Pakistan 8,000’ers: On the Move at Last

8000ers K2 Karakorum
The Karakorum Expeditions team fixes ropes and cleans some belays on K2's Abruzzi Spur. Photo: Mirza Ali

After some slow days because of bad weather in the Karakorum and on Nanga Parbat, climbers have begun to head up again.

K2

In the interim, all the teams on 8,000m expeditions have had time to reach K2 Base Camp. This includes an all-Pakistani team from Hushe that includes Mohammad Taqi, Ali Durrani, Muhammad Hassan, Mushtaq Ahmad, and Yousuf Ali.

Nepal’s Pioneer Adventure team, with a strong Sherpa crew and three Ukrainian clients, have arrived as well, after a “boring trek to BC”, according to member Olya Koroleva. A very unusual view of the spectacular hike through the Karakorum.

Meanwhile, Mirza Ali’s Karakorum Expeditions squad battled cold and fresh snow to fix the route to Camp 2. “The team started from C1 at 8 am despite heavy fresh snow and  by 4 pm they had fixed rope to Camp 2,” Mirza Ali wrote.”A truly remarkable job.”

Jalal Uddin, Eid Muhammad, Ahmed Baig, and Faryad Karim lead the fixers, supported by Inayat Ali, Ghulam Abbass, Basharat Hussain, and Younis Ali.

Broad Peak

On Broad Peak, Karakorum Expeditions has its own team, which has already set up tents in Camp 2.

Lotta Hintsa reported yesterday that she and Don Bowie were preparing to leave again for Camp 3, despite an avalanche that swept that area recently.

Broad Peak has also had its first partial ski descent when Thomas Lone skied down from Camp 1. Lone has joined the Russian Dathzone Freeride team of Vitaly Lazo and Anton Pugovnik. Last year, that duo made an almost complete ski descent from Nanga Parbat. Back then, they teamed up with the late Cala Cimenti.

Here is Thomas’s video, shared by Carlos Garranzo on Twitter:

Gasherbrums

Nearby, on the Gasherbrums, the Altitude Team climbing GII are back to Camp 1. They report that high-altitude porters have already fixed the Banana Ridge, thus clearing the way to Camp 2. The weather was still iffy when they left yesterday, but the Catalans trusted an improving forecast for tomorrow and Thursday.

Marco Confortola and Mario Vielmo, who had intended to break trail to Camp 2 on Gasherbrum I, had to retreat after a night at 6,000m because of lack of visibility. But the excursion did help their acclimatization.

Above Camp 1 on Gasherbrum II. Photo: The Altitude Team

Nanga Parbat

Further west, on Nanga Parbat, Lolo Gonzalez and Sergio Carrascoso observed avalanches sweeping down the Diamir Face all day yesterday, after nearly a week of non-stop snowfall. Because of the relentless bad weather, they are not yet acclimatized, even after 23 days. At this point, it’s now or never.

“Let’s hope snow conditions improve and the weather stabilizes because we need to stay eight days at altitude,” Gonzalez told his home team. “[We need to be] as high as we can get but in any case, not lower than 6,500m in order to acclimatize.”

Gonzalez says that in his 16 Himalaya expeditions, he has never had to stay so long in a Base Camp with so little altitude gain. At least, their relatively low Base Camp, set up on a grassy alpine meadow, is warm and comfortable.

Base Camp at Nanga Parbat some days ago. Photo: Andalucia 8000

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About the Author

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides

Senior journalist, published author and communication consultant. Specialized on high-altitude mountaineering, with an interest for everything around the mountains: from economics to geopolitics. After five years exploring distant professional ranges, I returned to ExWeb BC in 2018. Feeling right at home since then!

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Humayun Zafar
Humayun Zafar
2 months ago

Nepalese guy said that it was a boring trek to K2 Basecamp? More boring than an easy walk up to Everest summit?

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Abup
Abup
2 months ago
Reply to  Humayun Zafar

No, it was a Ukrainian who said so. And no you don’t have to take it personally, if she found it boring too bad for her; no need to shit on Everest or anywhere else.

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Humayun Zafar
Humayun Zafar
2 months ago
Reply to  Abup

My apologies, I wasn’t paying attention, there have been some very stern and snide comments from Winter Summit teams of Nepal and many stories regarding them making sure that no one follows their summit push. From very good sources and locals. I have nothing but respect for Sherpas but they should show respect and dignity too.

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Marie
Marie
2 months ago
Reply to  Humayun Zafar

Hi Humayun, if you really have proof from very good, reliable sources that they (the Winter summit team) made sure that no one follows their summit push, you should make it public asap, especially if those efforts may have contributed to the death of climbers around that time. For if indeed there was foul play involved, other climbers might be in great danger too.

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Lenore Jones
Lenore Jones
2 months ago
Reply to  Marie

There is no such proof because it didn’t happen. The whole concept is ridiculous.

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John Smith
John Smith
2 months ago
Reply to  Humayun Zafar

if you read the article properly, it appears this comment came from one of the Ukrainians.

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Humayun Zafar
Humayun Zafar
2 months ago
Reply to  John Smith

Yes! I stand corrected.

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proguide46@gmail.com
proguide46@gmail.com
2 months ago

I’ve done this approach to K2 on expedition in 1985, of course it’s never boring, but maybe the weather was cloudy and/or she didn’t feel well.

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Last edited 2 months ago by proguide46@gmail.com
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