2002 - Expedition to Mountain Buni Zom 6551m
Sunday 7th July 2002: Trekking from Rahman to intermediate camp
At 7:00 the porters were in our camp, and we distributed the equipments to them. The total trekking to base camp was about 14 Km. We crossed the wide gorge between the cliff slopes and high peaks of Buni Zom. After five hours of trekking we reached the intermediate camp at 3700 m. The camp site is a big plateau and we picked the tents near to the big rocks. Close to the big scree there are small springs with drinkable water. In the afternoon George and I continued the trekking till the Gordoghan stream where we stopped, because we couldn't cross it. The weather in the evening got cold.
Monday 8th July 2002: Intermediate Camp - Base Camp
The weather in the morning was cold and cloudy, everything was wet. We left at 9:00 and after an hour we crossed the Gordoghan stream. At 12:00 we reached the Base Camp (BC) in Kulakmali at 3900m. A Pakistanian expedition was there with about 15 members. Afzal Sherazi was the leader of the expedition, we met him and he gave us a lot of important information about the route to Buni Zom. After that we understood that the climbing to the Buni Zom was very difficult. I, George and a person of the expedition went to see the first difficult part of the climbing that is about an hour from BC. That was a rocky vertical wall about 60m at altitude about 4050 m. I climbed alone the first 15 meters but it was very dangerous because of the traverse on the way. At night we ate and drunk in BC together with the members of that expedition. They had to go back the very next day and so, they made a big fire and kept singing and dancing till late at night.
Tuesday 9th July 2002: Base Camp - Phargam A pass - Base Camp
In the morning the Pakistani expedition was packing the equipment to go back. George and I began the trekking to Phargam An pass. It took us a long time to cross the two streams and to reach the slopes of the pass. The path was confused and we were lucky because we found it again higher. Before we reach the highest point of the pass at 4500m altitude the weather started to get colder and began a strong storm with snowfall. So, we turned back to BC, where we passed the rest of the day. That day I had a toothache which continued for the next two days.
Wednesday 10th July 2002: Base Camp, Bad weather
My toothache continued, accompanied by high temperature and fever. That day I got a lot of pills (lenitive), but the temperature was higher than 38 C. The weather was bad; it kept raining and snowing for almost all the day. We passed all the day inside the tent.
Thursday 11th July 2002: Around Base Camp
In the afternoon we went till the narrow gully, steep moraine from were the climbers from New Zealand reached the Khora Bohrt glacier. It was dangerous because of the rocks that fall, so that we did not try to pass it. The tooth kept hurting me and we decided to pack the equipment and to go back, the next day, to Chitral to find a doctor.
Friday 12th July 2002: Base Camp - Camp1 (4000m)
On Friday the toothache stopped, so we were thinking not to go back to Chitral and to climb an other peak. The name of the peak is Gordoghan Zom 6240m, but we knew it as Buni Zom first and that was higher than 6000m, we found out some information and details about that peak when we went back in Greece. We carried the half of the equipment to the new camp at 4000m. On the way we met Amir, a porter that was in the Pakistani expedition and he helped us to carry the rest of the equipment from the Base to the new camp, where he saw us. The camp 1 was near to the Gordoghan stream, on the rocky ground. We agreed with Amir to come the very next day accompanied by one more person and to guide us to the next camp 2.
Saturday 13th July 2002: Camp1 (4000m) - Camp 2 (4800m)
The morning was cloudy. Amir and his friend didn't come in time to camp 1. We began at 8:00 with our porter to the new camp. We carried only the necessary equipment and some food for the next two days, into the two backpacks. At 12:00 we found a place for the camp at 4800m. A small lake let was there with little drinkable water. We'd left the porter back and pitched the tent on the rocky capped Gordoghan glacier. In the afternoon we tried to find the route to Gordoghan Zom peak. First we began climbing straight to the peak as it was invisible from there. After two hours of climbing we went to a steep slope (50 degrees) where some rocks began falling down and it was impossible to continue. We turned back and trekked up to the glacier. In 45 minutes on our right we found a narrow gully and we understood that that was the only route to the peak. We turned back to the camp late in the evening to have a rest and get prepared for the next day.
Sunday 14th July 2002: Summit day (6100m)
The alarm did not ring at 3:30; so that we woke up with a delay at 5:00. Had a fast breakfast and at 5:30 we began the trekking on the rocky capped Gordoghan glacier. Using crampons and ice axes we began the ice climbing to the gully. It was 40-60 degrees in good state of ice. Without seeing the rope, we climbed it, and we reached a smooth slope from where we saw the peak's pyramid. The weather got colder, and our water froze in the bottles. Our reduced power and the lack of oxygen made the climbing very hard. Slowly we reached the west ridge where he fresh snow was about 30cm over to the ice and that made the crampons useless. At 14:40 we were at about 6100m. We were very close to the peak but our powers had finished, and we were climbing slowly, so we decided to turn back. From there we could see hundreds of peaks of Hindu Kush mountain range. And we had glimpses from the East face of Buni Zom main and North. At 18:30 in the afternoon we were back to the camp. We passed a cold night because the tent was not closed properly and everything was frozen next morning.
Monday 15th July 2002: Camp 2 (4800m) - Camp 1 (4000m)
At 9 o'clock our equipment was packed and we began the return way. The rocks on the glacier were always moving and it made the climbing down quite difficult. Early in the afternoon we were to camp 1. A child saw us and came to camp. We understood that is Amir's son, so we told him to inform his father to come next day for the transportation of the equipment. In the afternoon I swam in a small lake that is on Gordoghan glacier.
Tuesday 16th July 2002: Camp 1 (4000m) - Harchin village
The two men (Amir and his friend) and a son of Amir appeared in the morning to our camp. That was our last day on the mountains. We packed the three backpacks and the big bock and all together carried them to the long trek to Harchin village. On the way towards the place of our intermediate camp we found a sheep half eaten by a wolf. Our porters cut parts of the rest of it and carried that with them. We stopped in the house of Amir in Phargam village. Amir offered us milk tea and bread in the yard of his house. Two more hours trekking from Phargam to Harchin village was the final part of expedition. The path between the two villages, that crosses the Rahman village, leaded us into a somewhat jungle full of green and a lot of water. In Harchin village we met the teacher of the village. He invited us to stay at his home for the night, because there was no jeep in the afternoon to Chitral. In the big house of the teacher were staying 3 more families of his brothers. A lot of children watched us like we'd appeared from out of space. We went to the river with the children for fishing. Late at night we hand a perfect dinner, and after that a long sleep.