June 27, 2018
Today was an easier day than yesterday, only four hours on the Baltoro Glacier. It's not really like walking on a glacier though because the hard ice is covered with rocks of every size and shape. Every size and shape. It was a bit tricky walking on the rock covered ice at times, I don't know how the porters do it in tennis shoes and sandals. Making trekking even more challenging this morning, it seemed like I was always flip-flopping with a group of mules. They sped up, and I stepped off of the trail to let them pass then either I sped up or they slowed down and I try to navigate around them. We repeated this process several times.
Mules are key to any team attempting K2 and it is staggering to stop and think about the amount of work and logistics that it takes to get 11 people to the summit of K2. Ibrahim, who is a short, jovial man with a degree in computer science, oversees everything and was shared the specifics with me. 130 porters started the trip, only about 50 will go all the way to base camp as the others will turn back after their loads are consumed. 38 of the porters are only carrying flour for the porters to make chapati, which is delicious unleavened flatbread cooked over a fire.
Our moving village also consists of:
- 23 drums of kerosene
- 45 mules
- 21 chicken - the number decreases after each dinner :(
- 4 goats - :(
- 100kg of potatoes
- 1400 eggs to start, more will come later
Every morning, before 7, everything is torn down, packed up, carried for several hours, and then put back together.