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

2008 K2 and Broad Peak Expedition

Dispatch Fifty-four: July 23rd 2008

Day Fifty-four: Snowfall Continues; Three French Out of Time

This morning, before breakfast, we bid farewell to Hugues’ guide Qudrat Ali. He is heading down to Skardu along with Mehrban, another high altitude porter from Shimshal. Qudrat has a Korean Expedition that he must take up an unclimbed 6000 meter peak around the first of August. After taking some photos, and exchanging some contact information, we said our final goodbye’s. After breakfast, I wrote some emails regarding changing my flights back home (I am thinking around the 20th of August), and also to inquire how much I must pay ATP upon my return to Islamabad for the seven extra porters I required on the trek in; I plan on wiring the money to them from here so that when I am finally back in Islamabad, my account is paid in full. After this, I went into Hugues’ tent where we sifted through each other's music to see what we could get to listen to for our summit bid. Also this morning, Patrick and Francois hiked up to their deposit on the Savoie glacier to retrieve their gear. The three French, along with the French journalist are planning on heading down tomorrow and keeping their appointment with Qatar Airlines on the 3rd of August to fly back to France. And a note for Christian’s sister: Patrick, Yannick, and Christian are all healthy and happy in base camp and looking forward to coming home to see their family and friends. In the afternoon, we, as usual, started up the generator and charged up all the electronics. We sent our dispatches and emails over the BGAN and received the weather forecast. I did laundry (long overdue, as I had a big compression sack filled with dirty climbing clothes), and took a shower; even though it was snowing, it was quite warm out when shielded from the wind. All the teams in base camp had a meeting in the Serbian Camp last night to discuss the plans for the summit bid. While all the expeditions were trying to secure in  definitive date to depart for the high camps, Hugues made the very rational suggestion that they should simply wait till around at least the 25th before they made any decisions as the weather forecast for the beginning of August was in no way definite, and without knowing specifics about wind speed on the summit and in high camps, it would be difficult to make an informed decision as to when to leave. The teams agreed to adjourn for the moment, aside from some resistance from the Koreans who had an arbitrary date in mind for their departure, and resume discussions on the 25th, as Hugues had suggested. In the late afternoon, Hugues and I watched the only movie that I had on my external hard drive; A Mighty Heart, a movie about the Daniel Pearl tragedy in Karachi, Pakistan a few years ago. Not the most appropriate choice of film, since we are all currently residing in Pakistan, but beggars can’t be choosers. After this, we had our final dinner with the three French (we presume, if the porters arrive on time from Concordia). Tomorrow, they plan on starting the trek toward Hushe over the Gondogoro La; weather permitting.


In Photos:

Left: Qudrat and Friends prior to his departure this morning for Skardu

Right: Broad Peak shrouded in clouds viewed from Base Camp