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.

Click here for the dispatch home and videos

« One week to go | Dispatch Home | »

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The journey begins

Posted on June 1, 2006 04:59 AM U.S. Mountain Daylight Time

So far so good as I sit at the Frankfurt airport waiting for my connection to Dubai and then to Islamabad. Leave Wednesday at noon and arrive Friday morning – this is a journey!

I succeeded in getting all my gear and food into three duffels each weighting less than 55 pounds each. This was necessary because each bag is carried on the back of a porter for the last 60 miles to base camp.

All 29 team members are in various stages of their own travel with some already there and about a third arriving the same day I do. Dave arrived last week and is heading towards the mountains to establish base camp – at least that is the plan!

Many of you have followed my Everest, Aconcagua or other climbs so welcome back. For those new to my climbs, here is what you can expect. My dispatches will be mostly about what I am experiencing. I will be honest and sometimes emotional.

You see, I made this deal with myself when I started this website back in 1999 that if I was going to write about all this stuff then it had to serve a purpose beyond being a boring slide show you see at your relative’s house at Christmas of their two-week vacation at a senior’s dude ranch. Sorry, I digress.

I will try to describe the environment, culture and the people I meet. I will report on my teammates with their permission. I have an intense respect for their privacy so if I never mention someone it is probably at their request.

I hope to bring you into my world of mountaineering. While it may seem that a step on snow is a step on snow whether it is Denali or Everest, the reality is every mountain is different, every team is different, every step is different. This uniqueness brings me back to climb new mountains with new mates year after year.

So, here we go!

For me this time is one of the toughest parts of an expedition. I want to get to the mountain. I want to get my base camp tent established – my new home. I want to start climbing.

However, I also want to take my time driving the roads, meeting the people, seeing the kids. I want to soak in this new culture and try to understand our differences and our similarities.

All in good time, Thanks for coming along. This is going to be fun!