Rakaposhi NW Spur is one of the
greatest challenges for the contemporary mountaineering. With its
4000 m drop and 7 km of probable development, it is for climbers
one of the most impressive structures that can be climbed on great
mountains on Earth. Indeed, NW Spur, from the orographic point of
view, keeps an absolute records; it is, being a spur, that is a
mountain structure with a distinguished and coherent shape from
the base to the top [differently from the ridge that can have intermediate
summits], the "longest spur of the world".
For five years we have collected material
for giving foundation to our possibility of climb the mountain.
Possibility that is based on the hypothesis to penetrate on the
unexplored Masot glacier and to directly tackle the spur
on ice and snow.
“eam-and-project leader - Alberto Peruffo
SUCCESS OR FAILURE, THAT IS THE QUESTION
Come back to Karimabad, still seated in the splendid garden from which I wrote a month ago, between the space of two unflowered trees, the shape of the Rakaposhi still dominates, powerful and untouchable. The hard travel of return from the Baltar Glacier, flavored of thousand vicissitudes, between difficult requirements of the sherpas of the valley, weather not always clement and interminable moraines to cross, slowly, have allowed to everyone of we to reflect on the outcome of the shipment. I do not know if it is already the time to pick the fruits, to extol our impressions, but the end in nearly and September' days s to here again. Therefore David Sylvian sang. Seeing again the Rakaposhi, re-thinking to the Batura, the higher mountains of the world still to climb, it could be thought that my prefixed mounteering targets f have been gloriously failed. I could assert that they are not successful to coagulate the strong individualities of a many-sided group therefore on objects to you adverse and advanced to the reasonable human abilities objective, this last bound to the unforeseeable contingencies of the group and to the style and the alpine lines premeditated. I could assert it. Nevertheless, illuminated by an exploratory spirit, I could consider our decision to abandon the BC of the Rakaposhi in order to take risks between jaws of an immense glacier, great action of courage. To think in fact to move an entire shipment from a point to another one of the Karakoram is not at all easy. Only who is practical of exploration and shipments can easy know the great difficulties, logistic and economic. To change a shipment during the expedition is like changing the direction of a torrent in flood. A torrent of roaring situation-emotion-waitigs in the head of your companions. I could therefore conclude that from these two first moments it is been born a advanced exploration for level and complexity, where new mountains and unexpected interpersonal relations are overlapped day by day, creating an inconceivable universe to the eyes of it originates them vision of that it could or should have been our shipment. I could list the facts simply. We have crossed from one of the beautiful mountains of the world, the Rakaposhi, and from one of more the ambitious alpine plans to international level, Spur NW, to an area richer of the Earth for exploratory possibilities. Raising the head the powerful size of the Batura launch and continues to launch the challenge to the more audacious mountain climbers of the new generations. We have studied the climb possibilities, fighting between the limited spaces of good weather. We have climbed two mountains of 6000 meters for probably new routes (it is to verify a lot, because there are rare the explorations). We have traced an superb line and of it we have grazed an other one (Renzo and Carlos come back rejected by the ugly time and by a too much thin ice, perhaps for the advanced season). We have hiking passes, furrowed glaciers, explored labirintic moraines walking from the beginning of our shipment until the end, from the Rakaposhi to the Batura, in order more than 100 kilometers. Our documentation, that I hope to succeed to elaborate in the show that I have in my mind, to even introduce in preview to the Festival of Trento, could be not oly the bread for the contemporary mountaineering, but also the wine. We have collected in our looks and our photographic notes unimaginable dared lines therefore and that who will have the arrogance to say that the mountaineering is dead, we could show to have uncovered the elisir of long life. Only an exemplary mountain like the Haccindar Kisch (6870 m), without the Baturaís, will be able to represent for many years the great challenge for more prepares mountain climbers in the future. But in order to close definitively this my last message (perhaps Carlos shall write from Islamabad) I want instead to appeal to the inexorable question that the people usually places: has had success or a failure this shipment? Except the great international continuation that it has had, according to proven sources, I would formulate the question in more provocative way. Who has had success in this shipment? To prescind from my opinion, confirmed, than there is more and more distance between the contemporary mountain climber, more and more dipped in the own negative action versus the thought and the action of the other people, not only mountain climbers, and a clear knowledge of wright acting, knowledge that would carry to face with more success and satisfaction "the wall of the ideas" (see Paropamiso di F. Maraini), not only between the great civilizations through which the fortune or the misfortune is had to pass, but also interpersonal; to prescind from sympathy and gratefulness that I feel for my companions for to have faced a such adventure, I I believe that I could close with this answer. It will have had success only who, between us, seated in front of a mountain, after "to have felt as who watches and spoken as who walks" (freely from Alberto Caeiro/Fernando Pessoa), will have known to pick the meaning of the every authentical exploration: "I accept the new found man and the set the twilight reeling", in order to say it with Lou Reed.
