K2: Sherpas Reach Camp 3

Today marked the first time that climbers have reached Camp 3 since the dramatic events of last winter. Remarkably, it is again a Sherpa team that reached this site above the Black Pyramid. While they are there to fix rope, you can be sure that they will watch for the bodies of the three climbers who went missing last February, during their push for the summit.

Pioneer Expeditions’ leader Lakpa Sherpa reports that the rope-fixers at Camp 3 today were Sanu Sherpa, Pemba Rita Sherpa, Chhiring Namgel Sherpa, Lakpa Galjen Sherpa, Tashi Sherpa, “and some other Sherpa team”. He is likely referring to the Sherpas working with Madison Mountaineering.

Lakpa Sherpa shot this selfie some days ago during the approach trek, when cell connections still worked. Photo: Pioneer Expeditions


Two days ago, Garrett Madison said that his clients are taking advantage of good weather to move to Camps 1 and 2. They will spend the usual two nights in each camp. “Our Sherpas are also heading up to work on fixing the route,” Madison said.

The Nepalis also remarked that the Pakistani climbers with Karakorum Expeditions had previously fixed the route to Camp 2. Earlier this week, all the teams held a meeting in Base Camp and agreed on how to share the work on the mountain.
We don’t know the details of the agreement because the glorious cell phone tower installed earlier this year at Concordia to provide G4 Internet to Broad Peak and K2 seems to be on the fritz. For the last two days, climbers have only been able to send short texts over their InReach devices.

Looking for Answers

Sajid Sadpara plans to set off from Base Camp on Monday, on a reconnaissance and acclimatization trip. Photo: Sajid Sadpara

Those who followed the tragic events on K2 six months ago are watching the current teams’ progress with keen interest, especially now that climbers have reached Camp 3. On February 5, Muhammad Ali Sadpara, John Snorri, and Juan Pablo Mohr left from that spot toward the summit and never returned. Their fate remains a mystery.
The only one who made it back from that group was Ali’s son Sajid. He turned around when his oxygen system failed. Sajid has returned to K2 to discover what happened to his father and the other two. Elia Saikaly and Pemba Kaji Sherpa are with him, along with a Pakistani support team.
Saikaly’s InReach currently locates him at Camp 1: “Shot some great footage from BC all the way up to Camp 1,” he texted. “Perfect weather.”
Carlos Garranzo, likewise chasing the mystery of the trio’s disappearance, is also in Camp 1. Others, including photographer Oswald Rodrigo Pereira and guide Jordi Tosas, have expressed similar intentions. In other words, the search is on.