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

2008 K2 and Broad Peak Expedition

Dispatch Twenty-three: June 21st, 2008

Day Twenty-three: Climb to 5500 meters on Cesan Route

Today, we woke up at 7:00am, had breakfast, and decided to go toward Camp I on the Cesan Route for acclimatization. We left around 9:30am, with very clear weather, but a forecast of afternoon snow and wind. Hugues and I reached the base of the Cesan Route very quickly, and after strapping on our crampons, began the climb up the steep route until we reached our goal of 5,500 meters. The Dutch had fixed the route until Camp I, however, I chose not to use the fixed lines on the ascent due to the fact that the same fixing method (pitons on rock) on Broad Peak had brought rocks down onto me in 2007. As we were climbing, we watched as many loose snow avalanches roared down the slope next to us, most of them, avoiding our route. After we had reached our elevation goal for the day, we began our descent down the fixed lines until they ran out. Afterwards, we continued down the steep slope unprotected in avalanche debris. We reached the bottom quite quickly and continued until we reached base camp. After our arrival, we were visited by one of the Dutch, Court, and we discussed the plan for fixing the rest of the route. We plan on climbing up to Camp I on Monday, June 23rd, and then continuing onto Camp II the following day. We may make four camps, as the Dutch have established their Camp I at 5,800 meters as opposed to 6,200 meters. We chose the Cesan route because, despite the fact that it is a more technical route than the Abruzzi, (especially this year with a lack of snow and an abundance of ice on the route) it has less risk of rock fall than the Abruzzi (mainly in house’s chimney). Also, the route is more direct, in the end, requiring only three camps as opposed to four. The route joins the Abruzzi at Camp IV (the shoulder).