Broad Peak & Gasherbrum II: Climbers Near Summit

Despite difficult conditions, the summit push on Broad Peak has resumed.

Mirza Ali reports that the Pakistani team, who were breaking trail and fixing ropes, had to retreat after 12 hours of effort. Ali added that they have received little help: “There was no support, no ropes fixed by any other team, except for the Korean team who fixed 300m above Camp 3 and some 200m more fixed by Don Bowie and Lotta Hintsa,” Ali said.

Some do the work, others wait for a paved route

Don Bowie, who turned around at Camp 3 because of a stomach bug, made the same point in a summary of events posted yesterday:

“On July 15, Lotta and I left base camp for C2, breaking trail in deep snow from C1-C2 with Niels [Jespers] (Belgium) and Hugo [Ayaviri] (Bolivia), both strong guys. Lotta and I had earlier struck a deal with Mirza Ali to work with seven of his guys to fix to the summit, along with members of two other teams [Bowie chose not to name these two teams].

“We had worked with Mirza’s guys before, fixing deep snow from C2-C3…fun guys and strong. The plan was…to work together fixing to the summit on July 17. Then came yesterday morning: I burst out of the tent at C2 puking and purging violently. I’m sure it’s a result of drinking melted snow in crowded C2 with frozen human feces now blowing around everywhere… Shivering with fever and still purging, I had to go down. Lotta and I agreed she would go up. With a huge pack, she climbed to C3 while I crawled down the mountain and back into Base Camp.”

Lotta Hintsa, catching her breath for a moment during an exhausting trail-breaking night on Broad Peak. Photo: Don Bowie


Bowie went on: “Saturday morning, Lotta kept our side of the bargain and helped break trail and fix with five of Mirza’s guys, and also with Nils and Hugo. The two other unnamed teams wouldn’t leave their tents in C3, choosing to wait for the route above to be fixed for them. But Lotta and the small group worked tirelessly for 14 hours until [they were] defeated by deep snow at 7,750m; they just didn’t have enough manpower. I am so proud of this small team, and especially Lotta, and I hope those who simply waited at camp for the way to be opened for their summit push tomorrow appreciate their effort.”

Other climbers who left Camp 3 yesterday, such as Monika Witkowska, reported a huge crevasse before the saddle. This forced the rope-fixing team to look for a safe place to cross.

Summit News Imminent on Broad Peak and Gasherbrum II

The Pakistani Karakorum Expeditions team (with Stefan Keck) set off again yesterday at night. They divided into two groups: a trail-breaking group heading for the summit and a second group that included clients following behind. At 11:30 am local time, Keck’s tracker located him near Broad Peak’s saddle.

A line of climbers crosses a crevasse before the saddle of Broad Peak, as seen on Mirza Ali’s camera screen. Photo: Mirza Ali


Watching from K2 Base Camp, Kenton Cool reported on Twitter that a summit group had crossed the saddle and was on the summit ridge. They will have to traverse rocky ground in order to reach the true peak.

Meanwhile, on Gasherbrum II, personal trackers suggest a number of mountaineers have reached the summit pyramid. The Czech-Slovak Expedition Club team, Spain’s The Altitude Team, Pakistan’s Sirbaz Khan, Ali Raza and Naila Kiani, and Polish climber Piotr Krzyzowski (Beskid Expedition) are all nearing the summit.

Sirbaz Khan of Pakistan, positioned very close to Gasherbrum II’s summit at noon, local time. Photo: Khan’s Garmin Tracker