K2 Camp 1
Today the climbing team climbed up from Advanced Base Camp (ABC) to K2 Camp 1. Camp 1 on the Abruzzi Ridge climbing route is located at 6065m or just below 20,000 ft. elevation. The team is on their first acclimatization rotation on the mountain and will make a decision to continue up to Camp 2 tomorrow or descend back down to ABC based on a number of factors they will consider. Team member Alan Arnette posted a nice audio update via satellite phone on his blog today describing the day’s climb.

Looking good team! Climb on.

Just made it up to advanced base camp. Looking forward to climbing up to camp 1 tomorrow.

– Garrett

Elevation = 17,400 ft.   Location = (35.860040, 76.542860)

Early today we had our Puja ceremony with our climbing team and asked the mountain for safe passage. We have been fortunate to have great weather, and are heading up later this afternoon to advanced base camp, then will try to reach Camps 1 & 2. Our trekking team left today to head down and will be a few days back to Askole.

Everyone is doing well & enjoying the expedition!

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Yesterday we arrived in K2 base camp, and have enjoyed perfect weather the last 2 days! After a long trek, the comforts of base camp include our spacious dining and communications tent, our personal tents, and our shower tent (this was much appreciated after the week long trek).

K2 Dining-Communication Tent
The food here is amazing, our cook has been filling our bellies with yummy meals in addition to fresh pastries every afternoon. We are fortunate to have ample power to recharge our electronics, and a satellite modem to stay connected with the outside world.

We have enjoyed spectacular views of K2 from camp, and have been planning our climbing strategy with our sherpa team. Our plan is to have a puja ceremony on Friday, then make our first rotation to Advanced base camp and Camps 1 and 2 after that.

View from K2 base camp
K2 Sherpa Climbing Team
Our trekking team is making the most of the base camp experience, and will remain here at BC an additional night before heading out.

Everyone is healthy and in good spirits! We hope this good weather continues!

Garrett Madison

Relaxing in Paiju on the trek to K2 base camp.

K2 base camp trek: Paiju

Matthew Du Puy and Alan Arnette

K2 team doing well, enjoying a relaxing day in Skardu, we plan to drive to Askole tomorrow.

K2 team in Skardu

left to right: Alan Arnette, Terray Sylvester, Todd Du Puy, Robert Whiteford, Rick Sylvester, Matthew Du Puy and Garrett Madison in Skardu, Pakistan.

Nanga Parbat

Nanga Parbat from the flight from Islamabad to Skardu, Pakistan

Downtown Skardu, Pakistan

Downtown Skardu, Pakistan

Plane from Islamabad to Skardu

Our ride to Skardu

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.

Arrival in Skardu

team at airport
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.

team at lunch
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.

Climbing Team:

  • Garrett Madison, Climb Leader
  • Alan Arnette, Climber
  • Matthew Dupuy, Climber
  • Fredrick Sylvester, Climber

Trekking Team:

  • Todd Dupuy
  • Robert Whiteford
  • Terray Sylvester

Climbing Support Team:

  • Kami Rita Sherpa
  • Fur Kancha Sherpa
  • Kami Tshering Sherpa
  • Mingma Sherpa
  • Pemba Sherpa
  • Dawa Sherpa

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.

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.