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Text Box: Xpedition 8000

2008 K2 and Broad Peak Expedition

Dispatch Sixty-eight: August 6th, 2008

Day Sixty-eight: Wait for Porters Continues; Italians Evacuated

Today after far too little sleep, I woke up and headed down for breakfast. I was preoccupied by the 31 emails I had received since 2:00am when I had last checked them. I sifted through the emails, then finally decided to focus on my breakfast. Afterward, I had Abbas make me some water for a shower (bucket and can; I hadn’t taken one in probably 12 days now, as it had been quite cold after I had come down from my summit push) and then worked on packing a couple of my duffel bags for the trek down. Since arriving down from my summit push, I hadn't touched my backpack, which had a wet sleeping bag, down jacket, etc. stuffed into it. I laid everything out to dry, and while I was outside, noticed just how quiet base camp had become. This morning, Marco and Roberto, the two Italians, had finally been evacuated by helicopter to Skardu. Also Jelle, Roeland (both Dutch), Mark (Australian), and Hoselito (Serbian) had started the trek over the Gondogoro La to Hushe where they will get a jeep to Skardu. The Koreans also hired an MI17 Military Helicopter to take them out from Base Camp (at a cost of US$14,000.00). The Serbian camp had been completely torn down, as had the Dutch, which were the two closest to me making it feel as though I am the last in Base Camp. Abbas thinks that my porters will arrive either tomorrow or the day after, so I am going to prepare as much as I can so that when they do arrive, I can head down as quickly as possible. I started up the generator to charge everything again today, but I am quite suspicious that someone diluted the fuel or something because out of the blue, the generator would come close to stopping and then magically come back to life again. Thankfully I will only be relying on it for a couple more days. After lunch, I did the BBC interview for their radio programme “Outlook”, then helped one of the Americans get his computer working with his Thuraya satellite phone. I was up quite late last night doing an interview for NPR (National Public Radio) and then at 12:30am my time, doing another interview for KNX1070 CBS News Radio followed by another for the Daily Breeze (Newspaper). At this point, I sure could use a Starbucks. The day crept on as I worked on my dispatches, again checked my email and decided which interviews I would do, and got confirmation that my flight had been changed (It was originally the 8th of August, a date I clearly couldn’t keep). I continued working until dinner time, then headed to my tent to make a few phone calls, and get a good night’s sleep. 

 

 

In Photos:

Left: Memorial Plaque for Hugues in Gilkey Memorial

Right: Memorial Plaque for Gerard in Gilkey Memorial