Current Pakistan Time
4 from Paiju campsite, Baltoro Glacier: Well, we
are finally and unmistakably on our way, camped tonight in a small wooded lot
above the expanse of the Baltoro at Paiju. The setting is surreal and the
panorama expansive. It is just gone 6pm, and around 500 porters have lit fires
on a still and balmy Karakorum evening, their smoky stoves lending an almost
medieval feel to this amazing place. This afternoon we watched in a mixture of
curiosity and disdain as our 5 goats were slain on a slab of rock above the
river, their blood dyeing the water a vivid hue of red, while their human like
screams echoed in our ears. This meat will nourish the stomachs of our men for
the next week, but equally as important, fulfill a generations old tradition
of having fresh or salted meat during a trip into the great mountains.
already laid our eyes on the Trango and Paiju peaks, in all their glory
rearing above the ice highways we are plodding along. We have a scheduled rest
day here, long enough only to allow our industrious load haulers to make and
pack chapatti for the grueling hike ahead. We have all been carrying the
lightest of day packs, while our fellow adventurers and employees have been
burdened with extraordinary loads of up to 30ks.
hundreds who have come this way before us, we stand in mute awe and sheer
amazement at their ability to negotiate the rocky trails and long distances
between camps while shouldering such an onerous weight.
is running like clockwork, and we are all settling in to the pleasant daily
schedule of awakening to a feast of a breakfast, packing our gear, and hiking
a trail characterized by constantly changing scenery. The team is a little
taken aback by the quality of our ground services, for the 4th
night in a row we have sat down to a presidential sized evening meal,
consisting of no less than 7 courses, washed down by cans of coke that have
been carried this far for us. Each day, we are given a packed lunch to enjoy
at a time of our pleasure. Not only does this avoid having to grind the
expedition to a halt, and wait for everybody to reach the prescribed lunch
spot, but it allows us to pick what each of us may think to be the most
perfect place for us to enjoy our light snacks. Today I settled on a small
bend in the river, spreading out to enjoy the warm sun and sounds of rushing
waters, while nibbling on salmon, cheese, biscuits and nuts. There wasn’t
another place in the world I would have preferred to have been.
watched the expedition this morning was an extraordinary sight that would have
left none of our team unmoved. We have become a group of nearly 200 human
beings, with our line of porters, camp staff, guides, and assistants
stretching seemingly to the horizon as they weaved up and down the medial
moraines of the gorge and glacier. It was an uplifting sensation, and one that
led me to no other conclusion that I was involved in anything other than a
major human undertaking.
is feeling great, and drinking 6-8 liters of water each day, also prepared and
purified by our camp staff. Tomorrow we head into the very bowels of the
Karakoram, a place that has enchanted and allured me for decades, through
books, readings, films and first and third hand
accounts. Tomorrow, it would appear, I get a chance to see what all the fuss
is about. Our love and thoughts again to all our family, friends, and
From Paiju camp-site
Deputy Expedition leader
Photo copyright Dave Hancock
Some background and History
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.