Dispatch 3 – Day in Skardu; Equipment Arrives

Qudrat Ali and Nick Rice  in Skardu
Qudrat Ali and Nick Rice in Skardu

Today, I woke up early and had a leisurely breakfast out in the garden. Afterwards, I retrieved my equipment that had arrived by road late last night and unpacked it so that I could pack it properly into porter loads of 25kg each (these now typically are put onto donkeys instead of low altitude porters). This took most of the morning. Afterwards, I headed into the bazaar to find a shop to print a copy of my climbing permit, then returned to the hotel for lunch. I was delighted to run into an old friend upon my return. Qudrat Ali was one of late Hugues D’Aubarede’s high altitude porters on K2 back in 2008. We shared a base camp and climbed on the Cesan route together so we became good friends. He was very lucky because his work demanded that he leave the expedition before the tragic events unfolded on the mountain on August 11th. We spent the afternoon catching up. I got word that Badia and Mauricio had made it by road and were staying in the Masherbrum Hotel on the other side of town, so I invited them to join me for dinner at Dewan-E-Khas later in the evening. I arrived to dinner early to find Qudrat at the restaurant already with two Spanish climbers who are also headed to K2, so we asked for a bigger table and joined them for dinner. I walked back to the hotel, worked out the kinks with my satellite modem, then turned in for the night.