Climber Kyle Dempster shares his adventures in Pakistan this summer:
The Pakistan Double Header-
The idea seemed preposterous even as we boarded the airplane departing Salt Lake City. Our goal was to climb first ascents on two separate seven-thousand meter peaks that were both located deep in the Pakistani Karakoram mountains. The political situation in the country was concerning enough but the thought of spending the next three months at high altitude in the remote mountains of northern Pakistan, had my stomach churning as our airplane took to the sky. Hayden was already asleep in the seat next to me and his calmness was comforting.
Hayden Kennedy and I met our Slovenian friend Urban Novak in Islamabad on July 2nd. We had all climbed together the previous summer and as we exchanged hugs we also talked about what we had come for; unfinished business on the east face of K7. We had come close on our new route in 2011 but were stopped short nearly 300 meters from the summit. The bells of redemption rang loud as we trekked into the Charakusa glacier and had our first glimpse of K7. After three weeks of acclimating on nearby mountains and rock towers that surround base camp we were ready for a go on the east face. We packed our climbing packs with one night of dehydrated dinner (yuck) and ten Probars (yummy) that we were confident would be enough food for what we guessed would be 48hrs of climbing. It felt great to be back on familiar terrain and as we surpassed our high point from the previous year we all felt hopeful that the summit was within reach. The climbing was cold and uncomfortable and often difficult but after 30hrs on the go, we had reached the summit!
After nearly a month of rest, lots of ice cream, a Probar® everyday, and six days of hiking to our next location on the Choktoi glacier. Hayden and I stood in awe at the south-east face of the Ogre 1. In 1977 Brits Doug Scott and Chris Bonnington made the first ascent of the Orge, their story is a famous one of survival after Doug broke both his legs near to the summit of the mountain and made a miraculous eight day crawl back to base camp. In the 35 years since their infamous epic only one other party had managed to reach the summit of the rugged mountain.
After three days of insane exposure, some of the most chossy rock we had ever climbed on (and some of the best), and perfect weather. Hayden and I stood on the tiny and simultaneously immense summit of the Orge 1. We had completed our goal of climbing two 7000 meter peaks in one summer and after we made a safe day and a half long descent, it was time to leave Pakistan. After all, the nearly 200 Probars that we had brought on the expedition were nearly finished.
Thanks for fueling an amazing summer!
Higher Ground Coffee
Local trying PROBAR® for first time.
Kyle at his coffee shop Higher Ground in Salt Lake City, Utah.