Porters guide their mules outside the village of Askole in Pakistan, Aug. 28, 2014.
Geographically, Pakistan is a climber’s paradise. It rivals Nepal for the number of peaks over 7,000 meters and is home to the world’s second tallest mountain, K2, as well as four of the world’s 14 summits higher than 8,000 meters.
In more peaceful times, northern Pakistan’s unspoilt beauty was a major tourist draw but the potentially lucrative industry has been blighted by years of violence.
The number of expeditions has dwindled, wrecking communities dependent on climbing for income and starving Pakistan’s suffering economy of much-needed dollars.