The Trek on the Side of a Glacier
We were up early to get to Concordia, the confluence of the Goodwin-Austin glacier and the Baltoro glacier...one of the most amazing mountain places on earth. In a short radius of Concordia are 4 of the highest mountains in the world: K2, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum 1 and Gasherbrum 2, as well as many mountains standing over 7000m high and dozens and dozens of 6000m peaks, most of which are not even named or have ever been climbed.
Our large group was on the move by 6:00AM under a slightly overcast sky, although there was no precipitation. The hike was pretty straightforward and we stayed on the glacier all day. My shoes had dried out a bit overnight but were wet again quickly although I put gaiters on to help out a bit (they are bright yellow and a hit with the porters).
The 6-hour hike took us past a small military post where some rather bored-looking soldiers sat on stones and watched us as we passed by. Soldiers are posted here for 3 months at a time to oversee the border with India that cuts across the peaks on the far side of Concordia.
From our campsite we could see the top of K2 peering out from behind the cloud cover and we could make out the route on Broad Peak.
I was last here in ‘95 but I know the route well, so it was comforting to see it and know what to expect.
I will start on this mountain as I know it and then move onto Gasherbrum 1&2 in the weeks to come.