The team of the Road to Himalayas expedition that these days travels by road the route from Spain to Nepal, has fulfilled one of its main objectives: this morning Félix Criado, Íñigo Gutiérrez, Paqui Vicedo and Iker Mediavilla have delivered 100 solar panels connected to light bulbs low consumption and 10 solar ovens, which will be distributed among Askole families in Baltistan. The panels have been donated by the EKI Foundation and the ovens, manufactured and tested by high school students of the Public Institute of Arrasate / Mondragón, with the collaboration of the Basque Energy Agency (EVE). The entire operation has been coordinated by the AWARE project, which has also trained in the use of these materials the person who has taken care of them: Muhammad Ali, the teacher of the Askole school, who now must return to his village through the dangerous Karakorum Highway. Finally, the team members will not be able to reach Askole themselves for lack of time (it is a trip of more than 30 hours) and the intrinsic risks of traveling on that road that runs over precipices in much of the route and that, above all in winter, it suffers constant cuts due to landslides. In fact, drivers have only a few days to reach Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, where they will meet Alex Txikon and the rest of the team to take the road to Ama Dablam together. The location of the equipment in the vehicle - an Isuzu 2.5TD Twin Turbo - can be tracked in real time through RaceTracker, on the Alex Txikon website.
The village of Askole is well known for mountaineering and trekking expeditions, as it is the last point accessible by vehicle before entering the Baltoro valley and glacier on foot, in the heart of the Karakorum, where four of the fourteen rise mountains of more than eight thousand meters of the earth and, among them, the second highest and perhaps the most mythical: the K2, of 8,611 meters. However, despite its fame, Askole is the least developed community in the Shigar district. With an environment too arid to prosper with agriculture or livestock, most of its 850 inhabitants can only aspire to work as porters for international expeditions, but lack specialized training with which to take advantage of the adventure tourism boom. The non-profit association AWARE has projects underway to train its inhabitants, promote sustainable tourism in the area and improve community life..