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

2008 K2 and Broad Peak Expedition

Dispatch Thirty-eight: July 7th, 2008

Day Thirty-eight: French Return from BP Acclimatization; Visit to BP BC

Last night, the three French, Yannick, Patrick, and Christian returned to base camp after acclimatizing high on Broad Peak. They climbed on Broad Peak in order to acclimatize for their summit push on K2. They said that the area below Camp III was quite dangerous, as there were no fixed lines and the route was quite icy in parts. This season, Broad Peak has been plagued by injuries and evacuations (there have been two in the last two days). An American climber/skier who was carrying skis and only using his trekking poles (no ice axe) fell quite far and was evacuated by helicopter. Also, Antoine, a French climber who was intending to paraglide off Gasherbrum I, II and Broad Peak, came down with appendicitis. After visiting four doctors in Broad Peak and K2 base camp, and being told by three that he needed to go down and have surgery, he took the advise of one who told him that he could wait and see if the plethora of antibiotics that he was taking would improve his condition. Today, he called to have a helicopter evacuation, but the weather was too poor for the helicopter to come. Also, we have heard from three people in different expeditions that one Belarusian was evacuated today quite early in the morning for reasons unknown. Also, as I wrote earlier, Dodo’s climbing partner was missing on the descent and now is presumed dead. Quite a large number of casualties and injuries on Broad Peak this early in the season. In my opinion, the lack of snow, the abundance of loose rock and ice, and the poorly placed fixed lines (placed by the Belarusians) all are contributing to the large number of injuries on this peak. Anyway, moving onto other news; we have a reporter in base camp who is covering these stories and clearing up the rumors that are floating around various climbing websites. Also, today, Hugues and I went down to Broad Peak Base Camp to visit Badia and Mauricio, and to check on Elizabeth and Antoine (the French climber with appendicitis). I discussed the possibility of climbing Broad Peak with them when the next weather window presents itself. It appears that some climbers on Broad Peak are hoping to begin their summit bid on Wednesday, the ninth. Badia and Mauricio just returned from making a cache in Camp III yesterday, so they think that they might rest a few more days, and see when the next good weather window will present itself. As I have just returned from Camp III on K2, it might not be a bad idea for me to wait a couple days more before attempting Broad Peak. We will have to wait and see. Upon my return to K2 base camp, I was pleased to see my generator working after my primitive attempt at an oil change in the morning (I put too much oil, and as it burned off, smoke filled our base camp). Oh well, you live and you learn. After my return, we all had dinner together (also joined by our somewhat antisocial new member, Peter Guggemos, who sits in the fetal position in his chair and quickly, not to mention rudely, closes any conversations that are directed toward him).

Above I placed photos of the route to Camp II and Camp III respectively. (Cesan Route, K2)