K2 base camp
24th June 2010
The team attempting to climb and ski down K2 has arrived at base camp after an arduous journey. Here on PlanetSKI we are following the progress of Fredrik Ericsson and Trey Cook.
For Ericsson this is just the first mountain in an epic and so far unachieved adventure; skiing down the 3 highest mountains on the planet.
Everest, K2 and Kangchenjunga.
This year we have reported on the preparations for the trip and last year we followed the progress of a previous attempt.
It was hit by tragedy though as Ericsson’s partner, Michele Fait, died in a fall on K2.
Ericsson and Cook have already made 2 unsuccessful attempts to climb the nearby Laila Peak as part of the acclimatisation and training process for the climb to the summit of K2.
They got to within 300m of the summit but had to turn back due to the unstable snow.
Cook told us about it here on PlanetSKI.
Already there has been the deepest snow on the area for well over a decade and it meant the team, including 18 porters, took three days to cross the Gondogoro-la pass, pass through Concordia and arrive at K2 base camp.
The team reports that conditions on K2 are favourable.
They will be heading up the Cesen Route tomorrow to Camp 1 to acclimatise and to scope the route.
Below is more information that we have from Trey Cook, with further details of the trip on the expedition web site.
“I’m just about to fall asleep when I hear a sharp crack from the ice directly beneath me. I’m not a huge fan of crevasses and a something like this would normally send me flying from the tent like I was shot from a cannon. But tonight I’m just so happy to be here and so dog tired that I simply wrap my big down bag around me and fall asleep. After all we’ve been through to get here if the Earth wants to open up and swallow me whole then tonight she’s lucky because it’s perhaps the only time she’ll get me without a struggle.
When Fredrik and I finally arrived here at the foot of K2 we dropped our packs and high-fived as if we’d summitted. We may not have a cook tent, medical bag, food, fuel or a stove but we finally made it and we couldn’t be happier.
The whole ordeal started when we left Hushe bound for K2 via Gondogoro-la with a quick side trip to try to climb and ski Laila Peak along the way. Hushe is where the road ends and the trekking begins but we were unable to find enough porters to carry all our climbing and ski gear, food, fuel and other equipment needed for a three-month expedition. So we left most of the food and fuel at Hushe with the plan that it would be brought along on a subsequent carry. Too easy, right?
By the time, we had made our attempt on Laila and were ready to move on to K2 the missing gear still had not shown up although the 19 porters needed to get us and our existing gear to Huspang camp had. Again, we were reassured that our missing gear would follow right along behind us so under a darkening sky we set off for Huspang. Sure enough as soon as we had entered the middle of the glacier the clouds dropped and we found ourselves in a whiteout with a light snow falling, post-holing to our knees with a line of 19 porters behind us wearing standard-issue white plastic sneakers with holes in their socks.”
Later this weekend we will bring you a stunning photo gallery of the trip so far with pictures from one of the most remote mountainous regions on earth.
For the pair’s You Tube video, see below.