(By Raheel Adnan) It has been a disastrous year for mountaineering so far. Calamities have been hitting premier climbers at regular intervals. Karakoram Base Camps mourned the loss of Artur Hajzer and a German lady, earlier this week. But the rule of life says the climb must go on.
K2 teams have been held at Base Camp by snow and fierce winds, since the start of this week. With the improvement in weather, all climbers are back to climbing.
Couple of days back, Alex Txikon kicked off the climb with the intentions to achieve C1 but turned back due to difficult conditions. “K2 shows us its hardness on very first day” say Alex. Spaniard Felix Criado and Mexican Benjamin Salazar are his climbing partners in this expedition. They have changed their climbing route from SSE spur (Cesen route) to SE ridge (Abruzzi Spur) due to excessive snow on the mountain.
Swiss Team (Mike Horn, Fred & Kobi) and a Japanese Expedition had established C2 before weather deterioration. The Swiss team was able to spend one night there, as well. They will now resume to C3.
UK-Nepal-Canada team that includes four Sherpas, held Puja ceremony a few days back. Adrian Hayes and Al Hancock are other members. The team is currently on the mountain and has already established C1 (6100m). They will try to establish C2 (6700m) before returning to BC.
Argentineans Matoco Erroz and Juan Pablo Milana reached K2 Base Camp last week whereas International K2/Broad Peak team currently working on Broad Peak is also positive to conclude the climb soon and move to K2.
Weather improvement has inspired majority of Broad Peak teams to go for summit. Sunday, July 14th, is expected to be the summit day.
FTA expedition members Rauno (Ron) Hoglin and Scott Stuart left Base Camp on July 11th, hoping to reach the top on 14th. Other two members of the team, John Quillen and Brian Richard Moran are in BC awaiting evacuation to Skardu. Brian suffered a leg injury last week, and John will be accompanying him on return trip. Helicopter couldn’t fly to Broad Peak yet, due to bad weather.
The Iranian team has also started the summit push. It appears that one of the climbers, Abdul Azim Brahmani, will be on normal route while rest of the team will work on a different route (see in images). They have already established C3 at 7100m and are ready to make first summit attempt to navigate the final section.
AMICAL alpin team has started summit climb on GII. Expedition leader Thomas Laemmle and high altitude porters left for C1 yesterday (July 11th). They intended to move to C2, today. The rest of the team will be climbing to C1. The team hopes to make it to summit on July 16th.
Several other teams are currently busy in acclimatizing to C1 and C2.
Burials at Altitude
Jacek Berbeka, Jacek Jawien and Krzysztof Tarasiewicz reached 7100m few days back. They deposited equipment there and spent the night fighting against bad weather, before returning to BC. The team is attempting to reach the body at 7900m and will also try to find another perished climber.
Body of Artur Hajzer also rests near C2 on Gasherbrum I. At the moment, it’s not known whether he will be buried there or brought down. Reports suggest that it will be tough to take him back from the location. Family of the deceased Polish climber will have to make the final decision.
Romanina Team on Rupal Side is going up, again. All five climbers left for C1 (5100m) today, expecting a summit window around July 17-19.
Based in Lahore, Pakistan, telecom engineer and mountaineering enthusiast Raheel Adnan is a reporter for ExplorersWeb's mountaineering sections. He shares regular updates on Twitter and runs his own blog at AltitudePakistan posting initiated climbing news from Himalaya and Karakoram.
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