Friday, 5 July 2013

Pak China Friendship Expedition to Mt Muztagh Ata (7,548 m),Xinjiang Autonomous Region, People’s Republic of China

In line with the close cooperation and friendly relations that exist between Pakistan and China in all walks of life, Alpine Club of Pakistan (ACP) enjoys close relations with Chinese Mountaineering Association (CMA) and China Tibet Mountaineering Association (CTMA), functioning under Chinese Ministry of Sports, at the bilateral, Asian (Union of Asian Alpine Association) and International (Union of International Alpine Association) levels. Both ACP and CMA have collaborated and cooperated for promotion of mountaineering at all forums. In addition, many joint Pak-China expeditions have been launched since 1997 to Mt Everest, and to all the five peaks rising above 8,000 metres in Pakistan to promote friendship and close cooperation between mountaineers from both countries,

In 2013 Pakistan - China Friendship Expedition was launched to Spantik Peak (7,027 m) in Gilgit-Baltistan as part of the Government of Pakistan plan to commemorate the 60th Year of the Establishment of the Diplomatic Relations between Pakistan and China. The expedition, which comprised six climbers each from ACP and CMA, was launched with the financial support from Government of Gilgit-Baltistan and was successful, not only in summiting the 7,027 m high peak jointly but also fostering friendship between Pakistani and Chinese mountaineering community. The expedition was well covered by the Chinese media highlighting the cooperation between China and Pakistan.

To maintain continuity of mountaineering exchange programme, reciprocate CMA participation in Pakistan’s celebration programme and lure the Chinese youth to travel to mountain areas of Gilgit-Baltistan for mountaineering and other adventure activities, CMA on the initiative of ACP, has agreed for launching joint Pak-China expedition to Mt Muztagh Ata (7,546 m), located about 180 kms from Pak China border at Khujerab Pass in Gilgit-Baltistan the Expedition comprises four Chinese and three Pakistani members.

The Pakistani team is being led by Mr Rehmatullah who has earlier attempted 7,284 metre high Passu Peak (1996), Nanga Parbat (1997) with Chinese besides other peaks including Muztagh Ata (2012). He climbed 8,047 metre high Broad peak in 2001 as part of Pak China expedition. Other members include Dr Naveed Iqbal who climbed 7,024 metre high Spantik peak in 2012 besides attempting few smaller peaks, and Mr Ahmad Mujtaba who has ascent of 5,290 metre high Malika Parbat in Kaghan in 2012, besides attempting other mountains. The Pakistani side expects to depart Islamabad on 5th July and cross border at Khunjerab pass on 7th July. They will proceed to Kashgar before arriving 4,200 metre high Base camp at metre attempting to climb the mountain from 9th July and expects to establish three camps at 5,200, 6,000 and 6,900 metres before attempting the summit. The team hopes to return back home by 1st August. Team’s equipment, food and transportation is being financed from within ACP resources. The logistic support to the team in China is being provided by the China Mountaineering Association.