K2: No-O2 Double-Header and Sajid’s Second Summit

8000ers K2
Elia Saikaly's tracker positions him on the summit of K2. He climbed with Sajid Sadpara and Pasang Kaji. Photo: The Calling

“Niels and Hugo have made it,” their friends announced from Base Camp. Ten days after summiting Broad Peak on a long, exhausting summit climb, Niels Jespers and Hugo Ayaviri have reached the top of K2 without supplementary O2 or high-altitude porters. Their achievement, nearly impossible if K2 was crowded, represents the bright side of an extraordinary season.

Niels Jespers (foreground) and Hugo Ayaviri (in the tent behind). Photo: Sophie Lenaerts

A commercial team led by Garrett Madison, three international guides, and a strong Sherpa team, have also summited. Madison’s strategy has paid off: His team rested for one day at lower Camp 3. Then, O2 assisted, they opted for a longer summit push with only a short break in Camp 4. The team comprised over 20 people, and the summiters’ names will come soon. According to the expedition leader’s tracking device, after summiting they have headed down to at least Camp 3.

Elia Saikaly (tracker here), Sajid Sadpara, Fazal Ali, and Pasang Kaji summited shortly before 8 am. This was Ali’s fourth K2 summit and Sadpara’s second, but it was not their primary objective.

The team hoped to find and retrieve the bodies of Sadpara’s father, Ali Sadpara, and friends John Snorri and Juan Pablo Mohr. The remains were located two days ago. Despite limited information and no details regarding realistic options for a recovery operation, there has been a heated discussion about what the climbers should do next. The fact is, it is the climbers’ call. No one else can decide how they should proceed.

Sajid Sadpara. Photo: Jasmin Tours

Ashgar Ali Porik of Jasmine Tours, managing the team’s Base Camp logistics, has just confirmed that the team will return to Ali Sadpara’s body on the way down from the summit. They plan to move his remains away from the normal route, before returning to Base Camp. “Once at Base Camp, they will announce future plans,” Ali Porik said.

No-go on the West Ridge

Yesterday, Ian Welsted and Graham Zimmerman reached Base Camp after retreating from nearly 7,000m on K2’s West Ridge. Although they didn’t complete their climb, their attempt makes for an amazing — and very contemporary — mountaineering story. They were thwarted by weather that was just too good.

“We were stopped in our tracks by some of the warmest temperatures either of us have experienced in the big mountains,” Zimmerman reported upon their return. “We were unable to go any further due to near-constant avalanches and rockfall down the route.”

Sunbathing at nearly 7,000m on K2. Photo: Graham Zimmerman

The pair had to progress at night and wait out the heat during the day. Temperatures in the shade reached 10ºC at 6,900m.

“I knew that the climate crisis was affecting these mountains but I can’t say that I anticipated getting scorched off the second-highest peak on the planet,” Zimmerman reflected.

+5

About the Author

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides

Senior journalist, published author and communication consultant. Specialized on high-altitude mountaineering, with an interest for everything around the mountains: from economics to geopolitics. After five years exploring distant professional ranges, I returned to ExWeb BC in 2018. Feeling right at home since then!

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Startup Bro
Startup Bro
3 months ago

Yeah, the west ridge was NEVER going to happen. Good publicity, though.

0
Saadii
Saadii
3 months ago
Reply to  Startup Bro

And if they would have opt for Abruzzi spurr, they would have summited too. So you should be respectful to them for choosing an unusual route with Alpine style, instead of going for Sherpa fixed ropes.

+12
Jahan
Jahan
3 months ago
Reply to  Startup Bro

They were attempting it Alpine style…no sherpa or HAP support. on a totally new route. They still managed to get to ~7000 m which is impressive. Not sure if they completely abandoned the attempt. Ian Welstead reported they may wait out the summer heat days.

+6
Paul
Paul
3 months ago
Reply to  Jahan

Not on a new route, the West Ridge was climbing few times already.

+2
Jim
Jim
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul

No they were attempting a NEW route. West ridge or not the route they proposed was unclimbed

0
Yoki
Yoki
3 months ago

Why does it say that their achievement was “nearly impossible if K2 was crowded”? Is that because they likely would have been stopped / delayed by slower people on the route if there had been more people? And is it right to say that at the same time, their achievement would have been impossible if they had been the only ones on the mountain (as they also partly relied on ropes fixed by other teams)?

+3
Paul
Paul
3 months ago
Reply to  Yoki

Yes. When climbing without O2 you must do it in very own speed, when it is disturbed by other climbers it make the ascent much more harder specially when you have to wait.

+4
Jim
Jim
3 months ago

This is a very fair summary

0
Saadii
Saadii
3 months ago

Where are Don Bowie and Lotta? There were first to reach Broad Peak Basecamp. And any news about more GII summits?

