Tag: Skardu

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The K2 trekking is complete.  The team had a marathon day by finishing the trek and then 4-wheeling for seven hours (!) to Skardu.  Here’s expedition leader Garrett Madison’s update:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the K2 expedition team.  Today is July 26th and we finished our trek out from K2 base camp to Askole and then we rode by jeep for seven hours from Askole to Skardu.  We are very happy to be in Skardu and to have a nice lodge with a hot shower.  And everyone’s doing great.  We’re gonna take a rest day tomorrow and then fingers crossed for good weather, hopefully fly to Islamabad the following day.

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering K2 archives)

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As the team prepares for some four-wheelin’ to Askole, expedition leader Garrett Madison provides this update:

Hello this is Garrett calling in for the K2 expedition team.  Today we are heading by jeep from Skardu to Askole.  It’s about a six hour jeep ride.  Beautiful day here, Sun’s out.  Looking forward to a very scenic and exciting ride.  Everybody’s doing well.  We are excited to get the expedition underway and start trekking to base camp.

Our lead rope fixing Sherpa Siddhi Badahur who was also the first rope fixing Sherpa to summit Everest with us this past season

Our lead rope fixing Sherpa Siddhi Badahur who was also the first rope fixing Sherpa to summit Everest with us this past season

 

Loading up the jeeps in Skardu

Loading up the Land Cruisers in Skardu

 

Gear is loaded and ready to head to Askole

Gear is loaded and ready to head to Askole

 

Our fleet of Vintage Land Cruisers to ride to Askole

Our fleet of vintage Land Cruisers to ride to Askole

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Hello!  This is Garrett Madison calling for the K2 expedition team.  Today is June 26th and we continued our trek toward K2 base camp.  We had a nice trek today from Paiju to Urdukas. Mixed weather today; some clouds, a bit of rain, some sun and some wind, but we had nice day overall. Had some great views of the Trango Towers on our way up to camp. Everyone is doing great and looking forward to hiking up to Goro II camp tomorrow on the Baltoro Glacier. So, one day closer to K2 base camp! Everyone is doing well and we are happy to be here. We will check in soon.  Thanks!

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Audio dispatch from Garrett Madison

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Today is Monday, June 25th and yesterday we started the trek from Askole into our first camp at Jola. Today we are heading up to our next camp which is Paiju at over 10,000 feet. The group is doing very well and excited to be underway, moving up toward the Baltoro Glacier and K2 base camp. The weather has been pretty good, cool and not too hot. The team is looking forward to settling in at Paiju this afternoon. Tomorrow we will pass the Great Trango Towers! All good here and we will check in soon.

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Audio dispatch from Garrett Madison

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To learn more about the Central Karakoram National Park, which is the highest national park in the world and the largest protected area in Pakistan please visit: http://www.cknp.org

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Yesterday our team of climbers and Sherpas flew from Islamabad to Skardu.  Today we are organizing our equipment and tomorrow we plan to drive by jeep to Askole, from there we will begin the trek to base camp.  In total we are 10 climbers, 3 guides, 10 Sherpas, and 5 Pakistan high altitude porters (HAP), along with our 8 base camp kitchen staff.  Last week our advance team of 77 porters and 5 Pakistan HAPs arrived in K2 base camp to begin building the camp and to reserve places at Camps 1 & 2.  We will have around 150 porters trekking in with us to base camp, in addition to some horses.

Skardu is a small frontier town, and we are staying in our hotel nearby the Indus river.  It’s a big contrast from the very comfortable Serena hotel in Islamabad where we slept the past couple of nights.  The Serena was a great place to rest and recover after the long flights many of us took from our home countries.  Everyone is doing well and we are excited to begin trekking soon!   – Garrett

K2 Team Roster:

  • Garrett Madison: Expedition Leader and Guide
  • Geoffrey Schellens: Guide
  • Robert Kelso Smith: Guide

Climbers:

  • Andras Kaasik
  • Daniel Lochner
  • David Liano
  • James Clarke
  • Jason Black
  • Jesse Rosales
  • John Stenderup
  • Klara Polacova
  • Lisa Thompson
  • Takayasu Semba
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Now passing the remote Askole settlement at the foothills of the Karakoram wilderness, our K2 team is in good condition and excited for the adventure ahead. Our Madison Mountaineering K2 International Expedition has five climbers for K2 plus 2 guides, 1 camera man and 1 base camp chef, and we are traveling with and sharing some resources with another K2 Expedition led by Kari Kobler from Switzerland. The two expeditions combined have sent in an advance group of about 300 Pakistani porters and about 100 horses to carry equipment and supplies. In addition to the advanced group of porters and horses, both expeditions combined also have an additional 300 Pakistani porters and more than 100 horses traveling into K2 Base Camp with the climbers. There are just under 100 permits issued for western climbers and supporting Nepalese Sherpa’s for 2016 for the four 8,000 metre peaks in the Karakoram region that include K2, Broad Peak and Gashaburm 1 and 2. There is only about 45 climbing permits for K2 for 2016.

We are excited to be connecting climbers scaling the worlds highest peaks to physicians, researchers, emergency teams, friends and family in near real-time using the first and only fully integrated remote physiological monitoring platform capable of doing so this season on K2. As a part of this ascent, this project represents the collaboration of three leaders in wireless technology and communications – WiCis-Sports, Thuraya, and OCENS, – to stream vital sign and location data within seconds to any internet-enabled device anywhere in the world. With the goal of advancing the availability of scalable, continuous monitoring for those participating in extreme outdoor adventure sports, this project goes well beyond to keep explorers everywhere well within reach.

Thank you Stuart for the photos and update!

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K2 Hotel in Skardu

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Getting ready to leave the K2 hotel

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Driving from Skardu to Askole

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Our team had 15 Toyota Landcruisers full of people and supplies. Trucks went ahead with other supplies. One of the rivers had a fairly good mudslide causing our trucks to get stuck

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One of the many bridges on the drive from Skardu to Askole

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A cooked chapatti

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The drive 130 km from Skardu to Askole took about nine hours

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A Toyota Landcruiser overheated and needed water after each steam

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Drive in from Skardu to Askole was very narrow and steep in many parts

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The trek in to K2

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Preparing dough for chapattis

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Cooking chapatti

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All of our members for the 2016 K2 climbing expedition have arrived and our gear is sorted, we are excited to begin the first part of our journey very soon, the trek to base camp!  We enjoyed a nice day in Islamabad at the lovely Serena hotel, had a traditional Pakistani dinner, and then flew to Skardu where we are currently awaiting final clearance from the Army to proceed by jeep on our route to Askole, where the trek to base camp begins!  Our hotel is just above the Indus river, during the day it is quite hot but in the afternoon it begins to cool off and is very pleasant.

Stuart Erskine will be taking many of the beautiful photos you will see on this expedition 🙂

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Pictured in the photo left to right (Stuart, Peter, Shinji, Mark, Klara, Rene, Semba, Garrett, Ken, Antony)

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2016 K2 Team

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Garrett buying medicine at a pharmacy in Skardu for the expedition

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Garrett and team chef Antony buying fruit at a local market  in Skardu

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