It’s been a busy two weeks since I arrived back from Pakistan and sorting through the mass of photography has been keeping me busy as well.
The five plus weeks away – 1 week travelling and a little over 4 in Baltistan itself proved very successful – the one blemish being almost constant illness plaguing the 4 of us throughout. The younger two members , Kadin and Elliot were particularly afflicted been bed ridden more than once. In all the years of travel I would have to say this was the worst trip illness wise I have experienced.
The filming went well – better than expected although I had no way of knowing that whilst up there and was only when I watched video on the computer back in New Zealand I realized how much good film I had. Of course good film largely depends on good subject matter and in filming the Balti’s I had an inexhaustible source of good material. Not only whilst watching them working on the glaciers or mountains but filming kids at school or watching shepherdess's running about steep mountain slopes after goats and cows- not to mention all the other great film occasions, the Balti’s never failed to deliver more than anyone wishing to make a documentary would hope. Their energy and good humor was a constant source of admiration for us all.
The journey was really several trips , one up to Askoli – all in bus’s and jeeps but a mission in itself, than hiking up the Baltoro glacier over the Gondogoro La into Hushe valley where we joined 5 Spanish trekkers who proved tougher than there physical dispositions and ages belied , before doing our mountaineering mission to Bondit peak. At the end we threw in a short trek to the Nangma valley before I rushed off to meet up with my old friend Khurram in the Kaghan valley and drive up to Babusar pass to check out routes for the mountain bike race we plan there for next year.
I have made a photo journal as below to cover the trip chronologically with the intention in later blogs to cover individual subjects in more detail.
Bodit icefall in detail , very broken !