MOUNTAINEERING IN THE KARAKORAM. Climbers Freddie Wilkinson and Janet Bergman will be at Lyndon State College on Tuesday, November 8, to present a multimedia tour of climbing and mountaineering adventures in India. The presentation, “Karakoram Frontiers: A Season of First Ascents in the Himalaya’s Last Refuge,” chronicles their season of epic first ascents and skin-of-your-teeth adventures that culminated in the first ascent of Saser Kangri II (7518 meters), the world’s second highest unclimbed mountain.
Once an historic crossroads of caravans and camels, the mountains of the eastern Karakoram have been transformed into a high-altitude battlefield by the simmering border conflict between Pakistan and India. With nearly all foreign visitors blocked from the region for the last thirty years, it has become an unlikely refuge for the last, highest unclimbed mountains in the world. In the summer of 2011, Freddie Wilkinson and Janet Bergman joined a team of four other Americans to explore one of the Karakoram’s highest uncharted glaciers.
Freddie Wilkinson is a climbing guide, alpinist, and author of “One Mountain Thousand Summits: The Untold Story of Tragedy and True Heroism on K2.” He’s made significant first ascents in Alaska, Patagonia, and the Himalaya, but his favorite place to climb is still Cathedral Ledge in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Janet Bergman is a rock climber and alpinist with many first ascents. She works as a consultant to non-profit organizations; is a Mountain Hardware featured athlete; and former executive director of the Kismet Rock Foundation, an educational rock climbing program for New England youth. She finds inspiration in long alpine rock climbing in the mountains and first ascents, whether on a one-day ascent of El Capitan in Yosemite or a first ascent in the Indian Himalaya. Janet and Freddie reside in New Hampshire.
The 90-minute presentation will start at 6:30 p.m. in ASAC 100—the auditorium space in the College’s new Academic and Student Activities Center. There will also be a free gear raffle. The event is open to the public and offered free of charge.