August 2003. Hiked up to the campsites just below the lake. Friends to arrive later. There is an older guy, older than me maybe 60 or so, puttering around in the primo campsite. I set up and and take a snooze.
Later, still waiting for my friends, I mosey over and ask if he's planning on climbing Capitol. Says he climbed it this morning.
See the story is, he went up yesterday. Under estimated the work to get to K2. He'd only climbed 15 or so of these mountains. Anyway, he got to the top of K2 and was really beat. Couldn't figure out how to proceed, and besides, he was too tired to go back down to Capitol Lake. So he spent the night up on top of K2. Had a jacket, a hat, some water. Said he couldn't sleep because it was pretty cold. Got going before dawn and found his way down onto the ridge and climbed the mountain. Got down to the lake around 12 and I showed up around 2.
My friends arrived, we all had dinner then went to bed.
About 11 PM the most hellacious hailstorm I've ever encountered rolled through. It lasted about 30 minutes. I thought of K2 and this guy, just last night, trying to pass the night up there in his jacket and hat.
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