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Expeditions to Pakistan in 2002

Expeditions to Pakistan in 2002. In 2001 around 70 expeditions came to the Karakoram. However, with the change in political climate following the events of September 11 and reprisals in neighboring Afghanistan, plus the subsequent threat of an Indo-Pakistan nuclear war, a little less than 40 were due to turn up at the start of the 2002 season. Then, a dozen or so cancelled at short notice, leaving no more than 28 permits being taken up by visiting expeditions. As several expeditions operating on the high Baltoro mountains had more than one peak booked, the actually number of climbing teams on the ground was somewhat less than 28.

Many of the last minute cancellations came from commercially organised enterprises, which because of the prevailing political situation either did not get enough clients or felt it unwise to visit Pakistan at the time. However, as many suspected, those who did decide to continue with their plans generally experienced no real problem traveling through the country and found almost everyone they met extremely pleasant. From the point of view of the local economy a far greater effect was felt by the drop in number of trekking parties, which was, proportionally, considerably greater than the drop in mountaineering expeditions

Lindsay Griffin, High Mountain INFO