This summer Jon Griffith and Andy Houseman travelled to the Charakusa Valley in Pakistan with the intention to make the first ascent of the unclimbed Link Sar, 7041m. The Charakusa is a remote and isolated valley a two day hike from the nearest village.
There are so many unknown factors when attempting an unclimbed and technically advanced mountain like Link Sar. Being able to receive accurate weather forecasts removes one of those unknown factors, especially in Pakistan where the weather can be very unpredictable. The BGAN EXPLORER 300, supplied by AST Systems Ltd allowed Griffith and Houseman to receive daily e-mail forecasts and weather charts as and when they needed them, assuring that they never missed opportune weather windows for the climb. Weather warnings were crucial to Griffith and Houseman, as to start an ascent with adverse weather conditions incoming could likely develop into disaster.
Griffith and Houseman estimated they would need up to seven days on the mountain away from base camp, and so decided to climb fast and light. They found that the Iridium 9575 Extreme handset was small, light and robust enough to aid them on their attempt. The Iridium 9575 Extreme satellite phone allowed the guys to receive weather forecasts via SMS whilst on the mountain, and would have served as emergency communications in the event of any accidents.
The BGAN EXPLORER 300 combined with AST’s compression e-mail package, onsatmail, the climbers were able to upload regular blog updates from base camp, written as e-mails with photo attachments. The explorers commented that onsatmail was a cost effective solution to keeping family, friends and sponsors updated, allowing climbers to share their expeditions with worldwide audiences.