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Jun 302018
K2 2018 Summer Season Coverage: Weekend Update 30 June - SNOW!

It’s been a difficult week in Pakistan’s Karakoram Mountain range. Heavy snow brought most teams to a complete halt forcing them to stay at base camp. Over a foot was reported at some camps. With this amount of heavy snow, the smart move is to wait for it to settle and that takes days for this amount. Big Picture We all know that snow is part of 8000-meter climbing and what is happening now in Pakistan not that unusual. In 2015 and 2016 dangerous snow conditions prevented all summits on K2 and last year, only one team summited and that continue reading

Jun 282018
K2 2018 Summer Season Coverage: Snow Stalls Progress

The weather around the Karakoram peaks is slowing and even stopping progress this week. Meanwhile some teams are not at Base Camp yet. Broad Peak Delays Furtenbach Adventures  reports in with big snow stalling progress. They are a bit nervous because they also want to get K2. When this scenario occurs, often teams will abandon BP and get over to K2 for that attempt, but its too early to make that call now. Furtenbach said today 29 June : “Dumping again. Broad Peak basecamp this morning” and a couple of days ago: After one night in C1 and one night continue reading

Jun 242018
K2 2018 Summer Season Coverage

The weather around the Karakoram peaks are making the early teams work hard to establish low camps.  Other teams continue their treks to base camps. Big Picture It is now late June so the weather can still be quite extreme (as if it never isn’t!) Make no mistake, the weather is the biggest challenge standing in the way of a safe summit, and return, for any of the five 8000ers in Pakistan. With K2 standing on its own making its own winds and snow, climbers on other peaks cannot take hints from it. Broad Peak a few miles/Kms away is continue reading

Jun 222018
K2 2018 Summer Season: Weekend Update 22 June

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 Trekking! 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 continue reading

Jun 172018
K2 2018 Summer Season Coverage: Weekend Update 17 June - Japanese at K2

The summer K2 season is well underway with teams at base camp or making the trek up the Baltoro. And the other big Karakoram peaks are also welcoming climbers to base camps and even higher. Challenge to Base Camp There are multiple challenges to even getting to the Karakoram, starting with arriving in Islamabad. The country is still under high security but in my two visits there, I never had any issues and found the people extremely freindly. Then there is the flight to Skardu. Most teams try to fly direct via a daily Pakistan International Airline flight, but due continue reading

Jun 142018
K2 2018 Summer Season Coverage: Teams at Base Camp

Teams are arriving at K2 Base Camp so look for climbing to begin soon. Japanese Arrive Akira Oyabe and his 10 member team from Japan have arrived at K2 Base Camp. They are having satellite problems but did get a short update out: 6/10: BC (5000 M) 6/11: Set up a tent on ABC (5250 M) and advanced to 5500 m 6/12: BC stay 6/13: Root maneuver for C1 (scheduled) Rope Wars Once again the Furtenbach team is complaining about other teams using their ropes and not paying for it. Last year this was broken record so we will see continue reading

Jun 092018
K2 2018 Summer Season Coverage

Welcome to my annual coverage of the 2018 K2 summer climbing season. I will be reporting from my home in Colorado this year based on my personal experience of our successful 2014 K2 summit and covering the action the last three years. I try to report on K2 in the same style as my annual Everest coverage but accurate information is much more difficult to obtain from Northern Pakistan than from Nepal. I’ll do my best to throw in occasional coverage for climbers on Broad Peak, Nanga Parbat and Gasherbrum I and II. As always, I use my blog to continue reading

Mar 052018
K2 Team Ends Winter Expedition

The Winter Polish K2 team ended their effort after K2 had seen over 80cm/31 inches of new snow that buried ropes and destroyed high camps. The climbing community is now 0 for 4 with attempts to summit K2 in the winter since 1987/88. See this post for full background on the K2 and Everest expeditions and the history of winter attempts on the highest two mountains on Earth. Big Picture – Facing Reality With 15 days left, the Poles needed to finish their acclimatization rotation, stock the high camps and then have a multi-day weather window open.  Given that all three continue reading

Mar 012018
The Definition of Winter for K2 and Everest Climbs

With the drama dissipating from K2, the Polish team remains at base camp waiting for better weather. Everest is now officially over but the debate about when winter ends, will continue forever. See this post for full background on the K2 and Everest expeditions and the history of winter attempts on the highest two mountains on Earth. Big Picture – When does Winter End? One of the big questions this season on both K2 and Everest is “When does winter officially end?” If you have been reading my blog  you might have seen comments from readers with clear views, for continue reading

Feb 272018
K2 Team Focuses on the Summit. Another Everest Attempt?

Denis Urubko remains at base camp along with the drama. Now that he is off  the team, the remaining climbers are focusing on a potential summit push around mid March.  Alex Txikon suggested he ended his winter Everest attempt with his permit expiring on 28 February but today said maybe not! See this post for full background on the K2 and Everest expeditions and the history of winter attempts on the highest two mountains on Earth. Big Picture – Weather Watch Part 5,693 Once again it’s all about the weather. The winds stopped Txikon on Everest and the winds stopped continue reading

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