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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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You expect to have a bad day while climbing but not on the trek in!

Posted on June 13, 2006 02:49 AM U.S. Mountain Daylight Time

*** This dispatch was written a few days ago but I will post it anyway sine it captured the state of my mind at the time. *** Well this makes day number 3 for me. Before I give an update, all the rest of the team is fine and moving towards base camp as I write this on late Sunday evening.

We left Askole on Friday morning and I felt fine other than sore knees from sitting on airplanes and busses the past 5 days. But I knew something was not right as my head was fuzzy and I had completely lost my appetite. I arrived at Payu at the end of our team since I started to move so slowly. I knew something was seriously wrong when as I approached the camp, a wave of nausea hit me. Driving to my knees and I began to vomit violently. The Balti Porters looked at me with aghast. I got into my tent to rest but another wave came over me. It was clear I had something bad. I had been so careful to avoided water, salads, fruits and used a hand cleaner all the time but something with inside my stomach it "got big teeth". It took an anti-nausea suppository to stop my vomiting and I finally got some sleep. When I awoke on Saturday, I felt much better and had a good breakfast. Soon I left with the team. As the day continued, Big Teeth started chewing on me and I experienced severe stomach cramps. Luckily, Carl Drew, who is climbing and filming our expedition was at the end of the line with porters helping to carry his cameras. We gradually settled into a slow walk and I welcomed his stops to film. There was a contingency if something like this happened with a porter carrying the medical kit always at the end of the line but something had gone wrong and the kit was ahead of us. Also, we had fallen too far behind and with the rugged terrain, the handheld radios would not make contact. My situation worsened. The vomiting had become almost continious. I asked our porter how far to camp - 3 hours, Sir. We had already come 4. What I did not know was that it was going to take another 8 hours. I continued waking slowly and set a goal to find a small rock next to a big rock so I could sit-down and brace myself on the rock for the next wave. This continued the next 5 hours. Finally we reached an old army camp which was really just 2 sets of rocks walls. I crawled behind the 2 foot wall, laid down in the dirt, and fell asleep while Carl frantically tried to raise someone on the radio. Thankfully Carl had some Coke in a plastic jug that went down well - for a while. The wind picked up and it started to rain so we decided to continue moving towards the final camp where the rest of the team was. At one point we had asked some young porters to go fast ahead and find the med kit, a tent or some help but we had no idea if they did it or not. Carl finally made radio contact just as the batteries were dying. He reverted to one click for yes and 2 for no to communicate with JJ. They soon arranged for a tent, meds, food and sleeping bags to be sent to us -only two hours below them but forever up for me. The porters had done as asked and we found them huddled under a plastic sheet protecting them from the rain and snow - they had the tent! It was quickly set up and I crawled in. Soon, Ryan Waters arrived after literally running from the camp in about an hour. He had my meds. I fell asleep almost instantly with both Carl and Ryan and the porters staring at me. Today, Sunday, I was supposed to return to Payu but was too weak to risk the journey. In the capable hands of a dedicated porter I have rested, re-hydrated and eaten all day today and feel much better. But I don't know what I don't know so it will be a big decision tomoww or to go up or down. In the midst of all this a trekker from a French team had a heart attack at Payu. I loaned them my sat phone to arrange a helicopter evac and he was taken down yesterday. I understand it was a mild attack. So, quite the last few days. I will hopefully post another dispatch when/if I arrive at BC. I appologize to those friends and family expecting emails from your loved ones. Please be assured that you are missed and thought of often and everyone is doing well. Climb On! Alan