Day 16 6th July my K2 Irish expedition gathers great momentum and today the team start our first super high acclimatisation rotation on the Abruzzi ridge on K2. The plan is to move to advance base camp ABC at the foot of the ridge approx 17.400ft stay over night to allow the body lungs & head to adjust to the atmospheric pressure & oxygen adjustments with the height gained, sleep over night. Food from here on will be using a dried mountain food “dried curried rice & dried soup” sounds delicious but it’s just fuel in which I’ll melt the snow in the small lightweight gas propelled jet boiler. Water intake is critical and has been thus far to keep the altitude sickness at bay consuming approx 4 litres of melted snow per day, I also tend to add in an electrolyte H2O pro soluble tablet in to support absorption. Should arrive into ABC at 4.30pm from base camp and hoping for a good sleep.
Early start 7th July 2am awake boil some snow for a small 100grms pot of porridge “irish of course” copious hot cup of coffee if possible and start into the brutal ascent to camp one on a 45% continuous grade scaling to 19.800ft – now to anyone that knows about altitude that is a big leap 3.300ft in one 24hr push and without doubt will have huge physical effects once we arrive in ,sore head prob the most common. I’ll be carrying as light as possible as the ascent is a relentless 45% for 6hrs non stop, add in the altitude and my heart rate will be rocking but then my poor heart knows nothing else …lol but I’ve built an engine strong enough & trained it to run lean enough on fuel to endure this continuous effort.
Again repeat the process once we arrive fuel the body hydrate the system prepare to rest and sleep, we will be split two to a tent huddled for heat as over night temps will plummet to super super low. Gauging clothing v weight v warmth is a skill in itself, take too much and you’ll pay for it..
Next morning up early again prob set off at 4 am as the mountains at its firmest with the cold gripping the snow and ice to the black rock beneath also the cold temps Crete a great purchase for footing. The route to camp two presents the first of the major technical sections known in the mountaineers jargon as “house chimney” a 100mtr vertical ascent at 20.000ft. Not for the faint hearted and what makes K2 special is that a honed skill of technical climbing is required to pass these sections and many more challenging sections above such as the black pyramid, the bottle neck etc which at sea level would be a breeze but at 20.000ft and beyond its a whole different obstical …..that’s special.
Areas of concern outside of the altitude which we will be careful concerned about is the obvious big on on K2 avalanche the general aggressiveness of the grade & rate of climb. Below camp 4 generally has no cover and the exposure above is huge.
Finding a ledge to camp requires kicking in platforms, other obsticals on this grade of climb is remembering to clip in if a toilet need is required in the middle of the night, avoiding simple slips trips and falls which up there tend not to end well. On a lighter note the team is highly experienced been here before and are very well versed on mountain craft behaviour. With good weather forecast – The views will be breath taking over looking broad peak mountain and surrounding high altitude peaks in the Karakoram range Gasherbrum I &II ,masherbrum & surrounding saltoro groups and below we should see the dotted tents of basecamp perched on the snaking Baltoro glacier, a sight truly to behold….for the very few that get to this mountain of mountains.
The scheduled idea of the rotation is to allow the complete body adjust avoiding sickness mainly cerebral oedema (brain swelling) & pulmonary oedema (lungs filling) but then I’m only concerned about one as my quality spelling suggests I have no brain .. lol, but that’s me…
climb camp one 19.800ft sleep two night
Climb camp two 22.310ft sleep two nights
Back to base camp recover and wait a window for the next full push.
Back to base camp 11th July.. all been well. I’m feeling great strong and positive.
Hope to have some great pics and story’s to share once down.. till then it’s time to dance.
“When writing the story of your life let know one else hold the pen.”