This is my greeting, but not the last line. I dedicate this shipment to Fosco Maraini, great master, and to Lorenzo Massarotto, the king of the great dolomitical walls, friend beloved recently died.
Alberto Peruffo Karimabad, 6,30 pm, 24/08/05
The author thaks all the collaborators, in primis Mauro Mazzetti from Genoa, and the supporters who have allowed the realization of theese reports. He asks however understanding and indulgence for errors created by the difficolut communication to satellitare. The texts in fact have been recorded by an answering machine, with frequent interruptions and empty of line and after a first control in the complex Internet point of Karimabad several mistakes are emerged. Exemplary are the exchanges of word like those between "wind" and "within" of the last article (the last one towards are therefore "to return wind" and "not to return within") or the wrong meaning like in the article "a completed paradise", which in truth it had to be "an unfinished paradise". Other gaps and inaccuracies ready will be verified to re-enter in Italy. We send back the readers to the webste www.intraisass.it for others assessments, deepenings and new photographies.
PICTURES BETWEEN THE WORD AND SILENCE
18th August 2005 - Baltar Glacier
Friend of clouds,/fellow of the lightning,/son of the earth,/where is your house?/ A field of roses/ yellow maize/ a snowy mount/ a gravel bed/ an audacious female/ the word is silence.
I have not found better than these buried rhymes to begin the last message that I will reach to you from the Baltar Glacier. Soon we will leave again to Karimabad, from where we will be able to think with more separation a report of our shipment. Now, instead, dipped between action and contemplation, we are divided, or better I am divided, between the word and the silence. In the middle there is a world that would want itself to be said. There is the exploration and the communication. Two aspects of the same truth that many times are not agree, because who explores does not know or want to communicate and who communicates does not know or want to explore. And so I have thought, in order to make to emerge this variety, the word on silence, to tell something about my friends. They are also divided between exploration and communication and their painting could be not only the mirror of their mountains, hurt or dreammed, but also of our promises. Shortly, turning my look on the left, it is easy for me to begin from who is engaged in one extraordinary climb. A snow line embedded in a dihedron of cliff, that it falls from 6000 to 5000 meters is receiving the action of Renzo Corona from Primiero, and Carlos Buhler, american from Montana. Renzo is a pure force of the nature. So powerful and so strongl and sure that sometimes he scares. His behaviour is good and sweet. It is pleasant to be with him. But he instead withdraws. He starts along his path and sometimes he does not communicate. He does. Carlos, on the other part, one of the maximum contemporary himalayst people, astonishes for its unparalleled patience and cure. He lives in an expanded time. The wait and the preparation of every gesture, from the food to the word, are his winning crews. He is like a mechanism that has long times of loads and unfathomable resistance. If Renzo and Carlos shall do the route in which they are engage, it will be a beautiful ascension, that it will remain not only in their personal history. If I watch instead to right, it has remained in my sight the great line always gone up from Renzo with the native of Bergamo Ivo Ferrari on a vertical impulsive snow wall that comes out to 6250 m. Ivo is one of the stranger persons that I met mine in my life. He havenít medium-wave, but only ups and downs , that he uninterruptedly and without reservoirs communicates to the external world. He also is an impetuous force of the nature, but not pure, a force that always discusses with its limit. Then, to guide the people from Vicenza, there is Mirco Scarso, president of the CAI of Montecchio, the more resistant and sincere mountain climber who I know. He writes a diary day by day. Goodness knows what is written. If you want to catch up a objective and you have need someone that strikes you a trace, also moral, let you entrust yourselves to Mirco, my companion for excellence. With Michele