Late June continues on schedule in Northern Pakistan but the weather is causing some delays. Teams are arriving at K2’s base camp and climbing has begun there and on Nanga Parbat and other 8000ers
Garett Madison called me from Skardu saying their team is doing well and ready to begin the 8 or so day trek to K2 Base camp. Of course Garett has recently emerged as on of the steady K2 operators. His first climb was in 2014 that included me and another American, Matt DuPuy. We summited on July 27th but the summit eluded Garret the next two years. Garrett posted on his blog some large numbers for support: “Last week our advance team of 77 porters and 5 Pakistan HAPs arrived in K2 base camp to begin building the camp and to reserve places at Camps 1 & 2. We will have around 150 porters trekking in with us to base camp, in addition to some horses.”
Brit Jake Meyers is doing a nice job of documenting his trek in. He is going for K2 after stopping in 2009 and 2016. He completed the 7 Summits in 2005. In addition to describing the slaughter of a cow that was used to feed the porters, he notes the weather “Once again, the overcast skies certainly made for nice cool conditions to walk in, and we were thankful for the respite from what would otherwise be a scorching sun.”
As I’ve written before the trek to K2, Broad Peak and the Gasherbrum base camps is an arduous journey on the Baltoro glacier. There are no “facilities” like on the Everest Base Camp trek and the exposure to the hot sun can be debilitating. It can rain, then snow and get icy as you near Concordia. The terrain undulates increasing the energy required to reach the next camp. All of this and … the mountain scenery is simply stunning. Every rise brings a new view, every turn, a new mountain, a new glacier dropping from the peaks that line the Baltoro. It is yet another opportunity to experience our plant is as close to it’s raw form as we can see,
This is a short video I posted as I reached Goro 2, about 14,000’/4,267m in 2014 as I trekked to K2 Base Camp.
K2 Progress, Nanga Snow
Japanese at C2
Akira Oyabe and his 10 member team from Japan have been at K2 Base Camp for over a week. His wife, Ayako Oyabe, back in Japan is providing updates. She had provided a report from 15 June saying they hoped to have the route up to 6,900-meters/22,637-feet and Camp 1 established by 15 June. In the latest it appears they are at or near Camp 2 with the ropes:
■ 6.15 ~ 16: BC Stay (Snow)
￭ 6.17: C1 (6090M) in tent
■ 6.18: C2 route towards the (6800m)
work started (scheduled)
￭ 6.19: C2 directly under ( 6750m) to the root work
They are leading the effort to fix the ropes on K2 this season because : “We want to arrive first, because only the first team can do the route work. Route fixing is fun. We want to do it, because it’s fun.”
Canadian Nathalie Fortin is at K2 Base Camp and says the weather has closed in “There’s a lot of wind and clouds. We haven’t seen the mountain for 4 days. The rise to the advanced base camp was beautiful through the glacier and cracks. You had to be careful. There was no fixed rope.” She is with teammates Serge Dessureault, Maurice Beauséjour.
Broad Peak – Camp 1
Furtenbach Adventures say that “Camp 1 on Broad Peak is a truly stunning place. First rotation with a night up there successfully completed and team back in basecamp now, sitting out the bad weather for the next days. ”
Nanga Parbat – Snow, Snow, Snow
Mike Horn reports snow is keeping them in base camp. He updated a few hours go on Saturday 23 June:
It has been bad weather for more than 10 days now! The prediction does not look good for the next 6 days either. More and more snow. There is a wind from the SW that is bringing allot of snow to Nanga Parbat and up in altitude the risk of avalanches has increased a lot. We can climb to about 6000m more or less safely but higher we can not go! It is very frustrating. All we can do is wait for the weather to change! But the question is when will it change!
Gasherbrum – BC Crowds
Adam Bielecki reports from Gasherbrum that BC is getting crowded but climbing has not begun:
In the Gasherbrum basecamp it’s getting crowded, there are people from Austria, Hungary, Ukraine, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Slovakia. So far nobody has managed to establish c1. Well, we’ll give it a try. Tomorrow I’m going with Jacek up and there are a few km of nasty glacier ahead of us so keep your fingers crossed!
All good thus far, but the Weather is the Wildcard
As usual, teams across Pakistan are commenting on the weather. It’s a bit unusual for trekkers to say its “cool” but not for the K2 climbers to talk of the Hill covered in cloud for days on end. But it’s the start of a month long season so a lot will happen. Stay tuned!!
Memories are Everything