Thank you for the super kind words of support and all of the emails and texts, they boost Pete and I massively.
So I write as we have just eaten half a jar of Italian olives and drunk in excess of 12 cups of tea and half an imported Italian San Francisco salami……. Oh yeah and Pete and I stitched up a porters hand!
Yes, yes we are back at back at base camp having left camp 3 at 09:00 this morning we headed off with gusto and arrived about 6 hours later.
We arrived to the open arms of our team, Coca-Cola and solid sugar biscuits.
So for the second time Pete and I tried for the summit of Broad Peak. Sadly and very much again out of our hands we failed to reach the summit.
At 03:15 last night we gathered all the information to hand regarding the quality of snow pack, environment of the mountain and decided that the safety of us and our team was more important than the summit.
Those of you that have been on a winter skills training with me will know that when we make decisions on the quality of snow it starts 3-5 days before but also when you are physically in-situ we look for:
Sounds of snow, polystyrene squeak
Layering and “slab” effect
Bonding of snow crystals
Gradient of slope
All of the above was taken into consideration at 7500m, after some very long hard days, after sleep deprivation, after being food deprived, after being dehydrated. At 03:15.
We won’t lie that the previous days fatality on K2 didn’t factor in our decision making but only an idiot would take the most up to date information and ignore it.
It’s never easy to turn your back on a summit push, it’s certainly not easy to turn away on the 2nd attempt which was emotionally and physically draining. Pete and I have had to find more resources and more resolve than on any mountain to date.
We choose to put ourselves in a position which many others would see as challenging but for some reason we come back, and back and back...even though nature plays with us..we are sat where our tents should be at