The team departed for Islamabad on Saturday 4th July and all arrived safe and well the next day.
Leaders: Lee Harley-Marshall
5th July 2015
Lee emailed in to say that everyone has arrived safely into Islamabad.
6th July 2015
Lily and John have sent some pictures in from Skardu to show that they are now all in the K2 Motel in Skardu. This is great news that there were no delays on this very weather dependent internal flights, so now after some time for final preparations and to acclimatise in Skardu, they will be able to head up to Askole and start the trek on schedule. Also the weather looks fantastic!
7th July 2015
John has sent us an email and a few more pictures from Skardu. The team has enjoyed an acclimatization walk around Skardu – getting used to the rarefied air!
We took a hike today for about five hours but that included stops and chats.
Still it was a good warm up. The first part was a steep climb of 150-200 metres that had most of us breathing heavily. I certainly was.
We then walked along the river which included some steep cliffs that I am sure Cynthia would have loved.
We reached an organic village that is a lovely oasis on the banks of the Indus. We retraced our steps to Skardu and then back to our hotel.
8th July 2015
Lee called in from Askole using the satphone. Askole is reached after an 8-hour ‘exciting’ jeep ride from Skardu. Everyone is feeling good and the weather looks good. They are on schedule. There are reports from groups returning from Concordia that there is a lot of snow up on the Gondogoro La and it seems that no one has yet crossed the pass this year. Still, that’s a long way off for our team so conditions can change…
Today we’ve decided to have an extra rest day today and do some acclimatisation walks whilst taking in the breathtaking scenery on the local peaks.
The team are all jelling together with excellent team spirit, much helped by the comfortable camps and the cook keeping us well fed.
Today the team arrived at Urdukas and along the way were rewarded with views of some of the most dramatic mountain scenery the world has to offer: Trango Tower, Cathedral, Nameless Tower, Lobsang Spire, Paju Peak, Urdukas Peak and the mighty Gasherbrum IV. Tomorrow the team will trek to Goro II, the first camp on the glacier proper. From there they will get views looking back over to the beautiful Masherbrum. From Goro II they will continue trekking to Concordia the junction of the Baltoro and Goodwin Austen Glaciers and all being well get their first views of Broad Peak & K2.
Lee called in with an update this afternoon. Yesterday the team reached K2 Basecamp and went to visit the Gilkey Memorial. The weather has been beautiful and sunny with clear summits on view. Some of the team have felt quite overwhelmed by the spectacular scenery and by reaching their long held goal of seeing K2.
There are two big international expedition teams in residence at K2 Basecamp and our group were able to have a cup of tea with one of the teams.
Now they have reached Broad Peak Basecamp where there are four teams climbing the mountain, some of which are currently at Camp 3. They were excited to meet Ali Durrani, the youngest Pakistani to reach the summit of K2 without Oxygen last year at teh age of 24.
Everyone is feeling good and the group have bonded well with each other, the porters and the rest of the support crew. Temperatures have been really warm in the daytime, and as the sun goes behind the mountains it becomes cooler and is cold at night. There have been reports of a lot of snow lying on the Gondogoro La pass which the group are scheduled to ascend on the 19th. They will be monitoring the forecast and conditions and should make a decision as to whether to attempt the path or choose a different option in the next day or so.
Lee has called in to say the conditions on the Gondogoro La pass are unsafe due to the amount of snow. They have been forced to head back down the Baltaro and will be back down to Askole where they will get a jeep back to Askardo.
Lee called today to report that the team are all relaxing back in Skardu after a long 7 hour journey. They are tired but in good spirits. For most of the trip they have been walking 7-8 hours a day so they will enjoy the chance to wind down in Islamabad when they fly back there tomorrow.
The group are planning to arrange some good sightseeing trips once in Islamabad so plenty of chance to get some more great photos to add to their collection of photos of the stunning K2 and surrounding peaks.