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  Stuart Peacock K2 & Broad Peak Expedition 2004 Dispatch 7

Several Days Updates

K2 Diary 28/06/04: Today we finally set off for camp 1 on broad peak. The weather was good; we had breakfast at 4.00am, a very unsociable hour of the day. There were a few teams that were heading up today. We had some delays due to anchors on some of the fixed line. The route itself goes up through reasonably steep couloirs, topping out at around 5200m. Camp 1 was said to be at 5400m, however it was obvious from the top of the couloirs that it was much higher.

From the couloirs we headed up a 45 degree snow field, there was a lot of avalanche debris from the heavy snows the previous week. It was only after two thirds of the way up we found the fixed line which had been buried by the avalanches.

I finally rolled into camp at 10.00am, a bit dehydrated due to my camelback freezing in the early hours. Dave had been ahead and when I arrived I helped to clear and enlarge the tent platforms. We just managed to get 3 cramped tents onto our ledge; space at camp 1 is a bit of a premium especially with so many teams on the mountain this year.

29/06/04: Another early start, this time heading to camp 2 at 6200m. Again due to the previous week's snow conditions, most of the fixed line was buried. The terrain is mainly 45 - 50 degree snow slopes, with the odd steep section. Navigation down would be very difficult in bad weather if there were no ropes; thankfully folk are clearing the ropes when they head down. I got into camp at 10.00am; gps height read just over 6300m. Again the next problem was to find suitable places for the tents. This we finally managed after 3 hours digging and clearing. Once again space for tents on the ridge is few and far between, teams have to spread out thin, looking for any sheltered areas.

30/06/04: The Sherpas made a carry & help fix line towards camp 3 with the Swiss (c7000m - 7200m); unfortunately deep snow prevented them getting any further than 6700m, so a stash was made there. We had a bit of a lazy day adjusting to the altitude. We all had a bit of a short walk, Ralph & myself pushed up to 6415m at which point the snow ridge angle eases off.

July 01: We spent two nights at camp 2 before heading back down to Base Camp for 3 days rest. The descent wasn't too bad, however the sun was very hot and it made for thirsty work. The fixed line in the couloirs was fixed a bit too tight so abseiling was not practical and required some trusty hand wrapping to descend.

It was good to get back to BC and gorge ourselves on Pringles & Pepperami and a bottle of Pepsi.

July 2: The weather was still reasonable, so I made it a bit of a wash day clothes & self, which was sorely needed. Did a little bit of light reading and generally just chilled out. The porters give us some entertainment in the evening with more songs accompanied this time with not just barrel drums but with a three piece goat skin timpani set. It appears that not a single bit of the poor old Billie has been wasted.

July 3: We spent this morning having a play with the new oxygen system, checking how it all fits together and trying out the nasal canular & mask. The plan so far is that in the next couple of days we will go back up the hill with the intention of getting to camp 3 and then possibly make a summit attempt. I have decided to take the oxygen up with me and make my decision weather to use it at camp 3. Although Broad Peak is only just over 8000m (8047m), we have only had a short time at altitude, so oxygen may be necessary if an attempt is made so soon. Otherwise we will stay at Camp 3 for a night and then descend to BC in order to make a later summit bid. Regards, Stu.

Stu summited Everest and made a movie in which he filmed most of the route click on the picture below to see more about this video (DVD and VHS).



Altitech2: Digital Altimeter, Barometer, Compass and Thermometer. Time/Date/Alarms. Chronograph with 24 hour working range. Timer with stop, repeat and up function. Rotating Bezel. Leveling bubble. Carabiner latch. E.L. 3 second backlight. Water resistant. 4" x 2-1/4" x 3/4" 2 oz. Requires 1 CR2032 battery. See more here.



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