This afternoon I have an appointment at the Alpine Club of Pakistan to finalize permit details, drink tea and have yet another briefing for the wonderful Spantik, 7027 meters of Karakorum goodness.
I am really looking forward to climbing Spantik again. This time however, I have a slightly different plan for the mountain. Instead of using the usual lift line of fixed ropes, I am going to lead the team up the peak in true alpine style. This approach is a much better way for the members to get the feeling that they are actually climbing the mountain. Instead of fixing ropes on the steeper sections, we will climb together as a rope team using running belays and our own ice screws, pickets and anchors to scale this excellent route from the ground up.
The plan is to establish camp one and descend to base camp for rest and to load up for our big push up the hill. I suppose some may not consider this alpine style in the truest sense, perhaps maybe more of a capsule style but from camp one we will carry all of our equipment, food and fuel up to camp three where our summit push will begin.
Being the Karakorum, the weather might have a different plan for us but enshallah (if Allah permits) we will climb the peak from top to bottom without the use of any fixed lines or previously stocked camps.
Wish us luck! We depart Islamabad for Skardu on August 3rd and begin the approach to the mountain the day after that.
Photo: Gasherbrum 2 2008 team enjoying a feast at our good friend and High Altitude Porter Taqui Mohammed’s home in hushe before the drive to Skardu.
Cheers from Islamabad