Today, we decided to make a carry to the deposit on the other side of the ice fall. We agreed that the route would be safer tomorrow after the new snowfall has had a day to settle. We woke up at 4:30am, had breakfast at 5am and were back in Base Camp by 9:00am. Taking into account the four-day weather window that is forecast – a rare event in the Karakorum – we are hoping to climb to Camp I tomorrow to sleep, then either descend to the deposit to retrieve more equipment which we will install in Camp II, or just carry enough equipment tomorrow to outfit both camps. This is only a plan, however, and we will definitely be listening closely to the limitations set forth by our bodies. In the afternoon, we visited with the Bulgarians who plan to make a summit attempt in the coming days, and also spoke via radio with the Polish expedition to discuss collaboration regarding fixing the route above Camp I. Currently, the only ropes installed are up to Camp I. The Bulgarians dug up the old fixed lines from Camp I to Camp II and these are currently being used by some expeditions on the mountain. We spent the remainder of the afternoon packing our gear for tomorrow and we’re hoping for a cool, clear morning like we had today for our climb to Camp I.
Today, I woke up around 7:45am and was struck the second I stepped out of my tent by the stunning view of K2 covered in snow that greeted me. Seeing the peak that took so many of my friends’ lives six years ago was definitely an emotional moment for me. After taking a few pictures and clearing the accumulation of snow off of my tent and solar panel, I headed down to the mess tent for breakfast. Lina, Pilar and I discussed our plan to head up to Camp I tomorrow. We debated between two options: 1. a simple carry to camp I in which we leave a deposit of equipment and descend the same day or 2. Carrying tents, fuel, food, and the equipment we would need to sleep a night in Camp I. We decided to prepare our equipment for both contingencies and decide how we felt at dinner. The weather is forecast to improve and to remain good for the next 7 or 8 days so we hope to take full advantage of the good weather if it in fact does materialize. Afterwards, I showered, ate lunch, and continued to set up my solar array and tech equipment.
Today, we woke up at 5:00am, packed up our equipment, ate a quick breakfast and headed up to Concordia (4622m) where we broke for lunch. Akbar and I arrived first and had tea at the Concordia Rescue camp while we waited for the others to arrive. Pilar arrived shortly after and then Carlos. Since we’d already been waiting for quite some time, Akbar and I decided to begin toward Broad Peak base camp while the others visited some Spanish climbers who were camped in Concordia. We arrived to Broad Peak base camp in heavy snow, having taken a long detour due to a wrong turn along the way. We met up with Lina, tipped the Sirdar and a few of the porters who were helping us to set up base camp, and then headed over to Badia and Mauricio’s (Mexico) base camp. They graciously offered us tea and lunch (not to mention refuge from the bitter cold outside). After visiting for a while, we returned to our own camp to unpack our equipment and settle in, our view of the surrounding peaks completely obscured by clouds. We ate a delicious dinner then got an early night.
Today we woke up to light snowfall and quickly ate breakfast and departed for Goro II (4240m). We broke quickly at Goro I for a snack and arrived to Goro II around 1pm. We discussed porter tips as they must be decided prior to our arrival to Broad Peak base camp. The porters typically leave all of their personal equipment and extra clothing at Goro II on the last day and so must quickly receive their tip and descend once they arrive to base camp. Lina will proceed one hour ahead of us tomorrow so she can scout out a good place for our base camp and ensure that all of the porters arrive to this location.
It continued to rain all night. We awoke at 5:00am and were told that we needed to decide whether we would wait in Paiju one day for the weather to improve or continue on as planned to Urdukas. After consulting with Hadi Ali, our Sirdar from Shigar who informed us that the porters agreed to continue despite the weather, we elected for the latter and quickly prepared our loads. We walked for over 5 hours before we broke for lunch at Korbuche. The route was severely convoluted by a massive landslide which we had to cross and which created a huge lake that we needed to circumnavigate. After lunch (again in the rain, but this time with no shelter) we continued on for around 3 hours before arriving to Urdukas (3902m). Our porter loads took hours more to arrive and the temperature was frigid in camp. We finally settled in for dinner as the last of our loads arrived. Tomorrow we will continue on to Goro II and the following day we should arrive to Broad Peak base camp.
Today, we woke up in the rain at 5:00am, ate breakfast, and trekked to Monjongpdera where we stopped for lunch. We took refuge from the rain in a small, dark shelter and waited close to an hour for everyone to arrive. We continued to Paiju (in the rain) and quickly changed out of our wet clothes. We said goodbye to two of our porters, had dinner, and then went to bed early.
Today, we woke up at 5:00am, ate a quick breakfast, and began the trek to Jhula. Thankfully, it was a cool, cloudy morning and we made good time to Korofong where we took a break for lunch. We were stopped by park officials who demanded that we pay a $110.00 fee for entering the region. We protested as we were told that this fee was not sanctioned and after some time, the official left us, having us fill out the form, but allowing us to pass without paying the fee. We arrived to Jhula, showered, had visits from a number of porters with a variety of medical issues, which we tried to address to the best of our abilities, and then ate dinner. Tomorrow, we will continue the trek to Paiju.
Today, we woke up at 4:30am, ate a quick breakfast, loaded our equipment into the jeeps and departed Skardu to Askole. As always, the drive was an adventure, as the road (or for the most part, lack of road) is extremely narrow, crosses many fast-moving rivers, and goes underneath land-slide prone slopes. We stopped midway at Apoaligon for lunch in the garden and eventually arrived to Askole around 2:30pm. We ventured out of the compound where climbers typically camp and went exploring. We spent the rest of the afternoon preparing our loads for the trek and watching as the loads were weighed, weighed again, then tied to metal frames for the porters to carry to base camp. Once this was done, we had dinner in the mess tent and went to sleep.