At 4am on June 26, the 2 HAPs Taqui & Asgar.
The yellow rope: Chris, Andy, JR, & Francois.
The red rope, Naucho, Mark, Fred & Surech all set out into the icefall for our first push to camp 1 on Gasherbrum 2.
In the darkness and cold of the early morning, the ice fall proved to be quite straight forward with only a couple of off vertical sections. No fixed ropes were needed and the travel onto the upper plateau at the base of the Gasherbrum amphitheater was excellent. That is until the sun came out. Despite the most amazing of scenery, the temps quickly went from 5°c to 30°c, and this was at 7am! Nothing more than a massive solar oven walled with some of the tallest peaks on earth.
Taqui & Asgar reached Camp 1 about 2 hours before me and the yellow rope team. We dropped our loads and began to descend at about noon. The red rope had decided to stop about 200 vertical meters below and were resting while Naucho was setting an advanced basecamp and depositing his 25kg load! Crazy guy.
Andy, JR & Francois took off back to basecamp and I waited around and descend with the red team. We all stumbled into base at about 5pm. The heat was nuclear and the icefall was much more challenging with the added dimensions of slushy ice and rushing torrents of melt water.
Today we rest and prepare to set out at 2am tomorrow for our first sleep at camp 1. The weather is amazing so we may decide to spend a couple nights up high and try to establish camp 2 before coming all of the way down to base camp to recover.
All is well and the base camp staff have really gone out of their way to make this trip a great experience. The food is amazing and after nearly 2 weeks, we haven't had the same meal twice!