K2 and Broad Peak in 2006
K2oo6 WorldClimb Dispatches
Broad Peak and K2
Karakorum Home | Climbing Home
Karakorum Highway |Faces of the Karakorum |Baltoro Glacier |Climbing Broad Peak |K2-Broad Peak Pictures
Live Dispatches | Essay: Why K2 | Essay: Why I Climb
Expedition FAQ | Climbing FAQ
SummitPost-K2 |SummitPost-Broad Peak | GoogleEarth | Weather | Guides | Local Info

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.

Click here for the dispatch home and videos

« Broad Peak Base Camp | Dispatch Home | Climbing Broad Peak »

Click here for the dispatch home and videos

The Climbing Begins

Posted on June 16, 2006 10:58 PM U.S. Mountain Daylight Time

With everyone settled into Base Camp, climbers are starting to work their way up Broad Peak.

Over the past few days, Camp 1 has been establish. There is fixed line in place for the climber's safety. While we have seven High Altitude Porters, JJ and Ryan are carrying a lot of the burden in that they are the ones placing the protection and tying the knots. The HAPs are good and strong but their work needs to be double checked. This was not unexpected. I climbed to 5350m, 17,600' yesterday along with several of my team mates. It was a good day. However, I can still feel the effect of my infection. While my beathing was good and comfortable, I was tired and did not have a deep reserve. Hopefully that will return over the next week or so. I was very, very surprised, however, at how steep the climbing is on Broad Peak. It was a continuous 45 to 55 degree angle on good snow. The angle is as such that some climbers used their rappel (absail) devices on the down climb. If you slip and are not clipped into the fixed line, you would fall hundreds of meters and most likely suffer a serious injury. I don't write this to scare anyone or to act brave but rather to show that there are no "easy" 8000m mountains. I am always annoyed when I hear that term since any mountain can kill you much less one of this size. Broad Peak is sometimes called an easy 8000m mountain since it is not the highest or has difficult ice or rock sections. However, it is very high, very steep and very dangerous. We are all begin very careful and looking after one another. Wilco spent the night last night at Camp 1, the first for our team. Other climbers are moving up to spend nights there are well today. Everyone must spend a few nights at the high camps to drive the acclimatization process. The weather continues to be fantastic. We have had a stiff breeze occasionally but no heavy snows. It is still an amzing experience to wake up in the morining, look out my tent and see Broad Peak looming above and then K2 standing proud and alone to our west. How lucky I am. Climb on! Alan