K2: Climbers Retreat to Base Camp

The weather window was just too short, the speed they had to maintain to reach the top just too quick. After a night to think it over, they turned around. After climbing down all day, everyone reached Base Camp safely at 5 pm local time, Ali Sadpara’s official account reported.

John Snorri summarized their experience: “After 17 hours ascent from BC to almost C3, we decided to stop and rest,” he said. “It was clear to us that the strong winds came sooner then expected. This morning when we were packing our tent, Ali’s backpack blew away and exploded. We manage to save some of the things in the backpack but lost our summit mask.”

The wind is now expected to blow hard for the entire week. February 3 to 5 should be their next summit opportunity, adds Snorri.

His team started at Base Camp back in early December, and they must all be feeling a little stir crazy by now, with so much time weatherbound in camp. Yet they still have an entire month before the end of their permit.

Contrary to the confusion spread by several false sources, Snorri and the Sadparas never reached their projected Camp 3 goal but stopped at the higher Camp 2, hoping for the wind to drop. However, it only blew more strongly. Today, the climbers descended as fast as possible, especially from the bottom of the House’s Chimney to Advanced Base Camp, where a shooting gallery of rocks creates serious danger, especially in high winds.

Meanwhile, others in Base Camp pondered their options while enjoying the sun yesterday.

Days in Base Camp with nothing to do are getting to Tamara Lunger. Photo: JP Mohr


Tamara Lunger admits that waiting is hard but also that she is currently “not prepared” for a summit attempt. “The hardest thing for me is to restrain myself from getting into a competition for the summit,” she said. It is unclear whether she meant that she was tempted to join the latest push with John Snorri’s team or was referring to others in Base Camp.