Well that didn’t take long, we’re up super early again to try for a flight to Skardu and no sooner are Pete and I chilling out in the lobby of the hotel we get a “parade” of mountaineers strutting up and down in the latest gear just sizing up the international opponents, as experienced BRITISH mountaineers we very much enjoy this and do our very best to laugh loudly at their arrogance and ensure we are first at every opportunity…… we secured flights first✔️, we arrived at the airport first✔️, we cleared security first✔️ And of course most importantly we sat drinking coffee with our feet up first✔️.
Slowly at first, but then more and more folk from different countries approach us to ask the inevitable questions, destinations, experiance, approach, strategy, for which like a well rehearsed script we reply, “Well, we’re just going to see how we feel, no real plans as yet” BOOM 1/0 to the Brits.
Unlike previous years social media is playing a big part in this season.
On hearing names you can now, quick as a flash google previous expeditions and their experiance even before the conversation moves past the introductions.
This can sometimes uncover game play!
I’ve started writing this on the flight to Skardu, which with sadness is now called Pia Sadpara air flight, which now carries the name of the Pakistani mountaineer who was lost this winter on K2. Clearly not being Pakistani I never knew of his impact throughout Pakistan.
As we fly we are able to see many of the 8000m peaks in the famous Karakoram range. Manga Parbat, Gasherbrum 1, Muztagh Tower, and of course like the king sitting at the head of a banquet K2 at the end of the valley.
Although cruising at 1000’s of feet we still see the mountains higher than us-it’s crazy!
I hope I can share with you the fantastic images that we have just taken of the Karakoram region and obviously K2/Broad Peak.
We arrived in Skardu about 09:30, Saturday 7 days after our original plan but slowly, slowly we are clawing the days back, and with good wind, we have a plan……