Fredrik Sträng arrives in Skardu, Pakistan experiencing delays but ready to take on the trek to K2.
Dispatch #3 Fredrik Sträng K2 2017
When we last reported on Sträng’s 2017 K2 expedition, he had arrived safely in Islamabad, Pakistan and began the arduous task of organizing gear and food before heading out to Skardu.
Over the past week, Sträng has worked on settling climbing permits, logistics and organizing gear. However, some slight delays have occurred.
The planned plane trip from Islamabad to Skardu aboard Pakistani International Airways was aborted 20 km. from the landing zone. The issue was caused by bad weather and an overabundance of clouds. The teams took a long bus ride to Skardu instead.
After a 26-hour ride on the Karakoram Highway to the capital of mountaineering in Pakistan, Skardu, the Liason Officer in charge of facilitating permits was not there to meet the teams. It has been 5 days since their arrival in Skardu.
As of right now, the permits for the climb have not been finalized and Sträng remains in the wonderful village of Skardu but eagerly awaiting to start the drive to Askole. Afterward, he will then commence the 7-day trek to Baltoro.
Skardu is a remarkably beautiful place on the planet, but my soul is longing for the mountains, for K2, for what I have been training for. -Fredrik Sträng
Sträng is feeling good, enjoying the land and trekking the area in good company. He is making his final purchases at the bazaar while he waits and mentally prepares for the long trek to the Baltoro Glacier. He remains positive about his delays and when talking about what cannot be prevented or controlled, he said:
If you can do something about it then do it, if you can’t do something about it stop worrying and accept. -Fredrik Sträng
Over the years, Sträng has heard the saying inshallah or “God willing/if God wills it” from many Muslim friends he encountered along his journeys. He believes that this saying is acceptable if all members of the project have done everything in their power to achieve a goal. When nothing more can be done, then inshallah, we leave it in God’s hands.
Today, he recounted a memory of a hard-working driver in Skardu tasked with getting the team safely to Askhole in 2008. His name was Mohammed, and Fredrik said to him in courtesy, “Inshallah we will reach Askole today.” Mohammed’s reply was, “Today, no inshallah.” as to say, today, I will do my best to get you to your destination. So, no inshallah until I have tried my best.
It’s a memory Sträng holds dear, as he is a climber who takes responsibility for all of his planning and success; only after he has done everything in his power to succeed does he say, “I can do no more.” and leaves it in the hands of God/universe. So, today, Fredrik Sträng leaves you with one question:
When do you use inshallah, and do you make sure that you do everything in your power before it’s up to God if it will succeed or not? -Fredrik Sträng
This is a meaningful question that can be applied to all aspects of life. So, we are hoping for good weather, good fortune and good human reliability and hard work to make this plan come together.
What’s Next for Fredrik Sträng’s K2 2017 Expedition
Sträng now undertakes the responsibility of mentally and physically preparing for his climb on K2, including daily work-out routines that include meditation for 10-15 minutes each morning, Qi Gong and 15 minutes of yoga. His meditations include diaphragm breathing (pranayama) and mantra. The Gym Jones Level II climber also works on his triceps, abs and legs with pushups, box jumps and Tabata for intensity.
Fredrik is working on keeping his mind on the goal through his daily routines on the road; eating, working out, socializing, doing it all without losing the big picture. He says, “This laser beam focus on a target and with the ability not to lose sight of it even when you do your daily routines like dishwashing, writing an e-mail or how you stack your gear” is paramount.
About Fredrik Sträng
Fredrik Sträng is a Swedish climber, personal trainer and motivational speaker. Sträng has summited 8 of the world’s 8,000 m. peaks, and in 2017, Sträng will be attempting K2 again. He has worked with charitable organizations through the years to help those in need, and he has been given various awards including Male Adventurer of the Year twice in 2007 and 2010. Sträng is partnered with Sigma Technology. To learn more about Sträng, read “Get to Know Climber Fredrik Sträng.”
Follow our dispatches of Fredrik Sträng’s K2017 Expedition here.