Rakaposhi

by | May 26, 2018 | Around the world, Pakistan, Thoughts | 0 comments

Rakaposhi is the 27th highest mountain in the world at 7788m. It’s name means ‘snow covered’ in the local language, and for good reason. I hiked to its basecamp in May and encountered lots and lots of the white cold powdery stuff. It made for an interesting ascent…

During my time on the slopes of Rakaposhi not a soul was to be found anywhere except for a few local shepherds and lots of cows. I seemed to be alone in this vast landscape of grass, rock and ice. During this rather isolated time I was alone with my thoughts, which shifted back and forth between pushing my body to make it up the mountain and assessing my overall journey since leaving home in July of last year. Below I’ve tried to park my train of thought in a poem-like manner, and I couldn’t help but see a few parallels between both experiences.

‘Which day is it?’

‘It’s today,’ squeaked Piglet.

‘My favourite day,’ smiled Pooh.

 

I keep climbing

for a taste of fresher air.

Somewhere halfway I’ve lost track

of what it is I’m looking for.

My lungs crave a beach somewhere

but my heart refuses to skip a beat.

Did the mountain beat me

or is it the other way around?

 

Some people find contentment in the ordinary, but not me.

My biggest fear is mediocrity.

To be stuck in an alternate reality

from the one that holds my destiny

escaping from which

is like going camping under the stars

even on a cloudy night.

Only for the sake of doing so.

 

Sometimes I’d like to be a cow

somewhere in a meadow.

Blissfully unaware

of a world gone by in the blink of an eye.

Nowhere to be, except here and now.

Yet everywhere to go and so little time.

So my feet keep dragging me forward.

But my mind lingers.

 

Eventually I’ll have to turn around

‘cause what goes up, must come down.

And when everything does come crashing down

in that split second

when the world reveals its bigger picture

the only silver lining I can truly hope for

is to find the morning’s beauty also

in the evening’s sky.

 

And tomorrow

well tomorrow is really only just

the next today.

Practical

  • Karakoram Bikers is a travel company based in Gilgit and Lahore. They rent out motorbikes for 2000PKR / day, no license needed. Get in touch through their website or social media. www.karakorambikers.com
  • The trek to K2 basecamp takes between 14 and 18 days and can be arranged online. Permits are necessary, so inform yourself well beforehand. In my opinion it would be better to arrange the trek starting from Skardu instead of Islamabad. Prices vary, I’ve read everything between 1000 and 3000$.
  • If you do get a permit, which you can request in Skardu, you can drive from Dassu to Askole. I’ve been told the 40km take 3 hours by motorbike, so time your trip well if you don’t want to get stuck in the dark. Askole has a camping ground mostly used by mountaineers as the starting point of their trek but I’m fairly certain you can camp there for a night before returning back to Dassu as well.
  • To do this trip I needed 3 passport copies, one for each of the police / army checkpoints along the way.

Also by Everywhere in Particular

Hello Australia! The journey isn’t over (yet)

Veertien maanden. Zolang is het geleden dat ik voor het eerst m’n deur achter me dichttrok en met een euforisch gevoel op het vliegtuig sprong naar Helsinki. Geen job, geen lief, geen woonplaats en geen verplichtingen. Een relatief gespijsde bankrekening die me...

read more

Snapshots of Hong Kong

Hoe lang is een Chinees? Zijn Chinezen in eigen land even vastberaden om alle andere toeristen te vernederen wat betreft het aantal genomen selfies? Hoe hou je die stokjes precies vast om efficiënt een portie noedels naar binnen te werken? En vooral: is het mogelijk...

read more

Around Skardu – Satpara Lake and the Skardu sand dunes

Bij hardcore bergbeklimmers doet de naam Skardu waarschijnlijk wel een belletje rinkelen, terwijl de rest van ons simpele zielen eerder uit de lucht komt gevallen. Skardu is een stad in Gilgit-Baltistan, het meest noordelijke autonome deelgebied van Pakistan, vlakbij...

read more