Yesterday afternoon our K2 climbing team descended from Camp 2, after five nights sleeping at elevations of up to 22,000’. We plan to rest for the next few days and assess the weather and route conditions for our next foray up the mountain. We hope a weather window will materialize long enough for us to make a viable summit attempt of the peak in the next two weeks.
First Rotation Recap:
We began by hiking up the glacier and through the short icefall section to reach advanced base camp (ABC) at 17, 200’. ABC is a pleasant camp perched on a rock outcropping with a stream flowing nearby and spectacular views of the surrounding glaciers. Almost every hour we would hear the icefall avalanches come roaring down the opposite peaks. We climbed up a short section of steep snow slopes the following day to acclimate and then slept again at advanced base camp. Then we climbed to Camp 1, about five hours climbing on snow slopes varying from 45-65 degrees. After a night at Camp 1, we climbed to Camp 2, much of the route being on rock slopes as well as some short snow and icy sections. We climbed through the iconic “House’s Chimney”, a fun rock section of approximately 100’ of near vertical rock, then slept at Camp 2. The next morning we slept in and then climbed up towards Camp 3, returning to Camp 2 to sleep, descending the following day to base camp. The views from Camp 2 were incredible, a panorama of peaks spanning the horizon. If we looked closely we could just make out our base camp 6000’ below.
This morning we are very happy to be in base camp, having enjoyed a hearty breakfast of French Toast with real Maple syrup, bacon, and fried eggs, washed down with Starbucks coffee! We just watched “Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark” on our Pico Projector with Bose SoundLink acoustics. Currently we are now lounging in camp socializing with the other friendly foreign climbers. Our Sherpa team is here with us and their close proximity makes us temporarily forget we are in Pakistan, the camaraderie and customs of Sherpa culture make for a comforting and warm experience, similar to being in the Khumbu valley of Nepal. We will continue resting and evaluating the weather conditions for the next few days.