K2, the second highest peak on the planet (28,268’) is a lonely place right now. It straddles the border between Pakistan and the Xinjian Uygur Autonomous Region in China, both fraught with riots, ethnic upheavals and terrorist attacks. Nonetheless it’s as beautiful from China as it was from Pakistan where I first saw it in ’98. I and my team of three Kyrgyz, one Uygur and three camels experienced bluebird conditions in base camp and not another soul the entire time. Our little family–Shiite, Sunni and kara bura (black camels)–celebrated the end of Ramadan, the Lunar New Year and the 60th Anniversary of Communism in China. Mostly we shared a common goal to reach K2. A good time was had by all.Visit author’s website: Ruth Anne Kocour.