Broad Peak: Snow Defeats Would-be Summiters for Now; All Return to C3

8000ers K2
A member in the Belgian team prepares O2 to assist Mustafa, the stricken high-altitude porter. Photo: Sophie Lenaerts

Deep snow has made the Broad Peak summit push much tougher than anyone expected. All eight or nine climbers breaking trail toward the summit eventually turned around. They are now back in Camp 3, after more than 12 hours of struggle.

Oswald Rodrigo Pereira and Anastasiia Runova pushed for some time after the others had given up, but the going proved simply too hard. Eventually, they too retreated to Camp 3. Yet the push is far from over, because all the other climbers ready to attempt the summit reached Camp 3 today.

“Everyone currently at Camp 3 is getting ready to leave for the top tonight,” Akhbar Syed told ExplorersWeb from Base Camp.

The Korean team led by Kim HongBin is preparing to leave as well, but they will leave from a somewhat higher point. They are the only team confirmed to have set up a Camp 4.

Ailing porter helped down

Meanwhile, Mustapha, one of the porters helping Belgians Luc Beirinckx and Wouter Noterman, showed signs of altitude sickness at 7,000m today.

“In those circumstances and at that altitude, there was only one solution: go down,” Sophie Lenaerts wrote. “We gave him our emergency oxygen, the Russian team provided dexamethasone. Together with their other porter, Farman, Luc and Wouter helped Mustapha down. Their summit push is over.”

From Base Camp, Mirza Ali checks in with the climbers. Photo: Karakorum Expeditions

Still, an exhausted Mustapha was so slow that Lotta Hintsa and Jeff Spelmans decided to pitch in with the emergency descent. Mirza Ali, who has been constantly on watch from Base Camp since yesterday, will coordinate further rescue efforts.

As of 9:30 pm in Pakistan, the group with Mustapha had reached Camp 1, where they will spend the night.

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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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Lenore Jones
Lenore Jones
2 months ago

This is good ethics, caring for a fellow climber this way. Good for them.

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Torra
Torra
2 months ago

Given up? Someone needs help and they have gone down with medicines! Runova and Pereira – they do not care about anything but the goal. Refused to help. Thanks God there are people in this world like Lotta and Jeff.

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