Pakistan peak fees reduced

In what could be described as a vain bid to try and tempt climbers back to its mountains next year, the Pakistan Government are continuing the 50% royalty reduction for peaks in the Karakoram.The Pakistani trekking and climbing industry, which saw a bumper year in 2001 (70 expeditions), was devastated last year with only 29 expeditions to peaks above 6000m arriving in the country. Although some British climbers are tentatively planning expeditions for 2003 (Jules Cartwright is hoping to attempt the famous ´last great problem´, the south-south-west spur on the West face of Gasherbrum IV (7925m) next year), it seems unlikely that they will set foot in the country in the current political climate.