This afternoon I called Ahsan to see if I could nail down some questions and details about the upcoming trek. Yesterday I found out that we have to book airline tickets relatively soon – a pretty significant mile marker in our trip planning. It made me excited, but I can’t ignore that my mind is still not at ease with everything that has to happen – everything that is still up in the air – all the “what ifs” and “whens” that haven’t seemed to settle. Somehow all these things seem easier when the geography isn’t so far away and unknown. I’m not sure if I’m uneasy because I have good reason to be uneasy or if it’s just an issue of control and letting the details go to someone else. I guess it is equal parts frustrating and surprising. Frustrating because I have been so excited about the trek and can’t understand why I am still so unexplainably (or obviously – depending on how I look at it) hesitant about making a final commitment to going. Surprising because I feel like the hesitation is coming from my gut rather than my head. It is annoying. and disappointing.

Anyway, some things that we talked about: travel dates, details of trek schedule and possible contingency plans, the weather, tents, the water situation, altitude, people’s general level of fitness. I also sensed that he was somewhat nervous about the flight from Islamabad to Skardu and the changing weather. The flight passes over some of the highest peaks, and oftentimes flights are grounded last minute because of poor visibility or changing weather conditions. If our flight was cancelled or delayed we would have to drive the Karakoram highway.. which raises some issues of safety.  The fact that he seemed nervous, yet didn’t really talk about the alternatives, is of some concern.

Tomorrow I talk to Sid and I am looking forward to some solid information from a third party. stay tuned.

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