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Jul 232016
Avalanche perhaps stops summits on K2 and the Karakorum - Updated

Update 26 July : Gasherbrum II summits. Heavy weather moving. Team down climbing now.  Update 25 July : Nanga Summit. GII attempt underway. Broad Peak over.  K2 BC emptying. Independents give up also – no K2 summits for 2nd year in row due to weather and snow conditions. A large avalanche reported on 23 July, 2016 on K2 has destroyed tents, buried fixed ropes and swept way the cache of food and oxygen bottles at Camp 3.  There were no injuries or fatalities reported. While not 100% certain, it appears for the second year in a row no one will make the top. While most climbers on the large continue reading

Jul 132016
High Winds Stop Summits Push on K2; Broad Peak Summit

Teams knew this was a risky chess move to try and summit K2 during a narrow weather window, and they lost this bet. July 14th was predicted to have acceptable winds on the summit of K2 but as is normal in the Karakoram and especially K2, the weather changed dramatically causing everyone to quickly descend back to base camp. So the good news is those climbers have spent quite a few nights at Camps 1, 2 and 3 thusly improved their acclimatization. The bad news is they also spent a lot of energy and for some teams, supplemental oxygen, so far. Over on Broad Peak, most reports have climbers making the same quick descent to continue reading

Summits Pushes Begin on K2 and the Karakorum

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Jul 102016
Summits Pushes Begin on K2 and the Karakorum

After a normal short period of high winds and heavy snow in the Karakorum, the weather forecast calls for acceptable conditions this week thus teams are moving up their mountains towards the summit today. And, to be sure, it will be crowded on K2 with 60 climbers reported to be going for the summit on July 14th. The crowds are not from the climbers themselves but more from the support staff provided by some of the commercial expeditions or heavily staffed private efforts. One individual climber on a single permit has 5 Sherpas for support. This is a list of the Karakorum 2016 Expeditions permits issued for all the Karakoram mountains continue reading

Jul 062016
K2 and Karakorum Mid-Season Update

Climbing teams are scattered all across the Karakoram this early July seeking to summit the five 8000ers located in Pakistan. Most are progressing well with several nights already spent at the lower to mid level camps around 7, 000 meters as they acclimatize to the higher altitudes. A few climbers, five reported thus far, have abandoned their climbs due to injury and other issues. The week starting with the 4th of July saw the weather turn a bit ugly with heavy snow reported at multiple base camps thus teams are locked down for a few days – all quite normal in July in the Karakoram. continue reading

Jun 122016
Why K2 Will Never Become Everest

Update 25 July 2016 :no K2 summits in 2016 due to weather and snow conditions. With 112 permits issued for K2 the summer of 2016, the press will soon go wild with articles saying “K2 is the New Everest.” Never mind the fact that in the year ever, K2 saw about 50 summits and in a “normal” year, Everest will greet over 500 on the summit. With my 2014 summit of K2 and 36th major expeditions including four on Everest and two on Lhotse, my honest assessment is that K2 is not Everest. As anyone who has read my blog for the continue reading

Jul 282015
K2 2015 Coverage: Karakorum Season ends with Valient Bids, Death ... Almost

The summer of 2015 will go down as one of the more difficult seasons in the Northern Pakistan Karakoram climbing season. There have been deaths, illness courageous summit attempts, questionable summit claims and impressive summits. However, casting a huge cloud over everything was disturbing weather that made climbing virtually impossible for many. Broad Peak: At Your Own Risk The entire season started on an ominous note when Pakistani High Altitude Porter (HAP),Qamber Ali Jangjupa, was killed from an avalanche on the low slopes of Broad Peak, just below Camp 1. Yesterday, a determined team from Himalayan Experience gave it their on Broad Peak trying not once, but continue reading

Jul 252015
K2 2015 Coverage: K2 Bids end, Kami Update

The poor conditions across Northern Pakistan have effectively stopped all climbs and almost cost my friend, capsule Kami Sherpa, his life. Kami (Ang Chhiring Sherpa – Pangboche) Sherpa was injured when he was hit by a large rock just below Camp 1. His left shoulder was dislocated and arm and hand broken. He was flown out on July 25 to Skardu to undergo surgery, according to an email I received from Garrett Madison. A fundraiser has been started to help Kami and his family. Kami also lost his home from the April 2015 earthquake on Nepal. This incident, plus the thwarted summit attempt by continue reading

Jul 242015
K2 2015 Coverage: Summits on G I & II, K2 Stops Bid. More Injuries

Finally we have more summits in this difficult summer 2015 season. Teams topped out on the Gasherbrums. A large number of climbers are currently going for the summit of Broad Peak. The strong K2 attempt was ended by deep snow and strong winds. Meanwhile K2 has injured one of the Sherpas with Madison Mountaineering. The weather is playing a strong hand this year in Northern Pakistan. It has been the small, look experienced independent teams willing to take big risks during small breaks in the weather who have summited. The large commercial teams have worked hard to fix routes on continue reading

Jul 242015
K2 2015 Coverage: K2 Summit Bid Ends, Avalanches puts season at risk - Update 2

Breaking news on K2 as a Swiss team lead by Mike Horn has reportedly turned back around 7000 meters from their summit bid. They were attempting the summit on K2 via the Cesan Route and had reached their Camp 3. Other reports mention deep snow. It is rare for a small team to be able to fix ropes AND break snow at these extreme altitudes as it is unbelievably physical. David Tait with Himex at K2 Base Camp posted a well formed update along with very deep introspection that comes on the long high altitude climbs. He made this observation about continue reading

K2 2015 Coverage: Summit Pushes on all 4 Peaks

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Jul 232015
K2 2015 Coverage: Summit Pushes on all 4 Peaks

Looking at an extremely short weather window, climbers on all four the Northern Pakistan 8000m peaks are climbing today. Heavy weather is predicted to begin around July 26 and some speculate it will take over a week for conditions to be suitable for another summit push. This delay has caused multiple teams to abandon their expeditions due to commitments back home. K2 Let’s start off with an excellent post by Irish climber Jason Black who, in spite of the poor weather forecast will start up K2’s Abruzzi route July 24th: 23rd July 2015 and bad weather halts progress on the continue reading