Friday, June 12, 2009

Hangin' in Skardu

Have two days to kill here in Skardu. Luckily it's a beautiful place; the perfect temperature, dry, and surrounded by impressive peaks. It is not lush by any means, but with abundant water from the Indus river and fertile alluvial soils there are huge groves of olive, apricot, cherry and mulberry trees, as well as poplars, acacias and willows.

However, mountain towns being what they are, afternoon weather changes quickly and now the wind has picked up and the sky is thick with dust. So I'm sitting in our spacious hotel room with a view of the mighty Indus river reviewing the photographs of Vittorio Sella and the words of Filippo de Filippi who wrote the official account of the 1909 expedition of His Royal Highness Prince Luigi Amedeo of Savoy, the Duke of Abruzzi.

On June 14th we begin retracing the steps of the 1909 expedition as we drive by Jeep to Askole, the last settlement before we begin walking to K2 basecamp. Finally finished with permits and security checks, Adam was able to load film into his 16mm camera, I've loaded my medium format still camera and we're ready to begin recreating some of Sella's photographs, documenting this expedition and otherwise kicking ass.

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