June 20 to 23, we get to work! The classic duo, spotting and acclimatisation, begin. We go directly to explore the valley next door, to establish a camp around 4700m. We quickly spot several objectives in the mountains between 5000 and 6000m. After skiing for three days, triggering a few avalanches, collapsing a cornice the size of a small building and ascending two summits, we go back to base camp. Our feelings are mixed. The snow is unstable in all exposures and has an unfortunate tendency for slab avalanches under our skis. We are a little worried about what’s to come on the Spantik.
June 24 to 26, bad weather, we are stuck at the base camp. For three days, we indulge in our favourite routine; sleep, eat, watch series and start over!
The time between the end of our guide season and the departure to Pakistan was short, we are happy to be able to rest.
June 27 to 31, departure! Neige and Vincent, our weather routers from France, announce a five-day window of good weather. The conditions have most likely not improved with the last snowfall, but we hope it will improve with the good weather and heat forecasted. We decide to leave. The route to camp 3 is not exposed, it follows the long southern ridge that leads to a plateau at 6400m. It is easy to climb safely.
In two days, we reach our camp 2. It has put our nerves to the test. The ridge we followed was not exposed, but the scene was impressive. Making the tracks was not dangerous, but a little stressful. To the left, a cornice that could give away anytime and to the right, the slope very prone to avalanches. For the one who advances second, it is a beautiful atmosphere. They can appreciate the landscape and the spectacle of the avalanches triggered by the leading partner.
On the third day, between camp 2 and camp 3, things get more complicated, and we are sceptical about what to do next. The ridge turns into a snow dome, it is difficult to stay on the ridge, we are forced to go up the middle of the slope. Fortunately, the consistency of the snow has slightly changed. We sink to mid-thigh, but the snow is more stable. Despite the relative ease of the track, we arrive at Camp 3 tired after a long day due to uncertain and changing conditions.