K2 team doing well, enjoying a relaxing day in Skardu, we plan to drive to Askole tomorrow.
We flew early today from Islamabad to Skardu, and are very happy that the weather cooperated for the flight. We are very thankful that our local agent could rebook our tickets from yesterday, allowing us to bypass the 2 day overland drive along the Karakoram Highway. Skardu is a small yet bustling town, we have mostly been enjoying our time relaxing at the hotel, with a short walk through the village bazaar. Tomorrow we plan to organize gear in preparation for departure the following day. We will be travelling via 4WD Jeeps to the village of Askole where we will kick off our trek to K2 base camp.
After two days of flying from North America our K2 team has finally assembled in Islamabad and our first challenge is to travel to Skardu, where we begin the jeep ride to Askole to begin the trek. Today we spent a few hours at the airport waiting for this domestic flight, however because of bad weather the flight was cancelled. We hope to fly tomorrow morning.
We made good use of our free time this afternoon by enjoying a wonderful lunch at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad (see photo). The buffet featured American, European, and Pakistani culinary delights, and after generous helpings we retired to our hotel for a nap.
It’s been a life long dream of mine to climb “The Savage Mountain”, and with weather and route conditions permitting myself and three other American climbers will attempt to scale K2. We will be climbing with some very good friends of mine including Kami Rita Sherpa, Fur Kancha Sherpa, and Kami Tshering Sherpa, as well as a few others. I have climbed with Kami and Fur Kancha to the summit of Everest 5 times, as well as other Himalayan peaks such as Ama Dablam and Manaslu. We are great friends, and I respect them tremendously as climbers. Often they are among the lead route setters on the Everest, I have shared many good and hard days in the mountains with these men.
After months of careful preparation and planning that included extensive research of the route, dedicated fitness training, logistics for shipping our gear and food, obtaining the climbing permits and visas, and rearranging personal schedules to accommodate a 6 week expedition, we are very excited to finally make this climb a reality.
The K2 climbing team and trekking team have arrived in Islamabad and we are now waiting for the flight to Skardu. Hopefully the weather will be good and we can fly today.