K2 and Broad Peak Summit Plans

Summit fever is hard to avoid after more than a week weatherbound in Base Camp. The fever is even stronger when other climbers gear up and set off. So it’s no wonder that some who were vacillating over the weekend have decided to join the crowds on their way up. Once again, collective enthusiasm overpowers individual caution.

portrait of Stefi Troguet, armed folded, in a t-shirt, K2 behind her

 

Stefi Troguet had originally set Broad Peak as her first and main goal, then K2 if everything went well, she told ExplorersWeb.

“But a good weather window is coming, and we changed our plans,” she reported today, which suggests that it was a team decision. Troguet is the only client climbing without supplementary O2 on the Elite Exped team. She will leave tomorrow, skipping Camp 1 in order to join the others in Camp 2.

Portrait of three climbers, including Sajid Sadpara

Left to right, Naila Kiani, Sirbaz Khan, and Sajid Sadpara. Photo: Sajid Sadpara

 

Broad Peak

On the other hand, Sajid Sadpara, who has acclimatized on K2, will climb Broad Peak instead. So will Adriana Brownlee and Gelje Sherpa. After summiting Nanga Parbat, the pair reached Base Camp yesterday. They are well acclimatized and ready for any peak, but they prefer to avoid the crowds.

When Brownlee spoke with ExplorersWeb while in Skardu between peaks, she expressed her doubts about rushing too much on K2.

“We know that K2 will be overcrowded, so it’s all about negotiating with other climbers to make sure we have tent space up there,” she said. “Also, we’ve heard there is a dangerous amount of rockfall again on K2, with one Sherpa already in hospital after getting hit.”

summit portrait of Adriana Brownlee and Gelje Sherpa

Adriana Brownlee and Gelje Sherpa. Photo: Adriana Brownlee

 

Brownlee, 21, has struck up a close connection with her guide, Gelje Sherpa. Although outfitted by Seven Summit Treks, they have climbed as an individual team since last year.

“We began our climbing together from K2 winter last year, where he guided me to Camp 1. We clicked instantly as very good friends and so now I see him as a climbing partner, not a guide,” Brownlee said.

Evolution from commercial start

The young British-Spanish woman is also trying to evolve as a climber.

“I began with the most commercial style possible, literally being told when to eat, drink, change, and go to the toilet, but over the 8,000’ers, I have progressed,” Brownlee said.

“Now I can say that Gelje and I climb on our decisions and our own timings. Slowly, my aim is to progress into a more alpine style with Gelje, where we could tackle any climb on our own.”

K2: Who will fix the ropes?

On K2, 8K Expeditions leader Lakpa Sherpa has shared the rope-fixing plans. A team of Sherpas will open the route from Camp 3, distributed as follows: 8K will provide two men and will coordinate the operation. Madison Mountaineering will contribute three guides, Seven Summit Treks two, and Pioneer Adventure one. No one from Elite Exped or Imagine Nepal will take part in the rope fixing, although Mingma G of Imagine Nepal has offered to help if the work is delayed.

Portrait of Kristin Harila and one of her Sherpa guides on Nanga Parbat

Kristin Harila and Pasang Lamu Sherpa Akita on Nanga Parbat some days ago. Photo: Kristin Harila

 

Lakpa revealed that all going well, the fixing team will summit by July 21, one day later than the previous estimate. Also, clients will in the end have a Camp 4, where they can rest and begin their summit push.

A fourth camp on K2 has proven essential for safety if conditions are hard. According to plans, the clients will summit one day after the rope fixers, except for Kristin Harila. The Norwegian woman and her powerful Sherpa team will follow the rope fixers on July 21.

In a last-minute post, Mingma G has updated his Imagine Nepal team’s plans. They have decided to skip Camp 3 because of avalanche danger and will set up their Camp 3 on a safer place instead. They hope to summit on July 22.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides is a college-graduated journalist specialised on high-altitude mountaineer 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 corporates, press manager and communication executive,and a published author.