Today, I woke up in Los Angeles, packed my gear into four giant duffel bags, and boarded an Emirates A380 for the 15 hour flight to Dubai. The flight arrived on time, and I struggled for the entire seven hour layover to stay awake. Next, I boarded a second Emirates flight to Islamabad, a 2.5 hour flight. I arrived without incident, however after clearing immigration, and collecting my bags, I realized that half of my luggage had not arrived. I quickly checked with the lost baggage agent and he informed me that the two bags were missing for transfer in Dubai and had been put on the next day’s flight from Los Angeles and would arrive in the evening. After getting the appropriate report filed, I quickly met with Manzoor who gave me my PIA flight ticket from Islamabad to Skardu for later in the morning and collected my luggage from me to transport by road to Skardu. I went through the domestic airport security, and boarded the small and very old ATR aircraft. In the line to board, I was surprised to run into Yannick (a French climber who shared base camp with me on K2 in 2008) and a Czech climber who was on Broad Peak with me last year. We caught up while being transported to the aircraft. I was relieved when we took off from Islamabad, but knew that the flight could be turned around at any point before landing due to weather conditions in Skardu. Thankfully, the flight arrived to Skardu. We disembarked onto the runway, took a bus to the terminal, registered with the police, and headed to our respective hotels. I’m very grateful for Manzoor’s foresight in purchasing me the flight ticket for the same day I arrived to Islamabad. Not only did it save me from having to bear with the 40 degree Celsius heat in Islamabad, but it also saved me having to endure the two day drive up the Karakorum Highway, which passes by areas of the country that are quite dangerous to Westerners. Since all of my street clothes and toiletries (including my toothbrush!) were packed in one of the bags that was delayed, I decided to venture out to the bazaar to purchase replacements. After returning, I had lunch and then had an icy cold shower (as the hot water hours weren’t till the evening). After this, I decided to take a 2 hour nap as I hadn’t slept in close to 48 hours and afterwards went into town for dinner (I waited till after 7:30pm so as not to be disrespectful of the locals who are fasting for Ramadan). I went to sleep at 10pm hoping to receive good news about my luggage in the morning.