Ahead of an attempt at the Broad Peak / K2 double, Jeff Spelmans and Niels Jespers have arrived in Pakistan and have started some early acclimatisation climbs.
“In the house!” says Spelmans, on their arrival in Pakistan.
“After a few days trip, we finally landed in Skardu in the mountains of Pakistan.
“We have a three day slot before we join Askole and we go to the mountain. Time to start making red blood cells…
“The jeep stops in Soldi, a small village where a sponsor from Niels helps a school.
“We visit and we are offered tea. In Pakistan when you are asked to come and have tea it’s never a question. It’s an obligation, here it doesn’t stop with hospitality. In fact, tea will only be pretext to make you taste the local food whether our western stomachs will like it or not…
“From the village, heavily loaded, we climb to an alpine that culminates at 3800 meters. Here we are invited by the local shepherds for tea. First Bivouac a little higher. We took 1400 feet at once, it hurts our head but the view of the Hindus Valley is beautiful.
“The next day, we climb more than 1000 feet. We have no choice, we need to find the snow to melt water.
“A second bivouac at 4840 meters was very rough for the body but we are glad to be there. With Niels, we’re hungry for a mountain.
“In the night, we head to the Khusargang Summit (6000 meters).
“I don’t force and stop around 5200 feet. My head is in a spin.
“Niels, having used a hypoxic tent at home, is better acclimated and pushes to more than 5800 feet where he will be stopped by low-carrying snow.
“We’re stalling for a second try but we’re running out of food and time.
“The essentials are acquired, we go straight back to the valley. We’re invited to have tea in our driver’s family before heading back to Skardu. Crazy landscapes, cultural shock and hospitality. Amazing Pakistan!”