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Blankonthemap INFO N°52
14th october 2013

 

 

 

 

Envolées belles
A story of bivouac flight

 

A major book on the bivouac flight told by regretted Philippe Nodet and retranscribed by his wife from her personal notes.

Exclusive interview of Mariette Nodet for Blankonthemap!

 

 

Where common peoples marking with their steps and baptizing of their names mountains summits, Philippe overflew it without arrogance and with the healthy and simple desire of pondering. Because the obvious fact knocks in the reading of this book. On more than a read page I said to myself " but so why the climbers do not think of stealing, at least to spot their objectives closer and avoid the traps ?! " This book is a real call to the passion, to the freedom, to the beauty.

Mariette Nodet pleases us to speak to us about this exceptional book.


[Blankonthemap] Mariette, can you tell us about your book?
[Mariette Nodet] " My " book? I worked four years on this project and I have not been able to put my name on the cover ! Just because it's not my book, but the Philippes book dreamed of writing. I am committed to not add anything to the material he had left behind him books flights kid , travel books , articles and interviews. The task was to select , assemble, truncate if necessary, to highlight or echo, to be a book that you would not want to leave .
4 years to make it sure looks long, actually I worked in fits and starts , in addition to my work, my travels and my daily survival . There has been long periods of latency , and other periods of intense work. The hardest part is to work alone, and at the same time this is what I needed. Finally, the initial project was to collect the writings of his father, Lou, this has resulted in a real book on the flight camp that may be of interest as the mountain , the traveler as impassionate by Himalayas and more . That's what was important to me : I wanted anything but a memory book tearful , but a hymn to live fully ! In this sense , it is "his" book !

[BOTM] Why this book? I insist
[MN] The realization of this book was a necessity even if I did not know what form it would lead. Initially, books discovered in the business of Philippe have plunged me into his world, the bivouac flight. I was in the hands of far more valuable than just writing stories or thoughts because they revealed deeper quest that has always animated Philippe: freedom, commitment, nature related to a search for spirituality. They echoed, but more raw and real, all the articles that had been written before. So I decided to use these writings to form a testimony.
This realization was to me justified by the fact that Philip had planned to write a book on the bivouac flight . At the time of his accident, he was currently working on the foundations of a book with a publishing house . So even though Wings beautiful has nothing to do with the book allegedly written by Philip, I have also in me this deep joy to have realized this project close to his heart.

[BOTM] I quote the chapter naturally captivated me, the chapter "the geographer Happiness": "For me, three kinds of roaming complement the bivouac flight. One aesthetic, ideal road connecting the summits. The other imaginary from my readings. And a last upper air. My tools? Approximate maps, Google earth. I track my routes, taking into account above all the laws of the upper air, and stress relief. But, especially for the Karakoram, they also faithfully follow the thread of my imagination fed stories Wilfried Thesiger, Eric Shipton, Bill Tilman, spies Great Game, to climbers Mummery, Herman Buhl or Messner. " Thanks to the bivouacs flight,
Philippe was it one of the last true explorers in this over and disenchanted world?

[MN] I don't think we can say it was one of the last true explorers, it would not be presumptuous? Because exploration is always reinventing and luckily he is constantly inflamed to delight us again. But it is true that he had a major asset, like all those who practice flight bivouac, one can use an absolutely extraordinary exploration tool: paragliding. Its lightness and simplicity allowed can address very remote areas, without being too shift towards local populations. The glider also implies a state of openness, acceptance, it allows for experiences that we could not live in moving otherwise. Philip had more donation to marry his love of reading, geography and flight.

