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

2008 K2 and Broad Peak Expedition

Dispatch Ten: June 8th, 2008

Day Ten: False Hopes for Flight; Islamabad to Besham by Road

Today, after a long night with stomach problems, probably caused by the cheese sandwich that I foolishly ordered from the Envoy Continental Hotel, I woke up at 6:30am, gathered up my things into my duffel, took a shower, and met Hughes d’Aubarede and Sultan (ATP) in the lobby and headed to Islamabad International Airport with the hopes of flying to Skardu. We arrived, got our bags scanned, and waited anxiously for the confirmed passengers to board, but the wait was in vain. We debated whether to wait a day or two more with only a 50% chance of going either of these days or just to grit our teeth, and yet again go by road up to Skardu (a 22 hour drive over a dangerous and poorly maintained part of the Karakorum Highway). In the end, we chose the latter. We returned to the hotel to wait for the van that would be transporting us for an inexplicably long time, had lunch, and departed Islamabad at 1:30pm (quite a late start). We continued on non-stop till Besham (arriving around 7:30pm), had dinner, and decided to continue on till Chilas (an additional 5-6 hours). We found out that this wouldn’t be possible because the petrol station in Besham was out of Diesel and there wasn’t another for quite a distance. So we got an early night, planning on a 3:00 am start tomorrow.