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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

« Update on Ger's Injury on K2 | Dispatch Home | Last FTA climber leaving K2 »

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Ger Update: Stable in Skardu

Posted on July 31, 2006 07:50 AM U.S. Mountain Daylight Time

Ger is back in Skardu and appears to be as well as can be expected. He required ten stiches for his head injury but is conscious and apparently stable.

He was evacuated via helicopter from K2 basecamp Monday morning to the hospital in Skardu. Mick Murphy was with him the entire time and played a key role in providing aid as well as coordinating communications. Skardu is a medium sized city so it has an above average hospital for northern Pakistan. It is also home for a large military base so Ger has probably better medial care than one would expect for this part of the world.

FTA worked throughout the night with ATP to bring in the helicopter which was pre-arranged back in April in case of an emergency such as this. It was fortunate that the weather cooperated thus avoiding any delays in getting Ger out.

Thankfully Ger was wearing his helmet which absolutely prevented more serious injury. He is currently staying overnight in the hospital. He will be flying home as soon as he is ready. All family members were kept informed and are obviously relieved.

Mountaineering has its risk and this was one of those things that happen. In spite of all the training, experience and precautions accidents happen. My hat is off to Bango, Mick, FTA and ATP for their professialism in handling this situation. As for the rest of the remaining climbers, only Wilco, Josette (?) and Joelle, I believe; I assume they will make their final attempt this week. I am sure Wilco's site will be updated soon.

On a personal note, I am very thankful Ger will be OK. He is a wonderful person with a great sense of humor. Take care Lad.