[BOTM] Presumptuous ? I can not help but think of the great explorers by reading this passage: " The view is literally stunning. We are exactly at the vertical confluence of the most fantastic three mountain ranges in the world, Karakoram , Hindu Kush and Pamir . And while I wind thermals closer to sailing Julien , suddenly I measure my situation to the exact culmination of my passion for adventure. We just live in the most beautiful flight of our lives.
After the last full vertical Khoz Sar (6800m) , we switch to a Tolkien world, a giant ice castle with a multitude of breathtaking walls , completely frozen. The transition is carefree, and now we 're off for a long session slide in vertical glacier Yacund with already in sight of the mountains red blood Valley Chapursan . We managed to cross the Batura ! The emotion is the extent of the landscape , fatigue too, and I do not see that my speed / ground speeds frankly me closer to the bottom of the valley. A strong katabatic wind rushes into effect of this huge ice mass. "
. Shipton Tillman Thesiger and others have never seen this part of the world as Phillipe , I think the north side of Khoz Sar in particular, totally unknown as too far away from view. In the Karakoram , besides the fact that many areas of mass remain to be discovered , we would probably do some amazing discoveries like these curious aerological corridors including Philippe speaks, winds style jet streams or ancestries of staggering 150m upspeeds/ minute only this range can offer. Philip was one of the first pioneer of this exploration there, isn't it?
[MN] In fact, the exploration livings him completely. I remember the entire evening immersed in the old stories of pionners, those hours on the Internet to connect past and future... and especially the time he spent endless then to share my discoveries and enthusiasm for the next voyage of discovery ! It was tiring, that he was often so excited he could not help but walk by talking , but fortunately our room was tiny and it was soon the turn! In short, a hyperactive illuminated at times ! This enthusiasm is finally easy to understand when you know that he traveled areas are geographically still very little known. And there's something incredible to say the twenty-first century conceals a multitude of mysteries to break something . It is true that in any case there weather in Karakoram and the Himalayas in general, is unknown. I really wish someone takes this exploration !

[BOTM] Philippe explored the remote Asia to the mountains with his paraglider, I think by the daring voyage he made the Hindu Raj range in the south steeper slope. He could baptize by his name as wind corridor, or as we call heat as a top or a high pass, with the difference that it is probably easiest to set a name on a mountain on which it made its mark on an element invisible and unpredictable isn't it?
[MN]
You're right, what's more ephemeral than the elements of the thin air! And basically, I think that Philippe gave these elements perfectly: he would never have imagined baptize any place if he was unknown, it was not his state of mind. The only thing that mattered was the pleasure, joy to excel and learn. I really believe that he had nothing to prove to anyone, or only things to himself, so intimate that I never shared them (so intimate that they were probably unconscious).


Philippe, Himalayas in background

[BOTM] Mariette, and you? You mention in the book projects to follow the Philip footsteps in the Northern Pakistan. What's up?
[MN] I do not say it is in the footsteps of Philippe I plan this trip north Pakistan. I hope to be honest when I say I do not go in his footsteps, even if it is obvious that I would not set foot in this place without him. Philippe had fallen so in love with this region and its people, he shared so much enthusiasm that we are bound to feel gradually "from there", beyond the fears of the unknown (including related what the media describe the political or religious as a country on the spot) . In 2010, we went with Lou in Afghanistan. You can call me crazy, but I would say it was an amazing trip, one that I certainly stronger in my short history of traveler. The target area was the Wakhan corridor, mythical and beautiful across the country, and we were accompanied by Dario January Alam, the Pakistani friend of Philippe, very well connected to Wakhis and Kyrgyz language that inhabit this mountain land . Despite your determination, you go with the ball in the stomach must admit (especially with respect to Lou , who was 6 years old ) , and then you let yourself be transformed by everything that happens to you, the beauty and simplicity of things especially . It is only in this kind of country you can experience things like this, where you can really let you shape. Then go north Pakistan, just across the corridor, it's a bit the same logic to this approach : it is continue to allow feeding by the improbable. It is also found Alam Jan , the landscape of the Karakoram, not exploit, just short long as this is the only way to fully experience this kind of experience. I just need the energy to do it , and people who believe in me to get there... I know it will happen soon!


Par Philippe et Mariette Nodet.
160 pages with pictures.
15 euros + 4 euros for post stamps.

On sale now via the button below. If you want to sell the book, do not hesitate to contact us. Free shipping for purchases over 10 books.


© Blankonthemap - octobre 2013


Blankonthemap INFO N°51
25 juin 2013

 

Massacre in paradise

11 climbers have died on the
Nanga Parbat base camp Diamir side.

There are news that give a bad taste in the mouth. From memory, this is the first time we attacked the tourists in the area. 11 climbers killed by a bullet in the head, it's serious.

After all the events that Pakistan has relied in recent years, I thought the region would be destabilized earlier, in 2007, for example, after the Red Mosque assault, when the Taliban were trying to led Sharia laws in the Swat valley and landed in Islamabad doors. The Swat Valley is just near to the Indus, or the valley remained neutral. We also know that this is where Pakistani commandos join the line of Indo-Pakistani front where it heats occasionally.