+1
Paul
Paul
3 months ago

Angela, Alessandro (https://www.facebook.com/alessandro.filippini.378) informed yesterday about GI summit. Is that confirmed?

0
Jim
Jim
3 months ago

Yes they were crucial in opening the route this year. Must be really sad for them to not reach the top but they are the real deal and will get their moment.

0
Jim
Jim
3 months ago
Reply to  Saadii

They broke trail to 7900m (correct me if wrong) but Don had altitude sickness and retreated. Lotta continued breaking trail but brought down a sick climber and sacrificed her summit. They will have their day on Broad Peak, they surely deserve it as this is their second attempt without topping out.

0
F v
F v
3 months ago

Elia posted: mission 100% accomplished from C4 7800m high. Hopefully they all make it safe to BC because that’s my point of 100% accomplished. It is still K2. Fingers crossed and praying.

+2
F v
F v
3 months ago
Reply to  F v

Elia reported now at C3

0
Samson Simon Sharaf
3 months ago

I have secured body of our hero at C-4. An Argentinian climber has been a great help in bringing body above bottleneck till C-4. I offered Fatih & recited Holy Quran on behalf of whole nation #MissionSadpara #K2Search
Secured place with Pakistan flag 🇵🇰 #SonofPakistan https://t.co/9IdzXV4zDx

+5
Samson Simon Sharaf
3 months ago

The site of body at camp 4

+3
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Don Paul
Don Paul
3 months ago

Good job Samson, you are the hero of the day.

+1
Don Paul
Don Paul
3 months ago
Reply to  Don Paul

Correction: good job SAJID. I must admit, also, that Don Paul is not exactly my name, just my supertopo nickname.

0
Marie
Marie
3 months ago

Fabulous picture by Graham Zimmerman, thank you for posting it and for tirelessly keeping us informed as always. When I recommended to bring the bodies down, I actually did not consider the many hazards and difficulties connected with it; I just wanted to present my doubts and questions that have been weighing on me for weeks now. I apologize for this. Nobody should risk his or her life to accomplish this task.

+4
Jahan
Jahan
3 months ago
Reply to  Marie

That picture is from Sajid Sadpara’s twitter account. I believe Sajid did the right and honorable thing within his abilities so high up on the mountain. He has transformed into a resilient and brave man after this whole ordeal.

+4
Khizer
Khizer
3 months ago
Reply to  Jahan

This kid’s (that’s what Sajid still is) story feels like an Epic. I hope with all my heart that he takes up where his father left off and completes the story. I believe he, his family, the Sadpara village, and the Pakistani climbing community all deserve the closure. Would be a fitting tribute to his father’s legacy as well.

0
Last edited 3 months ago by Khizer
Jim
Jim
3 months ago
Reply to  Khizer

Sajid is already one of Pakistan’s most notable climbers regardless of his Fathers legacy. The courage and fortitude he has shown during this effort is unreal given the circumstances. I have no doubt he will pick up where his Father left and become a legend in his own right.

+3
Jahan
Jahan
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

While we are on the subject, I cant help but mention the selfish acts of other Pakistani mountaineers especially Shehroz Kashif aka ‘High Altitude Tourist’ who didnt lend a hand to Sajid while he was also on C4.

+1
ZLF
ZLF
3 months ago

Festival of 2nds, 3rds, and even one 4th summits on K2, several sherpas and pakistanis and even western guides climbing K2 multiple times

0
Jim
Jim
3 months ago
Reply to  ZLF

It should be noted Garret Madison’s record on K2. As a Western guide he is achieving summits on Everest and K2 without incident every single year without fail.

+1
jmaf
jmaf
3 months ago

Must be climate change because I’m sure it has never been warm on the mountain in the summer ever before…

0
David
David
3 months ago
Reply to  jmaf

Actually it has. In 1939, Fritz Wiessner described it being so warm at what is currently camp IV(the shoulder on Abruzzi) that he sunbathed nude laying on an inflatable mattress for hours on end.

0
Jim
Jim
3 months ago
Reply to  jmaf

It is not surprising to have extremely warm temps on the big peaks during this season. Sun burn is very common and always has been.

0
Inayat
3 months ago

Thank you very much for the great news of all team summited Sajjid and Fazal is the real euro of GB Pakistan Proud of him, PAKISTAN ZINDABAD

0
Sana S Khan
Sana S Khan
3 months ago

Hugo Ayaviri thank u for helping Sajid in carrying his father’s body to C4..thank u for standing up for humanity…✌️

0
Shahid parvez
Shahid parvez
3 months ago
Reply to  Sana S Khan

Fazal has not summited k2 this season

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