Romio, the youngest of the group, we climbed an incredible "north face" for continuity and dangers. The true enterprise he has made it in skies. Left sick from the BC, he arrived to 5000 m of the high camp, after crossing kilometers of unstable stones and snows. With all the material on his shoulder for the camp. During the night he didnít sleep and the day after he finished the wall with us, while his eyes communicated suffering, tenacity and fear also. The healthy fear that for us mountain climbers are an option. And while we caught up the crest of the Daryio Sar for a spur on the left Ivo, solo, turned to right of the wall in order to go directly to the return. An other great raid from the Red Primula (or Blond) of the Dolomiti. Within of him the memory of his brother, Dario, and our powerful beloved Mass (note: Mass is, or better was, Lorenzo Massarotto, a famous dolomitian climber died during an ascension few days before the beginning of Rakaposhi expedition). Finally ours two fotoreporters. Crista-Lee Mitchell, from Canada, pregnant, after the Rakaposhi left to us her sweet smile and her skillful indiscretion in picking that a few of us would have the courage to pick in foreign land. AlessandroPianalto from Vicenza is instead collected in the formula "he sees what the other people does not see". And here to the BC nobody has doubts in purpose. The images that he captured from the Baltar Glacier will be the bread for the mountaineering of the future and, I believe, masterpieces of the artistic photography of landscape. (the BBC has announced that the next year will be in the Baltar Glacier).
About me, demanding as I am on the communication inter nos, I do not find way better for give appointment to you to Karimabad that fishing, apparently also in closing, other buried rhymes:
I am the son of the earth/ moved by the wind/ in order to contrast the time/ and to return/ within.
Periods of the maximum beautiful time of two days has not allowed to approach too much to the two higher mountains of the earth not still climbed, Batura III and II. In these last days we are searching carefully the possibilities of climb from the Baltar Glacier.
Images courtesy of Alessandro Pianalto, Italy
A COMPLETED PARADISE
16th August 2005 - Baltar Glacier, 4100 m.
If I had to find a way in order to open the scene of a show that represents our adventure, I would begin therefore, in the darkness of the hall it, with the index of the actor suddenly illuminated and aimed against the attention of the public: "Well, you believe is crazy a father who abandons a son to go to climb a mountain twenty thousand feet over the sea". I do not dare to think, or to reveal, what remains but to that first and tremendous hint I would answer yes. Thatís so. The father who abandons a son, or sons, expecially nuch young, in order to climb one unknown mountain far days and days from house, with relative risks and dangers, is some crazy. It is this to leave to associate to an excess of pathos, or a defect of equilibrium. The important is to acknowledge in this particular shape of anomaly made of men, to carry on the enormous hard works for the freedom. Or vainglory. Far from house, far from the sons. Here, to the new BC, in the remotest Baltar Glacier, the exploration proceeds on/off. Not only the environmental conditions, hard and beyond our power, are our adversaries, but also the subjective conditions. Too far from the world, often shutted in our irreducible personalities, homesick attacks us and our thought flies towards house, towards our children, ours wives and our beloveds. Nothing of pathetic in that one, but the raw and wonderful truth of our weakness. Raw because we must resist, wonderful because it puts together our limits. When, in the normal life, we become participates of our limits? And here, in the Baltar Glacier, the possibilities are infinitive. We have made I consult between the guru of world-wide alpine exploration. By means of Carlos Buhler, via satellitare, we heard the British Stephan Venables, then we intercrossed the news with our German exploratory friends, finally, we have asked information firsthand to the Italian the Simone Moro. There is no doubt, although difficult to catch up because geographically remote and culturally closed, the Baltar Glacier is a vertical paradise of the future.
