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K2 – Concordia – Throne of the Gods

Written By: sean on June 21, 2009 19 Comments

Today we arrived at Concordia at 4800m.  Concordia is the confluence of the Godwin-Austin Glacier, the Baltoro Glacier and the upper Baltoro Glacier. Concordia is otherwise known as the Throne of the Gods and it’s really an appropriate name.  The trek to this point today was absolutely outstanding.  We are surrounded by hundreds of giant mountains…  the sky is a deep blue and we have views of Muztagh Tower, Gasherbrum IV,  Mitre Peak, Broad Peak and most importantly K2.  My first view of K2 made me whoop – I was truly excited.  I sat down on the moraine, took off my shoes and socks and just gazed at Chogodi – K2’s local name and the second highest point on earth.  How does one go about describing K2? K2 is like Everest but with Everest propped on top of it.  The architecture is exceptionally vertical and that’s why I started to feel nervous – there’s a lot of work to be done!

Every expedition is allocated a liaison officer (LO) and ours was Major Imtiaz.  The LO is responsible for making sure we conduct ourselves according to the rules and regulations of the permit.  Major Imtiaz unfortunately had to return to Skardu as he was struggling with the effects of altitude.  Where does that leave us now?  Well, we aren’t free to climb any other peaks we wish and yes, we do need to adhere to the rules of the permit.  Anyway, maybe they’ll send another LO…maybe with the oxygen…

Others going home are South Africans Ronnie Muhl and Mike Paterson.  I met them on their return from Broad Peak Base Camp.  Unfortunately they never got any higher than the Base Camp because of 12 days of continuous bad weather.  I wish them a safe return journey. 
While chatting to Fabrizio, we got onto the topic of global warming and its effect on the glaciers here.  He strongly believed that global warming is not only diminishing the glaciers in this region but globally.  I agreed with him.  On Mt Kilimanjaro and on Mt Kenya, in the last 5 years I’ve seen drastic changes.  We really need to preserve our recreational resources and change our energy consumption habits. On that note, Expedition eThekwini City Manager – Michael Sutcliffe might like to come out here and learn the importance of that.  Maybe begin his legacy campaign by preserving Durban’s beach front and Vetche’s Pier instead of ratifying white elephant development, all of which contributes to the destruction of natural resources and the impact of global warming.

Tomorrow we reach K2 Base Camp.

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19 Responses to “K2 – Concordia – Throne of the Gods”

  1. John Hone says on: 21 June 2009 at 11:50 pm

    Go Sean! And good luck.

  2. Dronk Descender says on: 22 June 2009 at 8:07 am

    Shup Wiseman!!!

    Sounds awesome, maybe I’ll be blessed enough one day to enjoy those views. Still holding thumbs for the Os du Randt to arrive and for safety and success.
    7’s of luck.

  3. Sherpa Sista says on: 22 June 2009 at 11:45 am

    Following your trip with great excitement – if anyone can do it, you can!!!

  4. Elaine taylor says on: 22 June 2009 at 4:16 pm

    It’s great to have your daily/weekly account of your K2 trip, Sean. Its really the stuff of dreams. I’m with you all the way in Spirit, and all the best for this tough one, what a challenge it is! Hope you write another book.

  5. Delia Chabant says on: 22 June 2009 at 4:17 pm

    Hey Sean,
    loving reading your daily blogs mate!! You guys are doing fantastically. I really look forward to enjoying a goat and aubergine dinner with you and Kath when you back in town, so I hope you took note of the recipe!
    Down on earth you should know that WE WHIPPED THE LIONS…ok maybe not a whipping but it’s 1-0 to us…yay.
    Can’t wait to see your first siting pics of K2
    Ciao for now

  6. Julie says on: 22 June 2009 at 4:41 pm

    Guv! The best of luck – stay safe.
    Looking forward to catching up with you…but 7’s rather than 2’s 😉

  7. Mags says on: 22 June 2009 at 7:52 pm

    Hey Seano,
    I turn green with every venture you embark on.
    May the Gods bless you and reach close the heavens safely!!!

    I am dying to go on an expedition with you so best you get back and lets rock n roll!!!

    Good Luck and thank you for the updates!
    :) Mags

  8. robert weiss says on: 22 June 2009 at 9:21 pm

    Hi Sean Looks awesome. Hope you have taken your sunscreen. Will follow the details daily
    Be well and be careful

  9. Ryan says on: 22 June 2009 at 9:44 pm

    Wind direction in Durban predicted to be north/north east until at least Thursday with a sloppy one to one/half meter easterly swell – balmy average 20 degree water temperature – as far as waves go you’re not missing much … Hope you got to base camp safely – enjoy the mountain!

  10. Bridgid says on: 23 June 2009 at 9:26 am

    Don’t you just wish that your camera could capture it all – even the thoughts and the feelings that you must be experiencing – I do! For those of us who never get to do this type of thing, this is the closest we will get! Carry our dreams on your wings and fly high!

  11. Belinda van der Riet says on: 23 June 2009 at 12:17 pm

    Wow! What a environment to be in. You are truly blessed and hope you enjoy every minute of it! Keep safe.

  12. marc aberson says on: 23 June 2009 at 4:35 pm

    Hey Sean, Best wishes and take care ! loooking forward to following your progress.

  13. Angie Rawlinson says on: 23 June 2009 at 6:58 pm

    Sean you make me jelous and wish i was a bit younger and had older kids so i could do this kind of stuff. Go for it and stay safe.Angie

  14. Natalie Knibbs says on: 25 June 2009 at 6:02 am

    The views must be magnificent – what a privelege Sean. Keep it up buddy. Love Nats & Vic

  15. Clare says on: 25 June 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Hi Sean
    Visited Kath, Kibo and Gonda yesterday for a good milky tea, no sugar!!!
    I’d be a little concerned though, as Kath offered to sell me Kibo at a “special morning price” :)
    The secret’s out though – what’s with the fancy white car – midlife crisis???!!!
    Anyways, following you every step of the way!
    Good Luck!!!

  16. cecil n devi reddy says on: 6 July 2009 at 11:22 am

    Hi Sean,
    How awesome, enjoy your climb and we pray for your safety!

  17. cecil n devi reddy says on: 6 July 2009 at 11:24 am

    Hi Sean,
    How awesome, may the winds beneath your wings carry you!
    cecil n devi

  18. Clyde seabrook says on: 9 July 2009 at 11:09 am

    Good luck and god speed..

  19. robbiez with boots says on: 11 July 2009 at 3:41 pm

    Hey, brother bear. Can only be proud of you and are the bravest person we know. Determination determines everything. See u soon. Take care.

    lots of love
    The robbiez

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