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Climbing the World to End Alzheimer's
Jul 222014
 
K2: Leaving Basecamp for the Summit

We leave for the summit push of K2 today. I have been looking at the summit for weeks now. I have flirted with the flanks only to be humbled, any semblance of self-confidence shredded on the steep slopes by a simple gust of wind or loose rock. But now I return. When I look at a summit, medicine I don’t see a pile of rocks, a sharp point on the earth’s surface daring the brave to climb. I see an invitation, a peaceful a place of solitude and serenity, a tiny spot where I can see what I can see, continue reading

Jul 212014
 
K2: Summit Schedule

The weather has cleared and it is a perfect day here at BC. The forecast calls for summit winds under 30 mph over the next week – ideal for us. There are about 60 people going for the summit over this period including around 7 women. This is much more than normal for K2 but 2014 is the 60th anniversary of the first summit in 1954 by Italians led by Ardito Desio, and the two climbers who reached the summit were Lino Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni. The team included Pakistani member, Colonel Muhammad Ata-ullah. There is still work to do continue reading

Jul 212014
 
K2: Honoring the Fallen

K2 is well known for taking lives be it from avalanches, mind falls or disappearances, 84 people have lost their lives. This is not lost on anyone who comes to K2, even to base camp.  Art Gilkey lost his in 1953 as part of the legendary belay often called the Brotherhood of the Rope. I visited the Gilkey Memorial today. It has become a gathering space for all who have lost their lives on K2, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum I and II. Friends, teammates, family often place simple plaques on the rock pillars standing high above the Goodwin – Austin Glacier. continue reading

Jul 192014
 
K2: House's Chimney to Camp 2

It’s the weekend at K2 Base Camp and Friday night was just like any other place on earth. Our team watched a James Bond Movie while many others danced the night away to Bollywood and Sherpa music in the “Disco Tent” aka the cooking tent :). Thankfully the snow has stopped but high clouds filtered the bright sun light, a blessing for some … It appears everyone is off the mountain and preparing for summit bids. Teams may start going back up as early as tomorrow, Sunday. We are looking a mid next week to start our summit push. Yes, continue reading

Jul 182014
 
K2: The Climb to C1 - Reality Hits

Friday started like Thursday, heavy snow coated K2 Base Camp muting any noise of gas stoves, doctor or social talk but the avalanches still dominated one of the five senses for everyone. All of the ten climbers who are climbing K2 without supplemental oxygen had spent at least one night at Camp 3 were now back at base camp. Most people have completed their acclimatization rotations and are enjoying a break, even with the heavy snow. The current weather forecast calls of a break soon, that combined with a few days to let the new snow settle and consolidate, implies continue reading

Jul 172014
 
K2: Avalanches at ABC and that is the Good News

I awoke this morning, Thursday July 17, 2014 to the muffled sound of snow hitting my tent. Even at 8:00am, prescription it seemed dark. The reality was a heavy snowfall overnight had coated K2 Base Camp with a nice layer of white snow. We had returned from our five day rotation to Camp 2 at 22,000 feet just in time. The rotation was tough on me. It tested me in ways I had envisioned but in some I was not prepared for. But I made it. I successfully climbed Houses Chimney and part of the Black Pyramid. I had a continue reading