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Jul 232015
Camp 2 on Broad Peak in 2006

Camp 2 on Broad Peak in 2006

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.


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 mighty K2. After much debate over weather forecasts from many different sources showing clear not so clear weather ,high to low winds ,predictions of incoming snow at multiple levels. It’s thrown a real shadow over basecamp and with every turning head everyone’s an expert to when we should go for a summit push.

To say it’s frustrating is an understatement ,however it’s the nature of high altitude expeditions above 8000meters on the 14 of the worlds toughest mountains. Patience a real virtue and mentally been tested to the limit. For the last few nights we have had meetings after meeting moving from one cold tent to another with tempers frayed between im mountaineers and the expedition leaders of seven summits. But as competitive mountaineers this is typically normal in a world as we bid for success.Concerns is safety and rightly so as rescues as zero and the risk of getting it wrong will come at the ultimate cost in our sport our life’s because on the K2 it takes no prisoners

Tonight the decision has been made we can see window of opportunity so it’s a GO we leave in the early hours of the morning on a solid five day push for the summit hoping to reach successfully the summit on 28th July. The Abbruzzi route will see me return to….. Camp one – 24th – 6050mt Camp two – 25th – 6650mts Camp three – 26th – 7300mts Camp four – 27th – 8000mts Summit early hours 28th – 8611mts

Mike Horn and his small Swiss team are now at Camp 3 on the Česen route. They worked with the Himex Sherpas to get the route set on this alternative to the more normal Abruzzi route. Multiple avalanches have been reported on K2 and around the Česen for several weeks so this is a big gamble to get up and down safely in these conditions.

The large commercial teams of Madison Mountaineering and Himalayan Experience are sitting tight at K2 Base Camp. Their member report it is hot, boring and many are having a tough time. David Tait said:

Point me in the direction of the mountain, tell me to climb and I am good. Tell me to sit in isolation, away from the one who means the most, waiting for a possible chance to climb and I suffer.

Broad Peak

Al Hancock called in an audio dispatch saying he and others climbed from Base Camp to Camp 2 on July 23 in 10 hours. He said he was tired but would push tomorrow to Camp 3 and then the summit before the weather hits. I believe he is climbing with Chris Burke, Lakpa Sherpa, Margaret Wartroba.

Another team threading the eye of the weather needle are Spaniards Oscar Cadiach, Anna Pujol, Patxi Goñi and Carles Figueres. They also report in at Camp 2.

In 2006 I enjoyed the views from Camp 2 but it is situated on a 30 degree angled snow slope at 6200m. You must bring snow shovels to carve out a reasonably flat platform for your tent. It s exhausting work, especially after climbing for 10 hours.

Himex’s Billi Bierling was not part of that group and stayed at BC waiting for improved conditions. She Tweeted:

A big group of people went up towards C2 on broad peak today. I wish them luck and hope they won’t encounter too much snow below the col. We are staying put to sit out heat and ensuing bad weather. It’ll be early August for us but fortunately we have time.

climbing to Camp 3 on Gasherbrum I

Chilean Team climbing to Camp 3 on Gasherbrum I


After the route was broken to Camp 3 by the Catalans a few days ago, today teams from Chili, and Peru were last reported at Camp 3 on both GI and on GII. They intend to go for the summit on Friday night, making thr top on Saturday morning. Their home team posted on Facebook along with this great picture climbing to Camp 3 on Gasherbrum I:

They are fine, they will take advantage of this day off to rest with and recuperate. The window of good weather, is lengthening, so they will have more room to descend safely. That the happy lot.

OK, so the summit pushes are on. I wish those up there now the and hope another window emerges for those ly waiting.

Climb On!


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