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K2 Base Camp Hike 2007

K2 Base Camp trek diary, the introduction

In the summer of 2007, I went hiking to Concordia and onwards to the base camp of K2, along with 4 friends, a guide, and 13 porters. I maintained a diary throughout the hike so I could write a detailed article once I got back – the following is my diary for the K2 base camp trek

Before setting out on the hike, I had looked up practically everything on the internet about the hike to Concordia, the acclaimed ‘throne of the mountain gods’. I wasn’t too happy with the information available on the internet, so I wanted to write a comprehensive article on the whole experience. Eight months later, that article remains unwritten, and after much head scratching, the simple answer is that words can’t do the experience justice.The pictures of the trip, while certainly nice, and some are downright amazing, fall short. So instead of a article, the following pages contain my notes from the my diary of the hike.

This was my first major hike, and it’s made me into a convert – I plan to go explore as much of the world as I can by human powered means – really, it’s the only way to see the world.

The plan is simple: Hike to K2 base camp, and back over the Gondogoro LA pass!! 26th June if all goes well we take the flight to Skardu – so stands the plan. You can see our initial plan here.

For what really happened, read on! Continue reading K2 Base Camp Hike 2007

Khorwah Medical Camp – Views of Shakiba Shelley

One could perhaps be forgiven for thinking that a off road trip to set up a medical camp for the villagers of Pakistan would be a mixture of mosquitoes, no running water and intense heat.  THINK AGAIN !!!.

As an Angraise, I found the whole experience to be both, humbling and exciting.

The whole journey started off from the Founders of the ‘Off Road Karachi Club’, sumptuous house in Karachi.  A convoy of five robust but yet luxurious jeeps set off for fun and adventure.  More vehicles became added to our convoy at later stages.

Continue reading Khorwah Medical Camp – Views of Shakiba Shelley

Khorwah Medical Camp

Photographs from offroadpakistan’s medical camp in the village of Khorwah, district Badin in Sindh. The group included doctors, veterinarians and volunteers from Karachi who were selfless in their efforts to give back to a community. Hand pumps were also distributed.

Photos courtesy Click here for the photo gallery. Writeups of the camp are incoming:

Jay Shah’s pilgramage to Mata Hinglaj

A few years ago, longer than I’d like to think about now, we met Jay Shah, who had come to Pakistan to visit Mata Hinglaj. Our offroad club took him to Hingol, and it was the start of a wonderful friendship. Jay wrote a wonderful writeup of his visit to Pakistan and his travels with the offroad club and his pilgramage to hinglaj, as well as a video of his trip:

Jay’s 2006 Pilgrimage to Hingula Devi in Balochistan, Pakistan from offroadpakistan on Vimeo.

Continue reading Jay Shah’s pilgramage to Mata Hinglaj

Help OffroadPakistan’s Flood Relief

Handed out food packages

OffroadPakistan and friends have put together an effort to help people effected by the floods in Pakistan. We are providing relief ourselves (delivery and distribution) in Sindh area. Right now it’s food and essentials and temporary shelter. Next we would support run a refugee camp (our choosing of location) providing food, water, medicines/medical camps, clothing etc. Later help some really needful families to rebuilt their homes etc.

Since we are not an NGO, we have got the help of Behbood Association (local NGO) working far last 35 years – they have set up a separate account for us, they will manage, supervise and audit for us.

If any one wants to help contribution can be sent to this account (details here)

Please pass it on to friends!

Hamid Omar

Life is miserable with everything under water from the flood

OffroadPakistan working together with Behbood

To find out more check these out:

Submerged house in Jamshoro

Happy to have received food enough for two meals.

One of the many tent cities

Photo by Ali Khurshid for OffroadPakistan

There is water everywhere, and this water will stay a while

Flood Relief

The earthquake’s that have hit Pakistan in 2005 and 2008 were regarded as the worst tragedy for the nation. Few have realized that the recent floods have in fact caused more damage then those earthquakes did. As per latest reports official figures stand at 1600 dead and 20 million left homeless.

The Monsoon rains began three weeks ago and have washed away roads, bridges and communications lines, hampering rescue efforts by aid organizations and the government. The downpours have grounded many aircraft trying to rescue people and ferry aid.

