Today’s a really important day in the practice of Ramadan in the community of Islamabad.
Daily total fasting from sunrise to sun set with five prayer rituals makes up a typical day in the life of a Pakistani civilian.What do people do?
Muslims worldwide fast (or swam) during the hours of daylight in Ramadan. They do not eat, drink, smoke or engage in sexual intercourse during the fast. They also focus on reading the Koran (Qu’ran), donating to charities (zakaat), and certain activities such as refraining from gossip. Some people try to recite the entire Koran by the end of Ramadan.
So doing what the Romans do, i decided to try this practice out for myself today. Fasting from sunrise this morning until just now ,7.23pm is the actual time their religious beliefs allowing the consumption of all of the above. The reading of the Koran proving most difficult. Spent a further few hours with a local man as we wandered around some really beautiful parts of rural Islamabad. After today I’ve gained a wonderful insight into the culture and religion of Muslims leaving me with nothing but the upmost respect for the commitment they exercise in their beliefs. Its truly incredible.
The food here is beautiful really along the lines of Indian with your own cultural twists, rice hot curry dishes little meat a lot of vegetables, pretty healthy.
Transportation is generally a mix of mad men in small mini style cars and taking their life in their own hands are the motorbike riders in most cases helmet free.
Security I’ve never seen more security in all my travels, heavily armed military soldiers located in primitive look out points protecting most of the streets, questions as to why run wild in my head.
Tonight had the great company of going out for some Pakistani dinner with Nazir Sabir only the greatest Pakistani mountaineer and I could of stayed talking to him for the night as he talked me through his life getting into mountaineering at a time when no other Pakistani was and developing his training & technical techniques to summit the worlds Giants. The most outstanding quality he possessed was his no nonsense replies to my many answers ,he never made me feel inferior and was so honest admitting that there was times he hadn’t a clue and was just letting the climb unfold organically, he was a breath of fresh air as typically most famous mountaineers heads & options are bigger than there boots.
Here’s a snapshot of Nazirs achievements…Nazir Sabir was invited to climb K2 in 1981 by his friends by the Waseda University Expedition attempting the West and South West ridges rather than the usual Abruzzi ridge. The Duke of Abruzzi had, in 1909, surveyed K2 from all its sides. He felt that K2 could only be assailed from the South East Ridge, which was to be named Abruzzi Ridge. In 1978 the famous British climber Sir Chris Bonington made his first attempt on this new route up the West Ridge. Nick Estcourt, a member of this team, was swept to his death by a slab avalanche on the way to Camp 2 while Doug Scott barely survived the avalanche.It involves a difficult grade on a mixed ground of snow and rock at higher elevations. Doug Scott who was a member of the 1978 expedition led another team strong teams of five top British climbers but the gave up at 7300 due to bad weather.
Nazir, followed by Eiho Otani, reached the summit of K2 on 7 August 1981. Nazir and his team from the Waseda University created history by successfully climbing K2’s West/South West Ridge for the first time. A documentary film of the climb, “50 Day Struggle” shown all over Japan, made Nazir Sabir a household name there.
In 1982, Nazir Sabir along with Sher Khan and the famous Italian mountaineer Reinhold Messner climbed Gasherbrum II 8035m and Broad Peak 8047m. Both Gasherbrum II and Broad Peak were done in Alpine style in a period of just one week, the fastest ascent of two 8000m peaks at the time.
News from the expedition is for now we’re still awaiting an update on out transportation to Skardu and my real concern is that I really need to move up as soon as possible to help in my acclimatisation plan. The fear about not getting this progressional plan achieved is K2 is notorious for posing one summit window only , if your not properly acclimatised and best placed on the mountain to strike & top out ,then i miss the chance for success.
So here’s hoping.