Update: K2 and Gasherbrum II Summit Pushes

Climbers are currently heading for the summit of Gasherbrum II. Sergi Mingote reported yesterday from C3 that everyone was planning to set off that night, willing to skip Camp 4 in order to reach the top today. Mingote mentioned Don Bowie, Nirmal Purba and his Sherpas and Americans Matthew Randall and Matt Gorbett, who also intend to ski all the way down. Others include Marco Confortola and Ali Durani, Romanian Alex Gavan, two unnamed Polish climbers and, of course, Denis Urubko and Maria Cardell, who are acclimatizing on Gasherbrum II’s normal route before attempting a new route up the same peak. Stay tuned for further updates.

Gasherbrum II’s normal route. Photo illustration: Marco Confortola

Meanwhile on K2, a small avalanche at the Bottleneck caught five Sherpas who were fixing ropes. They slid down about 50m but were otherwise unharmed. They returned safely to Camp 4 for the night, but part of their supplementary O2 equipment was lost in the slide. “Tomorrow [today] the fixing team will [continue their work], and all climbers will follow to the summit on July 18,” Seven Summits Treks head Dawa Sherpa reported. 

This delay might have two negative consequences: One, climbers already in higher camps (especially Camp 4) will have to wait one whole day at altitude, using more O2 than expected. Two, the plan to lessen crowds by spreading teams out over three days might revert to the original two days. Both Adventure Peaks and Imagine Nepal are condensing their schedules as a result of the delay.

Mike Horn celebrated his birthday yesterday in Camp 3, after climbing part of the day under light snow. They expected -25ºC during the night and a 24-hour summit push ahead, though incorporating a little rest at Camp 4. It is unclear whether the delay in rope-fixing will affect his and Fred Roux’s plans.

K2 routes and main features on the Abruzzi Spur route, by Pakistan’s Tourism Board.


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