Continue reading Flood Relief

Off-roading to Hingol

I stood there amongst the trees, the wind moving through the leaves, making a whistling sound. The entire campsite was bathed in bright moonlight, so bright that you did not need a torch to cook something. Before me, the Hingol River flowed along lazily between the mountains, a silver serpent in a landscape that is otherwise harsh.

This reads like an excerpt from a fiction novel, does it not? Well one need only travel 240 kilometres from Karachi to make this fiction a reality. That is, if you have the gumption to make it out to Hingol National Park in Balochistan.

I recently had the chance to do so with the team of adventure travellers known as Offroad Pakistan. I refer to them as a team and not a group of individuals because that’s what they are, and that’s what one needs to make it through the terrain of Balochistan, which comprises bogs, jungle, mountains, and quicksand with a few wahgus (local slang for crocodiles) standing in as an audience. On this trip, the team included inventors, photojournalists, lawyers, doctors and a few lowly scribes such as myself, all with one thing in common: “the love of nature.”

Continue reading Off-roading to Hingol

The ultimate offroad camping list

There are camping lists, and then there are camping lists. This is one of those. There is the minimalistic school of thought which believes in grabbing just a shotgun and a wallet and heading off into the bush – but if like us, you get off the city to take a break and enjoy, than it’s nice to have all the essentials (and more!) along.

Keep this in mind – You must take everything you might possibly need from home – there is nothing (except oxygen) available on the way! Be prepared to change tires, dig your 4×4 out from a lot of mud, and other such goodies.

Continue reading The ultimate offroad camping list

Concordia: The world’s greatest museum of shape and form

“The world’s greatest museum of shape and form” is how Italian mountaineer/author Fosco Maraini described Concordia in his book, Karakoram. Galen Rowell called it the “Throne of the Mountain Gods”. Come 2007, somehow or the other, 5 of us from Karachi ended up hiking to Concordia, and on to K2 base camp.

Click here to see the pictures of the hike along with captions, and go here to see the travelogue of the hike.

Vehicle Preparations before and after a trip

Road trips don’t require much preparation, but 4×4 trips off the beaten track are a different thing altogether. There is no help available off the highway, so the vehicle has to be in good shape and the driver must be well prepared to deal with any eventuality. Of course, the idea is to avoid breakdowns in the first place, so a number of things have to be looked at when setting out on a 4×4 trip out into the wild.

Continue reading Vehicle Preparations before and after a trip

Medical Camp at the Hingol National Park, March 14-17, 2008

Our group has been approached by the Management of Hingol National Park to help them in organizing a free medical camp at Jhal Jhau for the villagers living along the Hingol River in the Northern Part of the Park. We are going for 4 days to Hingol, Baluchistan, March 14-17, 2008 and setting up a medical camp. Read on for the details.

Continue reading Medical Camp at the Hingol National Park, March 14-17, 2008

A day’s trek to a village near Besham, Kohistan

/> When Hamid Omar of 4×4 Offroaders Club, Karachi recently completed the rebuilding of the 1948 Ford F1 Pickup, the family decided to take it on a long test drive from Karachi all the way to Besham on the Karakorum Highway (a part of the ‘Silk Route’). The trip was, in part, influenced by the invitation of one of their domestics of long standing, Shah Aalam, to visit his ancestral home situated at a mountaintop a few kilometers off Besham in Kohistan. Hamid and his wife Sabiha drove to Lahore on the newly rebuilt Ford F1, followed by Mahera and Khalid Omar in the Toyota Prado.

Continue reading A day’s trek to a village near Besham, Kohistan

The Ford F1 Story – From California to Karachi

Soon after we got married, my wife Sabiha asked me to get a Ford F1 truck for her. I tried my best but could not find any in Pakistan. Some thirty years later, on one of her visits to America, she found one in a small town called Dry Town near Sacramento, California. She convinced the owner to sell it to her and I think she got it for $140 (exact amount she has not told me – only that it cost more to have it towed to our friend Javed Akber’s house in Sacramento). Till we could figure out how to have it shipped to Karachi, for over a year the Ford truck remained parked in Javed’s garage (while their own two cars remained out in the open).

Continue reading The Ford F1 Story – From California to Karachi