After reuniting with Chris and Josh in Skardu, we rolled out of town in a Jeep on our way to the mountain town of Hushe. Here we slept the night at the mountain refuge, our last night in civilization for a couple of weeks.
The next morning we set off for our two-week expedition of Laila Peak. The journey into basecamp was beautiful but quite short. Just two days of mild trekking for a total of 25 kilometers had us reaching our new home for the next two weeks.
Laila Peak base camp was probably one of the best base camps I’ve ever been to. The highlight was that we had a small, private glacial lake. It was great on the hot days for a dip/ice bath. The grass field of our base camp was awesome compared to the snow, rock, or dirt found at most base camps. We were also a transit point for most climbers coming down from 8000ers so we got to chat with them as they passed through on their way out of the Karakoram.
In this first week, week chilled out and did a small acclimatization hike to Chuspang at 4,700m. Everyone handled it well and we went back to playing cards while waiting out the weather window for the summit. A goat was sacrificed, we became professional card kings and we ate like champions. Often at times, we were unsure if it was a grueling expedition or a luxury holiday. Good times with mates amidst incredible scenery!