June 2019

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The K2 team arrived at base camp yesterday afternoon and were busy getting things sorted and set up. They will continue to dial in the camp over the next several days as they settle into their home for the next three or four weeks. Early this morning, expedition leader Garrett Madison called in via sat phone with this update:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the K2 climbing expedition. Today is June 29th, and we arrived K2 base camp yesterday afternoon. Everybody’s doing well. We got great weather at the moment, and we’re just setting up camp here the next few days – waiting for our final porter loads of equipment to arrive so we can get base camp dialed into our specification. So, we look forward to getting set up here the way we want it. The weather sure is nice – great views of the mountain and surrounding peaks, like Broad Peak. Everyone’s doing well. We’ll check in soon. Thanks!

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering K2 2018 archive)

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Today the team rounded the corner between the Baltoro Glacier and the Godwin-Austen Glacier placing K2 in sight!  The great weather allowed for amazing first looks at the expedition objective.  Here’s Garrett with the audio dispatch:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the K2 expedition team.  Today we trekked from Goro 2 (4279m/14,039ft) on the Baltoro Glacier up to just near Broad Peak base camp (4679m/15,351ft).  It was a beautiful day, great views of the surrounding peaks.  And we got a really nice view of K2 when we rounded the corner near Concordia.  Everybody’s here doing great!  We had a nice dinner.  And tomorrow we look forward to making it all the way to K2 base camp.

Some of the team on the Baltoro glacier about to begin the trek after breakfast - Mashabrum peak behind

Some of the team on the Baltoro glacier about to begin the trek after breakfast – Mashabrum peak behind

K2 seen from nearby camp

K2 seen from nearby camp

A porter heads up the glacier towards Concordia

A porter heads up the glacier towards Concordia

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The K2 team caught their first views of Broad Peak (8051m/26,414 ft), K2’s neighbor and the world’s 12th highest peak from their camp in the middle of the Baltoro Glacier.  Garrett Madison, expedition leader, calls in with today’s dispatch:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the K2 expedition team.  We had a great day trekking from Urdukas camp (4034m/13,235ft) to Goro 2 camp (4285m/14,058ft) here in the middle of the Baltoro Glacier.  Wonderful weather today, sunny and great views of Masherbrum peak, Gasherbrum IV, the Trango Towers, even Broad Peak – we could see the summit of today.  So just a spectacular day with amazing views all around.  Looking forward to another great day of trekking tomorrow, up towards Concordia.  Everyone’s doing very well on the team, having a wonderful time and we look forward to another beautiful day ahead!

Gasherbrum IV as seen from Goro 2 camp on the Baltoro glacier

Gasherbrum IV as seen from Goro 2 camp on the Baltoro glacier

Mules and trekkers on the trail to K2 base camp

Mules and trekkers on the trail to K2 base camp

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The team enjoyed stunning views of the Trango Towers and surrounding peaks as they made their way to camp at Urdukas.  Here’s Garrett with today’s K2 expedition dispatch:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the K2 expedition team.  Today is June 25th, and we had a great day trekking from Paiju (3400m/11,155ft) up to Urdukas camp (4034m/13,235ft).  We passed by the Grand Trango Towers, Nameless Tower, some beautiful rock spires, and the weather was really nice today.  It was cool for a bit, and then sunny, and we got some great views.  We had a nice lunch break and made it to Urdukas camp.  So everyone’s doing great here, and we are heading up the Baltoro Glacier to Goro 2 (4285m/14,058ft) camp tomorrow!

Nameless Tower (Trango group) as seen from the trail to K2 base camp

Nameless Tower (Trango group) as seen from the trail to K2 base camp

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Today the team will be enjoying a rest day at the camp of Paiju along the banks of the Braldu river just below the snout of the Baltoro Glacier.  Garrett provides this update:

Hello this is Garrett calling in for the K2 climbing expedition team.  Today is June 24th and last night we arrived in Paiju (3400m/11,155ft) on the trek to base camp.  Today we’re taking a rest day in Paiju to give our porters a chance to rest up and then we’ll continue on the following day up to Urdukas (4034m/13,235ft).  Weather’s good, sometimes a little bit of rain, sun, bit of wind; mountain weather…  But, it’s all good here.  Everyone’s doing well and we’re looking forward to enjoying a rest day.

