K2 2017 Season Coverage: Climbers At High Camps – Updated

K2 from camp 4 in 2014 by Alan Arnette

Climbers on both Broad Peak and K2 are now positioned at high camps in the good weather that was forecasted, however they are experiencing deep snow.

The next 24 hours will determine summit results and next several days for their safe return to base camp.

UPDATEJohn Snorri Sigurjónsson via his InReach on K2 posted. This would have them leaving C4 around midnight on 27 July:

In C4
snow depth 50 up to 100cm it cost all energy
took 12h c3 to c4
summit push start in 14h.
thank you all who are following

On Broad PeakTunç Fındık  has been posting their progress and is currently at 7946 meters. Oscar Cadiach is reported to be with Tunc. It is reported the Americans have turned back.

K2 Camp 4 has about 14 Climbers

Almost two months ago well over 60 people dreamed of summiting K2 this year but today 9 Sherpas with 5 westerners, primarily with Destination Dreamers and Ascent Himalaya, have pushed to Camp 4 on both the Abruzzi and the Česen routes after the commercial groups of Furtenbach and Himex turned back saying the risk was too high.

These two routes merge at Camp 4. The climb from C3 to C4 on the Abruzzi is straightforward and should take only a few hours but with the snow conditions, it took 12 hours according to reports.

On their summit bid, they will need to fix ropes at the traverse. There are few options not to but K2 has been climbed without ropes in place.

This can take hours, as many as two to four, so the weather needs to be steady during this period. Traditionally K2 climbers reach C4 and move quickly on their summit attempt since it is at 25,080’/7600m. The summit is 28,251”/8611m.

Their next big test will be to push through the Bottleneck, make the traverse and climbed the last several hundred meters to the summit, and of course return. Reports of waste deep snow have resulted from the recent snows increasing the avalanche danger.

If you are interested in more details, please visit my FAQ page on my 2014 summit.

Sherpa Lead?

Mingma G Sherpa of Destination Dreamers is most likely leading the entire effort. He has success this season on Dhaulagiri and near the summit of Nanga Parbat where he suffered frostbite. Minga is a strong young Sherpa determined to make his name in guiding by summiting all the 800ers. He summited K2 in 2014 in a week of  good weather.

British-American Vanessa O’Brien’s InReach GPS device sent the message that she was at Camp 4 along with Icelander John Snorri Sigurjónsson with Tsering Sherpa of Ascent Himalaya. John’s home team posted (translated from Icelandic by Google):

Was coming to [camp] 4. He is very tired, after almost 12 hours of travel. A very long day and the snow reached the waist of some places. They are 14 that are going to peak, 5 people and 9 [Sherpa]. The tomb was 1.5m down to the tent and in his tent they were four in a double tent. The plan is to eat and meet the future. Then it turns out whether there will be an attempt to peak tomorrow or the other. He gives a warm greeting to all and was so happy when I told him that there were very many people watching him and encouraging him.

Fredrik Sträng is also there as is Polish climber and skier Andrzej Bargiel. That identifies 4 of the 5 westerners but there may be a few more, for example the Mexican couple of Badia Bonilla and her husband Mauricio. I have no word on the Polish team training for their winter attempt.

Cancel Update

Lucas Furtenbach gave this update on their reasons to cancel:

Summit attempt stopped at C2 due to lot of snow and high winds. