Text Box: Nicholas Rice
Extreme High Altitude Athlete
Text Box: Xpedition 8000

2007 Broad Peak Expedition

Dispatch Eighteen: June 27th, 2007

Day Eighteen: Carry to Camp I; Rock Fall Injury

Today, I woke up at 4:00am in order to be ready to depart with Ali at 5:00. He seamed to have different plans, as he wasn’t ready to leave till 6:30am. The first challenge of the day was reaching the base of the actual route from Base Camp. This involved crossing 3 rivers, and navigating through penitents in order to reach the established “trail” up the scree to the base of the fixed ropes. I arrived at the base of the fixed lines at 7:30 with a very heavy load of 30kg’s and began the grueling day's climb up to Camp I. Within the first hour, I managed to drop my camera (which got tangled on one of my runners attached to the fixed line) and had to go retrieve it nearly 200 meters below. I was amazed that it survived the tumble down rock and ice at an incline of more than 50 degrees without more than superficial damage. I returned to the place where I had left my pack and continued on. About an hour later, after the full force of the sun was upon me, I looked up the slope and noticed a very large rock coming my way very rapidly. I dove to one side in order to prevent it from striking my head, restricted by the fixed rope, and the rock slammed into my shoulder. After the shock dissipated, I felt extremely nauseous from the pain. I picked up some snow to ice it with, allowed the pain to subdue to a tolerable level, and decided to continue on. Using my jumar (ascender) with my right arm proved to be a quite painful ordeal, but I soldiered on, and arrived at Camp 5500 meters (an hour from Camp I) and had a long lunch. The slope to camp I on Broad Peak was proving to be quite a bit more steep than Gasherbrum II. It went from around 35 degrees at the base of the route to over 70 degrees toward the end of the climb to Camp I, with the majority of the climb around 60 degrees. Quite a tiring day. At camp I, I chatted with Ali, the Georgian climber whom I had met in the Mashabrum Hotel in Skardu in 2006, and Carlos, one of the Spaniards on our permit who arrived thirty minutes after me. He kindly offered my the tent of his high altitude porter, as there were no level tent platforms left at the tiny camp I.I thankfully accepted his offer, and settled into the tent, retrieved some water, made dinner, chatted with the other climbers, and went to bed. 

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