Today, after not being able to sleep past midnight due to the cold, I began preparing my things for the descent to base camp around 4:00am. I melted some snow for water and had a small breakfast cookie, emerged from my tent, ensured that it was well secured, and began my descent solo to base camp. The sun and the moon were both out and I was pleased to have 15 minutes of sun while crossing the glacier before descending back into the shadows cast by the massive peaks around me. I walked very quickly so as to minimize the amount of time that I was climbing over snow bridges once the sun hit the glacier. I arrived to base camp less than three hours after leaving Camp I. I immediately asked Akbar for breakfast and tea and unpacked my equipment so that it could dry in the sun. After eating, I showered and began feeling human again. It’s amazing how a night alone in a tent in subzero temperatures can change your perspective. When I arrived to base camp on the trek, I thought that it was always either too hot or too cold and quite uncomfortable. However, while descending from Camp I, I was dreaming of my cozy sleeping bag in my warm base camp tent and Akbar’s cooking. This is one of the things I love about climbing in the high mountains. It returns one’s gratitude for things that we take for granted in our everyday lives. Even the luxury of the toilet tent in base camp was a welcome change from squatting on a windy cold glacier with absolutely no privacy. The complete deprivation of all but the most essential survival items reminds me how lucky I am to have even the most basic of luxuries at home (and reminds me that they are in fact luxuries and that not everyone in the world is afforded them). After lunch, I studied my MCAT biology/biochemistry book for a few hours and worked on charging all of my communications equipment. I will take at least tomorrow as a rest day before attempting to establish camp II at roughly 6400m/20,997ft in the shoulder between Gasherbrum I and Gasherbrum II. My schedule will of course depend on weather conditions. I have heard that a summit window will appear from July 20th-26th which coincides with most years. Therefore, my goal will be to be acclimated and rested before this window so that I may make a summit attempt.