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

2008 K2 and Broad Peak Expedition

Dispatch Forty: July 9th, 2008

Day Forty: Rest Day in K2 Base Camp; Visit from Spanish BP Members

Today, we woke up at 8:30am, and enjoyed a long breakfast. I quickly got to correcting a mistake I had made in uploading my website. Hugues received a package from home last night and in it was the software we needed to view the videos he had taken on his video camera. I spent some time installing the software; easier said than done when everything is in French, and imported all of his photos and videos from the trip into the program. Last night we also received confirmation that Catalina Quesada Castro and two other members of the Spanish Broad Peak expedition were to come up and visit us at 1:00pm today. It’s always nice to have familiar visitors in base camp on rest days. Everyone on K2 and Broad Peak is waiting with their fingers crossed for the wind at 8000 meters and above to calm down (current forecasts have it at over 60km/hr with temperatures at –20 Celsius (not including wind-chill). Clearly we must wait if we want to keep our limbs. I am still fiercely debating whether I should attempt Broad Peak before or after I attempt K2. If I go within the next couple of days, I may reach the summit, as a Slovak group among a few other small groups have left base camp today for the summit of Broad Peak. However, with only a few members breaking trail, and fierce winds slamming the coluoir and above, I might be destroyed when I return to K2 base camp, and unable to go with the majority of expeditions for the big summit push. However, will I be sufficiently acclimatized for the summit of K2 (8,611 meters) after only having slept at Camp III on K2 (around 7,000 meters)? Also, the weather for Broad Peak is far from perfect. Every morning we see winds blowing lenticular clouds around the summits of Broad Peak, and for the last few days, we have had rain, fog, snow, and hail at base camp. I would imaging that things are not very blissful higher up on the mountain. Anyway, I look forward to seeing today’s forecast and hope that something in it will help me make a decision. Back to the happenings at base camp. After shaving and making ourselves somewhat presentable for our guests, and charging up all our tech equipment, we waited patiently as more than an hour went by, for our friends from Broad Peak to arrive. The Spanish are camped in what looks like a spot half way between Broad Peak Base Camp and Concordia, so any estimates that it might take them around an hour to reach us in K2 base camp would be extremely underestimated. It takes them nearly 45 minutes to make the walk from normal Broad Peak Base Camp to their camp. They arrived around 2:15pm, just in time for the start of our lunch. Lina came with Alberto Zerain Berasategu who also has the permit to climb K2. He came with all the things so that he could stay at K2 Base Camp. Lina and I chatted about her Everest Expedition and maybe going to Kilimanjaro at Christmas this year. We spoke of mutual friends and acquaintances, I gave her some music to listen to while climbing and then she went back to Broad Peak base camp as she was leaving for Camp II on Broad Peak in the morning. The afternoon continued as usual after the Spanish left. Also, I got news that two of the Spanish Members for the Broad Peak were evacuated by helicopter; Dieo Hernandez Garcia and Alitor las Hayas Madariaga. One fell into the glacier river when crossing and hit his head; the other suffers from vertigo, and was advised to go down after a fall. Additionally, we have news that Antoine had his appendix removed successfully in Islamabad. He hopes to recover quickly and return to attempt Broad Peak, GI and GII. We wish him all the best.


In photos:

Left: The route from Camp II to Camp III

Right: Climber descending the final mixed section before arriving in Camp II