K2 Expedition 2017 #228 June 2017
26 days after leaving Everest Base Camp I am now back at about the same altitude of 5,200m at K2 Base Camp where everyone is feeling fine.
Team leaving Skardu
Road to Askole
The jeep ride to Askole was uneventful and surprisingly quick compared to previous trips and so we were already at our destination by 11.00. The 7 day walk in was also uneventful, and thankfully we had overcast weather for much of the trip which made the walking temperatures quite bearable, we had one day and evening of light rain which did not really affect our comfort or progress. The night before arriving at K2 BC we stayed at Broad Peak BC, so were able to arrive by 08.30 which gave us a whole day to chop and shovel gravel to form tent platforms for the important tents, kitchen / food store, member dining, Sherpa dining, dishwashing, and shower tents and of course all of our own individual sleeping tents. All the work is generally done before members arrive at BC so members were all surprised at just how hard this work actually is. But now with a couple of days refinement to equipment and food stores and tarpaulins we now have a very compact and comfortable camp. Again we have been blessed by fine sunny warm weather which of course makes this process much easier.
Broad Peak (left) G4 (right) and part of the 180Km of moraine
130 Porters at K2 BC
This morning we had a traditional Sherpa Puja for the 4 Sherpa who are with us with the local High Altitude Porters (HAP) who are the local equivalent also sitting in. One of the very interesting aspects of operating expeditions in these remote countries is the close contact that we have to various religions. It is also very interesting to see just how much respect and understanding there is between these people, a fine example to others. This was followed by a trip to Crampon Point (CP) where our Sherpa ? HAP had established a route the day before. This point is marked by one solitary tent for storage of gear. Hopefully tomorrow we will start work on the hill in earnest by starting the rope fixing to C1. However the forecast is not that favorable so we will have to see what happens in the morning tomorrow.
However we are very keen to get to C2 where much to my amazement I can still see 4 of our tents standing from 2015. With luck we just might find a considerable amount of equipment that we lost at that time, including oxygen, rope, and cooking equipment which will all save us a considerable number of loads that have to be carried from BC. Also various members have personal equipment and sleeping bags there, but we are dubious as to whether these will be useable or not. Time will tell. But at least members are excited that they might be reunited with some of their own gear.