Education of high porters, Hushe Valley (Pakistan)

Education of Pakistani High porters in installation of fixed ropes

The goal of the project is the installation of fixed ropes at Gondogoro La (Gondogoro Pass) at 5’600 müM. This pass is located on the Baltoro-Trek route, where also expeditions to K2, Gasherbrum and various other peaks will cross. A steep rock slope at Gondogoro pass (5650 m) of several hundred meters was crossed with considerable risks. With the installation of fixed ropes and the associated education of the local high porters, this passage will become a lot saver.

The education of nine high porters in the Hushe-Valley / Baltistan was a full success. These high porters are used to climb the peaks above 8’000 m in Karakorum with heavy loads. Thus they have little knowledge of the savety tecniques in mountaineering. For one week, we trained a team of nine high porters in rope handling, knots, rapelling and crevasse rescue. As part of the training, the highporters installed a first fixed rope section on an exposed rock passage of the trekking route to Gondogoro La.

In preparation we organized all the material (~400kg) for the installation of fixed ropes in Switzerland and sent it to Pakistan per Cargo. There were Hilti Accu-Drilling machines, fuel generators, 1’200m static ropes, bolts and plates, snow anchors and a lot of other equipment. For the most part, the material was donated for free and it will remain in Hushe Valley for further fixed installations.

With this first project in the region of the “little tibet”, as Baltistan is also known for, we have set a hopefully sustainable base which certainly will create succeeding projects for our Swiss Sherpa Foundation.

A great success with many stunning impressions and experiences with these amazing people and a fascinating scenery.