Current Pakistan Time
June, 2003: We are in Skardu, reveling in the great
atmosphere and food. The whole team is now together, 7
climbers from Field Touring, 3 Basques from Mendiak
Etta, and 4 Greeks sharing our permit. Everybody is
healthy and happy, but for a couple of minor bouts of
loose bowels. Munich Symphony Orchestra violinist and
hard-core technical climber Walter Koller joined us
yesterday, much to the relief of the Pakistani
authorities, and they have cleared us to depart tomorrow
for the first leg to the village of Askole (3000m). Our
LO is a Pakistan army office Major Waheed, and he is
already enthusiastic and learning some basic Spanish,
although this has been limited to "Hasta Manana and
Hasta Luego" to date.
Expedition manager Mike Hale,
Touring office in North Perth, Australia,
has had his patience and
organizational skills tested a little already, dealing with some officialdom
and the unattended bills from a night of dining and wining (albeit on tea and
fanta) at the K2 Hotel! We also seem to be operating a full time translation
service for our Basque comrades and our local staff, no mean feat when we only
know about 50 Espanol words ourselves! We had a great day yesterday out at
Satpara Lake above Skardu, we could have been at Lake Lousie in the Rockies
save for the Shalwar clad Pakistani families sipping tea on the lake banks and
enjoying the balmy weather. It was quite a day spent with boatloads of wealthy
Pakistanis cruising the lake, sipping drinks, laughing and engaging us in
fervent and inquisitive conversation. It was a wonderful experience.
We watched bemused on the way
down from the lake as truckloads of laborers toiled to hand build a collapsed
section of the trail by pick, sticks of gelignite, and the occasional well
abused jackhammer. We have enjoyed our time in this lovely frontier town, but
in a few hours we will be leaving to build our own path, by axe and by
crampon, up the mighty breadth of Broad Peak.
The excitement is building
and the anticipation is palpable. Our next dispatch will be our first via sat
phone, and this time from the icy and desolate expanse of the Baltoro Glacier
in 2 days. We are all thinking of our family and friends all the time, we miss
you and send our love.
Deputy Expedition Manager
K2 Hotel, Skardu, Pakistan
Photo copyright Dave Hancock
Digital Altimeter, Barometer, Compass and Thermometer. Time/Date/Alarms.
Chronograph with 24 hour working range. Timer with stop, repeat and up
function. Rotating Bezel. Leveling bubble. Carabiner latch. E.L. 3 second
backlight. Water resistant. 4" x 2-1/4" x 3/4" 2 oz. Requires 1 CR2032
See more here.