Today, I woke up at 4:30am, had a quick breakfast, and began the long trek to Urdukas. The route begins on the hillside, but quickly climbs onto the Baltoro glacier and traverses the mouth of the Indus river. From there, we must traverse the 2 mile-wide Baltoro glacier, climbing up and down the moraine (the Baltoro Glacier is the largest glacier in the world and clearly visible from space). The weather was cool and we made good time, arriving to Korofong before most of the other climbers. We spent an hour there enjoying a long lunch and refilling our water, then continued onward to Urdukas. The porters whom had left in the night had successfully claimed a prime piece of real estate in Urdukas, and we settled in as others searched desperately for places to camp for the night. Although this day is always the longest and hottest day of the trek, it is also one of the most breathtaking. I always think of this as the entrance to one of Mother Nature’s most magnificent temples. Despite this being the seventh time I’ve trekked up this route, I am always almost moved to tears by the beauty that surrounds me. I always approach the mountains within her temple with the utmost respect and never let my ego get the best of me. In this landscape, we are tiny dots, completely inconsequential, and powerless to control the elements that could easily kill us. Glaciers could shift without warning, immense boulders hanging precariously above could crush us in an instant, and swift rivers could sweep us deep within the immense glacier. Here, we are at the mercy of Mother Nature’s will. Tomorrow I trek to Goro II where I will camp underneath Mashabrum. the Queen of the Mountains. The following day, I will camp at Concordia where I will get my first glimpse of K2, or as it is referred to by locals, Chogori (which means King of the Mountains).