Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Back In Base Camp

Continuing the K2 Tall Mountain updates from Karhu ambassador Dave Watson this week...

The team is back in base camp after a couple days on the mountain (Broad Peak). They climbed to Camp 2 and then back to Camp 1 to spend the night. Their tent at Camp 1 is on the ‘Perch’ which is on top of a pinnacle and gives them a bird’s eye view of their surroundings. Chuck said it has the feel of a big wall bivy and is just awesome. Tent sites at Camp 2 are in short supply, so they have teamed up with a Slovenian expedition to share their tent and/or site. Their climbing schedules are such that they should be able to alternate which team is at the site.

Everyone is feeling well, except their high-altitude porter, who is feeling a bit sick. Interestingly, the high-altitude porter is the son-in-law of Karim, who was the sirdar (or sardar – the native leader of the porters) on Chuck and Andy’s expedition to Shipton’s Spire.

The weather has been good so far. It’s really warm during the days and the glacier is melting in base camp. When the sun goes down, they quickly get into the down gear. They need to move a few of the tents to accommodate the changing surroundings. The Marmot Lair (an 8-person tent) has a list due to the melting, but it is a great base camp shelter. So far, it has been a staging area for gear, a storage area for gear, a place to hang out, and a makeshift hospital.

So what’s next? They will take a rest day at base camp then head back up the mountain for two days at altitude. Dave is getting his skis ready to take up on the mountain. They will try to stay two days at Camp 2 with a carry of some gear to Camp 3 (7,300 meters). Then back to base camp. They all want to spend a night at Camp 3 before making a summit attempt.

Broad Peak from base camp:

Click for all dispatches from Dave's trip:

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