A small insight behind the scenes describing what Kästle ambassadors and photographers experienced during their expedition to Pakistan. Martin Sieberer riding Kästle skis tells us about his experiences.
Martin Sieberer: "Shortly before our expedition to Pakistan I started skiing the FX95. Even though the new ski is slightly heavier than my old TX, I’m happy because it has a bit more stability when it comes to steeper descents and more difficult conditions.
I prepared myself for Pakistan with a few last test rides before I felt ready. I have a good feeling. The conditions in Pakistan will be different and challenging in the sense of variability and I’ll have to adapt to many different conditions. I’m glad to have my new skis that give me confidence in every situation.
A week after our arrival, we have finally acclimatized and we can unpack our skis. We have trekked to the valley next to the Shimshal valley at the northeast-end of Pakistan, close to the boarder of China. Our basecamp, Zarthgurben lies at 4000 meters above sea level. From there we hike with the skis on our back for the next 10 to 15 kilometers until we reach the next camp, Shpodin, which is at approximately 4300 meters. There, we are finally on snow but the extreme conditions eventually make us change our plan. The new plan: we will ascend 500 meters along the ridge behind our camp, sleep and then ski down the impressive northwest face that is 40 degrees. Sounds good to us!
Easier said than done. As we are standing at the top of the ridge, checking our line, what do we see? An avalanche 20 meters wide and 30 centimeters deep washing down the mountain. The conditions here in Pakistan once again prove very difficult to assess and particularly dangerous at the moment.
To further acclimate, we spend the night at 4700 meters. At the ridge we work hard to position our tent well and spend a clear and cold night bivying, hardly getting any sleep. The following morning, we take advantage of the temperatures before sunrise to ski safely down the bed surface of the avalanche.
I’m very glad I had the FX95: the descents worked out, even though the snow was as hard as steel. We skied the steep terrain safely all the way down to camp. The strength you use at this altitude is exhausting. Next stop: Shimshal Whitehorn.”
Photo credits: Andi Vigl