Splitboarding the Karakoram range of Pakistan | “… an endless playground for the motivated explorer.”
There’s a whole world outside the resorts and splitboarding in Pakistan’s Karakoram range looks like one of the more wild adventures there is. Jones Ambassador Guide Julien ’Pica’ Herry shares the story behind Hunza, the new adventure film by Invade Media documenting the magnificent mountains and culture of the Hunza Valley in Pakistan. Everyone came home with tired legs and a lifetime worth of adventurous stories to tell around the campfire.
I first stepped onto the slopes of Barbara peak with my best friend Max in the spring 2008. We got caught in a storm on a high shoulder at 5100m and waited for an hour for the weather to clear. We had hoped to ride an amazing glacier line we had scouted, but the weather never cleared and we were forced to ride down our ascent route on more mellow terrain. We vowed to return to ride the line, but unfortunately Max lost his life a few years later guiding in the Alps. In 2012 I did return to Barbara Peak and enjoyed an emotional tribute to Max with some friends. We scattered his ashes on that same shoulder, in a place he was feeling so alive. Luck was on our side that trip as we also rode the glacier line with clear blue skies and perfect snow conditions.
Fast forward to 2018 and I’m back in Pakistan with Sam and Leo shooting a film project with Invade Media Productions. We’re joined by Jeremy Bernard (photographer), Alex Blaise (producer), Hensli Sage (drone), JR Ceron (cameraman) and Christopher Baud (safety guide). We’ve come to explore the magnificent mountains and culture of the Hunza Valley. Summiting Barbara peak today in stellar conditions just a few days into our trip is a dream come true and we’re extremely grateful for our immediate success.