Today, Akbar and I had an early breakfast, broke down the camp for the last time, and began the short trek to K2 base camp. Fortunately, we had a few friends already in K2 base camp so we were able to place our base camp in the center (the higher camps are extremely cold and at risk of being hit by avalanches and the lower camps are far from the route, but warmer). We spend upwards of two hours sorting out the payments for the porters. Once this was finished, I had to pay them their tips. I had Akbar translate, as I was breaking from the norm. I explained that they had already been paid for the service of carrying the equipment to base camp. The tips are for those who go above and beyond what is expected of them by helping to establish the many camps along the way, helping Akbar in the kitchen, or arriving very quickly to camp without complaint. Unlike most expeditions, I didn’t tip based on the number of loads (this practice gives the people who load the horses up to 4x the tip of a traditional porter and on our trek, these men were the problematic ones). Instead, I tipped each individual based on his work on the trek. I gave a base tip to all so that no one felt left out, but made a point of acknowledging the hard work of the few who had outperformed the rest. They received tips up to 2000 RS ($20.00) higher than the rest. I thanked them all for their hard work and most began trekking down quickly to Urdukas (where it is much warmer). The few who had done the most work on the trek stayed after they had been paid to help Akbar and I set up our base camp. They were extremely gracious and a pleasure to work with. After the kitchen and mess tents had been put up, Akbar and I got to work setting up everything else that makes base camp livable. The first things I set up were my solar array, charge controller and batteries. Despite the bad weather in base camp, I was able to get more than 5 Amps off of my solar panels and charge my laptop and satellite modem. We received news that some of the Leila Peak expedition had not received their bags due to a mix up at Goro II that resulted in the bags being sent to Gasherbrum Base Camp instead. Additionally, all of their members were lacking the EPI gas that they had purchased from the agency (the pressurized gas canisters we use to cook in high camps). These had apparently been forgotten by the agency in Skardu. Fortunately, all of my things arrived safely to base camp. I plan on resting a day or two, depending on the weather, and then climbing either to Camp I or Camp II to sleep before descending. The camps on the Abruzzi Spur are already nearly at capacity due to the huge number of climbers on the mountain this season, so we will have to see whether placing a Camp I is even an option. We may end up just skipping this camp altogether and climbing directly from base camp to Camp II.