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The Mountain Madness K2 2002 Expedition!

Hi from K2 base camp!

We just returned from a successful acclimation climb on Broad Peak. On July 15th under cloudy, dark skies, we climbed to the 6400 camp on Broad Peak. The weather reminded us of a normal Washington Cascade day. The next morning, (16th) greeted us with clear skies and crisp air. We climbed higher to 6800 meters, where we dug a platform and set up camp. Later in the day we climbed higher to 6900 meters and scouted the route above. From there we descended back to camp and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon sun. The next day we moved our camp to 7300 meters. We cut a platform for our tent in the icy slopes beneath the summit pyramid. We brewed hot drinks, made dinner and prepared to go higher the following day. We woke up at 11pm to cloudy and stormy skies. We felt it would be difficult to navigate higher, so we made the 18th a rest day. The skies cleared in the evening. We received word by radio that the Koreans and other members of the K2 International expedition where going for the summit of Broad Peak from 6400 meters in the morning.

We left our camp at midnight to climb towards the top. We took turns breaking trail in the deep snow. The Koreans caught up to us at 7700 meters and took over making the trail. We reach close to 7800 meters when our friends from the K2 International team caught up. At this point, just below the col, we ran into poor snow conditions and everyone decided it was safer to descend. We were back at our tent by 6am. We warmed up a bit before breaking down camp and returning to K2 base camp. It took us the rest of the day to get there, since we were carrying heavy loads.

Our plans are to rest for the next 5-6 days at base camp drinking plenty of Starbucks coffee and eating a lot. After our climb on Broad Peak we feel we are sufficiently acclimated for an attempt to summit K2. Now we just need to be well rested before our K2 attempt. We received news that the Tibetans made a summit push on K2 today. They reached approximately 8400 meters, fixing rope through the bottleneck and reported knee-deep snow. They turned around because they were exhausted and encountered high winds, it is reported.

Our plans are still to climb the south face via a variation to the Polish route. We hope to climb to our stash at 6400 meter around the 26th. Weather permitting, we hope to make the climb in 5 days, but we are prepared to spend more time on the face if necessary. We are not using fixed ropes, oxygen or porter support.

Now it's back to drinking coffee, lots of reading and preparing for our climb ahead!

Christine & Charlie


Background on Christine Boskoff and Charlie Fowler Expedition

Christine Boskoff and Charlie Fowler's Dispatch Index