KARAKORAM VALLEY- ANY advice?
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dave e
(hipass) - F

Locale: Los Angeles
KARAKORAM VALLEY- ANY advice? on 04/11/2014 12:18:41 MDT Print View

I think this would be a wild trip.Thinking of travelling along the K-Highway in the karakorum valley.No mountaineering.Mostly side daytrips,hiking similar to what one does along highway 395-eastern sierra.
Has anyone here been?What advice?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: KARAKORAM VALLEY- ANY advice? on 04/11/2014 13:56:30 MDT Print View

Before you start making many plans, you might want to read up on what happened to Ned Gillette.

--B.G.--

ed hyatt
(edhyatt) - MLife

Locale: The North; UK
KKH on 04/11/2014 15:14:20 MDT Print View

I cycled the KKH from Islamabad to the Chinese border in 1995: fantastically memorable trip.
Then the Indus was blocked for a while with a landslide. Possibly OK now?
An area of unrest these days.
Perhaps try a little searching to see what reports come back?

dave e
(hipass) - F

Locale: Los Angeles
gg on 04/11/2014 16:23:12 MDT Print View

im probably going to europe this fall etc but going to kkh is another world to me.Nothing like western civilization.The culture shock,lack of development and the spectacular mtn scenery are very appealing to me.I think it has become a lot more popular recently however murder rates of tourist have not risen nor are they frequent from what ive heard.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: KARAKORAM VALLEY- ANY advice? on 04/11/2014 17:58:49 MDT Print View

"Before you start making many plans, you might want to read up on what happened to Ned Gillette."

+1 and that was just some bandits. There is some really serious sh!t going down in that area these days, and Westerners are square in the cross hairs, particularly Americans. It may sound romantic, but it isn't worth your life. At least check with the State Department on current conditions before you make a decision.

dave e
(hipass) - F

Locale: Los Angeles
d on 04/11/2014 18:10:12 MDT Print View

ned gillette was 16 yrs ago...isolated incident,no?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: d on 04/11/2014 18:24:38 MDT Print View

"isolated incident,no?"

It wasn't very isolated for Ned.

--B.G.--

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: d on 04/11/2014 18:29:11 MDT Print View

"ned gillette was 16 yrs ago...isolated incident,no?"

At the time, yes. It was also before 9/11 and the Afghan war, and the drone strikes in the NW Frontier provinces of Pakistan, which are hugely unpopular with all Pakistanis. For your own good, Dave, at least check with the State Department. The link below will give you an idea of what I am getting at. Not much has changed since then, but you could call them to see if anything has changed.

http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/alertswarnings/pakistan-travel-warning.html

dave e
(hipass) - F

Locale: Los Angeles
r on 04/11/2014 18:50:23 MDT Print View

i live in LA,your life is at peril from criminals of all sorts...ive had lapd point a gun at me -for no reason...Just look at the poor innocent kid they shot and killed on monday along with shooting another innocent.Every week the pd are killing harmless people.

Its all relative.I am apprehensive about pakistan but do the stats give this fear any merit?

dave e
(hipass) - F

Locale: Los Angeles
t on 04/11/2014 18:59:48 MDT Print View

thanks Tom

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
re r on 04/11/2014 19:00:59 MDT Print View

The Taliban have demonstrated an ability to strike pretty much anywhere they want in Pakistan although you'd be more a "target of opportunity" rather then something they'd put a lot of effort into. Stratfor.com offers a free trial subscription. Might want to get that and print off everything they have about the Pakistani Taliban. And get a map and compare where you want to go to where incidents are. The Taliban aren't going to send a strike force across Pakistan just to grab you but camping out in their backyard seems to be pushing your luck.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: t on 04/11/2014 20:19:47 MDT Print View

"thanks Tom"

You bet, Dave. Luke has just posted some good beta. Worth a look. In the end, it's your decision, but it's best to have evaluated all the info you can get your hands on before you make what could be a life and death decision. I've spent a substantial amount of time in the Middle East, a bit further west, but similar in temperament and anti Western sentiments, and also a few weeks in Afghanistan back in the 60's. The whole neighborhood has a long, long tradition of hospitality to guests, but has steadily been growing increasingly hostile to Westerners for many reasons. When they get their temper up, it is a very rough neighborhood. Think it thru, and best of luck however you decide it.

rOg w
(rOg_w) - F - M

Locale: rogwilmers.wordpress
deleted on 04/11/2014 21:00:45 MDT Print View

deleted

Edited by rOg_w on 05/06/2014 04:55:54 MDT.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Taliban aren't the only problem on 04/11/2014 21:01:48 MDT Print View

Remember also that the Taliban aren't your only problem, you want to avoid unnecessary problems with the officials. You don't want to give them an excuse to arrest you and us you as an unofficial hostage while negotiating with the US.
A while back an American intelligence contractor in Pakistan shot two assailants. It was probably justifiable self defense but the Pakistanis blew it into a major incident and held the guy in jail till they got concessions from the US. Considering the violence in that country I don't think they were concerned with the finer points of self defense law. They used him as a bargaining chip. Its not "likely" but I would not want to get arrested there after a drone strike incident for example.

Again I'd check out the stratfor.com folks. I did talk to an Army intelligence officer who used them for some of his graduate program research. He said they weren't perfect but they were about as good as any non-classified resource out there. They'll help you understand the dynamics in Pakistan, who the different militant groups are and where they would be more of a concern.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: KARAKORAM VALLEY- ANY advice on 04/11/2014 21:10:07 MDT Print View

"Climbers have been going into the region for quite some time and have been posting their adventures for whatever companies sponsor them. You are going to get the best information from them and not armchair speculation."

Save the snark. Climbers go in groups with local assistance. Dave is contemplating going alone. Two very different situations with very different risk profiles.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: KARAKORAM VALLEY- ANY advice? on 04/11/2014 21:26:56 MDT Print View

If the Karakoram isn't safe (it's always been an area of disputes), you could always go for Ladakh. An American friend just came back from there and said it was the best experience of his life.

Edited by butuki on 04/11/2014 21:27:29 MDT.

Susan D
(susand) - M

Locale: montana
Karakoram Highway on 04/11/2014 22:40:47 MDT Print View

removed. TMI.

Edited by susand on 04/16/2014 19:51:25 MDT.

dave e
(hipass) - F

Locale: Los Angeles
Susan and all on 04/11/2014 23:36:55 MDT Print View

Susan,thank you so much for your detailed and lengthy reply.
Thanks to all others who replied.
Ive been pondering a wild,exotic,non-western trip for the last year.Tops on that list is kk valley,followed by turkey and the silk road.One other thing i should mention is that i hold both canadian/us passports and would travel with the canadian one crossing east of the hellespont.

William Chilton
(WilliamC3) - MLife

Locale: Antakya
Re: Susan and all on 04/11/2014 23:56:50 MDT Print View

Slightly off topic, sorry. I'm a long-time resident of Turkey. If you decide to come to come here and need any help, send me a pm and I'll do what I can.

dave e
(hipass) - F

Locale: Los Angeles
thanks Will on 04/12/2014 00:45:26 MDT Print View

thanks,turkey seems like an amazing place...will let you know.