K2: Away They Go; Some Already Behind Schedule

There are 27 climbers, including Sherpas, currently heading for the summit of K2, Seven Summit Treks told ExplorersWeb. According to plans, they should be resting either in Camp 1 (6,000m) or 100m below, in the so-called Japanese Camp 1.
No-O2 climbers Juan Pablo Mohr and Tamara Lunger left Base Camp today at 5 am local time hoping to reach Camp 2. They wanted to keep one step ahead of the main group on the lower slopes, figuring that they would slow down higher up and so reach the top around the same time as everyone else. But that plan is already in disarray, as Mohr’s tracker shows that the pair eventually stopped at Camp 1 (6,085m) for the night.
Their next moves are uncertain. Originally, they were the only team intending to pitch a Camp 4 on the mountain, where they planned to rest briefly before their final summit effort and perhaps also on the way down. The only sure thing is that all 27 climbers have set Friday, February 5 as their summit day. Everyone knows that the winds will start picking up again on the afternoon of February 6 and that the clock is ticking.

Tamara Lunger grabs a few last hours of rest in Base Camp before setting off. Photo: Tamara Lunger

John Snorri and the Sadparas, better-acclimatized thanks to their long stay and early work on the mountain, have spent the day in BC, resting and commemorating Ali Sadpara’s 46th birthday. “There was little time to celebrate since we are getting ready to leave tomorrow at 4 am,” said Sadpara.
Like Mohr and Lunger, they hope to skip C1 and push all the way to C2, located below House’s Chimney, at around 6,500. Note that there is also a higher Camp 2 at 6,750m, above the Chimney.
The relatively low location of Snorri’s Camp 2 suggests an exhausting journey on Thursday: At 8 am, they surmount the Chimney and the Black Pyramid until reaching Camp 3, at around 7,300m. After a short rest,  the three climbers set off at 9 pm the same day, under a waning moon, toward the summit. “We estimate it will take us 15 to 16 hours to reach the summit by noon local time on Friday,” said Snorri.
Both Ali and Sajid Sadpara have said they will not use supplementary O2, except in a medical emergency. John Snorri remains undecided, but the team’s oxygen masks were blown away by the wind last week, complicating their situation. It is unclear whether they have been able to borrow spare masks from others in Base Camp.

Some of the summit-bound climbers on SST’s permit, earlier today. Photo: Magdalena Gorzkowska (middle, gigantic orange suit)