Karakorum, Updated: The Calm Before the Storm (of Summits)

Wednesday to Friday should have been the peak days for summiting K2 and Gasherbrum. But an avalanche on the Bottleneck has delayed rope-fixing on K2, so that now the first summits are not expected before Thursday.

Otherwise, news is light, as most are climbing rather than updating their social media.

The amazing weather continues. Imagine Nepal’s Sherpa team on the Cesen route planned to reach Camp 4 today, then assist the rope-fixers from the Abruzzi route on their way to the summit. Their clients, in two groups, should reach Camps 2 and 3 today. The Seven Summit Treks team originally planned to leave Camp 4 for the top tonight. We’ll know within a few hours whether they’re on schedule.

As reported earlier, paraglider Max Berger intends to jump right from the summit of K2. His sponsor, Boa Fit System, recently consulted with Berger’s fellow Austrian and 14x8000m summiter Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner. She confirmed that the top of K2 has a suitable take-off spot.

According to Kaltenbrunner, good hydration is crucial for the long summit day on K2. “Climbing K2 is like climbing a small 8,000m peak with another small mountain on top,” she said.

Fredrik Sträng of Sweden is making his fourth attempt on K2, always without bottled O2. He hopes to reach Camp 3 on the Abruzzi today.

Although the general weather is good, winds have unexpectedly picked up in the last two days on the Gasherbrums, forcing some readjustment of plans. Sergi Mingote has retreated from Gasherbrum I (Hidden Peak) and instead joined climbers in Gasherbrum II’s Camp 2. He will leave for Camp 3 tonight and make for the summit on Thursday. Meanwhile, Nirmal Purba’s home team has gone silent again, offering no reports on his progress and seemingly waiting for summit news.