Jef Houben

In 2007 I got the immense pleasure of making an exploratory trip in a remote part of the Karakoram crossing the notorious Khurdopin pass under the professional guidance of Qudrat Ali and his Shimshali crew. We started from Shimshal, climbing Mingli Sar and Walyoo Sar before following the Braldu glacier and crossing Lukpe La. On the way to Snow Lake we made an excursion to the top of Sim La and then crossed Khurdopin pass. Then we followed the Khurdopin glacier back to Shimshal. Qudrat proved to be a skilled organizer of difficult journeys away from the beaten track showing a great experience in combining the required number of porters, bringing along enough food and gas and good quality of camping gear. The technical terrain made him exhibit his excellent climbing skills as a summiter of several eight thousand peaks and he even used the opportunity to train Abdul Joshi in ice climbing techniques on the steep walls of Khurdopin. I wish also to express my deepest regards to the strong team that, apart from Qudrat Ali and Abdul Joshi, made the crossing of Khurdopin possible after so many years of failed attempts: Bulbul Karim, Eid Mohammad and Laili Shah, and of course to all the other porters that accompanied us on the wonderful trip.