Brian's dispatch from Islamabad: Day 2- waiting

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Talk today with Ben is that Broad Peak is fairly moderate terrain that is sometimes made considerably more challenging by the altitude and contributing weather. That is good news as I would like a chance to get some solid acclimitization with moderate technical challenges.
If possible a summit shot would be great as well!

It sounds as though only having a few teams on the mountain will also allow for more tents at camp 1 which will allow for more team members to get up and start getting acclimatized faster.
Also, less teams on the mountain will mean our choice of basecamp positioning-which could mean saving as much as a half hour each way going to and coming from the start of the climbing on the mountain. Ideal! It also means less climber created rock fall from camp one-which is probably the biggest objective hazard on the lower flanks of the mountain and was something our Czech friends had commented on during our 2007 trip to K2 as a couple had split off to try Broad Peak.
Tonight we got to hang out with Shujaat and his nephew. Shujaat was our in country service provider on our 2007 trip as part of KMM. He had my down suit in storage and returned it in top condition after 3 years.

It has been a lot of fun catching up with him and I look forward to helping get him outfitted for his fall trip to Shishapangma. He has been a gracious host to ferry us around to the markets for extra food-(as I hope to not lose 60+ lbs on this expedition). He's even going to help us get pillows tomorrow-something that I learned was incredibly valuable on our last trip-as no matter how great your Marmot bag is a stuff sack filled with lumpy clothes for a pillow for 50 or so days can wreak havoc on your recovery rest. Apparently Fabrizio-who is waiting in Skardu-cannot procure pillows there so we are bringing him one as well.

We were hoping to be flying tomorrow to Skardu and avoid the 36 hours of perilous bus ride on the KKH-Karakorum Highway- but apparently the President of Pakistan and military personnel have commandered it for tomorrows flight. So hopefully the following day we fly.

There has been lots going on and I hope to capture some great video-although the most entertaining thing that would have been of video merit was banned from happening. Most likely because we were in a secure area. I am bunking with Aussie Rob Baker, who is here to try Broad Peak. He had the foresight to ship himself a barrel of goods unaccompanied. Which I am still not totally sure wasn't a great idea considering the 7 bags I had to fly with and subsuquently wrangle when arriving in Islamabad. My mountainous cart of baggage weighing 400lbs actually made it out to passenger pickup before spewing a bag at a time for 10 ft as I struggled to get out of the way.

Anyway, Rob and I ventured out with a cabbie provided by Essar at ATP to go and pickup said barrel. As an aside the cabbie spoke no English and although he was very nice seemed a bit green on getting is around town. KMM just spoiled me prior, they were with us and took us around to make sure we had all that we needed as well as provided us with some historical detail and fun tourist facts. Even today Shujaat took us to the Faisal Mosque-incredibly beautiful-in his own car nonetheless.

When Rob and I did finally make it to Shaheen Cargo at the airport quite the debacle ensued. None of which I was allowed to film as we were in a secure customs area.
We were taken from booth to booth and Rob was asked to provide contents details and rupees. About 1hour into the "show" everyone just walked off. Apparently lunch break was from 2-3 and no little barrel would preclude them from following that mandate.
In the end I think we visited two little booths twice and 3 others once. Each time our "guides" in the process told us that was the last that he would pay. Apparently TO THAT PERSON was omitted from the sentence each time. It was a but comical in fact but by the end was a touch frustrating as you never quite know when you are "doing the deal" as it is to be laid out OR if you are in fact being taken advantage of.

I am sure there will be more great video to be shot in the coming days and weeks but that would have been priceless. I will try and post a Gabcast tomorrow! Have a great day! BB

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