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

2008 K2 and Broad Peak Expedition

Dispatch Twenty-eight: June 27th, 2008

Day Twenty-eight: Climb to Camp I; Snowfall begins with high winds

Today, I woke up at 4:00am, prepared my backpack, had a quick cold breakfast, and began the climb to Camp I. Right away, I realized that the last few items I had put into my backpack at the last minute had added considerable weight to my pack. It now weighed approximately 25kg’s. I knew today would be a long day. I still had lingering effects from my battle with Giardiasis; namely heartburn every time I made any effort to do anything. The walk to the start of the slope took around an hour. I stopped there to put on my harness, crampons, and readjust my uncomfortable pack and eat a little (as I hadn’t consumed very many calories over the past few days). I continued up the familiar slope to where Hugues and I had walked the other day (around 5,500 meters). After this, the slope got considerably more icy and steep, and the pain in my Achilles tendon and back of the knee began to get to me. My pace became considerably slower, and I realized that I had made a mistake in trying to carry such a heavy pack on my first climb to Camp I (especially in my weakened state). Nonetheless, I arrived at Camp I on the Cesan route around 12:00pm (the camp is precariously perched on a very exposed rock formation, surrounded by very steep slopes, but the views down are beautiful). I unpacked my things, made myself lunch, and melted snow for water. I received a weather forecast over my Thuraya from Hugues warning of bad weather, which began early in the afternoon, and was left to debate my plans for the following days; try to go to Camp II and sleep, or go down and not risk getting stuck in a storm high on the mountain. I decided on the latter after watching how much snow was accumulating, and hearing no fewer than seven large avalanches go by. I felt great at 6,000 meters and slept very well, so I knew that I was pretty well acclimatized to this altitude.