Posted: Feb 10, 2012 03:48 pm EST (AB/TS) There is melancholy in the wind and sorrow in the rocks. A crisp full moon and a few brilliant days allowed a fast shuttle of the Russian mountaineers out of K2 base camp. Climbing on the other peaks remains limited by strong winds. Instead, beautiful imagery from a wintery Karakoram takes center stage.
Yesterday the Pakistani pilots managed to reach K2 Base Camp at last. The Russian team, gear and staff were airlifted to Paiju in three consecutive flights. Escorting the remains of Vitaly Gorelik, the climbers were then flown to Skardu and finally to Islamabad today.
Gerfried, Cedric, Darek, Tamara and Nisar spent Wednesday in C1. The Polish tent was perched on a narrow ridge, forcing the couple to sleep tied in.
"As predicted by Charly Gabl the next day we had a wonderful sunrise and a cold but sunny, windless day," Goschl reported. He and Cedric fixed ropes up to 6650 meters while Darek and Tamara filmed. Alex and Carlos replaced them in the camp yesterday, planning to work on the route up to 6,800m today.
In their latest report the Polish team was back in BC after setting up C2 on the normal route.
A huge avalanche cleaned Nanga's slopes at daybreak yesterday opening to a gorgeous morning for Denis and Simone. "At such bright sight, one can't help feeling optimistic," Simone wrote. A fresh forecast announced snowfall from tomorrow and hurricane on the summit ridge though so a summit push is out of the question. The Polish team planned to place a cache at 5,550m.
In bitter cold (-23ºC) expedition photographer Matteo seized the moment for spectacular full moon shots of the mountain range, so rarely visited in the deep of winter. Check also out the team's video from a previous acclimatization trip: