K2 and Broad Peak in 2006
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I always wanted to visit the Himalayas in Pakistan. The mountains are legendary: Gasherbrum I,Gasherbrum II, Nanga Parbat, Broad Peak and, of course, K2. The view from the confluence of three glaciers at Concordia is live postcard few get to see in person. In the summer of 2006, along with a team managed by Field Touring Alpine (FTA), I attempted Broad Peak (26,401') and planned to make a good effort on K2 (28,250').

I reached 21,000' on Broad or Camp 2 before abandoning the climb due to weakness that resulted from a severe bug I contracted on the trek in. The Karakorum ranges was magnificent and I was very lucky to have unbelievable weather for the month I spent there.

I sent frequent dispatches using a system that includes a digital camera, PDA and sat phone.

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Couscous at Camp 1

Posted on June 20, 2006 01:38 AM U.S. Mountain Daylight Time

Today we have 18 of our 21 climbers on Broad Peak. Thankfully the other two teams up here, the Australians and the Austrians are working well with our monster team and in fact are even sharing their tents with us. Today I am at Camp 1, 18,270'/5570m.

Camp 1 is a long climb from Basecamp and it is steep as I have previously noted. Our strongest climbers have made the one-way trip in about 3 - 4 hours gaining 800m or 2600'. C1 is perched on a rock stubble and it is very hard to find a spot to pitch the tents. Here is a picture of C1 with the route to C2 above the tents.

It takes anywhere from 2 to 4 hours to climb to C2. I am taking a rest day for acclimatization and rest purposes today. I continue to feel extremely fatigued and have a fairly strong headache today. The other climbers are doing about the same or better with some very impressive exceptions who are making the 8000m mountain look "easy". But one thing we all share is the incredible views of the glaciers, K2, Metier Peak and more.

The weather continues to be unbelievable. Perfectly clear days (almost too hot) to cold nights that justify the heavy sleeping bags.

Occasionally we experience some strong wind gusts and snow squalls but nothing organized or sustained. Last night 10 of us at C1 prepared our dinners and turned in about 6:00 PM! I enjoyed my homemade meal of couscous and chicken. The best part was taking only a few minutes to melt enough snow. Each climber has to melt three to six liters of water for their own use and it takes about 15 minutes per liter at this altitude on our gas stoves. So lots of time is taken up staring at water and you know what they say about staring at boiling water? Tomorrow to C2 for me or another day here if I don?t feel better.

Climb on! Alan