K2: Action Resumes Tomorrow

Nirmal Purja and his group will leave K2 Base Camp tomorrow and hurry all the way to Camp 2 to check their tent and equipment. They fear that it might have been damaged in the winds of up to 120kph in the last few days. “Ten days ago [it was reported] that our tent was not fully secured, and we have been at Base Camp since then,” Purja said with concern. They need to assess the state of the camp before they can prepare to move higher.

Meanwhile, other climbers at BC are resting and recovering after their tough last rotation. In addition to the cold and altitude, some have additional problems that Tomaz Rotar (a medical doctor) treats as well as he can: Juan Pablo Mohr’s infected toe, Temba Sherpa’s lung infection, and Mattia Conte’s numbness in three toes.

Conte, in particular, had a tough go recently: He lost a crampon on the technical ice between ABC and BC, and what was to have been a four-hour trip became a nine-hour nightmare, hobbling his way down on a single crampon.

Mattia Conte treats his numb toes with warm water in Base Camp. Photo: Sergi Mingote


According to GEO magazine, a Sherpa working for Seven Summit Treks has been evacuated because of frostbite. Further details to come.

“On these [slow] days, it’s all about resilience,” says Sergi Mingote. Bulgarian climber Atanas Skatov led a yoga class to distract everyone from the slowly creeping hours. Other climbers are resting as much as they can to build up energy to move up again tomorrow when the weather is due to improve.

Who said bare ground? Vinayat Jay Malla swims through waist-deep snow on his way to Manaslu Base Camp on Wednesday. Photo: Abiral Rai


At Manaslu, winter has certainly arrived. The dry Himalayan slopes that Simone Moro admired from his hotel roof in Kathmandu have vanished for the next several months, after a three-day snowfall early this week. By Wednesday, the skies had cleared, the temperature dropped, and the winds picked up. Although this was now full-on winter rather than lingering autumn, Vinayak Jay Malla and Tenji Sherpa set off from Samagaon toward Manaslu Base Camp. “Just a few days ago, trails were clear; today we broke the trail to Base Camp through three feet [of snow],” Malla noted.

After packing down a trail, Malla and Tenji Sherpa returned to Samagaon, where they will remain until conditions are just right for an alpine-style, no-O2 ascent of Manaslu. It will be interesting to see how this expedition will interact with Alex Txikon and Simone Moro’s team, whose style of climbing is still unclear. The pair are due to reach Samagaon tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Zoltán Szlankó and Alex Goldfarb arrived at Broad Peak Base Camp yesterday in a “brutal windstorm”, their press manager, Laszlo Pinter, reported.