K2: One Step Forward, One Step Back

Alan in IslamabadLife presents us with multiple milestones, medicine and on a long mountaineering expedition, there are many, many milestones. We have just passed a couple of important ones as we get closer to K2.

I arrived mostly on schedule in Islamabad, around 5am and quickly went through customs and promptly retrieved my two huge duffel bags. Walking out of the baggage area, I found Pemba who took me and a new found fellow teammate to our hotel.

Sitting in my hotel room, my shoulders relaxed, I looked around and gave myself permission to breath. A milestone had been met.

Each day on this journey will test every part of my essence from mental to physical to emotional. Some days I will do well and others, let’s just say I will deserve a check in the “needs improvement” box for all my 3rd grade school teachers out there!

Being a caregiver for anyone who suffers from a serious disease like Alzheimer’s is the same. You have both good days and bad days. It is on the bad ones where your support systems comes into play. I often tell new caregivers that if you don’t take care of yourself, you cannot take care of your loved one.

Our next milestone is to reach the northern city of Skardu we will switch to jeeps for the last of the overland travel to the Baltoro Glacier.

Other teams attempting the high peaks in the Karakorum have been stifled day in day out this season with the notoriously bad weather canceling flights from Islamabad to Skardu. The alternative is a 27 hour bus ride along the dangerous Karakorum Highway (KKH)

A few teams are already on K2 and are reporting mixed route conditions. The Pakistani National team has established Camp 1 on the Abruzzi route as has a two person Greek team on the ฤŒesen, aka SSE Ridge or Basque, but they were stopped going higher by deep fresh, loose snow. They have decided to acclimatize on the Abruzzi. Other teams already on K2 include Italian and Polish. The Poles are “practicing” for another attempt on K2 later this year in calendar winter.

So everything was falling into place as we were about to board our flight for Skardu,but then it was canceled … maybe tomorrow :). As is regularly said in Pakistan, Inshallah.

Climb On!
Memories are Everything




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12 thoughts on “K2: One Step Forward, One Step Back

  1. Almost on the mountain! I’m looking forward to going up ‘with’ you.

    Good Luck, be careful and THANKS!


  2. I’ve been somewhat critical of those who are shepherded up Everest in recent years. However, I have the utmost respect for anyone willing to attempt K2. Good luck Alan, I’ll be following your tracker & blog closely.

    1. Thanks Rick I appreciate your support. Not the time to enter into a debate but I hope you can understand that respect is deserved for many Everest climbers. Perhaps one day we can have a nice chat about it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Climb On!

  3. Thanks for showing us what it takes to even get to the mountain. Travel well.

  4. Somy journey begins. So much going on there, so many people. Is it hot there? People seem friendly? What is your hotel like clean I hope. Thank you for letting us follow you, it is exciting. prayers for you and the team.

  5. As always, I am in awe of your spirit of giving as well as your spirit of adventure. Thanks for all you are doing in the name of helping people around the world who live with Alzheimer’s and the families who love them. Today I posted your links again, on my Empowerment Through Adventure Facebook page, in hopes of drumming up additional support for your cause. https://www.facebook.com/EmpowermentThroughAdventure

    I will be posting updates from your climb on my site and the adventurer in me will be following along in spirit. This mountain is out of my league, but is in my heart. Say hello to Garrett for me as well. He’s is an amazing guy and was one of my guides on Everest. Best of luck to the entire team. You have already reached the summit in my world. All my best, Lori

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