There are stories of adventure and then there are stories that inspire adventure. Today we have just such a story from K2climb.net. It’s the tale of two Frenchmen exploring the Karakorum for hidden passes and unclimbed peaks.
Bruno Collard and Matthieu Paley set off for the Braldu Valley last Summer in an attempt to find a long forgotten mountain pass that would link India with the ancient Silk Road that passed through China, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. They spent the better part of two weeks exploring the valley and searching for traces of the pass, finding an old salt mine and other traces of human passage in the area, including bones of previous travlers. The bones pointed the way, and the managed to find the fabled Lukpe La pass at 5,620 meters. The pass ran across a glacier that connected South and Central Asia, and hadn’t been used in hundreds of years.
As if that wasn’t enough, the two explorers decided to go after a first ascent on Wulio I Sar, a 6000m peak that seems to be a decent, but not terribly challenging climb. It’s likely that it’s remained unclimbed more because of it’s remote location rather than it’s technical difficulty. Still, after finding the pass, it seems like a fitting way to end the expedition with a first ascent.