No wall is too high for Pakistani rock climbers.
Imran Junaidi and Usman Tariq, two rock climbers from the capital, have successfully scaled the Trango Braak, which is situated in the Trango Towers — a set of vertical-faced granite mountains in the Central Karakoram National Park in Gilgit-Baltistan.
The climbing expedition is being considered Pakistan’s first ‘big wall’ climb. Big wall is a type of rock climbing in which climbers ascend a route that usually requires more than a day’s climbing and they use portable ledges to live on the mountain face.
Junaidi and Tariq’s climbing expedition was a joint effort of the Pakistan Alpine Institute and the Ibex Climbing Club, working under the umbrella of the Islamabad Sport Climbing Association and the Islamabad Olympic Association.
“We are extremely happy to have taken on this challenge,” the climbers told a local news agency. “The climb was no doubt quite challenging at times but our four-year training made it possible for us to achieve this honour.”
The climbers said they used guidelines from respected Pakistani mountaineer Hasan Satpara, who is the only Pakistani to have scaled six mountains higher than 8,000 metres.
Junaidi and Tariq departed from Islamabad with plans to climb the Trango Towers. On the Pakistan Alpine Institute’s blog, Junaidi wrote that they had to abort that plan because of bad weather after they reached Camp 2 of the towers, which is located at around 5,200 metres.
The climbers then went for Trango Braak and climbed it in a three-day effort using a portaledge device to rest in.
Junaidi wrote that the climbers also got help from “Trad Climbing+,” a book co-authored by John Arran, one of the most accomplished climbers in the world.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 21st, 2013.