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

2008 K2 and Broad Peak Expedition

Dispatch Twenty-nine: June 28th, 2008

Day Twenty-nine: Retreat from Camp I in Bad Weather; Heavy Snowfall

Today, I woke up at 5:00am, after a warm, surprisingly comfortable night in stormy Camp I. I awoke to the sound of Pemba from the Norit Expedition descending past my tent. I said nothing as I was just waking up. However, about 20 minutes later, Gerard came by and asked if anyone was there. I responded and we chatted for a bit. I told him of my debate whether I should go up to Camp II with an empty pack, then descend (mind you itís only around 300 meters higher) or simply descend. He had received a similar weather forecast to Huguesí that said that the weather would deteriorate even further in the afternoon, and thought it wise for me to descend (especially seeing that I would be ascending into an empty Camp II and that no one was left on the mountain). I made the decision to go down (it was still snowing, and I knew that if it continued, the fixed lines would get buried, making finding the route more difficult). I began my descent around 8:00am, and in around 45 minutes, found myself at the base of the route. I continued to Base Camp and met the three French who were now sharing our mess tent and kitchen and Hugues for breakfast. We spoke of our respective routes, and how the huge amount of snow that will be dumped in the next few days would affect our climbs. They are attempting a new route on the Southwest face of K2, and already, before this new snow, the route had quite a lot of snow on it. After breakfast, we came to find that our cook, Abbas, had also come down with stomach problems, and hadnít been able to keep any food down for the past three days. I gave his some rice based electrolyte replacement drinks that he will hopefully be able to tolerate and Christian questioned him on his symptoms, and will consult with a doctor in France to come up with a proper diagnosis. I sent SMSís to my friends in other base camps, inviting Badia and Mauricio for lunch during the storm (theyíre at Broad Peak BC), and making plans to meet up with Lina on the 2nd of July, after her arrival to Broad Peak BC. Qudrat and Karim both went to Gasherbrum II Base Camp this morning to meet up with the Italian Expedition and are planning on staying there for the next few days (a seven hour walk from K2 Base Camp). The weather forecast predicts that the heavy snowfall will continue till the 2nd of July so we will all have plenty of time to socialize with the other expeditions.