Life can be strange. Two weeks ago a Pakistani Taliban group attacked the Diamer base camp on the western side of Nanga Parbat, one of the worlds largest peaks on the edges of the Karakoram Range in Pakistan. I have spent the last 5 months planning and preparing a trip to the Great Trango Tower, about 120 miles from there. I was in the middle of a huge hike, trying to pound my legs into stronger and better shape for this trip when I received a text message from my brother with a link to the news story.
So Carmen and I stepped onto a plane bound for Portland, Oregon to celebrate the 4th of July with my family. It seemed a little Ironic to celebrate our nations freedom at the same time that I chose to cancel a trip due to terrorism, but the 4th of July has always just been a celebration of family for me. My grandfather was not doing well, he had spent the last month in a nursing home and was moved to the hospital the day we arrived. I got to visit him in the morning while he was awake and alert, he didn't seem great, but his crotchety spark was still there. I was the last of the family to show up and see him. That afternoon his condition got worse, two days later with my mom at his side he passed away. A strange but beautiful happening. I think he was waiting for everyone to get to Portland, he knew how much fun the 4th of July always was with all the family together.
In the meantime I turn my sites to other objectives, the mountains won't go anywhere and one day I will get to climb them. Several friends have offered me excellent backup plans, which I appreciate, again I have to make choices, but this choice seems so much easier and so much less stressful.
I have to thank all of the people and companies that helped to make this project happen, there was so much support from the climbing community. Special thanks to Zamberlan, CAMP, Rab, Metolious, Mountain Boot Company, Raw Revolution, Totem Cams. I am sorry to change courses, but everyone has been very understanding and I greatly appreciate that.