(By Raheel Adnan) While many of summer 2013 altitude climbers are still on the way to the mountains, some teams who reached BC early in the season are done with acclimatization, setting up higher camps and are now going for summit pushes. A narrow weather window, appearing after the mid of this week, may prove to be the opportunity for first summits of the season. Meanwhile a ceremony was held at K2 BC in the memories of two Polish climbers who died on Broad Peak this winter.
24 climbers from Austria and Germany along with seven mountaineers from Pakistan have started the climb from BC, aiming to reach the top on Thursday. The team arrived in Base Camp on June 12th and has been working to establish and equip higher camps C1 (5700m), C2 (6200m) and C3 (7100m), since then. They spent a night in C3 before descending to BC on June 26th because of bad weather forecast.
As per AMICAL alpin report, a part of the team reached C1, whereas others joined them in C2, today. The Team will try to reach C3 (7100m) tomorrow and start the summit push at 2:00AM local time on Thursday.
Romanian Team on Rupal side is the only team left on Nanga Parbat. They reached 7200m on June 25th before coming down due to bad weather and rest prior to summit bid. Team has previously established ABC (4500m), C1 (5100m), C2 (6000m) and C3 (approx. 6800m) on Schell’s route.
Romanians remained in a state of chaos for a few days after evacuation of all climbers from Diamir BC but eventually received green signal from authorities to proceed with the climb. Weather Forecast shows decrease in summit winds on Thursday but team’s plans for the summit bid are not known, yet.
Commemoration at Gilkey Memorial
Yesterday, Meciej Berbeka and Tomasz Kowalski’s families placed a commemorative plaque at Gilkey Memorial near K2 Base Camp, in the memory of two climbers, who died after making first winter ascent of Broad Peak. The ceremony was attended by Tomasz Kowalski’s parents and fiancée, Maciej’s brother Jacek Berbeka and members of the climbing team who will try to find bodies of deceased climbers. Team led by Jacek Berbeka will establish three camps before searching for deceased climbers above 7700m.
Gilkey Memorial is a monument built by Muhammad Ata Ullah and Base Camp team of 1953 American K2 Expedition, in the memory of their team-mate Arthur Gilkey who died high on the mountain after suffering from thrombophlebitis and disappearing under mysterious circumstances.
“Not far from base camp was a site ideal for the purpose. For a short distance just above the place where they meet, the Godwin-Austen and the Savoia glaciers run parallel to each other, separated only by a long, narrow, knife-edge ridge. This ridge juts well away from the shadows of the main rocky mass, and is bathed in life-giving sunshine the whole day long, forming a sanctuary for the only flower masses in that area. It was a soothing colorful oasis in a vast desert of snow and ice.” Ata, who along with porters built the 10 feet cairn - today known as Gilkey Memorial, wrote in his autobiography "Citizen of two Worlds".
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.
Summer 2013: Karakoram Climbs Go On