Camp one shuffle

4am is never an easy time to get up, no matter what job you have. Our job today was to climb to camp1 to drop off food/fuel/personal gear.
Imagine a nice 45min walk across a glacier, outfitted in all your climbing gear, and all bundled up against the cold, then imagine getting on a ladder tilted at about a 45 degree angle. Climbing this ladder for about 4 1/2 hours. Thats about the size of what we did today. We arrived at camp1 around 10am, deposited our loads, and raced back down the ropes in time for lunch here at basecamp. All in all quite a productive day.
The four of us are pretty tired, so tomorrow will be a rest day.
More pics and fun info then!

Luis Katrina and Tshering en route to camp one


Final prep

Greetings everyone. Today was spent adjusting our loads for our carry to camp1 tomorrow. Fabrizio and crew have made fantastic progress fixing towards camp2, and we are carrying up more rope to support that process, plus our personal gear. Round trip should be about 8 hours all going well. Some of us may stay high for a few more hours and help fix rope higher if the need arises, we shall see.
Other than that, it will be early to bed for all of us, as 4.30am always comes earlier than you think.

Lapka and Tshering packing food


The Broad

Greetings everyone. Today was another day of sorting and re packing for our 1st carry up to camp 1 day after tomorrow.
Everyone is in fine form and we were all excited to be breaking into the snacks and treats we brought from home. A bit of cheese and crackers, pistachio nuts, jelly beans, all the really important stuff came out today!
We also looked over our mountain food and what will go where when why and how. Thus is life on an expedition. The afternoon snows have returned so we have all retreated to our respective tents. Lapka and Tshering are listening to a station from India on their shortwave, Katrina is rocking out on her headphones, and I of course am in my tent “geeking out” with all the communications gear trying to get the dispatch out!
The clouds and snow this afternoon have prevented me from charging everything right up, but I was able to catch this shot right out my front door this morning. Broad Peak! K2 which is a view out the other door wasnt cooperating with the cloud cover today. I guess she wants to stay a surprise for later!
Tonight most of the team is in basecamp with us, with a few folks that arrived a few days before us already on a rotation to sleep at camp1 tonight. I have a serious match with Joe from Norway to see if I can defend my connect4 champion title (a game for 10 year olds, but lots of fun for us at 16,000ft)!
Katrina has enjoyed hanging out with one of our trekkers, Nikki, who is Garth’s girlfriend. I know she has appreciated the “girl time” in the midst of all the stinky hairy climbing beasts.
All’s well here for now!

WIll the real Broad Peak please stand up



After a snowy and windy walk, we made it to basecamp! Over lunch we met the rest of the team that were a few days ahead. There are folks from South Africa, Australia, USA, and believe it or not, another girl from Canada which Katrina was quite pleased about!
We then kicked into high gear to build tent platforms out of the glacial rubble, setup tents, and generally spent the afternoon phaffing around. (phaff; to move slow at 16,000ft or higher, which is where we are now)! You can sense K2 and Broad Peak looming in the clouds above and around us….very surreal.
With the weather batteries are low, so with hopefully some sun, we will try to charge up and give you a more proper tour of basecamp.
Till then this is Broad Peak BC, signing off!

Basecamp of Broad Peak


First views

Today’s walk was fairly straightforward. 4hrs and then quickly erecting the tents against the gentle snowfall that had rolled in. We are a 1/2 days walk away from Broad Peak basecamp, which in turn is 45min away from K2 basecamp!
Concordia is supposed to be the 1st place you get good views of K2, but with the weather we didnt get our hopes up.
However, lo and behold, after lunch the clouds started to part, the sun came out, and we caught our 1st close up glimpses of both K2 (on the left in the distance) and Broad Peak (close in on the right).
We are all very jazzed to be so close to the end of our trekking phase, and the start of our climbing one.
Stay tuned!


Walking onto the Baltoro Glacier

Today’s walk saw us finally walking on the Baltoro Glacier proper. This is high and wild country, with parts having no clear route, and other parts where you are leaping from rock to rock to avoid the glacial streams threading thru the landscape. Needless to say, its a beautiful place. The group are all doing well, and enjoying the company of climbers headed off to other mountains, but at this point we are all still trekking together up valley. Don Bowie who has been here many times over the years, pointed out to us and an Italian team some of the giants as we walked by; Nameless tower and Trango tower to name a few.
Walking with these Balti porters, you begin to develop a healthy respect for just how strong these guys are. There are no teahouses up here to duck into for a quick visit and meal, no clear trail, the going is tough without yak support, few carry animals, and yet these guys do it all with a smile on their face. They are a passionate people, and take great pride in their work.
We are camping at about 13,500ft tonight, and tomorrow takes us even higher. Hopefully if all continues as planned, we should be in Broad Peak basecamp in a few days.
Cheers to all!

Kat and Don and Tshering check out Namless and Trango Towers

Porter lunchbreak


Paju Camp

Greetings everyone.
Today was another 7hr 90degree scorcher, but we arrived in Paju Camp by early afternoon. Mercifully some clouds have moved in making hanging out in tents bearable.
Lapka and I were looking at pics in his book on k2 about expeditions here in the ’70’s, Kat took a “bucket shower” which consisted of hiding in a shower stall out of the wind with a bucket of water, and Tshering and I have been playing with satellite phone equipment as usual!
We managed to pick up the bbc on shortwave today, so caught up with a bit of world cup action!
It’s nice to hear how the rest of the world is doing! Tomorrow will be a rest day so our Balti porters have organized some danciing for tonight! Ian promises to do the funky chicken and I will be there camera in hand to record all!
Stay tuned for what I am sure will be great pics!

