Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Touch down

Touch down in Islamabad. Arrived after one of the biggest tropical storms they have had this summer, delaying are landing causing us to circle around a turbulent sky. Walking out of the plane was like walking into a greenhouse, lucky for us the rain had cooled the air to a semi bearable temperature, after 45'c the day before! We met our agent anwar and caught the bus to our hotel to finish what has been a relatively trouble free trip.

The potential for things going wrong were pretty large. Allowed only 30kg of luggage each we were probably on average 8 kg's over each but using a couple of ski bags, Lots of shuffling around of luggage, we managed to avoid excess baggage charges which, as we know from previous trips can be crippling! (Henry - £500 Iran.)

Another issue causing us concern was the 19,000 dollars we had to take in cash to pay our agent for services and the ministry for our helicopter bond. We counted it out in our hotel room feeling more like a game of monopoly rather than the equivalent of a house deposit or wedding costs. All handed over, no problems.

We were introduced to our liaison officer and the two spaniards who will be part of the expedition. They seem like a good bunch, up for a laugh.

On to skardu tomorrow....

Sunday, 26 June 2011


A crazy few days finishing off work commitments, buying last minute things, gathering gear from several locations around the country all converging at a farewell meal at the Met in Manchester to say bye to our loved ones. It’s great to get together as a team (-Scott), swap tall stories about the training we have or haven’t been doing and begin the cutting banter which is always a key ingredient on our previous successful expeditions together. Good psyche, good banter and a good start to the expedition.

Massive amounts of time, money, organisation and planning have been put into this expedition and it’s finally come to the time to go and discover Pakistan and find out what climbing 8000m mountains are all about. We have had help from several people leading up to this point of which we are immensely grateful and would like to thank; our corporate sponsors, everyone who has donated to the DEC, Dream guides for the loan of sat phone and laptop, everyone who has given advice, and all our loved ones for being helpful, supportive and understanding.

The aims of the trip are of course for us all to get to the top of the mountain, but we all have the same belief that nothing is worth dying for, or even loosing a limb or finger, so with that in mind our main aim is to all come back safe and intact by looking out for each other. Having said that, I’m sure we are all keen to get to the summit first!

We will miss everyone and wish you all a great summer.

BP Ascent team.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Medical Supplies: A big thankyou

Just a huge thank you to a few people who gave us their time for solid advice and guidance about medical supplies and how to obtain them:

Jon Morgan, James Taylor and Kate Wilson.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Explorer's Web and other links

So the expedition made it onto explorer's web, I assume they look through the permit issues:

Unfortunately it's subscription only but it doesn't really say much:

"A British Broad Peak Expedition will be led by John Roberts Matthew."

Yes, that's all it says, $11 subscription to see that and they've got my name wrong!  Interesting given that it's the site linking through the most traffic to this blog!

"The British Broad Peak (8048) Expedition will include John Roberts Matthew, Scott Mackenzie, Benjamin Wolstenholme, Duncan Gray Robinson, John David Mason and Robert Johnson Adie."

More route photos

Just had these sent through from Rob Adie:

Loving the fact it's described as PD+.  I hope sure, though I'm sure PD+ feels more like ABO at 8000m...

The cargo has landed

Most of the kit has arrived in Islamabad and is being handled by the agent.  Fingers crossed it's all still there!

Preparation is going well, just a few more things left to sort including finding a pharmacy to dish out our Dexamethasone prescription.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Route info and photos

After a visit by some Pakistani climbers to the BMC's international meet we asked for some specific photos of parts of the route up Broad Peak.  Thanks to Rehmat Ullah for sending these across.

The main gully up to Camp one, this can be avoided by a steeper route on the left side of the buttress if it is particularly icy or avalanche prone.
© Rehmat Ullah
The route upto camp 2 with the camp just top the right of the rocks in the middleground
© Rehmat Ullah

The rocks just above the climbers are the bottom of camp 3, there is also a camp 3a a little higher for those not using camp 4 and pushing straight to the summit, which is what we plan to do.
© Rehmat Ullah
Thanks to Rehmat for the photos, it's great to have a bit more visualisation of the route, and the apparent mellowness of some sections, as there isn't a great deal of info out there.

However unfortunately Ueli Steck won't be there anymore to kick the steps in as he's cancelled his trip...