I arrived mostly on schedule in Islamabad, around 5am and quickly went through customs and promptly retrieved my two huge duffel bags. Walking out of the baggage area, I found Pemba who took me and a new found fellow teammate to our hotel.
Sitting in my hotel room, my shoulders relaxed, I looked around and gave myself permission to breath. A milestone had been met.
Each day on this journey will test every part of my essence from mental to physical to emotional. Some days I will do well and others, let’s just say I will deserve a check in the “needs improvement” box for all my 3rd grade school teachers out there!
Being a caregiver for anyone who suffers from a serious disease like Alzheimer’s is the same. You have both good days and bad days. It is on the bad ones where your support systems comes into play. I often tell new caregivers that if you don’t take care of yourself, you cannot take care of your loved one.
Our next milestone is to reach the northern city of Skardu we will switch to jeeps for the last of the overland travel to the Baltoro Glacier.
Other teams attempting the high peaks in the Karakorum have been stifled day in day out this season with the notoriously bad weather canceling flights from Islamabad to Skardu. The alternative is a 27 hour bus ride along the dangerous Karakorum Highway (KKH)
A few teams are already on K2 and are reporting mixed route conditions. The Pakistani National team has established Camp 1 on the Abruzzi route as has a two person Greek team on the Česen, aka SSE Ridge or Basque, but they were stopped going higher by deep fresh, loose snow. They have decided to acclimatize on the Abruzzi. Other teams already on K2 include Italian and Polish. The Poles are “practicing” for another attempt on K2 later this year in calendar winter.
So everything was falling into place as we were about to board our flight for Skardu,but then it was canceled … maybe tomorrow :). As is regularly said in Pakistan, Inshallah.
Memories are Everything