11th of August. Renzo Corona and Ivo Ferrari opened a great line of 1200 meters in pure alpine style on a neverclimbed top of 6000 meters. The day after a snow storm rejects Alberto Peruffo, Carlos Buhler, Mirco Scarso and Michele Romio in the attempt to catch up an other great inviolate top.
TOWARDS TO UNKNOWN
Digged roads for too to make places
"Is this the space that remains to us to explore" it was our last question. Not. The freedom is the possibility to leave a dream, a objective, when it is impracticable, to chase an other one. And the exploratories are provident dreamers. They live in the unknown. Every step of their is guided from a light. A light without precise direction, only one voice. The light of the Rakaposhi plan has thousand directions, clear and sure distributions, blind alleys, impractible glaciers and unexpected mountains. At least at first. That one of the departure, in which we depart towards a determined place and then to the end we land goodness knows where. And therefore, after to have certified that the north-west spur of the Rakaposhi is impractible until the day in which the natural riduction of the glacier will have made its course and freed its rocked base, gently and slowly rising (perhaps after two years), so, from the top of the glaciers of our first mountain we have watched to northen lands, where three twin mountains and sisters of our mountain were predisposed to capture the provident light of our exploratory plan. Let us remember, ours is a shipment, in the deep sense of the term, an ex-pedition, to put the foot outside not only from our houses and our habits, but also from our ambitions and our preconstituted roads. Digged roads for too to make places is the title it of one of the collections of beautiful poems from Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Digged roads for disperse places. And if the roads were broken off and the bridges lands of true landing place the ex-pedition is to ship on the unknown ocean in order to be shipwrecked in a possibility island. Here is therefore to follow that small opening of light that oriented towards the three sisters, the great Batura mountains, and after four days of debilitating way over colossal moraines of landing on a encircled green island from vertical walls adorned from eternal glaciers. We are on the Baltar Glacier, between the most remote valleys of the Karakoram. Over our head, to north, the highest mountain of the earth still to climb. In front of us, mount chains to explore in order to continue to put the foot outside of us in a second moment, within of us. To exit for re-entering. To breathe the scent of unknown in order to better tappreciate the known one. To show oneself to the limit in order to understand the reasons and the ways of our freedom. One thing is sure. From this green island to 4000 meters where we shipwrecked, much more lucky people than a Robinson Crosuť, we will bring back to house images and feelings to highest upgrade them for the second part of our plan. One show. Under all the aspects. Like the word that better means the place from which I am writing. Or like the title that better epresents our unrepeatbile adventure: "Twenty thousand feet over the sea".
BETWEEN THE ANVIL AND HAMMER
BETWEEN A ROCK AND AN HARD PLACE
During more than a week that we turn like crazy under the gigantic north-west face of Rakaposhi. We explored three glacial basins covering improbable unevennesses in order to pass from one to the other and to hope, arrived a lot up, to find the door of access to the wonders of the wall north and to its indecipherable ice architectures. But nothing. "the Bastiani fortress of my dreams resists to sweet flatteries, that they besiege it like worthy violences of Tamerlano." The glacier seen of forehead to our camp base it never does not stop of push out its irreversible instability, detaching ice castles that fall roaring in front of our eyes. Like saying that the ancient door of access to the spur now is worned out and behind its shoulders there is a chaotic and impraticabile ice maze, alive. Much alive and walking, than its stone bones emerge where a time ago it was ice meat. More to the west the glacier is far away how much the hard work of our legs could not more supporte after to have it one single treaded on time. And to the here nothing good.. The doors are shutted by a rock saddleback that it would make you to fall without breath in the throat of deep dangerous crevasses, too much far corridors from our mind. To east, instead, the glacier of Ghulmet offered to us a small opening, having left us to go up in order nearly 1500 meters of unevenness, through channels of cliffs and grass until steep snowy slides. A long devious, nearly a passage to north - west, projected us on one perfect snowy back, door of access to the terrible northen wall. Terrible because beautiful, beautiful because untouchable. Arrived to 4800 meters, put the camp, we have seen that that we did not imagine. The breath of avalanches, and the indefensible lightness of who has planned this mount. Nearly it was a god that it does not want to communicate with the men. We shut ourselves in ours stretches. Here, to the camp base, the night it makes warm too much. Every day is disturbed, within and outside of us, ďwe are caught between the rock and an hard placeĒ. We are between the anvil and the hammer. "Is this one the space that remains to us to explore" we are wondering every rising of new sun.
