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Above the clouds, freedom must be endless

AFGHANISTAN 2012

Crossed the Wakhan Corridor from West to East, explored untouched valleys and climbed an unclimbed and nameless peak (5.725m)
read more: www.wakhanexpedition2012.jimdo.com

PAKISTAN 2011

First ascent of an unclimbed and nameless peak (6.008m) in Shimshal, border area between China and Pakistan.

PAKISTAN 2010

Here are my latest impressions of K2 Concordia Trek in Baltistan, Northern Areas For vivid impressions the film is edited in two Parts: On the way to Baltoro Glacier and Trango Towers, Masherbrum, Broad Peak, Gasherbrums and mighty K2

Pakistan faces tough conditions after the flood, Baltistan and other parts of the Northern Areas suffered, too, in and around Skardu alone there were more than 60 casualties, landslides, bridges washed away and many homes destroyed. The Karakoram Highway, the main lifeline to the mountains was cut and lead to heavy problems in the supply situation.
As if life wasnt already difficult enough in this rough area, all this happening after all the problems of the last years, tourism declined totally already after 9/11 thanks to the generalizing media contribution with headlines like "Pakistan - Terror - Bombings - Taliban..." so locals told me stories about seriously scared tourists asking if Osama Bin Laden really is hiding in Baltistan - a tv station said he is hiding around K2.....a mountaineer replied in fun, yes, I met him in Camp 3, he might be pushing for summit the next days ;-)
Personally, I can only say this a wonderful part of the world with the friendliest and hospitable people and mirracles of nature you cant imagine.
Just dont get scared by the media, get your own opinion!

Bolivia

Bolivia 2010.....coming soon!

Here is a short sneak preview of
climbing HUAYNA POTOSI as an appetizer.
Or what about climbing LICANCABUR , which is the holy "Mountain of the People" for the Incas with their Inca ruins at the foot and on the top of the mountain at neaarly 6.000m. The crater lake on the top is considered to be the highest lake on this planet.
Y otra vez, por los Volcanes y Animales del Altiplano Boliviano

IRAN

Just returned from beautiful Iran!
What can I say about Iran?

From extatic, heartfelt outpourings of mourning with an energetic pushing crowd around the holy Imam Reza Shrine in MASHAD, to bloodthirsty BEDBUGS in the romantic desert city of YAZD - where I met the great fellow VT member Fabio, a.k.a. PINZANO - followed by the not-as-strict-as-thought-to-be smoking&joking imams (religious leaders/preacher) in the Madraseh (Koranschool) of SHIRAZ (Video Part II) to some not so nice encounter with motorcycle-driving basij accompanied by police and military - who forced us to delete some pictures and to leave a simple sunset hillside viewpoint over Shiraz (I still want to ask, where are their votes....and....where is my picture???) - we witnessed all rollercoaster feelings a trip could offer with its ups and downs.

The bad taste experience didnt last long but got washed away quickly with a good chai in pure relaxation in beautiful ESFAHAN - (there is nothing better than a tranquil moment on a diwan in a chaikhaneh) - just to be followed by a nearly fight with a rip-off taxi driver attacking my travelmate along the roads around Polour, the driver with a bat, my friend with a stone in his fist and me inbetween......just like stoneage.....well, things cooled down finally and instead of a fight in bloodshed we wasted our energy by climbing Mt. DAMAVAND, with 5671m the highest volcano of all Asia!
By following the arduous path up the mountainhigh, from the birdsview perspective, all the daily problems (and in the earlier case: a fight) seem to be so irrelevant....

.....well, maybe it was just the lack of oxygen that makes brains reset to the basics, who knows ;-)

Needless to say, this Iran trip was an all-inclusive experience - mashallah!

PAKISTAN ZINDABAD! PAKISTAN - LAND OF THE PURE.
Pure nature, pure culture, pure adventure. Especially the Northern Areas are amazing. Forget all the generalizing media, Pakistan does (also, not only) offer beautiful and peaceful places with friendly people, old culture and incredible nature.


Bumping up and down the Karakoram Highway is already an adventure by itself, this route of the old Silk Road is a crossroad of cultures since more than 10.000 years. And each culture left it marks behind like a guestbook of around 60.000 petroglyphs and inscriptions known so far.
From prehistoric hunting scenes and simple palmprints to Iranian, Scythians, Parthians, Kushan, Tibetan, Chinese and even Nestorian Christian influences, Hinduism and delicate Buddhist rockcarvings - every culture that passed through left it marks behind.

For example a Kharosi inscription refers to the first Kushan emperor, Kujula Kadphises (ca. 30-80 AD) as "the most devout, the great king, steadfast, Kadphises."
A Chinese Ambassador of the Northern Wei of the 6th Century (386-534 AD) left behind the inscription "Gu Wei-Long, envoy of the Great Wei is despatched to Mi-mi."
A rock with Tibetan inscriptions from around the 8th century lists a line of local rulers, of possible Tibetan heritage.

I was lucky to visit the mighty NANGA PARBAT or "Naked Mountain", also known as Diamir "King of the Mountains", from Herrligkoffer basecamp on Rupal Face as well as Fairy Meadows on Rakhiot Face. To complete all three sides, a clear sky on my return flight allowed me to witness the Diamir Face, too.
With 8125m or 26.660ft not the highest of the mountains above 8000m, but one of the most dangerous (though the Rupal (South) Face is said to be the highest mountain face/cliff in the world). Since only few expeditions dare a try, the absolute number of death tolls doesnt look too bad recently, but in relative percentage it is the most leathal of all 8000+ mountains. Thats why the Pakistanis call it the "Killer Mountain".
In the early days many attempts ended in disaster, complete expedition camps with all climbers got smashed by avalanches - giving it another name "Mountain of Destiny" or "Schicksalsberg", until finally Hermann Buhl succeeded.

