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  K2 2008: Sunny Mountain Guides Chogori 2008 Expedition


Copyright© Billy Pierson

July 16th 2008.
Sunny Mountain Guides Chogori 2008 Expedition reports from Concordia.
Due to power problems I wasn't able to send any news about our group climbing K2.
Because of the Tibet issue this Spring I decided to climb K2 instead. Preparations were made quite late and, because Pakistan requires a 60-day waiting period for granting permits, our group was formed hastily. This K2 expedition marks the serious starting point for Sunny Mountain Guides, a company run by Lakpa Sherpa of Hartford Connecticut.  Because she is my wife and is home nursing our second child, I decided to take care of the entire trip on behalf of Sunny Mountain Guides.  Our group consists of two climbers from Romania, the star of the group being a  25-year-old woman, Thea.  She is a determined young woman who makes her living in Romania and Switzerland as a ski instructor and member of the ski patrol in Switzerland. With her is her partner, Mircea, who lives in Romania and, although he's a few years older than Thea, shares the same aspirations. Mircea initially wanted to climb Everest but unfortunately this Spring no foreign climbers were allowed.
 
Lakpa decided that in order to secure a better enviroment for a safe and succesful ascent she hired two of her family members. Our sirdar, Mingma Sherpa of Makalu, summited K2 last year with a Korean team and helped a Korean woman summit the great mountain. Mingma just returned from Lhotse where he summited without any problems. Mingma has  summited Everest four times.  The second sherpa is Rinjin of Makalu, whose wife is  Lakpa's sister (hence, my brother-in-law).  Rinjin has also summited Everest four times and helped Chuck Boyd in 2004 with his summit. They are eager to see each other here, and I, too, George Dijmarescu, am a first-time visitor to K2.
 
The mountain is indeed impressive but, although I seem to like it a lot, I hope not to visit it 10 times, as I have Everest. But, as the locals say: IshAlah or God willing.
Our Expedition provider is Jasmine Tours of Islamabad, Pakistan, and is run by Asghar Ali Porik.
 
Just got to Concordia today, tomorrow BC. First glimpse of K2, impressive, very impressive. A good summit day for K2 but no one is up now. All members are in good health, but I miss my daughters, Sunny and Shiny and thought about them all day today. I wish Sunny would talk with me on the phone when I call.  Also wondering how first grade school registration is going for her. Our weather is fine but a little too hot, so I hiked in shorts until today. Last night was cold with temperatures below freezing.
 
July 17th:
Sunny Mountain Guides Chogori 2008 reports from Base Camp.
Shortly before reaching BC I decided to visit Broad Peak BC where I knew two of my climbing partners form Everest 2004 and 2006 would be. Sure enough as I approached the camp I was greeted by their cook and Andy, one of their climbing partners, who decided to give his body a rest due to the heat. It was nice to meet this gentleman form California; he seemed to know a great deal about me from Dave Watson who climbed with Lakpa and me  in 2004 and 2006. According to his note to me, Dave knew I was supposed to be coming soon. Andy patched me on a radio call with them and Chuck Boyd was the first to answer the call.  Just like me he seemed to be excited to hear my voice. What a small world!  I spoke with Dave a little longer, and he assured me he would visit K2 BC as soon as they came back from C3 on Broad Peak. I said good buy and marched on to my own place on the mountain.
 
As we walked a large avalanche swept down the face of the mountain with huge clouds of
powder snow, engulfing most of BC. No one was hurt or inconvenienced so most people took video and photos of the event. Just as I walked in met another old friend, Joselito, from Serbia. We first met on Everest a few years back and he hasn't changed. He recognized me just as fast as I recognized him. The rest of the day we spent sorting out porters and we said good bye to those who had accompanied us for the last six days. We spent the chilly  evening being entertained by a band of Balti staff. I could never understand how anyone  could  have such a good time without a sip of acohol. We managed to break the rules in Islamabad and managed to get some 100 cans of beer. All except two had survived the trek to BC, and the singing lasted well into the early morning hours. Chogori AKA K2 welcomed us with a great view of its majesty with as blue a sky as any summiter wishes for. I was surprised to see all the climbers in BC; it was rumored that bad weather was coming and with such a miriad of weather forecasts, climbers make decisions on their own. Our Puja took place today; it seemed a little funny because, instead of a lama praying for us as was done on my ten previous Everest expeditions, the songs were played on an IPod with speakers. We were generous enough to share our supply of beer with all the people who were interested in joining our Puja. Mingma and Rinjin decided to make a trip to ABC because they thought Thursday would be a better day than Friday. I decided to catch up on the E-mails and news. The great mountain showed us the second perfect summit day, and I wished I were up there!   'Til next time, stay tuned. Signing off from K2 base camp on behalf of Sunny Mountain Guides.
George Dijmarescu.
PS Much love to my two children Sunny and Shiny Dijmarescu and to my wife, Lakpa, for empowering me with this great privilege to be at the base of this great mountain.
 
Today: 07/18/08
Sunny Mountain Guides Chogori 2008 reports from BC. Today Mircea and I made our first carry to ABC. Mingma and Rinjin decided to give themselves a well deserved rest after they carried five tents yesterday at ABC.  We had our back packs loaded with food, some gas and two shovels. It was surprising to see that the way to ABC is an intricate zig-zag between ice pinnacles marked with flags on top of bamboo sticks. We lost our way and wasted about 45 minutes but regained the route shortly after.  Looking up the Abruzzi Ridge it appeared to look quite easy, with Mingma encouraging us that K2 is much easier than the Tibetan side of Everest.  Oh well, his opinion, we will just have to see. The slope is quite gentle along a rock band. We were lucky to see a couple from Norway sliding down on their butts and having fun on the way down, oblivious to the well-advertised 'falling rock'.  Mircea and I spent about an hour at ABC when it started snowing. We went down all the way to BC with rice-like snow on our faces. At BC we had the best meal thus far so we congratulated Ali, our cook and kitchen boy. I have to announce that I made my way to ABC in blue jeans and Addidas sneakers; I fell in several puddles so my socks got saturated.  My next trip will be in different shoes. We spent the evening laughing along with our neighbor from Serbia. Tomorrow we'll make another carry to ABC and just watch for the weather as we hear it'll deteriorate on Sunday and two days after that. We want to make a trip to camp 2 as soon as the weather permits. Everybody is in good health, motivated and ready to go. 'Til next time, so long from K2 BC.  George Dijmarescu reports on behald of Sunny Mountain Guides Chogori 2008.

 

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