01.08, Base camp
The BC of the Rakaposhi is a hung horizontal balcony to the
leaves of the gigantic moraine. A great green carpet colonized
from dark pines. Beyond the leaves, a space of one hundred
meters falls to the feet of one frightful glacier. A Perito
Moreno that has at his base not soft water but noisy and uncontrollable
stone. We decreased ourselves in order to explore the right
part of the glacier, surer but labirintic. Small men dispersed
in an ice sea. At the moment, only to touch the base of the
spur seems an enterprise. As soon as possible, we will tell
As soon as arrivea to the CB of the Rakaposhi, situated in
a beautifulst green terrace, the six mountain realized that
it would have been complicated to cross the glacier in order
to climb the spur the north-west face. A labyrinth of crevassesi
and ice towers in continuous movement divide the BC from the
attack of the climb way, determining highest objective dangers.
However, the 25th of July is been made an attempt, carrying
out a descent to the glacier, positioned to inferior level
respect the BC. They have verified the impossibility to cross
on the right side, that seemed better, but the long and above
all dangerous crossing has made them to renounce; the glacier
is always moving and enormous ice towers fall. To the end
of the day four mountain climbers came back to the BC; the
others two, Ivo Ferrari and Renzo Corona have tried to still
go up along the glacier and have had to sleep in another valley
because it was too much dangerous to come down through the
ice towers. The following day, in order to return to the BC,
the two people came down until the KKH and then they returned
where the encampment is. The 27th of July, four climbers left
to find a passage towards the face to east, crossing the ghiacciaio
of Ghulmet. After a long walk in a tightened valley they found
an easy and practicable passage for going down on the glacier.
Today (30th of July) the six mountain climbers are under the
north face and, passed few hours, when there are not clouds,
they will be able to see if the route is practicable or less.
Base Camp, 29 July 2005
It is difficult to be exploratory today, when the society
in which we have grown has accustoms to us to you to having
all, endured. From many days we leaves in Base Camp and we
have not still touched the base of the great mountain that
like a unattackable fortress watches to us, indifferent from
Nevertheless its presence is not silent. Not there is moment
in the day and in the night that the bang of the enormous
power of hanging glaciers is not pulled down on our hears,
and therefore, without remedy, in our heart and our mind.
In order to study the possibility to arrive to graze the north
west spur, we are exploring the three glaciers that directly
born from the great north face. We are lost and divided in
the maze of ice leaks and towers on the right side of Masot
glacier, hardly withdrawn, just the local hunters sayed, impraticabile
on the left. We are come down on the Minapin glacier, arriving
to a valley under the astonished eyes of who journeyed on
the Karakorum Highway.
We passed cliff crests to go to spy on from the high the Ghulmet
glacier and walked on cliffs of pwdre and quartz, managed
by a gem seeker in order to shown ourselves to the rock and
grass frames, above an unimaginable extension of ice. From
there the words of the poet. And from there we have seen that
that no satellitare aerial photography could say to us and
that only the direct experience of our eyes can give avaibility
to our understanding, and to justify the exploration, in our
times also, where everything seems seen thanks to the indiscreet
eye of the technology and to the vision of the image already
that it produces. Products and not processes, suggest Carlos
to me. And it is just for that it is difficult to be exploratories
Because the product must be, even endured, in a few days,
and the importance of the process is not understood. And so,
while some of us are become estranged in the expense of the
product, the others are placidly dipped in the process of
this extraordinary exploration that is also to ignite a fire,
in the evening, under the shining of the starred sky, and
to say something about the life, on the meaning of our being
here, infinitesimal points in front of an enormous mountain,
of a incomprensibile universe, and about human relations,
mountains and universe them also, that need a constant refueling
of woods and cures in order to burn intensely, like it would
want who have ignited this unquestionable flame.
