(By Raheel Adnan) An eventful summer climbing season, dominated by series of tragic incident, is swiftly approaching its end. Everyone, except very few climbers, has already vacated the mountains. Climbers still on the mountain are hoping for late season success on GI and GII.
New Route Attempt on GI
The Czech Gasherbrum team (Marek Holecek, Zdenek Hruby, Marek Novotny, Tomas Petrecek) were the last to arrive at BC this year (around the mid of July). As per Marek Holecek’s July 28th report, Marek Novotny and Tomas Petrecek were making a summit bid on GI via the standard route (Japanese Couloir). It’s not confirmed as of now, whether they made it to the summit or not.
Marek Holecek and Zdenek were hoping to complete the new route on the SW Wall of GI, which they attempted few years back. In 2009, they had to turn back from 7500m as Zdenek was having problems during the ascent. (Note: after an unsuccessful new route attempt, Marek Holecek went on to summit via the standard route).
GII Summit Push
The team lead by Dutch Arnold Coster is currently making another attempt to reach GII summit. Arnold Coster, Grace McDonald, Mark Quinn and Jon Kedrowski, with Mingma and Charlie Sherpa, have left the Base Camp, expecting to reach the top on August 5th. They reached C1 on August 02. As per plan, they will be resting there today and will try to go directly to C3 tomorrow. In the previous attempt, an enigmatic surge of high summit winds forced the team to turn back.
Success on GI
Last week several climbers managed to reach the summit of GI.
On July 29th, Lakpa Sherpa, Kiwi Chris Jensen Burke and Maltese Gregory Attard were at the top of Gasherbrum I. It was their second summit of the season (after GII on July 21st).
Two more GII summiteers, Belgian Stef Maginelle and Guido Riemenschneider, also attempted GI. Guido had to retreat from C3 due to exhaustion and cold, but Stef successfully made it to the top on July 29th.
It’s reported, that Russian Alexei Kosjakow also made it to the top of GI on July 29th, his second 8000er of the season. Asghar Ali Porik (Jasmine Tours) has confirmed that Alexei summited GII on July 15th. Alexei was part on International Nanga Parbat expedition and was in C2 when the violence struck Diamir BC. Unlike all other climbers who returned home, he joined the Russian Gasherbrums team.
The feat of Argentinean Mariano Galvan looks further interesting, as he was the first person to reach the summits of both GII and GI, this year. As per Carlos’ blog, Mariano summited GI on July 20th a day before the unfortunate Spanish trio, Abel, Xevi and Alvaro, who went missing during descent. After descending to C1, Mariono went up again to assist Alfredo Garcia’s descent, who was stranded in C3 due to bad weather.
Hit by the tragic loss of three friends, several Spanish climbers decided to return home without making a summit push. “Dawns a nice, sunny day; GI look indifferently; its summit no longer dominates my thoughts,” wrote Patxi Goni; but his climbing partner Oscar Cadiach went for the summit, reaching the top on July 29th, at 1100hrs local time. It’s the 13th 8000er for the Catalonian climber, who ascended Kangchenjuna in May this year.
Polish lady Anna Maria Baranska, Austrian Harald Hasslacher and Colombian Anibal Pineda Gonzalez reportedly reached GII summit, on July 21st.
First Ascent of K6 West (7040m)
Another virgin summit has been conquered this summer. It’s reported that Rafał Sławiński and Ian Welsted reached the top of K6 West (7040m) in K6 massif, on July 28th. K6 (7278m) peak was first ascended by four Austrians in 1971. In 2007, Marko Prezelj, Steve House and Vince Anderson had to abort their K6 West (7040m) attempt without success, due to excessive snow and bad weather.
As per Russianclimb, Denis Veretenin and Eugeny Bashkirtsev ascended the Nameless Tower via the Slovenian route in 1.5 days.
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.