June 25, 2018

It was another 12 hours of trekking again today from Johla to Paiju.  I encountered every kind of rock imaginable: sand, rocks buried in sand, gravel, deep sand, hard sand, boulders, talus.

It's getting more and more beautiful as we travel closer to base camp and more jagged peaks reveal themselves.  Along with that beauty comes a feeling of remoteness. Trekking to K2 base camp is very different than trekking to Everest base camp.  Here there are no tea houses, no beds to sleep in, no villages with tourist shops.  Just rock and the murky Indus river.

After we arrived at Paiju I walked to the porter camp.  Our team has 120 porters to carry our personal and group gear, food, fuel, rope, chairs, and tents to base camp.  These unbelievable men carry up to 50 pounds (23 kg) while wearing traditional Pakistani clothes and often sandals.  Their pay is the equivalent of 8 USD per day.  And I am humbled every time I see how hard they work.  At camp they use our duffel bags and barrels to make walls, then attach a tarp or piece of plastic over the top, the whole thing is only about 2 feet high, and acts as both kitchen and bedroom.  I feel like a wimp in my double walled tent and down sleeping bag.