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

2008 K2 and Broad Peak Expedition

Dispatch Thirty: June 29th, 2008

Day Thirty: Climber Missing on Broad Peak; Visit to Broad Peak BC

Last night, we had a few guests over to our mess tent to celebrate Christianís birthday. Ali baked an enormous cake (we think around 5kgís) and we shared it with our guest, Dodo. He had just returned from the summit of Broad Peak, however, his climbing partner had not. There is some talk in Base Camp that he may have slipped close to Camp I as the route is very icy this year. Anyway, enough of this grim speculation. We toasted Anise to Dodoís success and to Christian's birthday, and enjoyed each other's company for the remainder of the evening. Around 10:30pm (a few hours later than we usually stay up) we went to bed. This morning, we woke up around 8:00am and, as the weather had cleared up slightly, decided to have breakfast outside and enjoy the morning sunshine. After eating, I decided to walk down to Broad Peak base camp to visit my good friends Badia Bonilla and Mauricio Ahumada. A short 45 minutes later, I was sitting across the table from them. They told me how miserable they were with the strange dynamics that they had with their Slovakian team mates (the main problem being that they didnít think a woman should be climbing, the other that they were dictating every decision they made regarding the trek in and the placement of base camp on a tour book for the Karakorum and† not on practical experience) The Mexicans made me a delicious Mexican dish for lunch (while enjoying this, I became fully aware of how awkward their mess tent was with the Slovaks). We caught each other up on the happenings of mutual friends and reminisced about 2007. Strangely, I came to find out that Jorge Salazar (from Veracruz, Mexico), someone who had appeared to be a close friend of myself, Badia, and Mauricio, had been saying in conferences that Badia and Mauricio were bad people. I found this ironic because, without the two of them last year, he never would have made the summit of Broad Peak. Some people, I presume, after the fact, donít like to acknowledge the people who helped them realize their success. After we finished chatting and I helped them troubleshoot their solar panel power system, we went down to the US Broad Peak and K2 Expedition. Although most of their members were sleeping, we caught the leader and one member, and I helped translate some safety concerns that Badia and Mauricio had about the placement of the fixed lines below Camp I and the melted ice screws holding up the Tyrolean traverse that had been set up to cross the glacier river enroute to the base of the route. After this, I said my goodbyes and rushed back to K2 base camp (30 minutes) just in time for dinner. We ate again with Dodo, who had gone down to Broad Peak Base Camp today to ask around about his missing friend. We shared some spiced rum and spoke about all the places he should eat in Islamabad when he returns (which he will do as soon as he can get around 10 porters). We recommended Luna Caprese in the Blue Area for dinner with beers, the ice cream shop in Saadar Bazaar, the swimming pool at the Serena Hotel, etc. Upon returning to Islamabad, he will also have the grim responsibility of reporting his missing friend to his embassy. Not an enviable task. After dinner, we said our goodnights, invited him to lunch tomorrow, and went to bed.