Moonlight in the Karakoram, Pakistan
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|This pano was shot with a D200 and a Sigma 15 mm lens at iso 100 with 2 minute exposures in the moonlight. I started a little late, and the Sun was coming up during the past few shots. That mountain that looks like it is a stitching error above the camp is not a stitching error. It really is that steep. It appears just like that in a single image.|
This was taken at a camp called Urdurkas along the Baltoro Glacier in the Karakoram Mountains of Pakistan. The granite cliffs illuminated in the moonlight in this shot are the highest cliffs in the world, and are part of the main range of the Karakoram. Above the last rugged granite ridge to the right behind rises K2, the black snow peak with some cloud clinging to it. K2, of course, is the second highest mountain in the world at 8611 meteres. The first orangish colored granite peaks from the left are the Trango Towers. There are a couple sheer faces there that are 2000 meters high, the highest cliffs in the world!
To get to Urdurkas from Islamabad/Rawalpindi you ride for 24 hours along the world's most dangerous highway, the Karakoram Highway. The drivers smoke hash to stay sharp. Then you ride in a jeep for 8 hours. At the end of the jeep trail you come to a village that is only minutes away from the stone age. Then you hike about 80 km to get to this spot at over 4000 meters above the sea on very treacherous glacial tracks that would not deserve to be called a trail. We went another long three days of hiking past this until we were at the foot of K2.
Image © Paul Fretheim