All K2 expedition dispatches

Tomorrow we plan to finish our journey by driving from Skardu to Askole by jeep! We have enjoyed our brief stay in this village and are excited to head onwards! A few photos from our stay in Skardu.
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Here is a short clip of our journey from Islamabad to Skardu yesterday. As you can see, it was a very scenic drive!

Due to inclement weather, the flight to Skardu from Islamabad was not available so we elected to drive the Karakoram highway, considered by many the most dramatic road in the world. We followed the Indus river past where the 3 greatest mountain ranges in the world meet: the Himalayas, the Hindu Kush, and the Karakoram. We are now in the lush Skardu valley to rest for a day or two then will continue on our way to Askole to begin our trek.
Brant & guard
Skardu Valley
Colorful truck

Tonight we went out to a great restaurant in Islamabad, and had a wonderful Italian dinner. We have enjoyed a few days here in this lovely city and now have to say farewell as we head onward towards our objective. Tomorrow we plan to begin our journey to Skardu.
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Today most of our American and European climbers arrived in Islamabad, we enjoyed a nice afternoon hike in the hills around the city, and then a fabulous dinner perched high atop one of the hillsides. The rest of the crew will arrive tomorrow. We are happy to be here and begin our journey to K2 and Broad Peak!
Hikers on the trail
Evening in Islamabad
Islamabad

Our Pakistani & Sherpa members are now on the second day of trekking to base camp and our American and European members are about to arrive in Islamabad. A photo of our first objective, K2, looking up from Camp 4, and a photo of our second objective, Broad Peak (taken from Camp 1 on K2)! With a little luck and good weather we hope to climb Broad Peak after K2 this season.
K2 bottleneck and Serac from C4
Broad Peak from C1 on K2

Our team of climbing Sherpas from Nepal have landed in Islamabad! They are now heading to base camp with our local Pakistani guides. Our American and European climbers are finishing last minute preparations at home and excited to depart soon! We will be posting regular updates here on our K2 & Broad Peak dispatch page, beginning soon!
The savage mountain

After a two day bus ride from Skardu we are finally back in Islamabad, and very happy to be here! This is the end of our journey back from K2, the 75 mile trek from base camp to Askole, the jeep ride from Askole to Skardu, then the two day bus ride from Skardu to Islamabad (because of flight delays out of Skardu). We are indulging in our celebration dinner and will be flying out over the next few days. It’s been an incredible experience and a very successful one!

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As we are making our way from Skardu to Islamabad we can’t help feel like our climb to the top of K2 was all just a dream. We had perfect weather and route conditions for our climb, and had the summit all to ourselves with little to no wind as we gazed for hundreds of miles in every direction, it was truly a magnificent experience, with a great team. There are less than twenty American climbers including ourselves to reach the top of K2 since the first American ascent in 1978, so we feel lucky to be part of this special group. After three days of trekking from base camp down the Baltoro Glacier we reached Askole and then traveled by jeep yesterday to Skardu. It’s comforting to be here in the hotel, and on our way to an even better hotel in Islamabad! Most of us are heading home, however I will stay in the Eastern Hemisphere and meet my next group in Tanzania, for a climb of Kilimanjaro!

Attached are a few photos of our perfect summit day!

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Transcript:

New tonight a local man has done what fewer than 20 Americans ever have.

He summited the second tallest mountain in the world, K2.  Garrett Madison is a Bainbridge Island native and president of Madison Mountaineering.  Yesterday he and two other Americans became the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth climbers from the U.S. to stand atop the summit of K2 which is on the border of China and Pakistan.  It’s considered more dangerous to climb than Everest and deadlier.  One out of four climbers don’t survive.

Congratulations to those guys.