Today was another early one, as the porters wanted to make it to base camp, drop their loads and get back to Concordia camp by evening. We were on our way by 6:00AM again, but we were all moving quickly. The route from Concordia is a bit confusing as you have to circle around large crevasses where the glaciers meet, but once we gained the moraine on the Goodwin-Austin side, it was easier. The sun was out and we could see Broad Peak and K2 clearly. It was another 6-hour day, and the last section to base camp was filled with crevasses that had to be crossed. I don't understand how the horses and donkey make it over - but they do.
By noon we had everyone at base camp and the commotion was unreal – each porter had to have his load checked off of the list and had to be verified by our Sridhar to make sure the right load was carried by the right porter. The porters just wanted to head back down to Concordia, but there was so much shouting, yelling and overall confusion. But in the end, it all worked out well.
Above camp, K2 stands in all its glory – it is one of the few 8000m peaks that is visible in its entirety from base camp. This makes it a more psychological battle than other peaks. Everest for example, is hardly seen from base camp so you are not confronted with the task ahead of you from morning to night as you are with K2.
Over the next couple of days we will spend time setting up base camp. Establishing the location of the toilet is usually the first and most important job. Then we will work on getting the kitchen and dining tents set up. Finally, we will spend hours building platforms from rocks in which to place our personal tents on top of. It sounds strange, but this will be our home for the next 60+ days so we need make sure it is level, has good drainage (as the glacier melts and rivers can emerge under your tent), faces the wind correctly...and has a great view!