Broad Peak, Everest Climbers Back in BC

It has been a perfect summit day in the Karakorum, sunny and calm. Ironically, Denis Urubko and Don Bowie are back in Base Camp — Bowie, because of a bad respiratory issue, perhaps a flare-up of the flu that felled him on the trek in, and Urubko, because friends come first. “I couldn’t leave Don alone, he was feeling really badly,” said Urubko. “Now he needs to rest.”

Will a couple of days’ rest be enough for Bowie to recover? Or will Urubko go up on his own, considering that they have already fixed the route up to 7,500m? We’ll keep you posted.

On Everest, the weather is not as favorable, and both parties are also back in Base Camp. Alex Txikon’s group tried to reach Camp 3 earlier today, but high winds forced them back. “We left a deposit at 6,500m and turned around,” said Txikon. “Next time, we will try to go all the way to Camp 4. We just need two good days.”


One of Alex Txikon’s crew downclimbs a serac en route from Camp 2 to Base Camp. Photo: Alex Txikon

Jost Kobusch is also resting in Base Camp. Hopefully soon, he’ll post the details of yesterday’s eventful trip toward the Lho La, which culminated in a tense nighttime descent.

Meanwhile, two large teams are training in distant ranges for K2 next winter. They have renewed motivation, now that no one will apparently summit for yet another cold season. In the Pamir and Tien Shan, the Russian-Kyrgyz team that recently opened a new route on Ismail Somoni (Peak Communism), has split into two groups and entered a friendly competition to achieve the first Winter Snow Leopard award, given for climbing all five peaks over 7,000m in the former Soviet Union.

Yesterday, Sergey Seliverstov, who was not part of the first summit group, reached 6,200m with two partners on Ismail Somoni, his last remaining Snow Leopard mountain. In the second group, Mikhail Danichkin has also four winter Snow Leopard peaks and is now on his last, Korzhenevskoi Peak in the Pamirs. He and three companions are at 5,200m.

Finally, west of the Hunza Valley, the Poles under the leadership of Piotr Tomala are progressing up Batura Sar. In the process, the team, composed of both veterans and younger members, is testing and fine-tuning the skills they will need on winter K2. Their meticulous training regime began with Nanda Devi and a Lhotse attempt last year.