Updated: K2 Summit Push Aborted

Deep snow and avalanche risk has forced back climbers on K2.

“Mingma Tenzi and Pemba Tshering tried to break the trail from the Bottleneck, but it was almost impossible to advance,” says Imagine Nepal’s Mingma Sherpa. The snow was so deep that it was over the heads of the Sherpas.

The deep snow and rising winds had also created dangerous wind slabs: Yesterday, two more avalanches triggered during the rope fixing, injuring two climbers, including one with a broken arm. In the end, they decided not to put other climbers in danger.

Lukas Furtenbach added that the delays caused by the avalanche two days ago had forced his team, who were not using supplementary O2, to wait a full day in Camp 4.

The rope-fixing Sherpas and some climbers are currently in Camp 4, pondering their options. “It seems that K2 is still not ready,” says Dawa Sherpa of Seven Summit Treks.

Some are already descending to Base Camp. Paraglider Max Berger and his partner jumped from K2’s shoulder and are already there. 

Meanwhile on Gasherbrum II, Sergi Mingote’s tracker puts him back in Camp 3 after he reached the top — notching his 13th 8000’er — at about 7am local time. American Climbing for Casualties members Matt G, Sean and Ben (no surnames provided) also summited, along with eight Nepalis and one Chinese climber, while Matt Randall turned around because of symptoms of pulmonary edema.

Finally, a reader reports that Atanas Skatov from Bulgaria also summited GII, shortly before Mingote. It was his 9th 8000’er. Currently he and his group are heading to Camp 1 for the night.

Related story:

Mingote Summits GII, “Parasites” on K2