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Yesterday we completed our K2 climbing rotation of 5 nights above base camp, up to Camp 2. We climbed the Abruzzi ridge route and notable features such as House’s chimney to reach our Camp 2, where we spent 2 nights. Yesterday we descended in winds and snow (stormy weather) to base camp, where we enjoyed another amazing dinner by our base camp chef Antony Dubber.
Photos taken by 2016 K2 expedition climber Stuart Erskine
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Petr flying one of his drones at K2 Base Camp with K2 in the background. In this photo Petr is landing the drone after a flight, directly into his hand.

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Petr flying one of his drones at K2 Base Camp with K2 in the background.

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Petr climbing to Camp 1 on K2 at 20,000 ft or 6,100 meters ASL with his camera equipment and drone in his backpack.

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Petr flying one of his drones at Camp 1 on K2 which is at 20,000 ft or 6,100 metres ASL. He flew for three minutes which could be the highest altitude drone flight on K2.

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Looking up K2 from Camp 2. The weather is very fickle and highly changeable on K2, which ads to the other dangers on this mountain. The top you see here is far from the summit, which is still about 6,500 ft from this location of Camp 2. Note the tents that are destroyed by previous bad weather and how the current tents are tied down in preparation for bad weather.

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This is the kitchen tent where food is prepared for the four climbers, two guides, photographer and chef. Antony Dubber from the UK is our chef and is preparing a soup for lunch. We have Antony our chef and his five kitchen helpers cooking for eight of us.

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A typical Base Camp lunch for the climbers and guides which is prepared by our chef Antony and his five kitchen helpers. While at Base Camp meal times are typically 8:00 AM, 1:00 PM and 6:30 PM.

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Our first rotation. This is Camp 2 on K2 in the middle of summer at 22,000 ft or 6,700 meters ASL. K2 is a steep, inhospitable and dangerous place when the weather is not on your side. High winds and blowing snow kept us in our tents for 36 hours, before we retreated in bad weather back down the steep mountainside of K2. From Camp 2, to Camp 1, to Advanced Base Camp (ABC) to Base Camp in one day. From Camp 2 at 22,000 ft to ABC at 17,500 ft is 4,500 ft altitude loss, of which about 80% of it has to be repelled on a rope as its too steep to free climb or arm wrap a rope down.

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Living on a glacier has its challenges as the glacier is constantly melting, moving and changing. Our team spends time each day repairing the bases for all of the personal sleeping tent sites.

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K2 Base Camp on July 5, 2016
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Two Pakistani army helicopters have flown from Skardu to K2 Base Camp (50 minutes one way) to evacuate one climber on another team that has altitude sickness. K2 is seen on the left and Broad Peak on the right with the Godwin Austin glacier in that middle. K2 Base Camp is behind the landed helicopter.

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One of our climbers, Mark Shuttleworth, was having knee issues  and has left the expedition and is now on his way home, below is a photo of Mark with 3 Army majors, who flew him out from base camp to Skardu yesterday.

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We climbed from Camp 1 to Camp 2 on the Abruzzi ridge on K2, House’s Chimney was one of the most interesting parts of the climb, steep rock and ice for about 60 feet. We had some inclement weather in the afternoon, big gusts of wind and some snow, now it has calmed down, and the view was spectacular! We are all tucked into our tents and resting, everyone is doing well.

-Garrett Madison

Photos taken by Stuart Erskine

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Climbers, guides, sherpas and Pakistani high altitude porters are climbing from Camp 1 to Camp 2 on K2. Camp 1 and Advanced Base Camp are visible in the background directly below the climbers.

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Climbers getting ready to leave Camp 1 on K2 to climb to Camp 2 on July 1, 2016. Broad Peak and the Godwin Austin Glacier are in the background.

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Climbing from Camp 1 to Camp 2 on K2, July 1 2016

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Climbing from Camp 1 to Camp 2 on K2, July 1 2016

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Climbing from Camp 1 to Camp 2 on K2, July 1 2016. K2 is extremely steep and rugged with highly erratic weather.

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Climbing up the steep section of K2.

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Climbing up from the chimney section towards Camp 2 on K2.

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Two climbers make their way up through fog, wind and light snow to Camp 2. The weather is notoriously changeable on K2. Being prepared for the extremes of K2’s weather is a challenge, especially at higher altitudes.

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Camp 2 on K2. It’s way steeper than it looks. At Camp 1 and 2 you need your boots, crampons, harness and to be clipped into a fixed rope or to a tent if you want to walk around. Broad Peak, the Godwin Austin Glacier, Concordia, and the Baltoro Glacier are all in the background.

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Today we climbed up the Abruzzi ridge about 3000 ft to our Camp 1. The terrain was steep, sometimes up to 70 degrees on snow and rock. We are doing well and will climb to camp 2 tomorrow.

-Garrett Madison

Photos below are taken by Stuart Erskine. Enjoy!

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Having supper at K2 Advanced Base Camp.

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Our guides Garrett and Shinji doing some great domestic duties after supper at K2 Advanced Base Camp. 

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Our climbers and guides climbing from Advanced Base Camp to Camp 1 on K2 on July 30, 2016.

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Garrett Madison, our expedition leader is leading our group of climbers that are moving toward Camp 1 on K2 on July 30, 2016. 

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Climbing from K2 Advanced Base Camp to Camp 1 on fixed ropes.

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Climbers arriving around noon to Camp 1 on K2 on June 30, 2016. 

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Tent sites are limited at Camp 1 on K2 and the locations are precarious and prone to serious rock fall and avalanche risk. We use Mountain Hardware Trango 3 tents. We use the Trango 3 tents as a one person tent at Base Camp, two person tents on our trek in and climbing on the mountain, and at camps where space is limited or at high altitude camps, we may have three persons per tent. The Trango 3 is well tested in the world’s harshest environments and is one of the most common tents used on many extreme expeditions.

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Camp 1 on K2 at 20,000 ft ASL on June 30, 2016. Broad Peak, one of the world’s highest fourteen 8,000 metre peaks and the 12th highest mountain in the world is in the background. The Godwin Austin Glacier is in the valley below and flows down into the large Baltoro Glacier.

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Yesterday our climbing team successfully moved up to our K2 ABC (advanced base camp). After a good nights rest we took off this morning and climbed partway up the Abruzzi ridge route and returned to our ABC to sleep. Our plan for tomorrow is to climb up to Camp 1, at about 20,000′. Everyone is doing well and the weather is holding out for us at the moment.

-Garrett Madison

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Climbers moving up the icefall en route to ABC.

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