Dispatch Three: Broad Peak Base camp  June 23, 2002

We are at Broad Peak base camp!  The trek from Skardu to here is amazing, I'm really sorry that I'm not a novelist to be able to describe with detail all the things we see.  there are so many things that one can see in any one moment that one can't decide what to look at first.
Part of this amazing journey is the size of our combined expeditions we are 20 members including the guide and the liaison officer.  From Skardu we take some jeeps to Askole where our journey by foot begins.  But even before we arrive to Askole we begin to find complications, one of the jeeps gets stuck trying to cross the river and a modified land cruiser that carries part of the gear cant get by.  So the porters that have not yet been hired that are on their way to Askole, take the equipment bags and begin to cross the river over a fallen log.  We cross like amateurs compared to them, while part of the team and porters dislodge the jeep before it gets swept away by the power of the river.
We arrive at Askole and met the rest of the team, three high altitude porters, 5 kitchen staff, the guide and his assistant and 3 porter sirdars that will only accompany us to base camp.  In all we will have about 4 and a half tons of food, fuel, and equipment. Over 250 porters will be used. This is quite a spectacle to see. 
Most of our days consist of getting up at 5am, breakfast at 5:30 and start walking at 6am.   Most days we walk between 7 to 8 hours.  The first two days although quite good for walking since they were cool an cloudy we did not get to see much besides rocks and sand and lots of rocks and sand.  The following days as we climbed on to the baltoro glacier were quite amazing, the weather cooperated with viewing on and off. but that is one incredible valley, would recommend it to anyone lover of nature and beautiful things.
Fernando and Tunc are strong and are looked upon by many in this expeditions since they are practically the only ones with 8000 mt mountain experience, besides the Amical guides and one of the members.  Everyone had been very excited to finally get a glimpse of what they came to climb, Broad Peak, gave us a glimpse of the summit for a few hours before it got clouded over.  K2 was hiding until the day after we arrived to base camp and boy did it give us a spectacular view.  A lot of snow and a lot of wind, not the most ideal climbing conditions.
We are alone here at base camp, there are no other expeditions here.  There was a Swiss one, but unknown to us, they left for Gasherbrum I.  So the combined expeditions here have a lot of elbow room.  Each of us has our own tents which is good, although it has been like 20 degrees F inside the tent at night, maybe company would not be so bad. 
We have heard there are as many as 10 expeditions on K2 but may of the porter sirdars say there are only 6.  I will go and check it out in a few days.
If weather permits Fernando and Tunc will try to make a deposit site on camp 1at 6100 mts. The past two days here have been spectacular but as I write this everything is getting clouded over and it looks like it will snow.  If it snows a lot they will have to postpone for a few days.  Fresh snow on ice not a good combination.  I will try to write as often as I can but since the computer crashed before we left, I'm using my personal computer that has a very limited battery life and I can barely type the dispatch and send without re-charging. We also have limited charging availability so hopefully it won't be too long before we can respond our e-mails.
Alberto Carrizosa


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