Winning Gold in Pakistan’s Karakoram Mountains Comes at a Cost

Rivers in the glacial valleys of the Karakoram, the towering mountains of northern Pakistan, swirl ice cold and the color of slate. Along the banks of some of these remote waterways, patchwork tents huddle like flotsam. Inside the tents live nomad families who wander from current to current, panning the dark sands for glints of gold. These are the Sonewal.

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Human Journey

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Meet the Author
Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent and National Geographic Fellow Paul Salopek’s 21,000-mile Out of Eden Walk is a multiyear experiment in slow journalism. Moving at the beat of his footsteps, Salopek is walking the pathways of the first humans who migrated out of Africa in the Stone Age and made the Earth ours. Along the way he is covering the major stories of our time—from climate change to technological innovation, from mass migration to cultural survival—by giving voice to the people who inhabit them every day. His words, as well as his photographs, video, and audio, are creating a global record of human life at the start of a new millennium as told by villagers, nomads, traders, farmers, soldiers, and artists who rarely make the news. Join the journey at and on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at @OutofEdenWalk.