 

it is therefore spent on the CB of Nanga Parbat, west side (Diamir), I have personal memories of a bad trip with armed pakis that control the access road and did not hesitate to play with their toys ... I'm sure it's just a creepy story of a misunderstanding, non-payment of a bakchich. All tourists like guns shops in the Kohistan villages as Chilas. Recall that bin Laden himself was hiding in Abbotabbad, a town on the KKH with probable bodyguards organized and dissuasive. The situation is also part of a worrying escalationas the murder of 20 innocent people in a bus on the side of Babusar pass last year. Of course, nothing to do with what happens further north in Hunza for example, but I remember a Canadian couple on their way to Kunjerab arrested between Passu Karimabad and in their personal and threatened by a dead car group had finally fled without reason.

The cause is claimed to have achieved an international echo, see if it will be fun.... Personally I am not optimistic for the future. The season is probably already fucking and perhaps for years. The scope of the drama will be probably immeasurable, first for local people.

Thinking of all those we love in this marvelous part of the world.


© Blankonthemap - juin 2013


Blankonthemap INFO N°50
may 8 th2013

 

 

New war on Depsang plateau?

It is a piece of news gone unnoticed in France but of a big importance as regards the fragile regional balances around the Himalayan territories. China made in April a 19 km raid on the Depsang plateau near the famous Karakoram pass what could be similar to an annexation since Kargil in 1999.

Although modest, this raid stop discussions about the border disputes between India and China which seemed nevertheless left well. The Indian diplomacy is underway. At this moment, China plays the reassurance but denies raid on a Chinese territory (to her). The technique is ground well and it is likely that China camps obstinately over its new positions.

These events bring to light the border disputes Indo-Sino-Pakistanais of a rare complexity which the difficult topography of Himalaya and Karakoram does not have allowed at the appropriate time to solve. The situation is to be closely followed because let us not forget that it is on the same tray(plateau) of Depsang that India was humbled by giving up(by selling) its major part in 1962. it's is allowed to think that India still bruised by this war shines do not leave in front of this new affront.

© Blankonthemap - mai 2013


Blankonthemap INFO N°49
October 9 th 2012

 

 

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!



Forgotten on the roof of the World - Afghanistan's Pamir mountains - all images ©Matthieu Paley
from Matthieu Paley.

© Blankonthemap - Oct. 2012


Blankonthemap INFO N°48
1 Oct. 2012

 

A wonderfull flight around K2

 

© Blankonthemap - Oct. 2012


Blankonthemap INFO N°47
15 th june 2011


 

Karakoram
by Pierre Neyret

The great crossing through Karakoram 2011
Shimshall Pass 4700m
Lukpe La 5600m
Braldu Brakk 6200m
Sim La 5450m
Dom Peak 5830m

It is in place name Urdukas in summer 2005 I met Pierre by big chance, as big as the great big walls of the Trango towers as we watched both on a rock together. Chance? not that much. I soon met a man who is totally passionate about the mountains of Karakoram, this passion has quickly bound. I would once again talking about his passionate expeditions.

Like every year, Pierre holds a magical journey in the ice of the Karakoram range, near the Snow Lake, not far from the Blank on the Map of the pioneers and the absolute dream. Commercial expedition? Yes but not only. The routes are still organized by Pierre ran away from big roads and I know myself that passes between landscapes and virgins peaks of these far regions are among the finest in Asia and the world, the Baltoro seems almost bland next to ... It is a wonderful playground, adventure and beauty for the eyes, Pierre knows it better than anyone. It can even take you to the virgin peaks that abound in the region as Braldu Brakk (6200m) this year.


Jahangeer Shah

But let Pierre Neyret speak on his travels: "I am always astonished to meet nobody in these unique areas in the world. Sure, it's a little bit complicated to organize, it's a big job, you really need want to have! There are more simple work as guiding! I am fortunate to live a kind of golden age when everything is to do and write on a huge territory.
An email from a customer that made me recently happy: "It is true that the scenery is exceptionally beautiful, that the meetings are rich and varied but it is only a small part of the success of this adventure in my feel ... I truly believe that your joy to you and Jahangeer is the reason for the Great Crossing exceptional! "
This story with Jahangeer which began 8 years ago, is my best mountains story ! Jahangeer is like me, in love with what he calls "the white paradise" and is determined to pursue these adventures. We are strong with a rich common experience of these great glaciers. The friendship between us is largely responsible for the success of these expeditions. Jahangeer lives in Aliabad (Hunza), I met him for the first time in my first experience on skis Hispar Biafo in 2003. He had never skiing before, people Hispar promised death in view of the prevailing winter conditions on the mountain that year, but he trusted me and went up with me. Since then, he participated in every experience. He is the only guide Pakistan to do that. It has a small agency called Adventure Guide Pakistan. We did discover Snow Lake to nearly 60 people, and we will continue! ".

