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

2008 K2 and Broad Peak Expedition

Dispatch Forty-four: July 13th, 2008

Day Forty-four: Tent at Camp III Destroyed; Visit to Gilkey Memorial

This morning, after finishing breakfast, Gerard from the Norit Expedition came to tell us that Roeland, another member of their expedition who had gone up to Camp III, had discovered that our tent had fallen victim to the intense wind and heavy snowfall at 7000 meters. A pole had broken and shredded the tent fabric. Luckily, another member, Mark, was heading up to Camp III today and may be able to get our things out of the broken tent and put them into another tent in camp. We will see if we can ask this of him at the next radio call he has with his team in Base Camp. After breakfast, Hugues and I threw a few items into a backpack, and headed down the glacial moraine to Gilkey Memorial, which is perched on a rock outcropping about a half hour down from Base Camp. We arrived in good weather, and took many photos. We thought it important to visit the memorial before attempting the summit of K2. We spent around an hour there, reading the plaques and recognizing many of the names. We both wish that the big Italian group that climbed with the fallen climber, Estefano, had taken the time to put up something to represent the intense final effort he had made on K2 prior to his demise. Anyway, after taking sufficient photos, and replacing some fallen plaques, we returned to base camp. Upon arriving, I saw the kitchen boy from last yearís Broad Peak Expedition, and he invited me in for tea. While I was chatting with him and Hoselito (the Serbian) I came to find out that Mogens Jensens (who is on my climbing permit for Broad Peak) had neglected to bring or wear a helmet while climbing (one would think that after the number of injuries on Broad Peakís slopes this year that he would take his peersí warnings about the danger of rock fall seriously) was hit in the head by rock fall and was taken to Islamabad for medical care. Also, while we were chatting, we saw the climbers from Greenland packing up and porters arriving to ferry their loads back to Askole. They have both the permits for K2 and Broad Peak, but after nearly being struck by rock fall on K2, and hearing of Mogenís fate on Broad Peak, they decided to just pack up and go home. Around noon, we returned to our base camp, where everyone seemed to be quite bored. Hugues and I brought down our computers down to the mess tent, and got busy writing our dispatches and checking the weather, etc. We sifted through the hundreds of pictures we had cumulatively taken at Gilkey, and charged up all of our electronic equipment with the generator. We had lunch outside the mess tent, something I wasnít too thrilled about, as I was already quite burned and I was taking antibiotics for Sinusitis; Antibiotics (even quinolones) and extended exposure to the sun donít exactly mix too well. Frankly, I canít wait for my carry to Camp II in the coming days, as I have become quite tired of our daily base camp routine (not to mention needlessly frying our faces in base camp). The afternoon continued on as usual, with Hugues and I busy on our computers in the mess tent. We wait anxiously for Roeland to return from Camp III with photos and news about the exact status of our Camp III tent. I will be carrying my own up for the summit push, but I am quite concerned for Hugues, Qudrat, and Karim. But now that we know not to expect the tent to be there in Camp III, we can carry up another for the summit push.

 

In photos:

Left: Nick Rice at Gilkey Memorial

Right: Allison Hargreavesí plaque at Gilkey Memorial