Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
The last two days of trekking were simply spectaclur. We arrived in the The Throne room of the Mountain Gods, also known as Concordia. The views are amazing with K2, Broad Peak, G4, and so many other peaks to gaze at it simply overwhelms a person.
The first view of K2 was impressive with a clear blue sky and our route partially visible. K2 is more imposing in person then from any picture and you have ever seen of it.
The team spent today improving our base camp, expanding our dining tent, installing a toliet tent with running water(thanks Chirring) the running water is actually a glacier run off stream. The glacier has two sides, one is the bathroom side(outgoing) and the other is the ingoing or drinking water side. We also put up a shower tent, and installed the banners and flags of our sponsors, Warid Telecom and Bank Alfalal.
We had a great lunch with pokara, and we are getting the gear we have on sight organized. Unfortunately most of our high altitude kit is still on its way up from Askole because it was delayed getting through customs.
Overall things are going great. There are several other teams already working on establishing the route. The Koreans have sherpa's setting up camp 1 and 2 on the Abruzzi and we have been watching the Dutch put in their camp 2 on the SSE Ridge. Base camp is a friendly place and we will be making the rounds getting to know the other team. The weather has been great so far and we hope it continues.
If anyone would like to send me an email you can do so at:
Looking forward to hearing from you.
On a personal note, thank you to everyone who send their thoughts and sympathy regarding my grandmother. She has been in my thoughts and it has been a tough thing to go through on the mountain.
Climb High, Climb Hard, Come Home,
Sunday, June 22, 2008
The rest of the team is moving well and we all just want to arrive at base camp and escape the braying of the donkeys that happens every nite. I am not sure which team hired donkeys but they should be severly reprimanded. The braying is a constant throughut the nite.
Hopefully I will be able to send a few pictures once we reach base camp.
Climb High, Climb Hard, Come Home!
Saturday, June 21, 2008
We are about a mile below the base of the Baltaro glagcier. We are going to spend the day resting and the porters will take care of their meat rations The chickens and goats that have been travelling with us will no longer be on the trek, except in our bellies.
On Saturday we will hike to Urdukas which is about an 8 hour hike up the side of the glacier. Spend the night and then move up to Goro 2, then onto Concordia, then base camp. We have been moving quite well, and the porters are helping out tremendously. We have 110 porters carrying about 25kg per person. That is not all our own food and gear, but they are also carrying the food that they need for a 11 day hike for all those people as well.
We have been fortunate with weather, which has been cloudy an overcast in the afternoon with a little rain. Which helps keep it cool, and keeps the dust down.
A few stomach issues have been happening, but nothing that is not expected.
A personal note, my grandmother passed away on Wednesday afternoon. She and my Grandfather just celebrated their 65th anniversary a few weeks ago, and many of you sent them cards for that amazing milestone. I want to thank you for that, it provide a big boost for my grandmother to receive cards from all over the world. I think it helped motivate her to keep going until that celebration. I am thankful she had a great life, full of love and kindness. She is in my thoughts and prayers. If she could be in yours as well I would appreciate it.
"It is a fearful thing to love which death can touch." Anne Smith
All the Best,
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
If you were thinking that there is a major political event unfolding in Pakistan you are absolutely correct. This seems to be a trend with me. I arrive in a country just as things are starting to change. I might actually start hiring myself out to countries to facilitate change. They overthrew the Monarchy in Nepal while climbing Everest. A coup in Thailand while I was there. New government in Chile, etc....
Friday there will be a huge political demonstration by the attorneys and judges within Pakistan. They have been marching across the country for a few days and converge on Islamabad on Friday. From what I understand they are trying to change the constitution within Pakistan to have the less power within the executive branch and more power in the legislative branch. We will see if it has any impact.
Our plan is to lay low in the Warid Telecom Guest House that we are being hosted at by my friend, Shahzad Rauf, and his company, Warid Telecom.
This has affected our plans slightly, but not significantly and everything should be back to normal by Saturday. We will fly to Skardu on Saturday, spend a few days there sorting gear, weighing loads, and preparing for the trek. After that we will start our trek into Base Camp from Askole which will take us about 7 days.
The team is strong and excited and we are all looking forward to getting in the mountains, although we will miss the plush accomodations of the past few days.
Again, no need to worry, we will be safe and sound in our guest house.
Climb High, Climb Hard, Come Home
Monday, June 9, 2008
A calm is descending upon me as I prepare to depart the hectic frenzy that has ensued my life over the past few weeks. The frenzy of packing, buying, and double checking everything. There is only one thing that I have forgotten that I can think of and it is not essential.
I am excited, nervous, and full of anticpation. I just spoke with my friend Beth G on the phone and she said have fun. My comment was that mountaineering is not fun while your doing it, but exhilarating in retrospect. Very similar to Mark Twains comment about travel. And K2 is travel to the extreme. My goal is to be safe, be calm, and above all else come home.
Climbing is a solitary experience undertaken with a team. Only you know what you are feeling, what you are thinking, and how much your body can take. The team enables you to perform at a higher level then you could by yourself. And that is what I am hoping to experience upon meeting the team in Islamabad. That together we will be able to perform this extraordinary feat together.
My thanks goes out to all my family and friends who have supported me in this project and my thoughts are with them.
Climb Hard, Climb High, Come HOME!
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