K2 – Concordia – Throne of the Gods
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.