Summit Push Update: Teams On Their Way

Lhakpa Sherpa of Pioneer Adventure yesterday at Camp 3 on K2, with the Pakistani Hushe team cheering behind him. Photo: Pioneer Adventure

Saulius Damulevicius, Israfil Ashurli, and the two very tired Russian skiers, Vitaly Lazo and Anton Pugovkin, left Camp 3 at 6 pm Pakistan time. They are now pushing toward the summit of Broad Peak. As of 5 pm EDT, 10 pm Greenwich time, they’ve already been on the go for six hours.

Lazo, in particular, has had a hectic few days. Last week, he spent several hours trying to save Kim HongBin before Kim fell to his death. Then Lazo spent most of yesterday in a helicopter searching for Kim’s body. He arrived back in Base Camp late and was in Camp 1 by 8 pm. There, he drank some tea and hurried to Camp 2, which he reached by midnight.

Today, he left at 6 am for Camp 3 and arrived five hours later. After a short break, he was ready to go for the summit — sort of, looking at his face.

Vitaly Lazo and Anton Pugovkin show their exhaustion before setting off for the summit of Broad Peak. Photo: Vitaly Lazo

Thomas Lone, devastated by the death of Kim HongBin, has decided to call off his own attempt. The home team of the British “Cumbria to K2” expedition confirmed to ExplorersWeb that Paul Etheridge and Pete Brittleton were in Camp 3. They are ready to move up “if the weather window prevails”.

Broad Boy passes 8,500m (10:30 pm EDT)

Shehroze Kashif and Hushe’s teams were in Camp 4 and are well on their way to the summit. By 10:30pm EDT (3:30 am Greenwich time), Kashif had passed 8,500 and was closing in on the summit, according to his tracker.

A good part of the route is already fixed, according to Garrett Madison. “Our Sherpa team, which was fixing lines today, was able to make it up the Shoulder, through the Bottleneck, around the Traverse, and nearly up to the Bench on the way toward the final pitches to the summit,” he wrote.

Madison and his team will rest for one day and push tomorrow night. They hope to reach the summit on Wednesday, as does Niels Jespers.

Shehroze Kashif’s track shows that he left K2’s Camp 4 at midnight…

…and is now well on his way to the summit.

Sajid: more O2 needed

Elia Saikaly posted via InReach that Sajid Sadpara, Pasang Kaji Sherpa, and himself were leaving tonight to “complete their mission”. He didn’t say whether this included summiting. Saikaly also mentioned that they were running short of oxygen and asked other teams to share some.

Samina Baig cancelled her attempt earlier today. She is back in BC and warns about conditions. Baig and her team had to dodge several rocks whizzing past them above Camp 1. She noted the extremely warm weather on K2 (which Ian Welsted, on the West Ridge, also mentioned).

Marco Confortola prepares to fix rope on a difficult section of Gasherbrum I. Photo: Marco Confortola

On Gasherbrum I, Marco Confortola and Mario Vielmo left at midnight. There have been no previous ascents on G1 this season, so no ropes or trails are in place. Rare for an 8,000’er these days, they are alone on the mountain.

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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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Update
Update
1 month ago

Vitaly was NOT part of Runova rescue. He stated this on his IG. He is upset with Runova, and her rescurers (Oswald, Stephan Keck, Little Hussein) as well as Blue Sky overall, for not doing any radio (Blue Sky’s HAP had no radio at all), or using InReach for texts, of Mr. Kim’s situation. It was 12:15am when he and Anton woken up, after only 2 hours of sleep, that 2 climbers in distress. He was told by Don Bowie not to go up and help either Runova or Mr. Kim. So, he and Anton waited at C3. At C3… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Update
Update
Update
1 month ago
Reply to  Update

I am saddened the DZF Vitaly and Anton are so tired, after trying to do so much to help Mr. Kim.

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Jerry Kobalenko
Admin
1 month ago
Reply to  Update

Corrected, thank you.

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Paul
Paul
1 month ago
Reply to  Update

Before blaming someone, maybe just write first that Kim was up with own Korean Team and HAPs, at around midnight they informed that Kim descended created the confusion about his situation. Vitaly for some reason keep quiet about it.

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Max Madera
Max Madera
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul

Are you sure about this? Other reports said that Kim Hongbin was only with one HAP (Hussein) and he did not carry a sat phone or a walkie talkie with him, however strange this might seem.

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Don Paul
Don Paul
1 month ago

Lazo has earned the heroism medal this year, whatever else he may have wanted to accomplish. I’m concerned that Mirza Ali and Samina Baig aren’t comfortable with the conditions and turned back, and that others are still going for the summit. I don’t know who is the most experienced, but they have the best known guiding company in Pakistan.

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Paul
Paul
1 month ago
Reply to  Don Paul

I am almost sure that they cancel the expeditions not because of conditions, just because some internal problems. Other teams that are up on mountain not inform anything about unusual avalanche dangers.

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mona
mona
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul

The outfitters’ official postings give the positive news, as usual. But earlier reports on Exweb mention a mountain loaded with snow in the upper parts. The death of a mountaineering legend in an avalanche just 2 days ago can be seen by many as a signal of “unusual avalanche danger”.

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Max Madera
Max Madera
1 month ago
Reply to  mona

He was on a different route, though. They are not equally exposed to avalanches, but it does seem to be a lot of fresh snow up in the mountain.

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Sheeny
Sheeny
1 month ago

K2 has been climbed again…hope they get down safe!

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