Jahangeer web site (Adventure Guides Pakistan): http://www.visitagp.com

Here the way 2011 on a map:

Carte expé Pierre Neyret 2011


Especially for Blankonthemap, Pierre Neyret here tells us some of his best images in 2011. I, who had the chance to go to these beautiful places, I can say at the sight of these pictures, I really want to return quickly. If you feel like it, it's easy, just ask to Pierre Neyret !


© Blankonthemap - Jun. 2011


 

Blankonthemap INFO N°46
24 th january 2011

 

Nangma valley with Anne Bauvois

 

As you know, Blankonthemap is frend with those who are reinventing the mountain and less to those who flock to the main summits, with guarantee for fame, but often nothing more than vanity, purchased a sudden thousands of Euros. When Anne introduced me to explore the Nangma valley, I fell in love with its romantic way to practice mountainering and recall me the story of the pioneers. Here woman sensitivity although rare in the guide little world is probably something to do.

Then, lets you tie immediately with Anne on the high and majestuous Big Walls of Nangma valley for here exploratory expedition, romantic, joyful she offers !

It is thanks to Marco who has traveled the Himalayas for several months on foot and by bus, has germinated the idea of exploring Nangma. The team is quickly made up of 4 enthusiasts peoples for a simple logistic and 2 distinct purposes. Marco and Fred go on a big wall 600m high: essentially a rock face where North oriented systems of cracks are getting lost in an arch overhanging ... Fred (another) and myself will remain on a lightweight technical alpine approach with a small light and versatile equipment.

At a day's walk from Hushe, our porters carry the equipment up to 3900m CB, ideally situated along a creek in a meadow bordered with alders. Once the carriers have gone, we stay alone with dzos in pasture up there. In Skardu, we made full of food: fruits, vegetables, eggs, rice, flour, dried apricots, seeds, tea, but some bars and canned Nestlé outdated. We cooked by ourselves.

Balance sheet of the expedition: Fred and Marco open "Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" 630m 6c and A3. Big wall very steep north face of Roughkangchan III (4630m). Opening the bottom capsule technique. Final assault of 7-day wall. Directions primarily crack on good rock cleverly maneuvering among the huge overhangs located at 2/3 of the wall. Descent on foot in steep grass slopes.

Fred and I are opening a path to the unknown peak (5400m) above the Roughkangchan III. Technical Alpine peak in a camp and go back the next day (AD, mixed 60 ° slopes, rock 4). Below, a glacial basin surrounded by mountains mixed probably never climbed. He will return ...

Opening the bottom of a climbing lane on the south side of the CB (200m D +, A1 and 5c).

Featured many technical routes (through) and to attempt to Drifika 6200m (6400m) in alpine technique to the day from a bivouac at 4900m. We underestimated the height of the face and vitreous ice greatly slowed our progress. Impossible to attempt a camp up there with our equipment without leaving some fingers... so we return down cause of the descent is long and delicate.

Logistics CB full of surprises: The dzo toppled stones of the kitchen and all our vegetables are eaten in the first week! Stoves work very poorly as a background gas was mixed with kerosene. Youth Hushe come and sing and give us preparation of chapatis. We let them taste our manufacturing bread cooked in a small oven baked granite.

pictures here joint:

 

 

Marc Vanpé:

Mountain guide, hardy adventurer.

Frédéric Jolly:

Enduring engineer, long amateur trails.

Frédéric Hasbani:

Ingenious engineer and climber.

Anne Bauvois:

Mountain guide, enthusiastic.

Blankonthemap do not like too much marketting promotions but I have no scruples to advise you Anne for your next mountain trip.
I am very familiar with Anne for having rented his services a few days of glorious summer in the Parc des Ecrins (France).
If you like to map routes off the beaten path, you prepare Anne pieces and knows how to share his passion for the mountains!


Anne Bauvois
Le village de Hurtières
38570
France Tél.: 0033 670 101 837

 

© Blankonthemap - Jan. 2011

 



 

Blankonthemap INFO N°45
04 January 2011

 

Happy new year 2011
and special wishes for Gojalis people

A year later, a landslide caused the monster more terrible humanitarian disaster in the Norther Karakoram. Besides the 20 dead, a lake 23 kilometers long was formed and gradually submerged 3 villages and valuable fields.

