/ NEW ARTICLE: Islamabad Cragging

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UKC Articles - on 16 Jun 2011
Another puzzled onlooker, 5 kb“Are you sure it's safe there?” Family and friends all shared the same concern when I mentioned I would be working in Islamabad for a while.

“Of course,” I always replied, “Probably no worse than most capital cities.” But I knew they didn't believe me, and to be fair I wasn't 100% sure myself...

John Arran takes us cragging in Islamabad!

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=3766

pdhu - on 16 Jun 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

What a lovely article. Cheers to all.
fried - on 16 Jun 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

Lovely article John, hope you're all well down in the Ariege.
pneame on 16 Jun 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:
Quite uplifting - climbing, the new diplomacy! Or is it the old diplomacy?
andrea83 - on 16 Jun 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

Great article, my favourite I have read on here! Lovely!
Ztephan - on 16 Jun 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

Great article.
Always inspiring to experience how well climbing transcends cultural differences.
rustaldo - on 16 Jun 2011
In reply to UKC Articles: great read! photo of the goat is superb!
In reply to UKC Articles: Top article John. Is your work on electoral rolls from the technical side (i.e. you are an IT type) or from the political/policy side?
ice.solo - on 16 Jun 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

nice one john. a refreshing perspective.
john arran - on 17 Jun 2011
In reply to all:

Thanks everyone for the kind words. Just to mention that I've fixed the link to the downloadable pdf topo, so if anyone's interested that should be available now.

Also, I did include pictures of women too - honest! But they don't seem to have survived the final edit. :(   Admittedly they weren't great photos.

Toby, I did get into the elections field through the technical (database software) side but I now seem to have somehow become a voter registration expert - not sure how that happened!
GuyVG - on 17 Jun 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

That was great, really inspiring, thanks John. Everything I love about climbing in one article.
RockSteady on 17 Jun 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

Really interesting, great article John.
winhill - on 17 Jun 2011
In reply to UKC Articles: I'm not sure the family was too wrong John, after another bomb attack on Monday, Islamabad seems to be back on the target list.
Leonard Tedd - on 17 Jun 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

Great article.

I had a chance to work in Pakistan in 2005/2006, a few of us did some exploratory climbs in some of the areas mentioned, and tramped over the Margala hills looking for faces to climb. You and the others mentioned in the topo have developed things much further since then. I'm sure many aspirant national and international climbing types will want to thank you for that.

Leonard
JHammond on 17 Jun 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

Top piece! And great route names :-)
In reply to john arran:

> Toby, I did get into the elections field through the technical (database software) side but I now seem to have somehow become a voter registration expert - not sure how that happened!

Sounds very interesting and rewarding work. I presume that is why you were in Congo as well?

I'm just very jealous of your lifestyle! Spending half your time in the mountains with climbing or climbing-related work, and half helping with democracy promotion work in interesting parts of the world sounds pretty perfect to me.

In fact I just finished my PhD in international security politics, so if you need political analysis/belay-slave support on your next job, you know who to recommend to your employers! ;-)
Franco Cookson on 17 Jun 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

I've heard good things from a mate about the cragging out there, looks good.
bridget143 - on 17 Jun 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:
Great article John one of the best on here.

Also fantastic to see Anne doing her usual inspiring thing out there. I'd be interested in any follow-up she does with regard to enouraging female climbers. What consitutes suitable attire for female climbers out there?

Cheers
Bridget
Quarryboy - on 17 Jun 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

Quality article!
john arran - on 18 Jun 2011
In reply to bridget143:

> What constitutes suitable attire for female climbers out there?

Islamabad is much less conservative than many other parts of Pakistan. Women with heads uncovered may not quite be the norm but certainly is quite common and definitely unremarkable. Don't see many in shorts though!



Scarab - on 18 Jun 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

Beautiful piece John and awesome work! I love this sort of thing!
In reply to UKC Articles: Great piece - sounds like a real adventure John. I'm envious!
petealdwinckle - on 18 Jun 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:
Great article - our Pakistani climbing colleague will have the topo on his desk tomorrow morning.
john arran - on 18 Jun 2011
In reply to petealdwinckle:

... in which case you may want to know that it's designed to be printed out double-sided colour, 2 pages to a sheet, booklet style (look in printing options) then stapled in the middle. Obviously works ok on standard single-page A4 too (best in colour though) but much nicer as a booklet ;-)
tobyfk - on 19 Jun 2011
In reply to john arran:

When's the best season to climb there? Looks to be very possible for a weekend, possibly even a daytrip, from my part of the world.
john arran - on 19 Jun 2011
In reply to tobyfk:

> When's the best season to climb there? Looks to be very possible for a weekend, possibly even a daytrip, from my part of the world.

Best season is really any time outside of June-August, although May and September can be quite warm too, and you can get some significant rain in the middle of winter if you're unlucky. I'd say Oct-Nov and Feb-Apr would be best.

I would definitely advice some expectation management though if you're thinking of flying in just for the cragging. Some of the routes are certainly good but it's definitely not a real destination venue. If you imagine a few of the better sport buttresses in the Peak you're probably fairly near the quality mark.
Adam_42 - on 19 Jun 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

Fantastic article. Almost felt like I was there.
iceaxejuggler - on 20 Jun 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

Really enjoyed reading this.
ads.ukclimbing.com
tobyfk - on 20 Jun 2011
In reply to john arran:
> (In reply to tobyfk)
> Some of the routes are certainly good but it's definitely not a real destination venue. If you imagine a few of the better sport buttresses in the Peak you're probably fairly near the quality mark.

Quality schmality! My motivation would be 99% to add Pakistan to my "esoteric countries I have climbed in" tally without having to do something scary and commiting like a trip to the Karakorum.

Actually having googled a little it looks like getting the visa could be the crux.

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