go to help a Taiwanese climber Become aware of bad return from the summit of Broad.
After a night of vigil, the good news that the climb is well under way and especially good time
After a night of vigil, the good news that the climb is well under way and especially good time
UPDATE 22:00 h 25/07 – “At 00:50 local time we had a telephone conversation with Field 4 with Daniele Nardi, who is trying to document photographically the departures to the summit – told us Stefania Mondini EvK2Cnr the field K2 base -. The situation is this: the former are left at 8 o’clock in the evening (always local time): Sherpas are 3 and 4 Pakistanis with oxygen without oxygen. Their task is to equip with 300 feet of rope the Bottleneck and the cross, then go to the summit. ”
The first 4 Pakistani climbers to leave the field 4 were Hassan Jan, Ali Durani, Rahmat Ullah and Ghulam Mehdi. They got all 4 without oxygen, they were instead Sherpa 3 with oxygen.
“At 10 pm local time parties with the other 3 Pakistanis first group of climbers expeditions – the continued Mondini -. About 11:30 pm departure of Giuseppe Pompili, Simon Origone and a bearer Pakistani high altitude, Amin Baig. 00:30 am departure of Michael Cucchi with Tamara Lunger and Klaus Gruber. Others are leaving at this time. From the base we saw the first headlamps towards the neck of the bottle, at the summit, Daniele Nardi has confirmed to us by telephone where they are the first parties. ”
At the foot of the bottleneck, under the serac
At the foot of the bottleneck, under the serac
The next phone appointment with Daniele Nardi is scheduled at 7 am Pakistani, and then in about a couple of hours. We will update in real-time news that will continue to get from the base camp of K2.

K2 climbers climb to Camp 4


July 25, 2014 – 09:28 | Author: Valentina d’Angella
BASE CAMP OF K2, Pakistan – They are coming up to the fourth field climbers of the expedition “K2, 60 Years later”. Simone Origone, Michael Cucchi, 7 Pakistanis and Daniele Nardi following them for photos and videos, are proceeding at this time, as well as several other teams that want groped tomorrow to reach the 8611 meters K2. “The weather is beautiful” tells Agostino Da Polenza, from base camp that has the telescope pointed at the wall from the first light of dawn.
The plan provides for the arrival in camp 4 in a matter of a few hours, then rest to share this night last difficult part of the climb via the Abruzzi Spur: the climbers will tackle the “Bottleneck”, 8200 meters, will exceed the big serac hanging of 100 meters, then the dangerous traverse left on a slope of 50, 55 degrees. The last 100 meters of snow will bring them on the final ridge, almost 20 meters in plan, and then the summit of K2 8611 meters.
Agostino Da Polenza follows with the telescope
The year of the 60th anniversary summit could see many climbers since many are trying and that the conditions would seem extraordinarily good for K2. Most of the team will attempt the summit tomorrow, July 26, a few others have chosen the following day, the 27th.
According to Explorersweb groped on the first day will be, over the climbers in the group “K2, 60 years later,” even Tamara Lunger, Giuseppe Pompili, Klaus Gruber and Amin Baig; International shipping which includes Adrian Hayes and Al Hancock; Chris Burke and Lhakpa Sherpa; mountaineers Czechs, two Greek Alexandros Athanasiadis Aravidis and Panagiotis, Spaniard Ferran Latorre and the three Nepalese mountaineers. Then there’s the Californian Cleo Weidlich uphill with 3 Sherpas from Cesen route.
On the 27th they should climb the Finnish Samuli Mansikka and Americans Garrett Madison, Alan Arnette, Matthew Dupuy and Fredrick Sylvester. The Polish team, which also goes by the Italian Simone La Terra, it seems instead that he intends to wait for a new window of good weather.

After the Black pyramid: all field 3, field 4 tomorrow, then attempting to summit


24 July 2014 – 13:32 | Autore: 
K2 BASE CAMP, Pakistan – A day of clear skies allowed all climbers of K2 expedition 60

The pyramid Nera to K2 (Photo Daniele Nardi)

The pyramid Nera to K2 (Photo Daniele Nardi)

years later to arrive without difficulty at the predetermined goal for today: field three to 7300 meters. The first to arrive 2 hours in advance on the others were Michael Cucchi, Simone Origone Hassan Jan strong climber and team leader Ali Durani, the youngest with his 24 years and that he was approached to ‘mountaineering’ s high altitude only two years ago thanks to the mountaineering school set up by Taqi and Hassan Jan in Hushey.
Afterwards came all the other members of the team. Daniele Nardi with his cameras and camcorders has taken mountaineers climb along the Black Pyramid, the passage of day to overcome to get to camp 3.
Even today confirm the predictions of the window of good weather tomorrow and the second program already mountaineers go up to camp 4. Then tomorrow night, at 22-23 Italian, they will move. The first to set up the path on the neck of the bottle and on the beam, then the other to follow groped for the summit.

Mountaineers on top of the 8000 peaks at Broad and GII, K2 is the day of the field 3


July 24, 2014 - 09:27 | Author: Valentina d'Angella
BASE CAMP OF K2, Pakistan - come confirmations yesterday on eight thousand peaks in Karakorum. As learned from Agostino Da Polenza, stationed at the base camp of K2 with the "K2 after 60 years", 7 persons should be arriving at the summit yesterday both Gasherbrum II and Broad Peak, where even today they would be climbers going up. O the other hand K2 U.S. Cleo Weidlich and his Sherpas would arrive at camp 3 on the way Cesen, while the Italian and Pakistani team would be going up to the third camp at this time away from the Abruzzi Spur.
Since yesterday morning Polenza and Stefania Mondini were able to spot from the base camp two climbers close to the summit, climbing slowly but surely rise. Today comes confirmation of those peaks: in fact, also according to Explorersweb, at around 2 pm (local time) would have touched the 8,047 meters at the Broad Alex Gavan, Boyan Petrov and Ivan Tomov, who then spent the night at camp 3 and are now down towards the base. On the other hand, hard top center, the Polish team, exhausted, would be turned back 100 meters from the summit.
Even today it is already day of the summit of Broad Peak, where he is also going up Oscar Cadiach in search of his 14th and final eight thousand. According to the latest information Spaniard Jesus Morales and his Sherpa reached the summit at 6:15 am local otra. Success at the top for two Pakistanis and three Taiwanese and a Mexican couple. It also talks about some Koreans and Nepalese, while the Poles would have confirmed the top of Piotr Tomala, Agnieszka Bielecka and Marek Chmielarski. The latter would be a second team that has direct bearing on the main peak.
Gasherbrum II is news of several climbers went to the top yesterday: among them there would be an international shipment which is part of the turkish Findik Tunc, who has reached his 11th eight thousand, and a Korean team.
And finally, K2, where climbers today have as their objective the field 3. Cleo Weidlich The Californian, the only one this season chose to climb the Cesen route, it would have arrived along with his sherpa 3. The alpininisti the expedition "K2 60 years after" they would be going at this time. Updates will follow throughout the day.