K2 and the Angelus. Photo: Sue DeArman
Congratulations to the K2 Base Camp Trekkers. What a fantastic trek! a big thank you to all of the family, friends, colleagues, and sponsors who supported them
We look forward to seeing you on next year's K2SummitClimb.com , GasherbrumClimb.com , K2Trekking.com , and BroadPeakClimb.com and also for Cho Oyu, Lhotse, Everest Tibet, Everest Nepal, K2, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum 1, and Gasherbrum 2.
Blog posts: Scroll down for day by day news of our climbing and trekking teams.
View across moraine from ridge of Broad Peak BC. Photo: Sue DeArman
30 June -
- Climbers do Ice climbing training in seracs near basecamp. Our Sherpas fixed rope and we practiced ice axe, crampons, jumars, figure-8. Superb training!
- Today the trekkers must sadly leave to make their return journey. Weather and snow conditions prevented the trekkers from going out over the Gondogoro La. While we were disappointed, it was a blessing in that we were now able to camp at Concordia after all, and this place of dreams is not-to-be-missed. So much exploration and mountaineering history has its roots here. And what a treat it was in the following days to walk out amongst sunny skies and clearer views of the Cathedrals, Trango group, and Paiju Peak. Of course we missed the company of the climbers but enjoyed thinking of their continued adventure on Broad Peak and wished them success.
Mitre Peak towers over our camp at Concordia. Walking Through Concordia. Photo: Sue DeArman
On Their Way To K2. Walking Among The Karakoram. Photo: Sue DeArman
Adding prayer flags to the Memorial On K2. Weaving Through The Ice. Photo: Sue DeArman
29 June - Dan wakes us at 4:30 am to THE MOST AWESOME sunrise over K2! WOW!
After breakfast, the traditional pre-climb puja (blessing) ceremony takes place, led by our Sherpas. Lots of chanting, praying, singing, dancing and feasting under the watchful gaze of Broad Peak and K2. Afterwards, we trekked up the glacier to the Art Gilkey Memorial which sits overlooking K2 BC. Time for reflection on what it means to climb these mountains. Our guide, Mr. Baig, sang a gorgeous Muslim prayer for those who’ve lost their lives in these mountains. We are preparing our climbing harness, ice axe, helmet, boots, crampons. Getting all gear ready for Broad Peak, exciting!
The Whole Team under K2 (Photo CorreneCoetzer). K2 Base Camp from Gilkey Memorial (Photo Sue DeArman)
28 June - Second day in base camp. Everyone worked to build a comfortable base camp on the spectacular Broad Peak moraine, K2 towering above. The staff even created paths and small cairns at each tent site, as well as beginning to construct the alter for our puja.
Moon Over Broad Peak. Our Route To Base Camp. Photo: Sue DeArman
Broad Peak Twelth Highest Peak. Karakoram Glacial Pool. Photo: Sue DeArman
Iqbal and Sajid greet Claire at Broad Pk BC Balti Drummer Photo: Sue DeArman
Chogolisa. Photo: Sue DeArman
27 June - Today we reach Broad Peak BC. What a superb day of trekking and our 1st view of K2!
Is the Karakoram the most beautiful mountain range? Well….the Himalayas are beautiful, but the mountains of the Karakoram are something more: they are powerful, majestic, primitive, sublime.
Jangbu points to K2. Karla, Sue, and K2 Photo: Sue DeArman
Broad Peak BC Photo: Sue DeArman
26 June -
- We walk from Gore II to an unnamed camp near Doksam at about 4600 metres at the junction of the Baltoro and Godwin-Austin glaciers. We can look down and across to Concordia, still filled with snow. Our little horses and mules are grazing on the sunny, grassy slopes just above the moraine.
- It’s a genial group of climbers, guides, and trekkers, and though we are widely spaced out over the glacier during our days of walking, in the evenings we all gather in the dining tent for varied and always interesting conversations.
Dan surprise us with a treat. Photo Karla Piecuch. Incoming Storm over Concordia Photo: Sue DeArman
25 June -
- We left Urdukas for Gore II at 4300 metres. The walk among the otherworldly ice formations today reminded us that the glacier is a dynamic place. Lots of rockfall, creaking, groaning ice, rushing water, as the Baltoro carries on its business of being glacier.
- Sunny and warm, those of us with umbrellas are thankful for them! Mid-day, Dan surprised us by showing up with a very welcome treat: a giant bottle of cold Coke that we all shared!
