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International Peace & Friendship expedition to Broad Peak 2003


 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 group.

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. 

Stu Remensnyder

Concordia, Pakistan.

Dispatches

 

 
 







 

 

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