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I always wanted to visit the Himalayas in Pakistan. The mountains are legendary: Gasherbrum I,Gasherbrum II, Nanga Parbat, Broad Peak and, of course, K2. The view from the confluence of three glaciers at Concordia is live postcard few get to see in person. In the summer of 2006, along with a team managed by Field Touring Alpine (FTA), I attempted Broad Peak (26,401') and planned to make a good effort on K2 (28,250').

I reached 21,000' on Broad or Camp 2 before abandoning the climb due to weakness that resulted from a severe bug I contracted on the trek in. The Karakorum ranges was magnificent and I was very lucky to have unbelievable weather for the month I spent there.

I sent frequent dispatches using a system that includes a digital camera, PDA and sat phone.

Click here for the dispatch home and videos

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Update on Ger's Injury on K2

Posted on July 30, 2006 06:03 PM U.S. Mountain Daylight Time

Some of you may have heard that Ger McDonnell was hit in the head by falling rock below Camp 2 on K2 . According to various reports, he is back at base camp and has been examined by two doctors.

Per a report from Bango Bannon, they were climbing in the same vicinity and Ger was coherent enough to walk back to Banjo and tell him he had been hit in the head by falling rock. Ger is in serious condition and under medical supervision. An evacuation is planed for Monday morning, July 31 Pakistan time. The FTA site will have an update later tonight. I am writing this on Sunday, July 30, about 5:00PM US Mountain Daylight Time or GMT -7

You may recall that Nick was also hit by falling rock in this same area last week. Wilco was injured in 1994 - a very serious injury that required helicopter evacuation. Ryan noted in his last audio dispatch last week that there is a lot of rockfall this year and was struck on his knee.

Mick, Wilco, Ger and Joelle had planned on another attempt now that the formal expedition is over. They had teamed up with several other teams on K2 including Bango Bannon who was climbing alone.

I am sorry but I do not have contact with the climbers but have had contact with FTA directly and am monitoring all the cited sources above and will post anything significant when it comes available. These situations are very stressful, especially for family and close friends. Ger's emergency contacts have already been updated by FTA.

Also please be aware that reports from remote areas like Pakistani are always subject to revisions. It is very common for the first reports to contain inaccuracies. So read the reports posted on various sites with caution. Many will report hearsay from other expeditions that are passing on information that they have heard but not verified. Remember that there are many nationalities up there so language translations can contribute to mis-information. Finally do not expect to hear a lot of details, they will simply not be avaialble. It will be up to Ger to add more once he is home.

Please keep Ger, and all the climbers, in your thoughts.