K2: Mohr and Lunger at 7,000m; Everyone Else in Camp 2

The last men in Base Camp, John Snorri and Colin O’Brady’s groups, left today. Juan Pablo Mohr and Tamara Lunger made up for their relatively slow start by rocketing up from Camp 1, where they spent last night, to lower Camp 3 at 7,000m. This included the technical sections of House’s Chimney and the Black Pyramid.

This is the highest point Lunger has reached this year and is also the place where Mohr spent the night on his previous rotation, together with Sergi Mingote, who later perished during the descent.

ExWeb’s expert Jacek Teler said about Mohr and Lunger’s quick advance: “It will improve their acclimatization by allowing them to spend two nights above 7,000m. It also gives them a margin to make some changes in strategy on the fly.”

If the good weather continues as forecast, the pair will set up a Camp 4 tomorrow, rest briefly, then head for the summit on the same day as the others. But they will begin from a higher point.

The Godwin-Austen glacier from Camp 2. Photo: Magdalena Gorzkowska


John Snorri and the Sadparas have chosen a three-day summit push rather than four days. They left Base Camp today at 4 am. By 1:30 pm, they reached their targeted Camp 2, at the base of House’s Chimney. Tomorrow they move to Camp 3 at 7,300m, rest, then proceed to the summit.

The day’s climb has not been without incident. Snorri was hit by a rock today. “His helmet saved him,” Snorri’s home team reported. Another climber from Seven Summit Treks wasn’t so lucky. A rock struck his shoulder, and he is currently evaluating his condition in Camp 2.

Snorri also frostbit his fingertip during the frigid climb, but nothing serious. His partners, Ali and Sajid Sadpara, are fine.

Jacek Teler expressed concerns for the trio, but not because of frostnip. “The 15 to 16 hours from 7,300m to the top, as Snorri estimates, it’s something I would really like to see,” said Teler. Such a pace would be incredibly impressive, considering that the Sadparas, and possibly Snorri as well, are going without supplementary O2.

The climbers on the Seven Summit Treks permit all reached Camp 2 today, although they are scattered between the two tent-clusters known as lower and higher Camp 2. Antonios Sykaris, for example, who is climbing without a Sherpa, is in lower Camp 2.

American Colin O’Brady, partner Jon Kedrowski, and two Sherpas also set off from Base Camp today, one day after the other SST clients.  “We have a slightly different plan,” O’Brady wrote. “We are skipping Camp 1 to shorten our summit push by one day. Also, we will not be using a Camp 4. We think that in winter it’s too cold to try to camp that high, which will make our summit day much longer.” His tracker currently locates him at the higher Camp 2, so they have done well.

Further updates are coming soon and will be reported as we get them. According to John Snorri, a number of climbers may call off their attempt and retreat to Base Camp tomorrow. Their reasons are still unknown, although the weather might be a factor.

Will the wind come sooner than expected?

All the climbers plan to summit on Friday, but the weather may not cooperate. According to some forecasts, the wind may pick up by Friday rather than Saturday afternoon. While tomorrow, Thursday, should be perfect, everyone is still too far down the mountain to take advantage. Friday might get higher winds, and by Saturday, the climbers had better be back in Base Camp, or at least as far down as possible.

A multimodel Meteoexploration chart shows increasing winds on the summit of K2 beginning Friday.


The problem is that the teams currently heading for the summit can’t really speed up. Theoretically, Lunger and Mohr are best positioned for an early summit bid, but their pace is expected to be slower in the upper reaches since they are not using supplementary oxygen. It is unrealistic for all those currently in C2 to summit before Friday.

Right now, however, the weather is stable, and the climbers have listened to avalanches roaring down neighboring Broad Peak all day.

Anniversaries of Winter First Ascents

This might be a good time to remember that 10 years ago, Simone Moro, Denis Urubko, and Cory Richards summited Gasherbrum II without supplementary oxygen and with no one else to help them on the mountain. Cory Richards later documented the epic climb in his film, “Cold“. Likewise, 34 years ago, Jerzy Kukuczka and Artur Hajzer summited Annapurna only 16 days after arriving in Base Camp.