K2 and Broad Peak Expedition 2008                                 Karakoram, Pakistan

 

The summer of 2008, saw Dave travel to Pakistan to begin the pursuit of his dream of skiing down K2.  He had been planing this expedition for 2 years with his friend Chuck Boyd.  Chuck and Dave invited world renowned climber and author Andy Selters as well as extreme skier Dan McCann.

 

The 4 set off to first climb Broad Peak, the world's 12th tallest mountain at 8,047 meters.  Dan and Dave planned to ski the West ridge to dial in their partnership in preparation for the K2 descent.  On the fourth of July, Dan slipped while climbing a 55 degree ice slope and fell 1,500 ft, stopping just short of the top of a 3,000 cliff.  Chuck, Andy and Dave witnessed the accident and responded quickly.  The guys assessed and treated Dan's injuries and proceeded to evacuate him off of the mountain.  No easy task as this involved lowering Dan on ropes down a 3,000 foot wall and helping him across crevasses and swollen streams to get back to base camp where the Pakistani Army picked him up in a helicopter the next day.

 Climbing Broad Peak Andy Selters photo

The guys struggled through the mental challenges of the accident and decided to continue with the expedition.  On August 1 they made an attempt to summit Broad Peak.  After a very windy night at the high camp at 23,000 feet, Andy and Dave tried for the summit.  They turned around at 25,000 feet and used the opportunity to shoot photos on the way down.  With over a month left in the trip, they planned on making another attempt at the summit.Dave skiing at 25,000 feet on Broad Peak . Andy Selters photo Dave trying to catch his breath while skiing at extreme altitudes. Andy Selters photo

Upon returning to base camp, Dave received a radio call from a friend in K2 base camp.  "Dave, I don't know if you know what's going on over here, but 30 people went for the summit last night and 15 of them are not back yet.  Can you get over here to help?"

 

Dave, Andy and Chuck then ran over to K2 base camp to assist in the rescues of 2 Dutch climbers and 1 Italian.  In the end, 11 climbers would die in one of the worst tragedies in mountaineering history.  Over the next week almost everyone left the mountain.  Only Dave and his small team remained.  The guys hoped for a chance to climb K2.  Staying in base camp for another 4 weeks, waiting for a break in the weather, they never had a chance.  The men knew better than to try to climb the "King of Mountains" in poor conditions.  Especially when K2 had already proven to be so deadly.