With the aftermath of the death of Pakistan High Altitude Porter, discount Qamber Jangjupa, on Broad Peak quieting, the weather is now the main story in the Karakorum. Most teams are waiting for a better window but some are pushing to squeeze a summit in now, and others had said enough and have quit.
The injured Japanese climber, Sumiyo Tsuzuki, has been helicoptered from base camp after receiving triage from doctors on other expeditions to a compound fracture of her leg.
Summit Push on the Gasherbrums and Broad Peak
Ferran Latorre and team posted that they are at Camp 2 on GI but the fixed ropes are buried. While they note the weather is “fair”, this window is not expected to last.
Iván Vallejo also posted their intent to try to push the weather window on Broad Peak:
The question is, why do not we wait a few more days? The answer is because as of 25 the weather is going to worse. Well, this is what is there now and it’s what we can take at this time. The plan that we have is the following. Tomorrow Wednesday we went straight from base camp to camp two. On Thursday we are going up to the field three, and to the middle of the night of Thursday to Friday we will go to the summit. I wish that the snow will give us good conditions, I wish that the weather will be kind and the Lord and my beautiful mountains will give us the summit.
Al Hancock, posted an audio dispatch saying he also was going for the summit on Broad Peak.
Climbers Ending Efforts
Meanwhile Nic Rice has had enough and called the end of to his effort on GI along with two other teams:
Perhaps one or two climbers might sneak up the peak and get off safely, however, I’m not willing to take the risk. I’ve had a great expedition overall, having the opportunity to climb a new variation from Camp II to Camp III on Gasherbrum I, to make new friends from all over the world, and to take in some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world from high in the Karakorum. This mountain will be here for centuries and I don’t doubt that I will be back for another attempt.
On K2, the tension is building as some want to climb, others are to wait it out. Phillipe Gatta noted the need for teamwork as it is difficult for a small team to climb K2 alone.
Each team has it’s weather report, strategy, constraints and they are often contradictory. Unfortunately the results is a lack of enthusiasm and collaboration on a mountain where both are mandatory for a success. It seems that there is/was a window for the 23-26th but it is short with important snow falls behind. Most teams do not want to take the risk or feel that they are not ready. We were ready to give it a try but without any support from other teams to break trail and fix the route above C3, the task seems too risky. So we hope that the bad weather coming in the 27-30 wont drop too much snow on the mountain – which could jeopardise the expedition – and that high pressure will get back afterwards to allow for a summit push.
Both Madison Mountaineering and Himex seem content to wait for safer conditions on both K2 and Broad Peak. These teams have the bulk of the on-mountian support with Sherpas and HAPs so similar to Everest the smaller teams not wanting to go it alone will be dependent on the large teams to lead the way.
Best of luck to those pushing the window this week.
Memories are Everything