Sunday, June 14, 2009

Fredrik Ericsson K2 Ski Expedition 2009

After days without news Today I received Fredrik Ericsson's update. He had some problems but now he have internet access again and the updates will come regularly.
Fredrik arrived in Islamabad last Sunday without any problems. Fredrik didn’t miss any flights, all his bags arrived, even the gear that Fredrik sent by cargo a couple of weeks ago was in Islamabad waiting for him. Chocking!
But as always, some things doesn't go as planned. Fredrik's climbing partner Michele was the one who got into trouble. When Fredrik was about to board the plane in Frankfurt he got an sms from Michele saying: "Do you have Pakistan Visa? I stop in airport because I don’t have Visa". Apparently Michele had forgot to get the Visa that one needs to enter Pakistan. That turned out to be a small problem. Michele went to the Embassy of Pakistan in Milano last Monday and got the Visa in one day and could get on a plane for Pakistan two days later. So today when he joined Fredrik here in Skardu they could just laugh about that incident.
A much less entertaining thing was the news they got from the Ministry of Tourism. The other day Fredrik went there on what he thought was the regular "sign some papers and smile" exercise and he would walk away with the climbing permit for K2 and trekking permit for Laila Peak. But that was not the case. They got the climbing permit for K2 alright but they didn't give us the trekking permit to go to Laila Peak. He tried to ask them why and the funny thing was that they didn't have an answer. They just said NO. They put in a second application for the trekking permit but it didn't help. The answer was the same. Fredrik is very disappointed that they can't go to Laila Peak since that, along with K2, was the big goal of this trip. It's hard to see anything positive in that now but he guess in a few days he might find something.
Other than that he has started to feel some movements in his stomach and lost his appetite. Fredrik must have caught some sort of bug which is not uncommon when you travel to Pakistan. So far it's not so bad and he has started to eat antibiotics. Hopefully it will be all gone in a few days.
The good things then.. Well, they were on the way towards K2. It has been Fredrik's dream for many years now and finally it is happening. So things could be worse. A few days ago they went by car to Askole and from there they started the six days long trek towards K2 base camp. They arrived in base camp around June 11.