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

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The Weather Turns

Posted on June 28, 2006 08:19 AM U.S. Mountain Daylight Time

We knew we had it great for longer than normal so it was no surprise last night when the clouds moved in, temps dropped and it started to snow.

There have been two summit attempts. First Wilco and Gerrard tried Monday night and ran into knee to thigh deep snow. Gerrard became sick shortly after starting and had to return to C4. Wilco tried for three hours but finally gave up. Both are safe in BC today. When the team made the summit a few days ago there were five climbers. Each person took a turn at breaking trail. By this I mean one person would lead the group and with a high step or steps to push the snow out of the way to clear a trail for the others. Each person could only last about 10 to 20 steps before having to step aside for the next person. Remember they were at 7900m or 26,000' so this is exhausting work. It is is most impossible for one or two climbers to do this alone. Last night a team of four: Mick, John R, Joelle and Marcus started their bid but ran into the same problems. They are back at C3 now. Many climbers are at C2 with the intention of waiting out the weather in hopes of either going to C3 to leave food or perhaps a summit bid. But it is obvious now that we will have to reorganize into summit teams of at least five climbers plus HAP support to have a chance. The normal weather pattern here is for a few days of bad weather then a few days of good so now the waiting game begins. Climb on! Alan