05/30/2005 United we win!
Eight climbers from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will join forces to climb Gasherbrum II this summer. This is the first time since the 80's that climbers from the three Baltic republics get together to launch a mountaineering expedition.
Team is arriving to Islamabad 5 June. The expedition is led by Everest summiteers Saulius Vilius from Lithuania. He also organized Lithuanian expedition to Shishapangma last year. The other members are: Eugenijus Simanauskas (Lithuania), Ramunas Alisauskas (Lithuania), Arturas Bazys (Lithuania), Darius Milasius (Lithuania), Alar Sikk (Estonia), Tarmo Riga (Estonia), Dr. Priit Melnik (Estonia).
The team will follow the classic route on the 8034m Karakorum Mountain.
"With this expedition climbers from Baltic countries want to emphasize cooperation; and show that supporting each other is more important than rivaling and competing," says the team.
Most of the team members have previous experience in high altitude climbing; three of them are 8000er summiteers.
Saulius Vilius summited Everest in 2003, as well as Khan Tengri and Lenin; Alar Sikk has summited Everest and McKinley; Tarmo Riga has summits on Cho Oyu, Broad Peak, and Khan Tengri.
Eugenijus Simanauskas and Saulius Rudnickas have summited Lenin; Dr. Priit Melnik has previously reached the top of Mt. McKinley; Arturas Bazys and Darius Milasius have no previous experience at 8000 meters, but they have accomplished several technical climbing routes in European ranges; and Valdis Purins has the summit of Kongur (7719 m).
Gasherbrum in local language means "Shining Wall". There are six Gasherbrum Peaks. Gasherbrum II, (8035 meters/26,361ft), the shining mountain on the Karakoram Range is the second highest peak among the Gasherbrum Peaks.
The first ascent was made an Austrian team led by Fritz Moravec along with Josef Larch and Hans Willenpart on July 8th, 1956. They set up a base camp on the south Gasherbrum glacier. Camp I was set up at 6005 meters. It was here that the party was forced to stay for ten days because of a severe storm. Consequently, they lost a large supply store in an avalanche.
Press conference will take place at the Penki Kontinentai Group conference center “Despina” on June the 1st, 2.00 p.m. Penki Kontinentai Group is a informational sponsor of the project.
More information: www.baltuzygiai.lt, www.everestnews.com.