Wednesday, June 10, 2009

K2/ Broad Peak Summer 2009: Clients Departing Islamabad

Today was a bit frantic, we managed to get a few clients on the flight to Skardu and tomorrow morning most everybody else will depart by bus to Skardu. Chris, Myself and Dave who is filming will spend one more day in Islamabad as we finalize the permits and then on the 12th we will start the drive.
Although today was very frantic it was the typical hurry up and wait situation. However, it did allow for alot of social time, with visits to the hotel from Ashraf Aman of ATP,  Mohammed Ali and Shujat from Karakoram Magic Mountains and then later dinner with Nazir Sabir. Fun to see old friends, hear the latest Ministry of Tourism and Alpine Club gossip and enjoy great mutton BBQ!

Monday, June 08, 2009

K2/Broad Peak Summer 2009: Islamabad

After a long flight it is great to be back in Islamabad, not long since mid September when I last left after the Rupal Face Expedition, luckily I enjoyed my first meal here at my favorite BBQ restaurant. As soon as I arrived at the hotel I was reminded of how friendly and excited people here are to have tourists.
Chris - the leader of the Broad Peak section of the Field Touring double header, and I hung out sorting gear, dealing with some logistics and chatting to Phil Crampton in the hotel lobby for a while as other climbers filtered in and out all day. Team members start arriving tonight, so all is on track.

Friday, June 05, 2009

K2/Broad Peak double header!

Rock climbing in Boulder Canyon 06/04/09 Claudia Lopez Photography.

Last days in town are always frantic before a two and a half month expedition. Yesterday I did a rock photo shoot with Claudia Lopez, today a phone interview with Colorado Public Radio (should air next Tuesday), lots of last minute shopping, became great friends with the FedEx delivery man and said goodbye to many friends. Sad news permeates the air in Boulder over the 'late" return of Jonny and Micah. I depart Boulder with a very heavy heart.

Leaving town so frequently these days I was reminded the past few days of the events I miss and sacrifices made for an alpinist's way of life - it was fun to spend quality time with great friends who have recently fallen in love, about to have a baby and another couple celebrating a one year wedding anniversary this weekend.

With the blackout! (one last high five) crew: Lisa and Ben, Vanessa and Brian.

Please check back for regular updates, if there is a problem with my base camp communications set up, then please check,, or for expedition updates. Have a great summer! and wish us luck.

Portrait 06/04/09, Claudia Lopez Photography.

Thanks very much to Marmot, CAMP-USA, SCARPA-USA, Bluewater Ropes, Ames Adventure Outfitters, Claudia Lopez Photography, The House of Flying Tiger, and The Erskine/Halicki Home for Homeless Alpinists for the continued support!

Also to Thermarest, Petzl Headlamps, and Julbo for this expedition.

Please donate to the search for Jonny, Micah and Wade

Please read this very distressing release from Jonny and Micah are good friends of mine from Boulder, they are overdue, please contribute!

June 5, 2009, Boulder, CO—Three Boulder, Colorado climbers—Jonathan Copp (age 35), Micah Dash (age 30), and Wade Johnson (age 24)—are overdue, having missed their flight on June 3 from Chengdu, China.

Please donate to the search fund now!

Visit our blog for up-to-date information on the search

The three traveled to Mount Edgar (6818 meters/22,368 feet) on the Minya Konka massif, Western Sichuan Province, China. They embarked from base camp on May 20, 2009. There hasn’t been any contact with the climbers since.

Copp and Dash are highly experienced alpinists and professional climbers who have many years experience tackling big unclimbed mountains around the world. They received the Mugs Stump Award grant for this expedition from the American Alpine Club in 2008 but had to delay the climb until now, due to political unrest in the region. Johnson (a photographer with Sender Films) was accompanying Dash and Copp to base camp and did not intend to attempt the climb to the summit.

On June 4, 2009, a small party of experienced climbers, organized through the Sichuan Mountaineering Association, arrived in “base camp” and are preparing to continue up to the “advanced base camp” to gather information. Search efforts are being professionally coordinated by friends and colleagues in Boulder and more climbers from China and the US are being deployed to the area. Developing information will be shared as soon as it is available.

“We’re taking all the necessary steps to gather information about the climbers’ whereabouts and haven’t identified any complications beyond their lateness. Although we’re concerned, in alpine climbing it’s not unusual to for climbers to be delayed or out of contact for this long. We are still hopeful,” says Robb Shurr, spokesperson for the search effort.

This search operation will be costly and any financial assistance that can be made will be incredibly helpful in terms of mounting the best search and rescue operation possible. Please donate to the search fund now.