Dispatch 9 – Rest Day in Paiju (3429m/11,250ft)

Today, I woke up at 7:30am, had a leisurely breakfast with Akbar, and then showered (with a bucket and can). Afterwards, I tended to some of Akbar’s wounds that he’d gotten in a motorcycle accident prior to the expedition, then headed down to the big Leila Peak expedition’s camp and chatted with other climbers there that I knew from previous expeditions. After this, I had lunch, read in my tent, ate dinner, and then had a long chat with Cleo Weidlich (USA) who is attempting K2 this season. We spent over an hour reminiscing about past experiences here in Pakistan. When I walked out of her mess tent, I was greeted with a clear night with a full moon that made Paiju peak appear to be covered in snow. Tomorrow, I will trek to Urdukas. About an hour into the trek I will begin climbing on the Baltoro glacier. I am hoping for a cool day as this trekking day is the longest and the route proceeds over glacial moraine which on a windless, warm day makes for hellish trekking conditions.