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K2 Teams Progress, Avalanches on Nanga Parbat

Posted: Jun 21, 2013 09:09 pm EDT

(By Raheel Adnan) Teams climbing K2 have diverse schedules, this summer. While some arrived as early as start of June, others will not be in Pakistan till the end of the month. Currently the Japanese team is approaching BC and the Swiss climbers are on the way to Karakoram. On the other mountains, Nanga Parbat teams are already in the Base Camp, fighting against deep snow, avalanches and bad weather. Until now, no one could reach C2 on Kinshofer route, but after weather improvement teams are on the up again. Rupal face team is also making steady progress.




Japanese Tochigi Expedition was the first K2 team to arrive in Pakistan. If everything went as per plan, they would have left Skardu a week ago and must be approaching the Base Camp now.


Instead of setting K2 as major goal, Spaniard Ferran Latorre will be focusing on Gasherbrum I climb this season. He will be traveling to Karakoram with fellow K2 climbers Alex Txikon and Felix. Ferran Lattore hasn’t simply ruled out chances of K2, but said, “We will see if everything goes incredibly well.”


Mexican climber Benjamin Salazar reached Pakistan on June 17th and is still in Islamabad. Along with exploring the city and its suburbs, he enjoyed some unanticipated encounters with old climbing friends. One of such friends is Al Hancock who will also be on K2 this year. Al and Benjamin met on Everest five years ago.


Al Hancock will be climbing with Adrian Hayes and four Nepalese. His plan was to leave Nepal for Pakistan on June 19th. To prepare himself for K2, Adrian Hayes has been running up and down on Dubai’s skyscrapers stairs with ankle weights. He was also set to fly to Pakistan, tonight (June 21st).


Swiss team of Mike Horn, Fred Roux and Kobi Reichen is also on the way to K2.


A Mongolian contributor, Bayar Dashdeleg, shared news about the first Mongolian lady to climb Everest (2011), Badamgarav Gangaamaa, who is currently in Pakistan to climb K2. Having left Mongolia on June 10th, she was in Skardu a couple of days ago. Ganga will be joining one of the international teams to the world’s second highest peak.


Nanga Parbat


It has been a dramatic week on the western-most Himalayan eight-thousander. An avalanche struck Diamir side BC on June 19th, destroying half a dozen tents but fortunately everyone remained safe. Nanga Parbat slopes on both Diamir and Rupal face have been shaking off the snow accumulated during bad weather days. Climbers going above BC narrowly escaped such avalanches at several occasions. Higher camps have also been affected by snow and avalanches.


Diamir Side


Ukrainian team, led by Igor Svergun, established C1 at 4800m on June 16th and set up an intermediate camp at around 5300m before the deterioration of the weather. After heavy snow on 17th and 18th, they had to spend the whole day on June 19th securing C1 from avalanches.


International Expedition’s tents have been damaged by snow and avalanches. But as the weather has improved, the team will try to conquer Kinshofer wall and reach C2 over the weekend.


Pakistani Expedition leader Karim Hayyat returned to BC yesterday, after spending two nights in C1, whereas Naseer and Sher have just gone up. The team’s report about conditions on mountain is not very encouraging, “The snow conditions are bad on the mountain. Yesterday Karim was almost hit by the avalanche but he saw it in time and could protect himself by the rocks. The weather is fine but the temperature is quite high and there is still serious avalanche risk.”


Polish Nanga Experience team reached 5800m and deposited some equipment there before turning back to BC during bad weather. They have been waiting for better conditions to go further.


Iranian climber Mehdi Gholipour is also attempting Nanga Parbat from Diamir side, this year. As per recent report, he is trying to reach higher camps as part of his acclimatization.


Turkish climber Tunc Findik, who is climbing with a Chinese team, reported on June 19th that the group has reached the Base Camp. Diamir side BC is buzzing with more than 50 climbers amongst whom 9 are sherpas. The Sherpas brought with them the Buddhist ritual of 'Puja'. Lithuanian Saulius Damulevicius reports that the commercial expedition held the Puja at BC a few days back. Usually no such ceremony is held before climbing in Pakistan.


Rupal Face


The Romanian team reached C1 on the 19th, after "dodging avalanches and difficult progress due to deep snow". Yesterday, they successfully fixed and equipped the route to 5700m and were hoping to reach C2 (6100m) today.


Previously, the team descended back to BC due to bad weather. Zsolt Torok reported the conditions as, "It's terrible weather, it snowed all night and many avalanches are rolling down". The Romanians are currently the only team on Rupal side.


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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Snow hiding the tents
courtesy S. Damuleviciaus, SOURCE
Badamgarav Gangaamaa during a hike in Skardu, with FTA Broad Peak team. She will be climbing K2
International Expedition to Nanga Parbat participants. From left to right: Ivan, Ihor, Nina, Saul and Oleg. Prayer flags for Puja ceremony can be seen in background.
"The world is small", says Benjamin Salazar. He and Al Hancock met on Everest five years ago and then in Islamabad couple of days back. Both will be climbing K2, this summer.