Travel photographer Ko Kyaw Thar is on his personal trip to Hkakaborazi. He targeted to climb Southeast Asia’s Highest Mountain, Mt.Hka Ka Bo Razi (5881m) in Naung Mun district, Kachin State, which is a well reputed mountain in Northernmost Myanmar for it’s long approach, tough environment, highly technical climbing (ice and granite mixed with many loose rocks), active crevasses and unpredictable weather.
Today 4th August, I receive his SPOT LOCATION from the field.
GPS location Date/Time:08/04/2016 09:28:18 MMT
Message:Everything is okay with me.
Click the link below to see where I am located.
If the above link does not work, try this link:
You have received this message because Kyaw Thar has added you to their SPOT contact list.
Ready for Adventure
He is reaching beyond Naung Mun, expected to be at Alanga village or Htanga village tonight.
Estimate approach hike to the northernmost LAST VILLAGE, TaHaungDamm is 12 days, so Ko Kyaw Thar is expected to be there by 15 August. 16/17 were the rest day and final-repack-days before leaving last village, and add on 4 mores days from last Village to HBC (Hkakabo base camp ) , thus he and his team will be at the base of Hkakaborazi around 21,Aug,2016 as per draft itinerary.
He set the date 5,September,2016 as the last date at HBC to return , whether the Summit Attempts are successful or not. Ko Kyaw Thar mentioned Safety is his first priority and he will try the summit anyway in local ways , but his goal is to be back and share the beautiful scnery of remote Myanmar Mountainous areas, especially untouched and unspoiled Hkakaborazi National Park.
He flew to Putao from Yangon airport on 3rd August. His team consist of 10 local Kachin (Rawang/Lisu) tribes who are based in Putao and been prepared for moving loads and rations along the trail. Trip was announced in several interviews , that he will climb this mountain in local method with minimal gears in Old School style (which mean they use PineWood Rods as the Pros in the rock and attached a limited amount of static rope as safety, and often without ropes. climbing on highly technical peak with old school method doesn’t seem right, but he said he has trust on locals and they are reliable ) whilst he prepared for Trip Gears like ropes, Rations since November 2015 for this AUG/SEP 2016 HkaKaBo trip.
Ko Kyaw Thar is not new to Putao Summits as he is now on his 2 year journey to Local Snowcapped Mountains. He started his first Snowcap attempt in 2014 to Mt. Pangaram (14,200 feet). Later in 2015 he made his famous trip aka “3 SUMMIT TRIP” which he climbed 3 summits in a row:
- Mt. Phungam (11900 feet ) on April 27 , 2016
- Mt. Phon Yin (13800 feet ) on May 4, 2016
- Mt. Pangaram (14,200 feet)on May 10, 2016
which later the trip contributed for his successful Photo Exhibition of “3 SUMMIT TRIP” , displaying 115 images in frames, sold and fund raised for Natural Disaster Flood victims in 2015.
His Hkakaborazi plan become reality on his last trip to Putao in 2015 November as he did Mt. Madwe Razi ( 15177 ft ) , aka NoiMadwe. He met local guides with rich knowledge about Hkakaborazi and thus later they plan together to climb Hkakabo in local ways, which is completely funded by Ko Kyaw Thar alone without any sponsorship. Estimate trip cost is about 300 LAKH (MMK) approx. 25K USD ( expect it would cost more than 30K $ so far).
Climbing in Northern Myanmar is serious business. Any of RESCUE or EMERGENCY RELIEF are NOT available in any of the mountain. And it is even more threatening to life as this trip is Hkakaborazi, attempting by almost nothing equipped group to climb this NatoGeo elite team unsuccessful yet mountain in so called traditional way. (glad that, the team have one SPOT device, No SAT Phone or any other communication units are carried along with this trip as far as i observed ).
Historically, 2 climbers are lost on Hkakabo in 2014 during their summit bid and never found yet after million dollar Rescue Operation on the mountain for two month.His photography record will be treasure for public, locally and internationally. (Ko Kyaw Thar , active member of MPS- Myanmar Photographic Society, donated copyrights and benefit of his photos to MPS before he leaving this trip).
I am genuinely wish Ko Kyaw Thar and his team safe and sound on Hkakaborazi and to come back in one piece.
I will keep you posted more updates based on SPOT UPDATE from Ko Kyaw Thar onwards this interesting odyssey of a Myanmar Photographer climbing in Old School style to one of the Most Dangerous and Technical Mountain Hkakaborazi.
Nyi Nyi Aung (Doe Lone)