I have had many requests over the years to see photos of this trip. The following images( converted to digital images from 35mm slides) are some of my favorites taken during this incredible two month journey.
During the summer of 1994 I experienced an adventure of a lifetime. I participated as a member of the American K2 Expedition. K2 is situated on the Pakistan – China border in the Karakoram Mountain Range of northern Pakistan. K2 at 28,251 feet is the second highest mountain in the world. Eight of the world's 30 tallest peaks stand around K2.
The local name of K2 is Chogori, which in the Balti language means the "king of mountains." This name is little known outside of Pakistan. During mountain surveys in 1856 British engineers began naming peaks: K1 thru K15... “K” stands for Karakoram (“kara” = black, “koram” = covered in earth). They eventually gave local names for the other “K” peaks. They couldn’t decide on a local name for “K2” so they left it. Ever since then it remains commonly known as K2.
Our adventurous journey took us from Islamabad(capital of Pakistan) on a 28 hour Junga bus ride on the Karakoram Highway along the Indus River to the northern Baltistan town of Skardu. Then in jeeps we traveled on narrow and sometimes washed out roads through the Shigar Valley to the furthest remote village of Askole. For the next 8 days the expedition team and 80 porters carrying expedition gear and supplies slowly trekked up the Braldu Valley, Baltoro Glacier, and Godwin-Austen Glacier witnessing some of the world's most remote beautiful scenery and tallest mountains. The trek ended at K2 base camp at 16,500 feet elevation on the Godwin-Austen Glacier.
Much of the early days were spent acclimatizing to the altitude and setting up higher camps on the mountain before several members attempted the summit. During the expedition teammate, Michael Groom of Australia successfully summited. And tragically, Steve Untch lost his life in a fall during the rescue of a fellow climber.
Because of limited vacation time I had from my career, I returned home prior to the rest of the team. Because of this I was fortunate to trek back by a different route up the Vigne Glacier, over the Gondogoro La(pass) down into the beautiful Hushe Valley. Then a Jeep drive back to Skardu then Islamabad prior to my flight home.
© Journey's End Photography