CHERNOBYL CHARITIES TREKING EXPEDITION TO K2 BASE CAMP IN THE KARAKORUM MOUNTAINS – JUNE/JULY 2012
A trip is being organised to northern Pakistan by Chris Broome (Chernobyl Children Life Line coordinator for the Midlands and South Yorkshire) this coming summer (June/July) to trek into the Karakorum range (Concordia area) of the majestic Himalayan mountains. The trip, as well as being a once in a life time experience, will also be used to raise awareness and the profile of Chernobyl charities both in the UK and hopefully across Europe. Details of the trek have been given to several other UK Chernobyl charities. We are also extending the invitation to Chernobyl charities in Europe through the European Chernobyl Network (ECN) of which CCLL and CCP(UK) were two of the founding members.
You don’t need to be an experienced mountaineer to join the expedition! You must be 18 or older though, be in good health and at a decent level of fitness. There is no upper age limit
The idea is to provide a unique opportunity for supporters of Chernobyl charities and their friends and family, who have always wanted to go to see for themselves the highest mountains in the world but have never quite got around to doing it for one reason or another, to come together under one banner and, as well as having the time of your lives amongst the beauty and grandeur of the Himalaya, to also use the opportunity, if they so wish, to raise funds for their charity through sponsorship etc. It is also my intention to produce a video of the trip as well as a Power Point presentation which people who are on the trip can use for giving talks to other organisations to promote their charity.
Adventure Peaks (AP) are a well established and respected British expedition company based in the Lake District who specialise in organising expeditions to mountain areas all over the world. They have agreed to support the Chernobyl charities initiative. They will be making all the arrangements for the trip which will be treated as a private expedition so long as there are at least 7 people going. No limit has been given on the maximum number of participants that can go. If large numbers of people were interested then we may consider splitting into two groups but that is an unlikely scenario at this stage.
AP will provide experienced expedition leaders/guides for the trip and organise everything that is needed, flights, expedition equipment e.g. tents, including porters to carry everything required for the trip including most of our personal clothing and equipment. They also provide local cooks to make our meals and they will even erect the tents for us! All you need to take is your own personal clothing and a warm sleeping bag and insulation matress, camera etc. During the trek you only have to carry with you what you will need for the day, the porters carry everything else.
The date of the trip has been provisionally set for departure from the UK on the 23rd June. Being a private expedition we could change this date if we wished to so we could go possibly a week earlier in June if that suited most people better. The planned trip would take 25 days in total including flights. We would have the opportunity to climb Gondogoro Peak (5835m/19,143ft) which, I am advised, is a straightforward snow slope ascent of approximately 900ft from the summit of Gondogoro La (Pass) which we trek over on the way back after leaving K2 base camp. There is a photo of the peak and the pass and you can just make out the snow slope leading to the summit. Previous ice axe or crampon experience is not essential, you would be given all necessary instruction in their use during the trek.
The trek will follow the famous Baltoro Glacier up to K2 base camp, passing many great peaks on the way, where we spend a couple of nights to take in the magic of this very special place. We shall see Masherbrum, Broad Peak (8,047m), the Gasherbrums and of course K2 itself in all its glory. K2 (8,616m) is the second highest mountain in the world.
One of the CCLL Belarusian Gruop Leaders, Bob Skupanovich, is to be invited to come on the trip. He has been over to the UK as a Leader for the Bonsall & Derbyshire Dales Link three times with groups of children over the last seven years. He loves the outdoors and mountain walking and hiked up Snowdon with me and one of the Chernobyl children the last time he was here. This was the first mountain he had ever had the opportunity to climb. There are no mountains in Belarus unfortunately for Bob so he has no proper climbing experience but this will not be a problem for the K2 trek. Bob is an English teacher at the school in Elizovo, near to Osipovichi. As you will probably already be aware, the salaries of teachers in Belarus are very low, around $250 per month, at best. Bob lives in a small semi-detached bungalow, no car, living with his wife, Svieta, who is also an English teacher at the same school. As this will be a charity expedition, AP have agreed to reduce the cost of the trip for Bob by £75 per expedition member. Chernobyl charity funds will not be used to help pay for Bob’s expedition costs. However, if individuals would like to sponsor Bob, that would be very welcomed..
More detailed information about the K2 basecamp/Gondogoro Pass trek, can be found on the AP website www.adventurepeaks.com under ‘Treks’. The trip advertised doesn’t include the ascent of Gondogoro Peak which is something that AP are offering to include for us as a private expedition . There is also advertised an alternative K2 basecamp expedition trip which includes the climbing of Kharut Pyramid, a 6444m peak close to K2 which is a 29 day trip and does require previous winter climbing experience with ice axe and crampons. If there was insufficient interest for the private charity treking expedition then an alternative for anyone who was interested, would be to join the K2/Kharut Pyramid trip that is advertised on the AP website instead.
The cost of the 25-day charity expedition trip will be approx. £3,195. This is very nearly the same cost as you will find on their web site for their 23 day K2 Base camp trek which is without the opportunity of summiting Gondogoro Peak. There will be a few other costs in addition, meals and drinks at a couple of hotels on the way out and on the way back, tips for the porters. Also, you will need a Visa and rescue/medical insurance to include cover for helicopter recovery. All you need then is your own personal clothing, plus boots, sleeping bag, ice axe and crampons. Most of the specialist equipment can be hired from AP, if preferred. As the trek takes place in Pakistan, there is a small possibility that it may have to be called off if the political situation were to change for the worse and the Foreign Office advised against unessential travel to the country. Currently, there is no such advise in place but the situation would be kept under review by AP. If the trek had to be cancelled then we would receive a full refund of monies paid.
If you are interested in the trip, please contact Chris Broome in the first instance and preferably before the end of February for an initial chat.
Chris Broome (CCLL Chair of Bonsall & Derbyshire Dales Link / Midlands Region Link Coordinator)
Home tel. no is 01629 824512 (evenings), Moble no. 07900 330209 (daytime). Email address firstname.lastname@example.org.