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

2008 K2 and Broad Peak Expedition

Dispatch Thirty-five: July 4th, 2008

Day Thirty-five: Climb from Camp II to Camp III (7,000 meters) (K2)

Today, we woke up at 6:00am, and after packing my things in my tent, walked over to join Hugues, Qudrat and Karim for breakfast. We ate, allowed our food to digest for a bit, then left the relative comfort of the tent to put on our harnesses, helmets, crampons, etc. Hugues departed first, then Qudrat and Karim, and finally, me. The route was quite steep at first, and forced our muscles to warm up quite early in the day. After passing the rock that sheltered Camp II, I quickly realized that today would be quite a windy day. We estimated that the wind was blowing at about 30km/hour. This made keeping my hands warm very challenging, especially considering that one hand was always in contact with my freezing jumar, and the other was holding my equally cold ice tool. They remained numb for almost the entire climb to Camp III. The wind gusts became almost unbearable as they were paired with spindrift that froze whichever side of your face it came in contact with. The route became less steep, but more exposed a couple hours into the day. After an agonizing seven hours, I arrived in Camp III, and helped Karim and Qudrat to set up the North Face VE25. We were going to try to cram four people into the tent; quite a tight squeeze. The night brought more wind and spindrift, and at about 9:45pm, Gerard, Wilco, Pemba, and two other members returned from their foray to attempt to fix to Camp IV. They arrived at the south shoulder but were short 100 meters of rope. Qudrat offered ours for the next time they go up and fix, and also offered his and Karimís help fixing the final sloped to Camp IV. After offering them hot drinks, we went back to sleep in our very uncomfortable tent, and had a very fitful night.