Thursday, 28 June 2018

Rest day at Base Camp

Update from Broad Peak - Sandy and Rick have had a rest day at Base Camp while Kacper and Stan spend the night at Camp 2 at 6150m. Sandy and Rick will then be heading back to Camp 2 to sleep there for two nights after their rest to continue to acclimatise.

The weather with the team is poor but okay for the acclimatise phase, while in the UK, we are all being treated to a heat wave!

Wishing the team a good rest after a few days climbing. Apologies for the lack of photos!

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Base Camp Acclimatising

Received an email from Stan's satellite phone today from Sandy to say that the team are acclimatising on Broad Peak and sleeping tonight (Thursday) in a bivi tent at 5380 meters. They will go back down to base camp in the morning.

Take it easy,
More news when it comes,


Monday, 18 June 2018

Message from Concordia

Today I got a text message from Sandy and team. They've made it to the camp at Concordia, 4529m, where they'll stay tonight. They have a four-hour walk tomorrow to get to Broad Peak base camp and will likely rest for a couple of days. 

Wishing the team a jolly good rest! 
Will keep you all posted as and when I have news.

Friday, 15 June 2018

Recent Updates from Pakistan

Hi, Cara here... Sandy's daughter.
There have been a few updates over the last few days via text message from Stan's phone to his wife Magda.
The team got to Askole on Tuesday 12th June, the team all doing fine but it was a very hot journey. On Wednesday, they arrived at Jhula Camp from Askole.

Magda sent another update today that the team has been suffering from stomach flu. Kacper stayed lower, 25m below the rest of the team to recover, but has since joined the rest of the team in Paju.

The team are all together and hopefully recovering quickly.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Moving on from Skardu tomorrow

We have had a good day as by late morning our agent Ali phoned from Islamabad to inform us that they had found Stans missing luggage. That’s a good reason to celebrate but unfortunately there is no beer here! But we are all delighted especially Stan. So our plan now is to continue with our journey towards Broad Peak base camp so tomorrow we will pack our gear into the 4x4’s and drive along the track to Askole. The drive takes five to six hours and we will be saying goodbye to internet and mobile phone reception. It will take a few days for Stans big holdall containing his boots, crampons and down clothing to catch up with us but as I write this it’s probably being driven up the KKH and once at Askole Stan has been promised a setting fast porter to carry the bag up towards us and it’s estimated that we should see the bag by the time we get to base camp (BC) if not sooner.
We have been spending the day repacking our equipment and doing some last minute shopping. Also, we made the time to do some interval training along the side of lake Sadapara and visiting some local sights.
The Internet is to slow to post any images right now! 

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Skardu - Gilgit- Baltistan Territories... here already!

I departed from Edinburgh with Etihad Airways yesterday and already I find myself in Skardu. My flight to Abu Dhabi then on to Islamabad went really well and I was met at the airport at 3.30 am, Pakistan time, by our good friend and agent Ali. He informed me that himself and Rick had organized everything in Pakistan as Rick flew out from the UK on the 6 June with this plan in mind. So we decided we would try to fly on to Skardu. I went to sleep on the airport floor, Ali waited to receive Kacper and Stan meanwhile, Rick was to join us all at the airport around 6.30am.
I slept well and woke up to find all the expedition members had arrived. Unfortunately, Turkish airlines had lost one of Stan's luggage bags en route between Munich, Istanbul and Islamabad, but we were being positive and hoped that the airline will trace it and deliver it to Islamabad as soon as possible. Then our agents would transport it up to our base camp at the foot of Broad Peak.

In Skardu now, had lunch at the Summit Hotel with (from left - Rick, Sandy, Stan and Kacper)

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Destination Broad Peak

Soon, I will be away travelling to the Karakoram range of mountains in Pakistan. More specifically we will be climbing on the Baltoro Muztagh mountains. Adventuring with my friends Rick Allen, Kacper Tekieli and Stanislav Vrba. I would like to thank the Mount Everest Foundation (MEF) and the Alpine Club/Montane for their encouragement and grants. Also G. B. (who prefers to keep a super low profile - a bit like us in that regard I suppose. It is super that he has found the time to join us at BC later in the season. He has worked so hard and smartly for much of his life that he is kind enough to share his rewards and help me out with this expedition.

 Equipment wise, none of these modern adventures could be done without some outstanding equipment designers, materials and manufacturers so I also wish to thank Gore-Tex, Mountain Equipment, PHD down equipment and Cairngorm Mountain Sports shop in Aviemore for their assistance. There are companies around the world who have helped us with equipment and of course none of us are alone and can become so strong when we work together. I have a great team of guys and I am so excited and looking forward to living another of my Alpine style 8000 meter dreams with such good friends. My daughters will be posting some of our messages on this simple blog - we do not expect to be sending back lots of news or digital images. No news is good news - but hopefully we will get an occasional text message sent out. Oh well - lets see what pans out..............

It may be the face I can't forget, the trace of pleasure or regret
 may be the treasure or the price I have to pay
May be the song that summer sings, maybe the chill that autumn brings
Maybe a thousand different things with in the measure of a day

Maybe the beauty and the beast, maybe a famine or a feast
May turn each day into a heaven or a hell,
Maybe the mirror of my dreams, a smile reflected in a stream
She may be not what she seems inside her shell.

 -Apologies to Elvis Costello- oops, "She' was actually written by Charles Aznavour and Herbert Kretzmer in 1974 and Elvis Castello recorder it in 1999.

Saturday, 2 June 2018

After Thought Arete, Loch Avon Basin, Cairngorms

Maz's selfie with us guys behind, we were n After Thought Arete today, an early start allowed us to beat the yellow Met office weather warnings and got up it before teh rain cam ein.

John and Maz climbing


fantastic situations and views

Ah, the very Scottish Tunnocks Caramel wafer, the food of champions! We then took in the summit of Cairngorm and  enjoyed a nice coffee at the Natural Retreats summit cafe.

Irata Friday at EICA, Ratho, Edinburgh.

Last Friday (1 June  2018) IRATA assessing at Ratho climbing wall, behind the main wall they have a very good indsustrial Rope Access training area

The climbing walls are rather impressive

Rysy, highest mountain in Poland

Kasper on the summit Rysy 2503m

The mountain refuge

Wonderful spring flowers in the high Tatra

Emma on the summit

Selfie time!

Carpathian mountains

Kasper leading Emma while I hold the ropes behind and take some photos. WE had  few days in the High Tatra where our main objective was to help Emma get to the two highest summits in Poland and Slovakia.You can check her web site on
These photos are of Gerlachovsky 2655 m the highest  point in Slovenia and the Carpathian mountain chain.
Kasper on a small alternative pitch of the Martin ridge

The mountain refuge in the far distance

Emma  nearing the top, we stopped for a tiny break and completed a summit book there too and then made our way to the main summit.

Myself and Kasper on the summit, thanks for the  photo Emma!