Welcome in the Valley of the Peace recites the trust of income
to Karimabad. After four days from the departure finally we
find a little peace, under every aspect, in order to tell
our approach to the great mountain that dominates not only
our thoughts, but also the garden from which I am writing.
Seated to the table of a small Hunza hotel, if I raise the
eyes from the keyboard, of forehead to me, indescrivibile,
the unattainable shape of the Rakaposhi is raised. Here, to
Karimabad, to speak about the Rakaposhi is like igniting the
eyes of every inhabitant of this beautifulst one goes them.
In the old city, little under it walls to them of ancient
strongly the Baltit, not is person who is not to acquaintance
of our climb. They stop to us, saying "thank you" to us and
they say to us with sincere admiration good fortune. For they
the Rakaposhi is the beautiful mountain of the world. And
here there are many high and beautiful mountains. If I turn
me there is the Ultar Peak, on the left the Spantik, with
a pillar of ice and snow that in the sunset is dyed of gold,:
so, that mountain is also known with the name of Golden Peak.
But the Raka is the Raka and here in the old city they have
already promised one great festivity to us to our return.
However. It seems strange, when we read the diaries of the
shipments, that pass for Karimabad, than little are written,
with the light or letters, on this place of paradise. Nevertheless
the Rakaposhi without Karimabad and Karimabad without the
Rakaposhi would not be what they are. Two unsoluted poles,
two pearls of supported nature and culture on the same shell
of world that we know like Karakoram, the earth from the "black
stones" from which they are born a green garden and one ice
fortress. If Dino Buzzati and Franco Battiato (a famous writer
the first, an italian singer the second) were here with me,
and in truth it they are, in my brain, they would not hesitate
to leave to design to the wefts of music and writing me of
their Bastiani Fortresses. Tried to find them.
A threatening river separates Nagar from Hunza, two still
independent reigns if the strong identities of theirs are
considered inhabitants. From a part Sciiti, the other Ismaeliti.
Today at lunch we have had the fortune to be accommodates
in the humble house of our official of connection. Its I invite
has been much cordial one that we have not hesitated to come
down in the low part of the village. Manzur has made us to
repair in one small knows it of wood white man with windows
from all sides and it has been made excuses for its small
house, but when the heart of a person is large doesn't matter
the largeness of its property. On the pavement the classics
Hunza carpets with rectangular pillows along the walls. Outside
a garden surrounded by greens small pillars and dignitose
rooms, and fruit trees, above all apricot trees and walnuts,
that they color everywhere of this that in origin was a tawny
mountain desert. The man has created a garden and believe
me that I have not seen another beautiful place like this.
Perhaps it will be this writing suggested by the enthusiasm
of the travel - we are along the Way of the Silk - will be
the particular and wonderful team that I have put together
- a miracle said Carlos (Buhler) yesterday when we crossed
under the North face of the Rakaposhi - it will be that the
distance amplifies feeling because you would want to have
near your beloveds... will be, simply, that we are to Karimabad,
the valley of the Peace. Although that Ivo seems is become
ill of moto perpetuo (it turns with its axes into the hotel
without never to stop a moment), Renzo instead is to ollow
incessant of strategies, Alexander and Crista-Lee has the
index distroyed to take photoes, Mirco is a fluid and continuous
thought, while Michele does not stop to remember me that the
friendship and the peace are the beautiful things of the life.
The members of the shipment "Rakaposhi 2005" have caught
up the field base to the feet of the Rakaposhi after to have
left Karimabad, to the income of one they fascinating and
rich of suggestions goes. The arrival of the shipment in the
citizen has aroused a deep interest in the cordial local population;
Alberto Peruffo - project manager - Carlos Buhler, Renzo Corona,
Ivo Ferrari, Crista Lee-Mitchell, Aessandro Pianalto, Michele
Romio and Mirco Scarso therefore have been "adopt to you"
from the inhabitants, than they have followed the prepared
ones carefully to you and they are some already organizing
a great festivity for the return of the shipment, anyway it
is the result. They have difficulty in the communications,
fragmentary and intermittent.
The mountaineerings have some problems about the identification
of the new route; at the moment, they are going to decide
if to move from the actual position to a better site.