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Pamir, Forgotten on the roof of the world

La Martiniere editions recently published a marvelous book . Photographer Matthieu Paley and his wife Mareile Paley accompanied by anthropologist Ted Callahan take us on their enthusiastic story for over 10 years on this little end of the world: the little Pamir.
The story of the three is operated, punctuated by some judicious cropping historical and cultural richness of great value for the history of this region, like those of Kyrgyz people buffeted by geopolitical complex circumstances. This is precisely what makes this book exciting. The balance between narrative of exalted adventurers and thousand questions this story raises about the culture and history of these people on their bums plateau is well conducted. The story is also punctuated by quotes as an homage to Erik Shipton, Hedin, Wood ... to have humility and honesty that others in past passed by this area is quite rare and makes this book highly respectable.
But this is not a book for science or for historians, it is an adventure book and pictures. Matthieu's pictures are wonderful. With the beauty of the book very pleasant to touch on a soft print pleasant for eyes, the book is a very accomplished work both in substance and in form.
Ultimately this is a huge job, Matt hat, Mareile and Ted!

"Chronik der Erschliessung des Western Karakorum"
By Wolfgang Heichel

"Chronik DER erschliebung of Karakorum " is the first volume of an incredible historical and geographical books about Karakoram range. This book chronologically tell the great exploration dates of the Western part of the range since the first explorations in the 19th century until the 20th. This first volume describe one of the most mysterious parts of the range (Batura, Yashkuk, Purian Sar, Kampir Dior, Koz Sar, Lupghar, Passu and Naltar groups) because of the rare expeditions.

Wolfgang Hechel is the author of these 342 pages of texts illustrated by 17 maps (drawn by Jerzy Wala), 142 Abbildungen and 20 Skizzen. This book presents already the result of an incredible work. Wolfgang continues to write the continuation of this work, areas after area dates after dates, expeditions after expeditions, a work maybe complete in 2008 !.

Next parts of the chronicle:
Part 1 : "Western Karakorum" : Now available !
part 2 : Rakaposhi-Haramosh-Spantik-Sosbun Range (winter 2006/spring 2007, in english language)
part 3 : Hispar Range (finish approximate in inter 2007 in english language)

Hinduraj / Thui Range (finish approximate in 2007 / spring 2008 in english language)
Pamir-I-Wakhan (finish approximate in summer 2008, in english language)


"Chronik DER erschliebung of Karakorum " is the result of what Blankonthemap dreamed to illustrate at its beginnings : The exhaustive chronicle of the climb history in Karakoram range. Wolfgang Heichel achievde this gigantic project, at least for the Western part of the range. To know: this book written in German is not translated yet in English language but the charts and the photographs are very rare values. Lucky German-speaking or polyglot devils will regale themself of a very rich texte about the history of this mountainous area, the most fabulous of the world !

Book value : 27 Euros (inclusive postal costs)

To get the book, write to Wolfgang Heichel :

Wolfgang Heichel
Am Hutberg 9
D-01917 Kamenz

By Pam Henson


Pam Henson is living in New Zealand, she's writing book reviews and feature articles about travel for newspapers, she's professional writer. Passionate about the Northern areas, it has just completed a very beautiful book on Shimshal. She entrusts her project to us in a little interview :

I'm a very active member of the New Zealand Green Party, which has had some members in parliament for the last ten years. I'm 57 now, and my main physical activity is trekking. I love mountains, trekking, and for 15 years I was an enthusiastic English potholer, including one visit to Pierre St. Martin in the Pyrenees.To be honest, I only made one small horizontal trip in there, and it was a long time ago. I was potholing in various countries such as Papua New Guinea and Bulgaria before I moved to New Zealand from England.

This book has two aims : one is to promote knowledge about Pakistan and to encourage a more sympathetic attitude to the country. The other is to raise money for our Trust, the Shimshal Trust, which provides money for scholarships for Shimshali to go to university, or teacher training. The village has a subsistence farming culture, although that is changing, and it is hard for them to get the money to pay for education and training.

It's important for me to see more equal distribution of resources amongst the world's countries. For that to happen there has to be more understanding. Most people in Pakistan are great-hearted and welcoming, despite the lack of resources. Our little trust tries to set an example in a very small way of understanding and sharing resources.

The book has 216 pages including 8 pages of colour photographs.

It costs $25US plus $5 US postage and packing. the payment is made by
credit card using paypal on line.

The book can be ordered from the website


Or send a cheque to :

Pam Henson
1/45 Eden street, Island Bay, Wellington
New Zealand

Hautes vallées du Pakistan
Par Pierre Neyret et Géraldine Benestar

C'est à une œuvre ambitieuse à laquelle Pierre Neyret et Géraldine Benestar se sont attelés. Ce livre nous emmène à la découverte des hautes vallées du Pakistan, de ses multiples facettes, de Chitral à Skardu en passant par Gilgit et le Gojal. C'est avec un regard passionné et sensible que les auteurs égrainent les vallées du Nord Cachemire et les peuples qui y habitent.

Rien de moins facile que de vouloir partager avec le plus grand nombre la passion qui vous anime au plus profond de vous-même, avec ses tripes et son cœur, mais force est de constater que Pierre et Géraldine y parviennent à grand renfort d'images sublimes et de récits exaltants. Des sujets variés y sont abordés tels que l'histoire des premières explorations, le polo, l'ascension du Nanga Parbat ou l'actualité dramatique du conflit du Siachen ! De judicieuses introductions au début de chaque chapitre permettent de cadrer plus précisément les contextes historiques, géographiques et culturels indispensables à la bonne compréhension du sujet. Les thèmes de prédilection sont la transhumance de Shimshal et la traversée Biafo Hispar en hivernale, deux sujets que Pierre en grand spécialiste affectionne particulièrement. Le texte est illustré de très belles photographies qui ne vous seront peut-être pas inconnues si vous êtes lecteur des magazines de montagne. Seul bémol, les cartes manquent là où les plus érudits auraient probablement aimer situer davantage le décor du propos.

Mais qu'à cela ne tienne, " Hautes vallées du Pakistan " est à ma connaissance le seul livre francophone consacré au Nord Cachemire aussi entreprenant, l'un des seuls que je connaisse qui couvre ce sujet complexe avec autant d'intégrité. Sachons répondre à l'appel du cœur de Pierre et Géraldine en profitant de ce livre qui occupera la meilleurs place dans votre bibliothèque de livres de montagne !

Site web du livre :


A commander de suite sur le site de transboreal

Hautes vallées du pakistan
Transboréal, 23, rue Berthollet, Paris V
ISBN : 2913955-36-3

ou disponible dans toutes les bonnes librairies !

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