K2 and Broad Peak: Progressing Through Crowded Camps

Rope-fixing and camp-supplying work is ongoing on K2 and Broad Peak. As expected there are problems, a lack of space, and a slower pace than one might expect considering the good weather. However, climbers have been able to complete their first acclimatization rounds to Camps 1 and Camp 2 on both mountains. Though sometimes the cramped conditions mean borrowing tents.

Elite Exped and Stefi Troguet

“On our first rotation on Broad Peak, we asked Furtenbach Adventures’ team to use their tents, since there was no more room left,” Steffi Troguet told ExplorersWeb. “In Camp 2 we saw the first arguments over tents and space. It’s unavoidable in the current circumstances, with lots of people, very big teams, and very small spots for camps.”

No inch left unused in Camp 1 on Broad Peak. Photo: Ulises Corvalan

Troguet is back in K2 Base Camp after spending one night in Camp 1 and two in Camp 2 on Broad Peak, her primary goal. Whether they are climbing Broad Peak or K2, all teams have set their headquarters at the foot of K2, and only use higher camps on Broad Peak.
Troguet is the only one in the Elite Exped team who intends to climb without O2 on her summit push. But, so far, she has been completing the same rotations, the rest of the Elite Exped will only switch to O2 for the final push. “Between the two nights in Camp 2 we tried to reach Camp 3, but altitude hit me hard this time,” Troguet said. “I stopped at 6,430m and, while the rest went up a bit more, I remained there for an hour, listened to my body, and retreated. I think that not pushing the engine too hard was a good decision. Now I feel totally recovered and fit.”

Camp 2 on K2’s Abruzzi Spur route. Photo: Lakpa Dendi

Climbers acclimatizing on Broad Peak

“Everyone aiming for the K2-Broad Peak double header is acclimatizing on Broad Peak,” Troguet noted. Only those with permits just for K2 are acclimatizing up its steep slopes. One of them is Flor Cuenca of Peru, who is also climbing without supplementary O2.

Cuenca checked in from Camp 2 yesterday, sharing her gratitude for the Pakistani and Nepalese climbers fixing the ropes up the mountain.

Meanwhile, Lakpa Dendi (leading the team while Nirmal Purja and Mingma David are away) climbed to K2’s Camp 2 today, aiming to fix ropes up the Black Pyramid towards Camp 3. “It will be my third-time rope fixing on K2,” Lakpa Dendi wrote.
Dendi was part of Purja’s team when he climbed K2 as part of his Project Possible in 2019 and then returned to the mountain as a personal Sherpa with Atanas Skatov for the 2021 winter expedition launched by Seven Summit Treks. Dendi endured the trauma of losing his client, who slipped before clipping into the ropes leaving Camp 3. Skatov fell to his death.

Lakpa Dendi is considered one of the “supersherpa”. Photo: Lakpa Dendi

More climbers to come

The crowding might get worse, many of the climbers who summited Nanga Parbat on July 1 and July 2 are now heading for the Baltoro. Most of them are in Skardu today getting ready to go.

Among them is Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, whose Nanga Parbat summit has been confirmed (she topped out on July 1, one day ahead of the rest of the Pioneer Adventure team). Pasang Lhamu is aiming for the 14×8,000’ers. Nanga Parbat was her ninth 8,000’er, next she’ll head for the Gasherbrums or Broad Peak (the order is not confirmed), since she has already summited K2.

Pasang Lhamu Sherpa on arrival in Islamabad some weeks ago. Photo: Pasang Lhamu Sherpa

Urubko to the Gasherbrums

Denis Urubko was also on Broad Peak. He accompanied some friends as their acclimatized up to Camp 3 and then moved to the Gasherbrums’ Base Camp. “In the next few days he will go to the upper camps of Gasherbrum 2,” his home team reported.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.