Climber to share Pakistan adventures
While mountain climbing in Pakistan, Todd Offenbacher fell in love with the stark beauty of the rocks and the generous humility of the people.
However, he was always aware of a lurking danger.
“On a good day, we were climbing in T-shirts,” he said. “On a bad day, it’s not unheard of to get someone’s head cut off.”
Offenbacher was part of a team sponsored by the Mugs Stump Award and the American Alpine Club to make the first ascent up several unclimbed rocks in Pakistan in 2000 and 2001.
He will share photos and stories at the Carson City Library at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday as part of the Capital City Reads initiative.
The project is encouraging all of Carson City to read Greg Mortenson’s “Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace One School at a Time,” which chronicles Mortenson’s unsuccessful attempt to summit Pakistan’s K2. He later establishes the nonprofit Central Asia Institute to fund construction of schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
While in Pakistan, Offenbacher spent most of his time in the village of Kande, which had been devastated by a rock slide.
He and his crew donated to Mortenson’s institute and even brought back school supplies on their 2001 trip.
He felt a particular kinship with the people who lived in a similar mountainous region to Lake Tahoe.
“I love their culture,” he said. “The people really know how to take care of each other.”
His last trip to the country was shortly before Sept. 11, 2001. Many of the places he traveled, he said, are now likely too dangerous to visit.
“The Taliban is like a cancer getting spread into Pakistan,” he said. “It’s really cool what Greg Mortenson is doing. I think it’s just critical to what’s going on the world right now. We need to stop that cancer.”
Offenbacher, producer of the Tahoe Adventure Film Festival, said his presentation will be full of adventure stories and funny anecdotes.
“You can’t take climbing that seriously,” he said. “Granted, some people almost died. But we were climbing up 6,000-meter rock walls that nobody had ever touched before. It was a lot of fun.”