Pakistan Winter Broad Peak: Polish team waiting for the signal, "Charge!"

Posted: Feb 26, 2013 03:58 pm EST

(Newdesk) They begin to live again after a positive weather forecast and are more than ever ready for a summit attack, says the Polish team.

Since they had turned back from their Broad Peak summit attempt 9 days ago, they had to entertain themselves at Base Camp; they hiked to K2 BC, "walking on a mine field", and are keeping a close eye on the weather.

Yesterday they received news that the wind speed could drop on March 4-5, "there is light in the tunnel - hope for the summit!" reported Tomasz Kowalski today. They say if the weather holds they can possibly leave Base Camp on March 1st or 2nd.

After the good news about the weather, suddenly everybody's moods recovered, added Tomasz. "Again, we are talking about patents to warm the feet, one begins to sharpen crampons and all are motivated to wash socks. Again, we begin to live."

"It is no secret that slowly we were losing hope, the more so that the manager was not going to wait until spring to attack [summit]. He said that "the ice warriors must be prepared for the cold and wind." And we are! More than ever. We are waiting only for the signal "Charge!""

K2 visit a walk on a mine field

While trying to pass the time the Polish team hiked to K2 BC and visited the famous memorial dedicated to the victims of this mountain, i.e. The Gilkey Memorial. They write in their blog, "In summertime, it is an hour walk on a moraine. Now, when the moraine is covered with snow and cracks are invisible, our trip has resembled a walk on a mine field."

"Together with Karim and Artur, we reached the site of the K2 base camp after 90 minutes and found there a considerable amount of wood left by Russian winter expedition. Then, we had to cross a small glacier and a very chaotic moraine, where every now and then we fell with one foot or another into small hidden cracks."

"The Memorial is placed high on the rocks glued to a big wall of the Angelus summit. The first visible plate is dedicated to Gerfrid, Cedric and Nissar, who died last winter at Gasherbrum I. At the top there is a stupa, several plates and other memorabilia commemorating victims of K2, Broad Peak and other summits found in the Baltoro valley. We noticed plates of Wojciech Wróż, Tadeusz Piotrowski and Halina Kruger Syrokomska. However, we have not seen the plate dedicated to “Mrówka” (Dobrosława Miodowicz-Wolf) as it is placed in the vicinity of the forward base camp."

"Our return to the base camp turned out to be even more stressful. We wanted to make a shortcut and decided to walk on the lateral moraine that after several meters turned out to be a labyrinth of invisible cracks. One of them, covered with rocks, suddenly opened up in front of me and I fell into it up to my shoulders, but fortunately, I managed to escape without any problems. All of us fell into some cracks and after an hour of wandering we returned to the Russian wood storage."

"We were late for lunch, but at least we had an adventure that could be described ;)"

Broad Peak links:

Polish on FB

Polish winter climbing news

Polish 2012-13 Broad Peak route

Winter expedition of Polish Mountaineering Association to Broad Peak - topo of the route to the summit

Altitude Pakistan

Broad Peak weather


Pakistan Winter: Broad Peak Summit attempt cancelled

Winter Pakistan: 2013 Nanga Parbat Videos

Winter Nanga Parbat: Joel Wischnewski search February 21st & 22nd


Winter permits, calendar climbs and more: 2004 ExWeb series revisit

Winter 8000ers: Statistics recall

Himalaya winter games: list of expeditions is up

Best of ExplorersWeb 2012 Awards Winner: Gasherbrum I First Winter Ascent

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"Our cook, Mossin, and his helper, Momad, do their best and prepare for us various dishes for breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Today [Febr. 25th] we have eaten scrambled eggs with green peppers and lamb a dish that you will not find even in the best restaurants listed by Michelin."
Image by Adam Bielecki courtesy Polish Winter Himalayan Mountaineering 2010-2015, SOURCE
Amin Ullah, Karim Hayyat, Tomek Kowalski and Artur Małek in the mess tent.
Image by Adam Bielecki courtesy Polish Winter Himalayan Mountaineering 2010-2015, SOURCE
Tomasz from BC: "Unfortunately, for many days looked the same: wind, cold, wind, lack of visibility and sometimes snow. The culmination of the wind is expected tonight [Feb. 26th], initially promised to be even a hurricane. [...] Now messa looks like a fortress, and we hope that the hurricane will continue without the need to defend by our brave soldiers :-)"
Image by Tomasz Kowalski courtesy Polish Winter Himalayan Mountaineering 2010-2015, SOURCE
The Gilkey Memorial
Image by Tomasz Kowalski courtesy Polish Winter Himalayan Mountaineering 2010-2015, SOURCE
Wind in knots.
Image by Polish 2013 Winter Broad Peak courtesy Polish Winter Himalayan Mountaineering 2010-2015, SOURCE
The altitude Adam Bielecki and Arthur Małek reached while trying to summit Broad Peak (8047 m) on 2/17/2013. (attempt began from C3). Topo by Romuald Bielecki, Adam's father.
Image by Topo by Romuald Bielecki on Facebook

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