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering K2 archive)

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The first day of trekking is complete and the team is now at Jhola camp.  Expedition leader Garrett Madison checks in with this satellite phone dispatch:

Hello this is Garrett calling in for the K2 expedition team.  Today is June 22nd and we arrived at the stop of Jhola (3151m/10,338ft) here on the trek to K2 base camp.  We had a nice day leaving Askole (3040m/9,974ft) about 7 AM.  We trekked up the (Barldu) river and had great weather, some nice views of peaks, stopped for lunch, and setup our camp in the early afternoon.  So we had a nice day here in camp and now tucked in for bed.  And we are looking forward to another great day of trekking tomorrow.  All’s well here in Pakistan and we’ll check in soon!  Thanks!!

(photo: Madison Mountaineering K2 archives 2018)

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It’s all on foot from here!  Careful not to wake other team members, K2 expedition leader, Garrett Madison quietly calls in this early morning expedition update from the last town, Askole, Pakistan, before the trek begins on foot this morning.

Hello this is Garrett calling in for the K2 Everest [it’s early] team.  We are in Askole (3040m/9,974ft.).  We had a great drive by jeep from Skardu to Askole yesterday.  It was a very scenic jeep ride, very rugged with some narrow river gorges.  But we made it to Askole, had a nice dinner, and setup our camp.  Now we are getting ready today to head off towards our first day trekking to Jhola (3151m/10,338ft).  Everyone’s doing great.  We’ve got good weather here and we are looking forward to getting the trek underway!

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As the team prepares for some four-wheelin’ to Askole, expedition leader Garrett Madison provides this update:

Hello this is Garrett calling in for the K2 expedition team.  Today we are heading by jeep from Skardu to Askole.  It’s about a six hour jeep ride.  Beautiful day here, Sun’s out.  Looking forward to a very scenic and exciting ride.  Everybody’s doing well.  We are excited to get the expedition underway and start trekking to base camp.

Our lead rope fixing Sherpa Siddhi Badahur who was also the first rope fixing Sherpa to summit Everest with us this past season

Our lead rope fixing Sherpa Siddhi Badahur who was also the first rope fixing Sherpa to summit Everest with us this past season

 

Loading up the jeeps in Skardu

Loading up the Land Cruisers in Skardu

 

Gear is loaded and ready to head to Askole

Gear is loaded and ready to head to Askole

 

Our fleet of Vintage Land Cruisers to ride to Askole

Our fleet of vintage Land Cruisers to ride to Askole

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After a restful night at the comfortable Serena hotel in Islamabad, we flew to Skardu. We are thankful that nice weather allowed us to fly today, rather than driving the Karakoram Highway, a two-day journey. We are organizing gear today and tomorrow here in Skardu, touring the town, and preparing for the jeep ride to Askole. Everyone is well!

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Our team of climbers & trekkers have arrived in Pakistan and are on the way to K2, the world’s 2nd highest mountain!

Our advance team of 100 porters began the trek to base camp 2 weeks ago to help deliver supplies for our expedition team and reserve our place. The journey to K2 base camp is rugged, wild, and very scenic with breathtaking views! We begin in Islamabad and hope to fly to Skardu. I’ve been very lucky the last few years and had good weather for this flight, however, if weather conditions are not suitable for flying we will drive the Karakoram Highway, a two-day journey by road to Skardu, which is part of the original Silk Road trading route. While it’s a scenic and historic route, I prefer the flight! Fingers crossed for good flying weather!

From Skardu, we plan to drive by vintage Toyota Land Cruisers to the mountain village of Askoli. This jeep ride is a fun six-hour adventure along steep river gorges and mountain passes. From Askoli we will begin the trek, a ~100 km journey to base camp up the Baltoro glacier. We will pass by iconic peaks such as the Great Trango Towers, Gasherbrum 4, Broad Peak, then arrive at K2 base camp.

*** Stay tuned here for daily expedition dispatches!  You can also follow the team on Amazon Alexa devices and with our real-time location tracking map:  https://madisonmountaineering.com/maps/k2-2019 ****

Here are some of our favorite photos from the 2018 K2 expedition.  Enjoy!!

The 'traverse' on K2 in 2018

The ‘traverse’ on K2 in 2018

View from high on K2 looking at Broad Peak in 2018

View from high on K2 looking at Broad Peak in 2018

2018 K2 Base Camp

2018 K2 Base Camp

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