K2 Expedition 2018
Jake’s K2 Blog #8: The mule train to Urdukas
Day 8: Khobutse (3800m) to Urdukas (4150m)
A very short trek today, only about 6km and a net gain of 350m (although with a fair amount of up and down, we certainly climbed more than that!).
In previous years, we’ve trekked from Paiju to Urdukas is a single day (normally 7-9 hours). This year, we’ve split it up. That meant that having left Khobutse at 0650, we’d arrived in Urdukas by 0830. We were initially slowed by being caught behind a mule train carrying at least 5 tonnes of fuel (in Jerry cans) up the glacier to the Military Camps here. Once we got past them, which necessitated a fair amount of hop, skip and jumping over the rocks, we soon made good speed to the camp.
Thus today has been more of rest day – a chance to do some admin and enjoy our last camping on solid ground. From tomorrow onwards, we’ll be camping on the glacier (or subsequently on the mountain).
Urdukas is an amazing site, a number of earth terraces situated amongst huge (house sized) boulders on the south side of the valley. There is running water and as such, plenty of grass and small shrubs. It was first created as a camp site by the Duke of Abruzzi’s expedition in 1909.
Not much to report, other than the fact that in each camp I’ve had a chance to get the drone out, and taken some great aerial footage of the camps and the routes. I’ve had to be quite careful here in Urdukas, as there is a small military camp situated very close, and they have been known to confiscate cameras (and as such drones) if they think that people are taking pictures of them.
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