Coming from the high mountains (Pakistan is home of 5 mountains above 8.000m and hundreds of 7000 and 6000s) entering the different lush green valleys is like a dream. Like little green dots of an oasis inbetween the arid rock deserts of the Karakoram, Himalaya and Hindukush mountain ranges. Especially in Karimabad of HUNZA Apricot, cherry and walnut trees welcome you from far away.
Nearly each of these valleys once were independent kingdoms, with fortifications like Baltit Fort - even today they speak their own languages, sometimes the languages differ within viewing range from one side to the other of one and the same valley. One of the oldest and most impressive settlements is ALTIT and GANISH.
Along these valleys you can do nice sidetrips like in GOJAL, also known as UPPER HUNZA, or Ultar Meadows above Karimabad/Hunza.

Floating down the Jinbao

2008: Borneo, Java, Singapore and Malaysia again. Enjoyed everything from Frog Porridge to traditional (painful) CUPPING massage and getting loused by a pair of silly Macaques.

In a sentence for each of those places, I would say:

In Borneo it is all about Monkey Business - and for sure the lovely Orang Utans, funny Proboscis and silly Macaques made a monkey out of me ;-)

In Singapore everything is FINE, in the truest of all meanings. Though I littered the Raffles longbar and terrace with peanutshells for free.....and explored the old beautiful shophouse rows.

And Java? Borobudur really amazed me by size as well as fine detailed artwork. It really deserves to be counted to the BIG three buddhist sights on this planet.

On the roof of the Potala Palace

Dont make a monkey out of me!!!!!

Ive been around Malaysia and the islands this spring......sunsets, sunrises and sunburns were my motto so far. I found out that I can also have all the troubles of a long trip in a short one, so diarrhia and a potentially new ripped ACL ligament are all inclusive :-) More pics, tips and info plus hours of film coming sooooooooon

Here it is, the premiere of my first island movie: KOH LIPE Koh Lipe is still a secret gem of the Thai Islands - there is no masstourism (yet), no skyhigh hotels of steel and concrete, even no pier for arrivals - you have to get wet feet jumping off a longtail boat when landing on the beach.
Instead you have bamboo huts right on the beach or spread over the island with white sandy beaches and crystal clear water.

Or what about the CAMERON HIGHLANDS with endless lush green teafields covering hills and valleys for miles and miles and the adventurous jungle trails with an unbelievable fauna including skyhigh ferns (like in prehistoric times - I was always waiting for a Dino to show up behind those huge fern trees), waterfalls and orang asli settlements, old country style British houses(Tudor Style architecture), fruit, vegetable and flower (especially orchids and roses) farms of all kinds.

More to come soon, at the cinema around your corner ;-)

Terra Cotta Warrior

2007: EXPLORING INDOCHINA - SOUTHEAST ASIA . . . . BURMA/MYANMAR, THAILAND, LAOS, CAMBODIA and VIETNAM

My knee was good for climbing every temple and pagoda I could find, riding the oldest and smallest bike they gave to me through the plain of Bagan or the jungle paths of Angkor so Ill close my ACL-chapter, done with that.

So what can I say?
The trip took me from Burma through Thailand to Laos, cruising down the Mekong and further to Cambodia with a decent finish in Saigon, Vietnam.

Take a look at my best-of-bagan Video1 and Video2 - more coming soon!
For a first impression of some "sunny" moments check out my raw-cut-together of SUNRISE OVER INDOCHINA, this is not the final version,I will re-edit with some better fitting music and better cuts, this was just a thanks to a sunloving friend of mine, whose biggest pleasure is staring at the sun

Many, many pics and even more hours of film will follow soon on this page and youtube...but for now, I need a holiday from my holiday ;-)

Big Buddha at the Yungang Caves

2006: INDIA , NEPAL, BHUTAN, TIBET AND CHINA AGAIN!

Here is my last trip - across-the-Himalaya, starting in India, especially Rajasthan, going all the way over Nepal and
Bhutan, through Tibet to China mainland.

The subcontinent of India offers fantastic castles, temples, and palaces like in fairytales, but also places like hell. Check out a short summary clip on a typical Indian style experience I enjoyed: Indian Style
Nepal is recovering from recent unrest, but is rich in incredible landscapes and great culture like the three kingcities in the Kathmandu valley.
Bhutan is the place that comes closest to my illusion of the himalaya, unspoiled from masstoursim. Tibet still offers this mystic atmosphere in some places, but turns more and more into Chinese style. But it still is an adventure - for Lhasa ONLY in off-season!

And China.....well, what can I say about China? I am a China addict! It is a totally different world compared to the West, where nearly everything is the same - at least very similiar. But China still offers this adventure to me. There is such a rich variety of culture and magnificent landscapes. You name it, they got it: From deserts to rain forests, from beaches to the snowy peaks of the highest mountains, huge metropolitan cities and little minority villages......it is all there, plus warmhearted, nice and helpful people.
Take a look at my page and share the passion for China. I just started to built my page but I hope you can enjoy it!

Here are some video clips of my last Transhimalaya trip

  • Intro Updated Sep 9, 2012
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“"In the long run we are all dead" John Maynard Keynes”

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