Under pressure, the water was connected to fear a sudden collapse of the dam and a natural disaster of global proportions, but it did not. The mass of rock will close access for a long time access to Gojal area and Chinese border to conventional vehicles. Already now estimated at 6 years of work to rebuild disappeared road and submerged bridges. In addition to trade between China and Pakistan almost stopped along the KKH, the access to care is dramaticly difficult for the 23000 inhabitants.

Despite the efforts of Pakistani and Chinese governments, for food, fuel and aids for displaced people, the plight of Gojal is stil complete. In winter, ice on the lake prevented boats and all vehicles and closes more and more Gojal and its inhabitants in an extremely precarious destiny.


Spillway steps

 

 

 

© Blankonthemap - Jan. 2011

 



Blankonthemap INFO N°44
14 november 2010

 


Shimshal paths, an association that made its way!

The association was founded in autumn 2009. Our target is simple: help Shimshal to improve the condition of their tracks and especially tracks that allow villagers to travel to the high pastures in the Shimshal Pass areas.
This spring 2010, a development funded by the association with 40000 RPS (350 €) helped to secure a dangerously portion between Wuch Furzeen and Past Furzeen. Work has been done to stabilize 500m path. The most dangerous 50 meters were shunted by opening a new way.
After this, we have some new development projects in partnerships with Shimshalis people. If some of you are interested in our approach, please contact us.
Here joint pictures of the last word on the way to Shuwert:


Dangerous way before work

Villagers at work

Villagers at work

Pause after work

Work

Work

Trail view: before (red) and after work (green)

By Olivier Galibert

Association President

© Blankonthemap - Nov 2010

 

 

 

 

 

Blankonthemap INFO N°43
1 november 2010

 

Picture of the month

Urdukas by night
Shot with a D200 and a Sigma 15 mm lens at iso 100 with 2 minute exposures in the moonlight

© Blankonthemap - Nov 2010

 

 

 

 

Blankonthemap INFO N°42
1 octobre 2010

 

The extraordinary story of a Russian expedition to the borders of the Chinese Karakoram


Since 2006, I liked to share with you surpises findings in the corners of the web. With good luck, I came across this website counting an expedition entirely unique wich Blankonthemap love to tell you. The website tells the extraordinary expedition of six russians members in a mountaineering trek with the blessing of Russian Mountaineering Federation during the months of July and August 2006. Under their heavy backpacks, they explore the huge northern faces of K2, Broad Peak and Gasherbrums. This site contains a collection of pictures with worth exceptional quality:

The site is in Russian which makes its understanding quite difficult but with Google Translation can easily translate it:

Version anglaise




The members of the expedition:

Jdanov, Ivan Nikolaïevitch
Borning date: 01/08/1973
Leader, Photographer
Andrey Lebedev
Borning date: 27/07/1956
Co Leader , vidéo operator
Rashitovich Rustam Bikchurin
Borning date: 06/10/1979
Steward
Zharov, Andrei V.
Borning date: 01/02/1980
Photographer
Timoshenkov Sergeevich Alexey
Borning date: 16/12/1985
Doctor
Tarin Dmitry
Borning date: 09/03/1982

This website tells the whole story in every details with great reinforcements of pictures, maps and even videos, and always with great humor!

The route crosses several high passes largely unknown, including 3 over 6000 meters and a final climb to 6631m in the northern face of Gasherbrum IV (7932m) Chinese side, never explored! These cheerful companions explore the unexplored valleys and shows us the wonderful photographs some of the most fantastic lanscapes on the earth, such as K2, is rarely photographed his face is finally under our eyes!

The commitment is total. A broken leg and is certain death without assistance or satellite phone. The autonomy and freedom require heavy bags for 35 days of walking! They will return all emaciated, the member Rustam Rashitovich Bikchurin even having lost 17kgs!

Some of the best pictures with comments:


Picture taken at Northwestern Skiang Kangri.

 


Picture taken east side of Skiang Kangri (7545m)

 


Northern faces Gasherbrum II (8034m), Gasherbrum III (7946m) and Gasherbrum IV (7932), Broad Peak face (8051),
Sella Pass (6063) between the peaks (6824m and 6928m) with just the right K2 (8611m).

 


Hidden Peak (8080m), Gasherbrum II (8034m) and Gasherbrum III (7946m) northern faces.

