Colin Prior

The Karakoram Project

My first trip to the Karakoram Mountains in 1996, made such an impression on my mind that they have haunted my dreams ever since. Scarcely, does a day pass when I don’t think about being there – in essence they have become a state of imagination. Lying in the north of Pakistan, at the western end of the Himalayan chain, the region is a vast expanse of mountain desert thrust into place by the collision of land masses, bereft of any vegetation and sculpted by eternal winds and snows.

The Karakoram contains the greatest concentration of the world’s highest peaks. No less than four of the fourteen 8000 metre summits are situated round the central Baltoro Glacier; this ice steam, some 36 miles long, includes within its basin ten of the world’s thirty highest mountains. The Karakoram also contains some of the greatest glacier systems outside the Polar regions: the longest of all is the Saichen, approximately 45 miles; the Hispar is 38 miles, the Biafo, 37 miles and the Batura like the Baltoro, is some 36 miles in length.

It is comparable of the polar regions in this respect, but of no other, for instead of the monotonous horizons of the far north, the landscape of the Karakoram has the richest variety of design, the greatest majesty of form, and an infinite diversity of plane and perspective.

This vertical landscape is the ultimate test for the landscape photographer and over the next four years, with the help from my sponsors, Lowepro and Rab, it is my intention to document this amazing region in a way, never previously attempted.

It is an exciting prospect to finally have the opportunity to fulfil my life’s dream and to create a body of work, which I hope will inspire those who see it and to celebrate what I believe to be the most dramatic landscape on Earth.

The project will begin next May and continue until 2017 with a book and exhibition planned in the Autumn of 2018. A great deal of research and planning has already been put in place and I fully expect to make twelve trips to the region during this time.

This will, without doubt, be my magnum opus and I would like to thank my sponsors - to Lowepro especially, whose commitment and investment has enabled this dream to become a reality and to Rab for their ongoing support for my photographic expeditions.

Lowepro Press Release »

Rab Press Release »

Lee Filters - Inspiring Professionals     Powertraveller - without boundaries       Fujifilm       Scarpa