After 3 days of treacherous jeep ride Mike, Fred and Köbi arrived in Skardu but unfortunately for Mike the excitement quickly subsided. After a call from home to say that his sister had had a terrible accident in Singapore, Mike immediately left the team and returned to Islamabad. Once again he had to tackle the 3-day jeep ride, a frustrating trip when knowing that his sister's life was in danger!
The trip was extra fast thanks to the great support of Adventure Tours Pakistan, the teams logistic coordinator, who arranged for 18 escorts and got him to his flight in Islamabad in double quick time. Luck, once again, was on Mike's side when he managed to get the very last seat on the Emirates flight to Singapore, and 20 hours later he was sitting by his sisters bedside along with other members of his family.
Although still in Singapore General Hospital, Mike's sister is slowly recovering and will soon be able to return to South Africa with her family. Here she will continue treatment and we hope will make a full recovery from her injuries.
With the worst now behind, Mike decided it was time to return once again to the mountains and to reconnect with his team, who at this stage were sitting at the K2 basecamp anxiously awaiting news from their missing team member. Once again Adventure Tours Pakistan eased the way by managing to persuade the Singaporean Pakistani Embassy to re-issue Mike with a one-entry visa. In within 24 hours the embassy had issued the visa and Mike was once again in the air, heading back to Islamabad.
Now, in front of Mike, the road to Skardu, and yet another 3 days in a jeep! Certainly not! To catch up on acclimatisation time, Mike tried to get on the 'once a day' flight from Islamabad – Skardu, a flight that is often cancelled due to bad weather conditions, so there is always an over extended list of people wanting to go on standby. But perhaps Mike would be lucky. Day one, the flight left but no place on standby. Day 2, the flight left, but no place on standby. Day three, Mike was on! He couldn't believe his luck! But then the unexpected happened..the flight turned back due to technical problems. Mike's luck was really not with him but the desire to get to the mountain was too strong to let go. Within the hour Mike was back on the jeep and on his way to Skardu. This time he would make it.
On the 26th of June Mike arrived in Skardu.
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