Steve Swenson gives some fascinating context surrounding the massacre at Nanga Parbat’s basecamp the other weekend:
I’ve been on eleven climbing expeditions to Pakistan. Although the Country has been destabilized by the war in neighboring Afghanistan, sectarian violence, and a growing insurgency, I have always told my family and friends that the areas where we go climbing are safe. The Karakoram and Himalayan mountains in northeastern Pakistan are stunningly beautiful, and contain a significant number of the world’s greatest mountains including K2, the world’s second highest. They attract mountaineers and trekkers from all over the world, and.were a safe haven from the terrorist violence that has afflicted other parts of Pakistan. All that changed on June 22nd, when Pakistani militants killed ten mountain climbers at the Nanga Parbat base camp. I will try to summarize the events that led to these killings and how this might affect mountaineering and trekking groups in the future.