The Apricot Tours K2 Winter 2020 team tests gear, concludes sponsor photo sessions and prepares to depart for Askole before beginning their K2 Base Camp Trek.
In our last Dispatch, the Apricot Tours team had arrived in Skardu and we delved into their celebrations with a K2-themed cake. They briefed with the Liaison officer and Mingma G. was finally able to join the rest of the team.
UPDATE: Apricot Tours announced that a helivac was performed, evacuating all 5 members of the expedition. At this time, the expedition is over.
Apricot Tours on the request of team #K2Winter2020 organized a helicopter rescue mission of two helicopters airlifting five members of the expedition. All five members have reached Skardu safe and sound. pic.twitter.com/vY6WfXKcwO
— Apricot Tours – Pakistan (@apricottourspk) February 5, 2020
On the Way to Askhole
On 11 January 2020, the Apricot Tours was complete and all members were in Skardu. Mingma G. and the rest of the team took this time to test their mountain equipment and ensure everything was in order. Some team members took to the market for some last-minute shopping before the trip to Askhole.
Photoshoot for Sponsors
At the hotel, the team was able to take some photos for their sponsors, which includes Toread – a Chinese outdoor apparel and equipment brand with an office in Glasgow, UK.
There, the team conducted a few short interviews with the local press. As the team progresses closer to their destination, they are receiving more local media coverage. They are still accepting donations for the expedition. Thus, this exposure is aiding them in their endeavors for the summit of K2 during the winter season.
The last of the official documents needed to proceed into Askole was signed on 11 Jan, and the team was given the okay to move toward the next leg of their journey the following day. However, a team of porters left ahead of them to transport half of their supplies to Askole.
Preparations for the Trip to Askhole
On the morning of 12 Jan, the team enjoyed a breakfast of eggs and toast together before beginning preparations for their departure.
During the late afternoon of 12 Jan, the Apricot Tours K2 Winter 2020 team arrived in Askole. Upon leaving Skardu, they encountered some snow as they made preparations to load their vehicles with climbers’ personal gear and supplies.
The journey to Askole spans about eight hours during the winter. According to Muhammad Khan, one of the transport vehicle drivers, the road they traveled on was mostly covered with snow. However, the team was in good spirits and excited to reach Askole.
In total, seven vehicles were used to transport their equipment to Askole, as well as many porters, and members of the team also took part in transport duties.
What’s Next for the Apricot Tours Team
The team decided to stay and rest in Askole on 13 Jan.
On 14 Jan, the team departed Askole with four dozen porters and began their K2 Base Camp Trek. It begins in Askhole and winds its way through the Braldu Valley before reaching the famous Baltoro Glacier to Concordia.
About the Apricot Tours K2 Winter 2020 Expedition
This year, Apricot Tours is attempting a winter summit of K2 consisting of seven climbers and led by Mingma Gyalje Sherpa of Nepal and John Snorri of Iceland. They will be climbing the Abruzzi Spur Route.
Apricot Tours K2 Winter 2020 Team Members
The team members are:
- Team Leader Mingma Gyalje Sherpa (Nepal)
- Tamting Sherpa (Nepal)
- Pasang Namgel Sherpa (Nepal)
- Kili Pempa Sherpa (Nepal)
- Team Leader John Snorri Sigurionsson (Iceland)
- Gao Li (China)
- Tomaz Rotar (Slovenia)
You can donate to their possible record-breaking expedition on the GoFundme page organized by Mingma G. Stay tuned to the developments on this expedition using the link below.
About Apricot Tours
Apricot Tours operates in Northern Pakistan guiding tours, treks and expeditions. The company is equally involved in tourism-related activities throughout Pakistan.
Born in the northern areas of Pakistan and comprised of a diverse team from young minds to experienced team members, Apricot Tours understands the importance of plans/itineraries that are compatible with international routes for on-the-go travelers. Our experienced staff of porters, drivers, guides and event managers, is the best in realizing and responding to the needs of our guests for customized plans. (Government Licence: ID-2131)