Day 11: Broad Peak to K2 Base Camp and back to Concordia
by Khalid Omar
This was a long day, so we set off decently early in the morning, before 7 towards K2 basecamp. The day dawn bright and clear, the sky stunningly blue and visibility went on forever.
It took as 2 and a half hours to reach K2 basecamp, where as we reached the Russian camp, we were just in time to see a spectacular avalanche on K1. Khizer filmed it, and at the end of the avalanche a Russian tv person rushed out with his gigantic camera, cursing his luck on missing the avalanche. He spotted us, and we gave him the tape to copy - their equipment tent was pretty neat, with satellite internet and a whole bunch of computers.
Had tea with a couple of high altitude porters, heard stories of the mountains the mountaineers, then moved onwards closer to K2, where there was a song and dance being held at the base of K2... A famous Italian mountaineer called "Big Papa" was the guest of honor, along with a number of other mountaineers.
Walked back to Broad Peak basecamp in an hour and a half, where we were just in time for lunch with a whole bunch of people. Today was the fiftieth coronation anniversary of Prince Karim Agha Khan, and as most of the people working in the tour companies are Ismailies, they celebrate with great fervor.
Lunch was wonderful, especially after our spartan diet of rice and daal throughout! The company was great too, most interesting people! While we were having lunch everyone was on the lookout for a French climber who was going to paraglide down from Camp 3 (7,200 mtrs) on Broad Peak. At the end of the lunch, he was spotted, and we all rushed out to watch him fly.
We reluctantly set off from Broad Peak basecamp back to Concordia - took us 4 and a half hours - today was the longest day yet; we straggled back into camp at 6pm.
K2 & BP up close are something else altogether, and the people who attempt to climb these peaks are really something else. Once Polish climber made it to 8,400 meters on K2 in 2006, when an avalanche killer 4 out of 7 members. He survived, and next year was back once again, climbing Broad Peak now.
Posted in K2 Base Camp Hike, May 4, 2008, by Khalid Omar