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

2008 K2 and Broad Peak Expedition

Dispatch Twenty-seven: June 25th, 2008

Day Twenty-seven: Diagnosis: Giardiasis; Avalanche Sweeps Route

Today, I woke up at 5:30am to a gorgeous morning, more frustrated than ever that I was stuck at base camp with my intestinal problems. I checked with my doctor and found out that I most likely have a bad case of Giardiasis from the water. Many thanks to Dr. Diane Chang from the South Bay Health Care Partners for helping me diagnose this ailment and giving advise on how to go about treating it. Her insight is much appreciated. Last night, I took 2gms. of Secnidazole, and concentrated all night on keeping it down, as it made me quite dizzy, slightly nauseous, and lightheaded. Not an ideal combination at altitude. I managed to keep the medication down this time, and am hoping that it works quickly to correct my intestinal issues so that I may continue to climb K2 in good health. At around 8:30am, Qudrat and Karim returned from 6,700 meters and let me know that they had put up tents in Camp I and Camp II, and that if I wanted, I could stay in them rather than carry 25kg’s up this time (something that might not be wise in my dehydrated weakened state). I am very grateful for the offer, as I have been quite frustrated letting a perfect weather window go by without going up and acclimatizing. Tomorrow, I plan on getting up at 4:00am, and beginning the climb to Camp I with probably around 15kg’s on my back. I will sleep at 5,907 meters the first night (lower camp I), then proceed to 6,200 meters and sleep there the second night. I plan on taking up some food, a tent, and my sleeping bag, some anchors, etc. Then I will proceed a little higher up toward Camp III, then descend to Base Camp and rest a few days to allow my body to recover and produce more hemoglobin to transport oxygen. After discussing my plans with Qudrat and Karim, I felt well enough to get some laundry done, something I haven’t done since I arrived at BC. After this, I struggled with lunch, and then headed to my tent to nap. On the way, however, I witnessed a huge avalanche come down the left side of the Cesan Route. I am certainly glad that Hugues is safely in Camp II right now, and that no one is silly enough to be on the route this late in the afternoon (although I did see a trail of Koreans walk by my tent coming from ABC on the Abruzzi Route just a few moments later; hiking over the lower glacier at this time in the afternoon is extremely foolish, as it is swept by huge avalanches from both Broad Peak and K2 almost daily). After my nap, I reorganized my load for my carry tomorrow, making it significantly lighter. Hugues is coming down tomorrow morning from Camp II. He has spent the last three days on the mountain acclimatizing. After his descent, he plans on resting a few days in Base Camp, and waiting for another weather window when we will all hopefully be able to make our push toward the summit.