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Jul 202015
 

Climbing to Camp 1 on Broad Peak in 2006

Climbing to Camp 1 on Broad Peak in 2006

Attributed to heavy overnight snow and warmer than normal temperatures, an avalanche below Camp 1 on Broad Peak has injured several climbers and taken one Pakistani High Altitude Porter (HAP) life. Progress on K2 and the other Karakorum peaks has been stopped for now waiting for the snow to settle and the weather to calm.

Chris Burke has posted a complete update as she is climbing Broad Peak and was at Broad Peak Base Camp when the avalanche occurred. She noted that other climbers rushed to aid the victims and pulled one person out from the debris. While the rescues were occurring, more avalanches were triggered. The injured need urgent medical care but helicopters, operated but the Pakistani military, are grounded in Skardu due to weather.

Chris noted:

It is a somber time at Broad Peak base camp – many have lost a longtime friend today.  Many have lost a friend they only recently met.  Meanwhile, avalanches continue to fall in the mountains around us.  We are tired.  We are sad.  We need time to absorb today’s events.

The website Altitude Pakistan identified the climbers involved:

A group of Japanese and Chinese climbers along with Pakistani HAPs and Sherpa were on the way to C1, when an avalanche came down at around 11hrs local time. Seven climbers were swept down the mountain. One of the injured Sherpa called BC and search & rescue mission was launched immediately. Six climbers, including seriously injured Japanese member of Summit Climb team Ms. Sumiyo Tsuzuki, were lowered to BC and given immediate medication. However, a Pakistani HAP of Seven Summit Treks team couldn’t be located. Missing HAP (name withheld as the family needs to be notified) has been unfortunately presumed dead.

I know that section well as I climbed it multiple times in 2006. It is perfect avalanche terrain as it can be wind loaded and sits at a 30 degree slope.

Over on K2, Garrett Madison‘s team has just returned from their first and only acclimatization rotation to Camp 2 but are now sitting tight waiting for improved conditions. he posted:

Because of daily snowfall, and the inherent risk of avalanches, we cannot plan to climb or carry up supplies until the weather improves and conditions stabilize. Currently we will be resting in base camp at least a few more days before possibly making a move up on our summit attempt.

Nic Rice on Gasherbrum also said he was sitting tight:

The weather report I have is not very encouraging, however, I remain hopeful that the usual end of July summit window will somehow materialize and that the forecast heavy snow will not.

Finally Russell Brice posted on his site he did not expect to move up K2 until at least July 26, Sunday. The standard mountain protocol after a heavy snow is to let it stabilize for at a minimum of 24 to 48 hours.

I will update this post with more information as I receive it.

My condolences to the families.

Climb On!

Alan

Memories are Everything

 

 

 

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  4 Responses to “K2 2015 Coverage: Death and Injuries from Avalanche”

  1.  

    Weather is still bad and sky is fully covered with dark clouds and there are more rain predicted in Skardu, Helicopter services is not possible, hope the weather services is improved and injured could be brought down for medical treatment. Its also bad for local HP family we here are just celebrating the biggest Muslim festival of Eid. Hopefully the body of Pakistani HP could be find so to make a proper berried him accordingly to our tradition.

    Thanks all for updates.

  2.  

    More bad news from the mountains. So sad. Sumiyo was camped in the tent next to mine when I first tried Everest in 2010. I’m sorry.

    •  

      Amazing amount of bad high altitude climbing news this year Robert. Some have been predicted that the 8’s would become unclimbable due to climate change and perhaps its true .. by today’s routes. Maybe it is time to find new routes on the high mountains that avoid the avi and objective danger, but then again this is why we climb the “normal” routes today. Time will tell.

  3.  

    Thank you, Alan. There was a brief mention about the Broad Peak avalanche on David Tait’s blog, and I was hoping you’d give us the details when more information filtered in. Thanks for the excellent coverage!