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Climbing Activities Pace Up in Karakoram

Posted: Jul 04, 2013 09:38 pm EDT

(By Raheel Adnan) Despite the massive debacle at start of the season, in the form Nanga Parbat massacre, the climbing action is pacing up in Pakistan. Summit pushes have already begun. Some teams are busy in acclimatization whereas others have just landed in Base Camps. Many climbers are still trekking to their respective mountains.


Summit Pushes


Currently no updates are available about Nanga Parbat and Broad Peak teams, who were hoping to make summit-bids, earlier today. Thomas Laemmle reported clear skies and no wind from C2 on Gasherbrum-II, this evening, but weather forecast suggested increasing winds on Broad Peak summit (wind speed approaching 30km/hr). Similar conditions were predicted on Nanga Parbat, as well.


K2 Teams Progress


The Japanese Team was able to establish C1 on K2, yesterday. Until now, they were only team working on the mountain and hence route fixing has been taking more time. The team stayed in C1 today and is now hoping to extend the route further to C2, before weather deteriorates.


Swiss climbers Mike Horn, Fred Roux and Kobi Reichen have also reached the Base Camp earlier this week, after a brisk trek from Askole. The trio will be working on South-Southeast spur (Cesen route) without porters and oxygen support.


Climbers from Lela’s K2 Expedition were also approaching BC, few days ago. Spanish Felix Criado, Mexican Benjamin Salazar and a Nepalese Sherpa were trekking with Lela’s Gasherbrum team. The group split at Concordia on July 1st and K2 climbers must be at BC by now. Basque climber Alex Txikon will also be arriving at BC, in a couple of days.


Argentinean duo Matoco Erroz and Juan Pablo Milana were at Concordia yesterday and must have reached the Base Camp by now.


Adrian Hayes and the teams’ 8-day trek to BC started on June 30th. They will reach BC by early next week.


Broad Peak


While a number of Broad Peak climbers are currently trying to reach the summit, many others are still acclimatizing and equipping the higher camps for summit push. International Broad Peak/K2 team of Kiwi Martin Schmidt, his son Denali, Australian Chris Mellor Warner, two Greeks Alexandros Aravidis and Nikolaos Mangitsis, and sherpa guides reached C2 last week. There were hoping to climb further from C2 this week.


FTA Expedition members are also gradually rising to higher camps.  Polish team led by Jacek Berbeka is hopeful that within 2-3 weeks, they will be in a position to reach the pass at around 7900m, from where search for the bodies of Maciej and Tomasz will start.


Iranian Expedition is climbing Broad Peak from a different route. They will try to rise to 6700m tomorrow, and 7000m on Saturday to assess the route, further.


Mexican couple Badia and Mauricio, whose initial plan was to climb Hidden Peak first and Broad Peak later, wrote that after 6 days trekking, they reached Broad Peak Base Camp on 30th. Apparently, the couple decided to attempt Broad Peak before Gasherbrum I.




All members of AMICAL alpin team are currently in C2 (6530m), where they will stay for two nights. Tomorrow, the team will attempt rope fixing to C3. With this the acclimatization phase will conclude and team will be ready for summit push. Expedition leader Thomas Laemmle hopes that July 11th may possibly be the summit day.


Polish Artur Hajzer, Marcin Kaczkan also ascended to 7000m on GII before returning to BC last week. They will be climbing both GI and GII.


Russian climber, Alexei Kosjakow, who was part of International Nanga Parbat Expedition and was in C2 at the time of massacre at Diamir BC, is now climbing Gasherbrums with Olga Sukhanova. While after the tragic incident, all Diamir Face climbers aborted their climbing endeavors in Pakistan and returned to their home countries, Alexei moved to Skardu to join Russian GII Expedition.


Spanish and Taiwanese teams, who arrived at Gasherbrum BC earlier this week, have started acclimatizing and equipment shifting to higher camps. Several climbers are still trekking to Base Camp and will be reaching there by next week.


Based in Lahore, Pakistan, telecom engineer and mountaineering enthusiast Raheel Adnan is a reporter for ExplorersWeb's mountaineering sections. He shares regular updates on Twitter and runs his own blog at AltitudePakistan posting initiated climbing news from Himalaya and Karakoram.





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Group photo of climbers from different expeditions, at Concordia.
Iranian route on Broad Peak (Click to view full image).
Japanese Expedition sets up C1 on K2.