From Skardu to Askole

As Stuart and the rest of the Madison Mountaineering team received their gear, the climbers and porters have been getting ready to drive to the final town, Askole, on the trail to K2 Base Camp. Stuart is in high spirits and is excited to start hiking up the valley. There are several photos below describing the last few days in Skardu, where they have been preparing. In the “Links” page, there is a YouTube video touring the K2 Hotel, pictured below.

K2 Hotel at Skardu.

K2 Hotel at Skardu.

Stuart at Skardu, the K2 Hotel.

Stuart at Skardu, the K2 Hotel.

A couple of men making chapatti. The chapatti oven is the hole in the middle of the floor. This is a staple for the Pakistani people in this area.

A couple of men making chapatti. The chapatti oven is the hole in the middle of the floor. This is a staple for the Pakistani people in this area.

Bingo, a cooked chapatti. There is another Bingo cooking on the inside of the oven wall.

Bingo, a cooked chapatti. There is another Bingo cooking on the inside of the oven wall.

The climbers and porters all preparing to drive from Skardu to Askole.

The climbers and porters all preparing to drive from Skardu to Askole.

Below is a few photos of the drive from Skardu to Askole. Stuart described the drive as a narrow goat trail with drop offs on either side, leading to raging rivers. He said the drivers of Range Rover’s “drove like maniacs with their crazy local music blaring.” There were about 15 vehicles in tow, carrying supplies and dozens of people.

The road from Skardu to Askole.

The road from Skardu to Askole.

One of the 15 Range Rovers hauling supplies to Askole got stuck in one of the many mud holes. This landscape was due to a recent mud slide.

One of the 15 Range Rovers hauling supplies to Askole got stuck in one of the many mud holes. This landscape was due to a recent mud slide.

There are about 20 to 30 porters trying to push this Range Rover out of the mudslide.

There are about 20 to 30 porters trying to push this Range Rover out of the mudslide.

One of the many suspension bridges that the climbing group was required to pass on the way to Askole.

One of the many suspension bridges that the climbing group was required to pass on the way to Askole.

Road from Skardu to Askole.

Road from Skardu to Askole.

Stuart arrived at Askole quite shaken up, but safe. After spending a day in Askole, the team will abandon the vehicles to start their trek into the base of K2.