Wednesday, February 11


Here is Rakoposhi, which I photographed in 1997 from the Karokoram Highway (KKH) in Pakistan. The mountain is part of the Karakorams in the Nagar Valley or approximately 100 km north of Gilgit, where we spent several days on our way into the Hunza Valley. 

Rakoposhi is 7,788 metres (25,551 ft) at its peak and means "shining wall" in the local language. It is also the 27th highest in the world and the 12th in Pakistan - K2, which I also saw from the KKH, is Pakistan's highest at 8,611 metres (28,251 ft). Rakaposhi was first climbed in 1958 by Mike Banks and Tom Patey of the British-Pakistani expedition, via the Southwest Spur / Ridge Route. Weeks before our arrival, an ill-prepared Pakistani team became stuck at 24,000 feet - not anticipating several nights exposure on the open redige several died from the extreme temperatures. As our guide Munir told me, "it was a macho thing." 

Apparently and not surprisingly, Pakistani men feel an urge to prove themselves against their mountain Gods. Rakaposhi is also notable for its exceptional rise over local terrain. On the north, it rises 5,800m in only an 11.5km horizontal distance from the Hunza River. The skree at the bottom of the photograph is a glacier. 

I took this photograph, using my father's Nikon F-2, at Ghulmat (located in the Nagar Valley) which is called "Zero Point of Rakaposhi;" there has otherwise been no doctoring of the image. Recently I scanned a number of similar photos so I will try to post them here occasionally.