Current Pakistan Time
Dispatch: Our recent major effort aimed at the first of the summit bids was
thwarted by the predictions of bad weather arriving on the sixth, so Mike
ordered the team down, hoping the met report was accurate. He was also
concerned about using valuable resources placed for the summit bids in the
high camps and effectively grounded the team at base-camp. As it transpired,
the weather report was not accurate, and we only suffered medium winds and
some low clouds. Today John, Fred, and Walter have moved up to Camp 2, taking
advantage of a small weather window, and left at just before 5am, arriving at
C2 at 3:30 in the afternoon. They hope to spend at least one further night at
camp 3 before descending on Wednesday to avoid the snow and winds predicted
for Thursday. We hope the Basques will find the most accurate met intel from
K2 BC today and that it will allow us to get back high on the mountain soon.
Happy 39th birthday to Patxi
Goni, who celebrated yesterday at descending from Camp 3 at 7200m with Julen
and Alex after a valiant attempt on the summit where they reached a high point
of 7800m just below the summit col at 8am on the 5th of July.
After 8 hours of arduous
trail breaking in knee to thigh deep snow, they were just 2-3 hours from the
summit when they felt there was a very real danger of reaching the top in a
totally exhausted state and not being able to execute a safe descent from the
12th highest piece of rock on Earth.
We celebrated Patxiís day
last night with Beef Chorizo, a huge cake and hot chocolate. Basque folk music
and dancing completed a raucous event.
We have all become very good
friends, and know more of each other than of people we may have known for 20
yrs back at home. Increasingly we are able to trade jokes and tell stories
across the barrier of language and culture, and a genuine sense of each others
well being and success for their climb has emerged to the fore amongst our
Today I write this from
basecamp as John, Fred and Walter are returning from Camp 2.5 at 6700m . With
gusty winds and heavy cloud cover they are finding the going challenging but
manageable. Mike, Malte, the Spaniards and I, are taking a rest day and making
plans for our next move on the mountain.
After delivering some medical
care to a Sherpa today on the Korean expedition, Mike, Malte and I were
invited to lunch with their team, meanwhile the Spaniards are off for an
afternoon stroll to K2 basecamp, and lunch and a few beers with a famous
climber whose name I swear I cannot recall.
I took a walk on the second
to K2 basecamp, and it is truly like a scene from the movie ďVertical
Limitsí. Huge geodesic tents from Mountain Hardware dot the landscape and
stand out from over a kilometer away, by comparison we live in a humble and
somewhat smaller neighborhood over here at Broad Peak base-camp.
We hope the Basques will find
the most accurate met intel from K2 BC today and that it will allow us to get
back high on the mountain soon.
As the weather, health and
conditions have contrived to assist us in many ways, now they seem to be
possibly conspiring against us. We are spending more and more time in our
units of 3, and are placing our faith in such, while developing the critical
skills of watching out for each other, and getting a sense of how our team
mates are feeling. We are feeling safer and more unified than ever, and
despite the gnawing tiredness, are getting a grip on the hill and what it is
going to take to get up it. With a break in the wind, which we expect this
weekend, we remain on high alert and with high hopes for an advance to a
staging point ready for a summit attack..
We will update again prior to
any departure for the high assault camps, or otherwise Friday Pakistan time.