On August 5th, only 3 days after arriving in Islamabad, we trekked into Herligkoffer base camp which was the same launching spot as Humar had for the Rupal face. Our cook staff, also some of the same as Humar had, said it was only a half hour easy glacier crossing to reach the start of the Messner, our intended acclimatisation route.
7 hours of trying later, we realised that the glacier crossing was not possible without a ladder or 2 and a lot of fixed rope. This is amazing, given that our cook staff were here only 2 weeks ago with a trekking group, and managed to cross it easily.
When we returned after trying, we brought our cooks up onto the glacier, and they were amazed at the considerable change. More than a week of rain has changed the glacier significantly. This glacier was so easy to cross in 2005 that Humar used mules to transport gear and food to our intended ABC. It is now impassable.
We called for extra porters this evening as we must move our base camp further south, about 4 to 5 hours away to another grassy meadow, also 3500m. We pooled our money, unsure of what we will do when we need to return to get on the face proper in 1 month time.
I guess we will take it day by day. This starts the adventure again. We hope for better progres this week.
On a very sad note we heard by word of mouth, that there has been a huge accident on K2. We have friends there and hope that this rumour is false.
Wish us luck and happy climbing until our next update.