Thursday, June 28, 2012

FTA Broad Peak 2012 - C1 tonight!

Our team is moving up the hill for the first time to spend the night today so its an exciting time! They have made a few trips onto the hill with acclimatization runs and load carries and now they begin to live on the slopes of the 12th highest peak in the world. Over the next few days everyone will get some high sleep time and with good luck and good weather they will all be in C2 in the next 4-5 days!

FTA 2012 team at BC with our final member Grace! © brad jackson

Brad Notes

Brad continues to give us nice insight into the daily happenings so read on and enjoy!

June 24th - Base Camp rest day

Just preparing for our first trip to Camp 1

June 25t - First trip up the mountain. Base camp to Camp 1.

Breakfast was at 4am and we headed off at 5am for our first trip to Camp 1. We weaved through the seracs and glacier to the scree slope at the base of the climb. Conditions were reasonably warm but cloudy and a thin layer of snow made footwork difficult with our HA boots. The start of the route is approximately a 40° slope and we put on our helmets, harness and crampons. Almost immediately we encountered a rock band, which proved surprisingly tricky. I slipped and was rewarded with a fat lip for my troubles as my jumar caught and I face planted on the back of my hand.

The climb to camp 1 took 4-5 hours with Louis leading the pack up the hill. The slopes were consistently 30-45° and just prior to camp1, we really had to work hard as we plunged up to our knees to waists in certain areas.  At camp1 we didn’t stick around that long as the weather was inclement with intermittent snow showers. Was a successful day as between us we managed to get 10 tents to camp 1. Camp 1 has limited space though so we are not sure whether we can set up tents for all the team  or split the team up and do some rotations.

Coming back down from Camp 1 was a question of a lot of arm rappels with one abseil/rappel on the rocky band. Attached is a pic of Matt, at the top the abseil. Once back at crampon point, we shunted of our technical gear and tried to make our way back through the maze of the glacier. We all didn’t realize how long it took to weave our way back through the glacier which looked quite different as the morning’s thin layer of snow had melted.
Climbing the slopes to C1 © stu remensnyder

We were all pretty much back at base camp by 1pm, so a nice 8 hour day on the mountain. One team member had a problem with a headache, still acclimatizing to the altitude but overall a very successful excursion and really great to be on the mountain. We had left Islamabad on the 8th June, so had taken us a while to start climbing.

June 26th - Base Camp rest day

A few sore muscles and tired limbs today. Was nice to have breakfast at 8am. Unfortunately I had my first GI incident last night around midnight, so I spent much of the wee hours of the morning, awaiting to evacuate my tent but luckily everything was controllable.

Today, marked the day of the arrival of the 9th person of our team with Grace from Toronto arriving at camp. Grace has had an incredibly hectic schedule since arriving in Karrachi on the 19th June , and has made her way to base camp skipping several of the stops that the rest of us made to get here.

Weather here at base camp has been incredibly inconsistent with brief rays of sunshine immediately followed by snow showers. We are still deliberating on whether we go back to Camp 1 tomorrow but looks highly likely we will wait for the slopes of Broad Peak to stabilize from recent snow and head up on the 28th June.

Mat managed to fit into a shower much to the benefit of his ‘morale’. Arnie, Daren, Louis and Ben finally bought out the pack of cards and got stuck into‘Contract’.

Brads Hilleberg Home © brad jackson

27th - Base Camp rest day

Today we made plans for our first real rotation up the hill. Al, Matt and I plus the four HAP Said, Tacqui, Aziz and Mahadi will depart tomorrow for Camp 1, set up tents and sleep. The following day, we will help the HAP’s fix the lines to Camp 2.  The rest of the gang Ben, Darren, Arnie, Louis, Grace and Hamza will follow up on the following day and then on their next day will carry up tents to Camp 2. After this rotation we should have sufficient tents at camp 2for all members to climb direct to camp 2 in one group.

So aside planning, pretty much a lazy day as we took advantage of the first clear day in quite some time and dried sleeping bags and charged up our Goal0 devices. Frederick and Ernie the Swedish/Lithuanian duo popped over for a visit and Ben and Louis wentjust below Camp 1 to drop off some fixed rope.
K2 from Broad Peak BC © Brad Jackson

1 comment:

JackieK said...

Ben, Brad & team on Broad Peak - go well & know we're all following you back here in Oz (& elsewhere).