K2 and Broad Peak: the Climbers We Know About

8000ers K2 Karakorum
K2 Base Camp
K2 as seen from Broad Peak Base Camp. Photo: Sophie Lenaerts

A significant number of climbers have overcome COVID fears and flight cancellations to reach Pakistan. Here, they are attempting K2, Broad Peak, or both.

Currently, K2 has three fully serviced commercial expeditions, and several independent teams. Most have enlisted at least one Pakistani climber to help on the climb.

At a meeting in Base Camp some days ago, everyone agreed on how to handle the always ticklish situation with fixed ropes. The commercial teams in charge of the ropes are Pakistan’s Karakorum Expeditions, Madison Mountaineering from the U.S., and Nepal’s Pioneer Adventure.

Graham Zimmerman and Ian Welsted will attempt the West Ridge, but so far, everyone else is going via the Abruzzi Spur.

Camp 1 on K2’s Abruzzi Spur. Photo: Oswald Rodrigo Pereira

Ropes fixed up to C3

Three weeks ago, it seemed that most climbers would first acclimatize on Broad Peak. But the rope-fixing on K2 has gone more quickly than expected. Karakorum Expeditions climbers from Shimshal fixed up to Camp 2 last week. And the Sherpas working for the other two guided expeditions reached Camp 3 yesterday.

This has allowed other climbers to do a first rotation to Camp 1. Some even went on to Camp 2. Tomorrow, the Pakistanis will fix even more ropes to C3, said outfitter Mirza Ali. Coordinating on behalf of the Pakistani staff are European guides Jordi Tosas and Stefan Keck. Keck has a tracking device with him.

Outfitter Mirza Ali and sister Samina Baig. She hopes to become the first Pakistani woman atop K2. Photo: Samina Baig

Most climbers are focused only on K2, while the film team of Elia Saikaly and Pemba Kanji Sherpa mainly want to help Sajid Sadpara search for the remains of his father Ali and his companions John Snorri and JP Mohr. The three disappeared on the mountain last winter. Saikaly’s tracker positions him in Camp 1, where he and his group are “holding on in order to acclimatize,” despite high winds last night.

Two other winter K2 veterans, Oswald R. Pereira and Carlos Garranzo, have also come to help bring closure to last winter’s tragedy. Garranzo was a close friend of Mohr and especially Sergi Mingote, who died in a fall on K2 days before Mohr went missing.

Garranzo is back in Camp 1, according to his tracker. When in BC, he has joined a small group that includes Pereira, plus Anne Bialek and Hugo Ayaviri of Bolivia.

Left to right, Carlos Garranzo, Jordi Tosas, and Anne Bialek. Photo: Carlos Garranzo

Cell tower still out

Unfortunately, the newly installed cell phone antenna at Concordia has conked out, driving climbers back to rudimentary communication with their InReach devices. At least those with trackers leave a trail of digital cookie crumbs, which is, for now, the best source of current information.

The Belgian 8000unlimited team of Sophie Lenaerts, Steff Maginelle, Niels Jespers (his location is here), and Jeff Spellmans are going to Camp 2 tomorrow and Camp 3 after that.

Meanwhile, Zimmerman and Welsted reached 6,100m on K2’s West Ridge for a first acclimatization. They also had a quick look-see of the route ahead. Since then, they have moved to Broad Peak to further acclimatize.

Broad Peak

The first to arrive at Broad Peak, Don Bowie and Lotta Hintsa, have fixed and spent several days between Camp 1 and Camp 2. Now everyone else has arrived. The Karakorum Expeditions team proceeded up as soon as the weather allowed. Today, they fixed the route to Camp 3.

One of Karakorum Expeditions’ rope fixers on Broad Peak. Photo: Karakorum Expeditions

Spain’s Victor Sans plans a K2-Broad Peak double-header. Yesterday, he passed Camp 2 on Broad Peak and reached 6,400m, according to his tracker. He then returned to BC.

Fotis Theocharis of Greece, a client of Karakorum Expeditions who also plans the double-header, previously went to Advanced Base Camp on K2 and is currently in Base Camp at Broad Peak, his tracker says. The British team Cumbria to K2, currently on Broad Peak, are among the few able to post daily updates, thanks to Inmarsat’s BGAN service, which is good with both data and voice in this region.

The hub that Peter Brittleton and Paul Etheridge of the UK are using to post daily from Broad Peak. Photo: Cumbria to K2

Other climbers, such as Kim HongBin of Korea (on his last 8,000m peak of the 14), are also on Broad Peak, but have no trackers nor have they posted recently.  Others include Qatar’s Fazar Badar, Azerbaijan’s Nastya Runova, Israfil Ashurli, and Saulius Damulevicius, and Poland’s Monika Witkowska.

Skiers

Finally, the skiers: A few days ago, Thomas Lon of Norway posted a video of his ski down Broad Peak from Camp 1 to BC. Here is his tracker.

He is joining forces with Deathzone Freeriders Vitaly Lazo and Anton Pugovkin. This latter pair plans to climb and ski down all the 8,000’ers. Currently, they’re on Broad Peak. Their climbing partners include Alexander Kedrov, Mitya Ryukzakov Dmitry Kutyanin, and Dmitry Khonin, according to Carlos Garranzo.

+3

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!

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
12 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mountain Lover
Mountain Lover
16 days ago

The first pic above is from Broad peak BC and not K2 BC.

+1
Apy
Apy
16 days ago

Good morning, Angela. Another tracker is Kenton Cool’s http://kentoncool.com/tracking-map/

+1
Anna
Anna
16 days ago

Thank you for the info. Fantastic a big group of people on the mountain k2. Hope they all do really well and come back safely.

0
Tenzin
Tenzin
16 days ago

Garranzo wearing a Dzi bead just like every other Westerner that wears Tibetan accessories pretending like they know anything about it….facepalm….

0
Westerner
Westerner
15 days ago
Reply to  Tenzin

Lot of westerners do this. Go to Nepal and you’ll see westerners wearing all sorts of hindu/buddhist necklaces. If it makes them happy why does it bother you? Westerners just have more life problems

0
ravnur
ravnur
15 days ago
Reply to  Westerner

Because it is cultural appropriation and disrespect to the people to whom these symbols actually mean something! I presume your comment about westerners life problems is a meant as a joke.

0
Michael
Michael
15 days ago

Hi please can some one tell me are the nepali sherpas at k2 camp
currently

+1
Michael
Michael
15 days ago
Reply to  Michael

I was born and raised in Pakistan and worked for adventure and sight seeing tour companies for over 20 years. Mountaineering is a high risk sport

0
Updates
Updates
15 days ago
Reply to  Michael

Michael, with G4 tower down, detailed information not as easy to come by. In this article, Alan Arnette lists teams and support. I did notice this Explorersweb article has two more links not in this article. According to list in Alan’s article 9 Sherpas with Ukraine team, and 10 Sherpa with Madison Mountaineering.

https://www.alanarnette.com/blog/2021/07/08/k2-2021-summer-coverage-rotations-begin/

0
Dan E Montgomery
Dan E Montgomery
15 days ago

Hope poop is under control for future generations.

0
Chogori Adventure
13 days ago

This is what we call love for mountains and climbing.
Because we personally belong to the K2 area (Shigar) but never have been there but only the K2 base camp.
Hats Off to these guys they are a real heroes.

0
×