Only five days to go before we leave for our Koh-e-Baba-Tangi expedition!
We are busy packing, endlessly discussing what we can and cant take dependent on our limited baggage allowance, what we can get away without and what we can possibly get a-hold of in either Tajikistan or Afghanistan. Emails fly back and forward between New Zealand and India, New Zealand and Afghanistan, New Zealand and Tajikistan full of food lists, gear lists, visa and permit requirements, and security updates.
It occurs to me I have been planning and organizing this expedition for a year now. I was even planning this before my last trip to India to try Vasuki Parbat. Choosing a peak, choosing climbing partners, organizing permits and visas, transport, accompanying local guides, porters, basecamp equipment and funds – this has all taken hundred and hundreds of hours. But i know it will be worth it once the expedition is on the road.
Christine and I will be accompanied by Satya Dam, an internationally renown Indian mountaineer who has summited Everest three times, plus a number of other 8000m peaks, done the Seven Summits and trekked to both poles (see his website on my homepage). Until recently he was a commander of a submarine in the Indian Navy. We are very lucky to have a climber of his capabilities with us.
One last hiccup! Our passports are yet to arrive back from the Afghan Embassy in Canberra. For Christine and I, getting our visas has been a long drawn out 6 week drama, with endless forms to be filled out and letters of recommendation and invitation supplied. We can only hope the passports arrive back within the next four days….or we are hooped!
But they will arrive! Of course they will! We fly to Shanghai, on to Urumchi, then to Dushanbe (capital of Talikistan). Then its a three day 4WD journey to the border, a two day 4WD trip up the Wakhan Corridor, 2/3 day walk with porters or yaks to our basecamp on the glacier….then its just a simple matter of climbing Koh-e-Baba-Tangi!
What could be easier!