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.
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.
well tomorrow is really only just
the next today.
- 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
Most people don’t consider Pakistan on their bucket list of absolute must-see travel destinations. The country is often associated with Muslim extremism and usually portrayed as a terrorist sponsoring nation by western media. There have undeniably been some serious...read more
It was the first day of Ramzan (Ramadan), and the Fairy Meadows were completely abandoned. Down at Raikot bridge it had been a sunny, clear-skied day, but up here, at 3300m, the 9th highest mountain in the world dictated the weather. Nanga Parbat (8126m) hid its...read more
I followed Paco Ali like a shadow, jumping from rock to rock across a raging river. The river wasn’t deep, or particularly broad, but the water was freezing cold and one misstep would mean an emergency retreat to the Refugio 10km further down the valley where we...read more