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

2008 K2 and Broad Peak Expedition

Dispatch Fifty-two: July 21st, 2008

Day Fifty-two: K2 Base Camp; Visit to Norit Exp.; Visit from Mexicans

Last night, we had dinner with Jorge, and a Swiss girl (Jewel; not sure how that is spelled), who are also planning on going down tomorrow. Jorge apparently reached beyond Camp IV on the Abruzzi Route, although there is some doubt in base camp regarding this achievement as the Sherpas who were working on fixing the route to Camp IV were unable to continue. Anyway, no one has any way of proving either way. Today, we woke up at 9:00am, and had one of our last breakfasts together. The three French (Yannick, Patrick, and Christian) are also planning on heading down in the next few days, and that will leave only Peter and I in our base camp. I will probably focus temporarily on Broad Peak, but I have reconsidered bringing down my Camp II tent, in case a perfect window opens in the beginning of August after my attempt on Broad Peak. It would at least be nice to reach the shoulder of K2 and see the bottleneck and final slopes to the summit. The Norit expedition remain optimistic about the weather changing after the 26th. I remain pensive about this, but I certainly donít see the harm in leaving my camp II tent in place, in case they are right. It is only a five and a half hour climb to Camp II and if I remove my tent and sleeping bag, and then decide to go back up for a summit bid, I will almost certainly be too heavy to succeed. I made a deal with Shaeem Baig, one of the Serbian high altitude porters; He wants to go up to Camp III with Qudrat and Karim on the Cesan Route, but has cached his harness, crampons, and helmet at the base of the Abruzzi Route. In exchange for using my equipment to go up with his Qudrat and Karim tomorrow, he will bring down my equipment for me from Camp II (as I need my down pants, some food, and down mitts for my summit attempt on Broad Peak). Before lunch, I went down to the Norit expedition to talk with Gerard, Mark and Roeland. The entire expedition was there, and they seem to remain optimistic about K2. This, combined with Linaís optimism about Broad Peak helped me overcome the depressing fact that I will be left virtually alone in the French base camp. Around lunch time, Badia and Mauricio came up from Broad Peak base camp for a visit. I charged their laptop and phone while we shared some coffee. They will also be joining me on my summit bid with the Spanish on Broad Peak. When lunch arrived, they went over to the Serbian mess tent to visit their friend from Gashebrum II in 2006 (they shared base camp with the Serbian team). After lunch, I spoke with Qudrat and Karim and told them not to take down my tent in Camp II. Even if no summit window opens, it might be nice to make the climb from Base Camp to Camp II one last time, and enjoy the views of Broad Peak and the rest of the Karakorum.

 

In Photos:

Left: Stormy Broad Peak viewed from Camp I on the Cesan Route (K2)

Right: K2 shrouded in clouds viewed from Base Camp