Expedition Style: Our idea of travelling follows the principle “leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures”. Our climbing philosophy is purely alpine style, as a small & light expedition with a minimum of gear involved, climbing “by fair means” – withouth high altitude porters by ourselves. This doesn’t conflict with the involvement of local herdsmen and guides to reach our base, since we want to enable the local people to profit from climbing tourism as an additional income. This allows an intercultural exchange with the locals, which is of our interest. For us an expedition is not only focused on a summit, it is a journey into far away countries and remote places with interesting people, traditions and culture. This experience is as important to us as the pure climb.
Cultural Aspects: Due to our prior expeditions into the neighbouring countries like Pakistan/Karakorum, especially the Shimshal Valley close by, Afghanistan/Tajikistan/Pamir as well as several trips to China itself, well familiar with the country and people. It is the fifth tour to China for Chris. Bruce is even living in China for several years now.
As mentioned before we engage local people in our team as herdsmen as well as guides/helper/translator all the way to base camp so that we can get into contact easily with the nomads we meet on our trek as well as supporting the idea of tourism as future economical possibility for the local people.
Safety Aspects: Due to our isolation in such a remote part of the world we have to consider all necessary safety precautions and emergency kits: A satellite phone and/or PLB`s (personal location beacons or spot messenger) as well as first aid equipment and medicine are obvious. Harry as a first aid helper in his company (with annual renewal) as well as Chris as a former first aid attendant are helpful in this case. From the experience of our past expeditions we carry along all necessary medicine and high altitude medicine for the different AMS symptoms as well as antibiotics for common diseases in such areas.
Environmental Aspects: Since we all apreciate the beautiful high altitude environment and are aware of the sensitive eco system, we absolutely dedicate our tour to a none-polluting, environmental friendly, low impact expedition. Every trash that we produce gets collected and carried back by us. Toilet places will be set up far away from the fresh water. Bilological decomposable soap and detergent is natural to us. All necessary fuel will be carried along from the last settlements, so that we will not need to use any of the bushes or yak dung. In this extreme environment in high altitude, nature grows slowly and would need too long to recover. The yak dung is needed by the local people on the summer meadows, when they stay there for longer periods of time with their herds, s that they do not need to burn bushes.