 


Gasherbrum IV ascent: 5800 Plateau in the north face of Gasherbrum IV between camps 1 and 2 of the icefall.

 


Gasherbrum IV ascent: anorama Camp 6074m to the south-east.

 


Gasherbrum IV ascent : (6631m high camp), looking north-west with Falchan Pass (6490m) and Broad Peak (8051m) in mosoon.

And an unforgetten picture of the northern face of K2 (6805x4744 pixels!, 2,02 MB!!):

... and also the story of the Kongur exploration (south Kashgar) here :

Version anglaise

 

I'm interesting for contacting members of this expedition (I tried without success).
thank you!

© Blankonthemap - Oct 2010

 



 

Blankonthemap INFO N°41
12 june 2010

 

Younghusband map (1888) from Bejing to Kashmir

Perhaps could you imagine the importance of this incredible travel make by Francis Younghusband in 1887 in central Asia and, ate the end, look for a pass to go through the Karakoram wall, the Muztagh pass. Younghusband's crossed the pass 123 years ago and won him considerable fame and became one of the defining moments of the "Great Game" phase of mountain exploration in the Karakoram.

During the amazing trip of Schlagintweit brothers, Adolf Concordia was the first to discover the Muztagh Pass 1855. The scond was SF Younghusband. It certainly was a remarkable achievement to lead a group of untrained and ill equipped locals down such a feature using only a single pick axe, a few yards of pony tack and the unravelled turban of Wali, his faithful servant. The third crossing of this pass only happened in 1929 when Ardito Desio (later famous as the leader of the successful 1954 Italian K2 expedition) made a crossing as part of the Duke of Spoletto’s large scientific expedition. Bernard Odier’s team in 1990 claimed the first crossing by a ski expedition. Nowadays, the pass still make people dreams.


See other Baltoro maps:


PANMAH

(206 ko)

A lire sur ce thème :
Massif du karakoram au Cachemire

 

 


 

The mountainous area of northern Kashmir is still today very little visited, little known even totally unknown because it's prohibited. The hostile surroundings of high altitude, the Kashmir war, Islamic areas not open to tourism, unfindable maps, in short, northern Kashmir still remains today distant from science, humans and the world. It's still "Blank on the map" in the mountains of Kashmir, as was written by Erik Shipton, an English adventurer, in his well known adventurous recital, an adventure that he lived in Kashmir, in a border area of the Korakoram (Korakorum) at the end of the 30ties.

This site modestly tries to correct this gap. It approaches the important exploration dates of the far Kashmir mountains, it brings back into light the glorious period but completed, the great national expeditions, amongst others, Italian and English, as well as the great mountaineering conquest in Kashmir which marked the history of the world mountaineering. The area is still highly desired by the Chinese, Indian and Pakistani conquers. You will find a chronology of this conflict with a summary of the considerable geopolitical stakes of this area, center of the world, crossroads of people and their cultures. You will read the suggestion of a geographical isolation particulary in northern Kashmir that probably contributed to worsten the painful partition of India and Pakistan and which inevitably led to the first Kashmir war in 1947, a strong argument still existing up to this date. Recently, in 1984, India disputed the borders set up with the argument "cartographic oppression" non existing at that time and 35 yrs after the partition of the border set up of the northern territories of Kashmir. For that reason, India felt it right to go to war on the highest world glacier of Siachen in Pakistan.

Finally, to try to demystify the mountainous zones of northern Kashmir, a unique orographic area of the world, however prohibited because of wars or too far and unaccessible, this site proposes a series of geographical maps and satellite images of great interest. You'll find geographical inspections of the Himalaya and Karakorum massif, of Nanga Parbat, of Hindu Kush and the Hindu Raj massif, but also rare documents of the far away countries of the Siachen glacier, valley of Shaksgam and Shyok or the far platform of Aksin Chin surrounded by the mysterious Aghil massif. The cultural aspect is also examined, trying to describe the people and tribes who are part of exceptional ethnic’s patchwork of the area. Finally, to decorate this, there are 300 personal photos of mountains and the trip from various aspects.


Northern Kashmir is an isolated and contrasted area, deserted and arctic, largely admired and always jealoused on. This site is an invitation through time and one of the most beautiful mountain areas, to dream, one might want to dream of the last unknown soil of the world. If this could be of use to you for any details or future expeditions to Kashmir, it would be my greates award and please feel free to contact me on this subject.


Have a good trip !

Bruno Collard.

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