Paju Camp

Porter tea time


jhola camp

our apologies gang. we are fine in camp after a 7hr walk, but cant get a good signal on the bgan to send a dispatch and the pda wont upload photos!
aaah the beauty of tech time in the hills! more tomorrow when we have it sorted. for now, the team is all fine and happy to be moving on foot!



What a day! For our final jeep ride to the “trailhead”, the road did not dissapoint!
Intense 4wheel drive roads, followed by massive breakdowns of machines, finally saw us reach Askole by mid afternoon. There were a few hair raising moments, especially when we saw a suspension bridge that was on the road we were travelling twisted and broken from a recent flood!
All is well now and we are all settled in here in Askole finalizing the sorting of our loads, and hiring our porters for the walk to basecamp!
It will be nice to finally be on foot travel again!

K2 STS 2010 Team

destroyed bridge

anyone have the wrench?



After an intense 30hr bus ride, over rugged roads, and driving by the mouth of the Swat Valley, which has been a Taliban stronghold till recently, we made it at about 2am to the serene and pristine Skardu!
This village is really where the Karakoram HImalayas begin, and our adventure continues! We arent fully done with autos yet, as we are still loading into a jeep tomorrow for our final leg under auto power to Askole. From there we will be on foot for another 5 days or so to Broad Peak basecamp, which is about 1hr walking away from K2 basecamp.
We will be acclimating on Broad, to prepare for K2, so it will be an amazing experience to climb on 2 8000m peaks this season! Lets hope we get to summit at least one of them!
Katrina, Lakpa and Tshering are all doing well, and we were busy today re packing loads, and enjoying the scenery while strategizing over our maps about our chosen route on K2.
We have met up with other Broad Peak climbers for this leg of our journey, as other K2 folks are a day ahead of us.
Stay tuned as it can only get more interesting from here!

skardu valley


maps and planning


Departing Islamabad

This has been an amazing couple of days! We have endeavored to see the sights and sounds of this wonderful city, taking in all the bazaar’s and markets in and around the city. Everything from Afgani carpets to dates and nuts, we have seen and experienced it all!
Today we finally fly to Skardu to begin our journey up valley. We are hearing reports of large amounts of snow this year up around Concordia, stay tuned as we go to find out!

Every fruit on the planet

Dates and nuts from all over the region

Lakpa contemplates a Afgani rug



After years in the planning and even more in the dreaming of this trip, we are all here in Pakistan safe and sound. Dinner was a buzz of chatter about past trips, and eager anticipation about our current adventure.
We shared all of our Sherpa Adventure Gear with Kat, and made plans for an early breakfast to be ready for the flight for Skardu. Alas, I just got word that we will not be flying tomorrow, but the next day due to oversold flights up valley. Here is where “Inshallah” comes into its own.
The plan now is to fly day after tomorrow, if we cant get on a flight, then it is onward to a 36hr drive up the Karakoram Highway towards Skardu, we will keep you posted as we know more!
Till then….

Lakpa and Luis

The gangs all here


Puja and Preparation

Puja day! A buddist ceremony might seem out of place when it comes to climbing in Islamic Pakistan, but the four of us felt like it was an important ceremony regardless of where you are climbing. As the Rimpoche Lama said to us today, “you dont stop doing what you believe just because you are far from home”. How true.
So today Lakpa Tshering and I went to Bodanath to recieve our blessing. We brought prayer flags to string over basecamp once we arrive, and went to see the RImpoche. All three of us felt better for the experience!
Then a quick visit to one of our sponors headquarters, Sherpa Adventure Gear, and we are back in the shade trying to escape the mid day heat!
Katrina arrived in Islamabad at about 2.30am today, so she is the 1st of our team on the ground. The three of us will fly tomorrow afternoon, Inshallah. ( You will see this a lot on this trip, loosely translated it means “if God wills it”).
Stay tuned!


Lakpa and Tshering


STS K2 Expedition 2010

Dispatches will start soon!

The Cesen Route (SSE Spur) on K2 This season our first route preference, if the conditions are good, will once again be via the Cesen Route – the lesser climbed SSE spur first claimed by Alpinist Tomo Cesen. / The 4000 meter long Cesen route (also dubbed the ‘Basque route’ or ‘Spanish Route’), follows a spur, just on the right side of the South face, which leads to the shoulder at 7800m, where it joins the Abruzzi Spur route, above camp 3. It has been said that the route is technically slightly more demanding than the Abruzzi, but safer if the conditions are good. If conditions don’t favor the Cesen on our arrival, the expedition will have the flexibility to alter routes. / Regardless of the route we will be on, the style of our climb will require that all four of us take an active part in preparing the route above C2 and carrying a share of the loads. Based on the experiences of others and suggestions, our team will be acclimatizing on another 8000m peak across the valley, Broad Peak, up to a minimum elevation of Camp3 before moving onto K2. /

K2 upper section