The following individuals received a ZMBB Grant in 2009:
Matt Hepp and Clint Estes: Matt and Clint traveled to Pakistan for some exploratory climbing—read an excerpt from Clint's report below, and check out the full story on our TR page.
“Not even the American ambassador to Pakistan is getting past these gates. Closed means closed!”
Those are the words that welcomed us to the Kondus Valley of Pakistan…or just short of it. Months earlier, Matt Hepp and I had begun our adventure by applying for a “special permit” to explore unclimbed granite towers within the disputed territory of northern Pakistan. The Kondus Valley is located in the “closed” zone of Baltistan, mere miles from India, in the heart of the everlasting Kashmir conflict. It is a nearly impossible region for foreigners to enter, yet the rumors of Trango Tower–sized granite pillars prompted us to test the murky political waters.