Evening Light At Urdukas Camp. Ice Ship And K2. Photo: Sue DeArman
24 June -
- We are in Urdukas camp today at 4000m. Stunning views of the Trango group. All members well, excited to climb Broad Peak and trek to K2 basecamp
- Across the glacier on horse trails to 2 big beautiful lakes. Shoes off for short river crossing and now we reached our comfortable camp.
Trango Castle Cathedral Lobsang. Photo: Sue DeArman
23 June -
Careful and Steady Mules Balti Men Singing, Drumming, Dancing Photo: Sue DeArman
- Paiju to Khoburtse camp. Yet another day of great but varied weather. Today we climbed the snout of the mighty Baltoro and took our first steps on the glacier. Breathtaking views of Great Trango, UliBiaho, the Cathedrals as we walked.
- Just before Khoburtse, we made a river crossing, changing into our crocs and sandals to keep boots dry. We arrived in camp and in the early evening had our first great ‘party’ enjoying the porters’ drumming, singing, and dancing. We joined in!
22 June - A very welcome rest day in this lovely but busy camp. Time for relaxation, bucket showers, washing clothes. Our trekker, Dr. Lee, examined patients. One porter has trigger finger tendinitis and needs to return to Skardu.
Cloudy View of the Trango Group Photo: Sue DeArman
21 June - We trekked in excellent weather from Jhola camp to Paiju. PaijuPeak ,UliBiaho and and some of the Trango group came into view—a tempting glimpse of just what’s to come in the days ahead. Paiju is the last camp with trees and before we reach the Baltoro. Spectacular setting here above the river, terraced, dry, lots of sand and boulders today.
The trek begins. Photo Sue DeArman. First days on the trail. Photo Karla Piecuch
View from Paiju Photo: Sue DeArman
20 June - The trek begins! Most of our group hit the trail early today, Karla and Sue, who are educators at home, and a few other trekkers, stayed back to visit the school in Askole. It was moving to have the privilege of seeing the students’ morning gathering to sing and say prayers. We were invited into a couple classrooms and gave out a donation of school supplies. What a rewarding experience.
Once on the trail, we followed the Braldu River to Jhola camp. Sunny and hot, but we had a few showers, too, late in the day. Jangbu showed us where to find garnets along the way.
Students Askole school. Crossing the Braldu. Karla Piecuch
19 June - We leave Skardu in the morning for the exhilarating drive to Askole, the village where we’ll make our first camp. It’s the last village before our trek begins. Crazy roads but great jeeps and drivers. Ate fresh cherries and mulberries along the way. Entered the Central Karakoram National Park.
18 June - The Sherpas and our guide Mr. Baig and all of our luggage finally arrived in Skardu at 5am. It was a tough road journey for them, as there is a lot of road construction, so many delays. At one point a rock rolled off of a freshly blasted slope onto the roof of their van. Scary. We checked members gear and repacked our group equipment. Some members went to explore Kachura Lake and see the stone carving of the Buddha. In the afternoon we watched an exciting polo match, complete with live band. It was a wild game of "freestyle" polo with 6 riders/ponies per side and few if any rules. In the evening, we met at the office to meet a Balti climber who is going to join our team as a high altitude worker. His name is Mahmet Husain and he has climbed Broad Peak twice.
Askole Medical Clinic Update Photo: Sue DeArman
Upper Kachura Lake Sue DeArman) Buddha Rock outside Skardu (Karla Piecuch)
Freestyle Polo Match in Skardu. Photo Karla Piecuch Shangri-La Resort Photo: Sue DeArman
17 June - Today we had a delicious breakfast, then jeeped to the Deosai Plains at 4000 metres. There are still extensive patches of snow up there. Beautiful and good acclimatization. In the afternoon we explored the bazaar.
View from hotel: Dust storm over Skardu Valley On the Deosai Plain (Photo Karla P.)
16 July - All of our members for BroadPeakClimb.com and K2Trekking.com have arrived safely and we flew to Skardu in good weather. We had majestic views of Mount Nanga Parbat along the way. Upon reaching Skardu we transferred to our lovely hotel with beautiful views across the Skardu Valley. Lots of snow on the peaks around here. After a delicious lunch we had a good wander around town, through the bazaar, and explored. Dinner was plentiful and we retired early, for much needed sleep after lots of travelling. We are finally here!
- Dan Mazur (Leader), UK/USA
- Karla P.
- Sue D.
- Janet L.
- Lee L.
- Correne C.
Climbing Sherpa Team:
- Jangbu Sherpa (20 summits of Everest)
- AngDorjee Sherpa (6 summits of Everest)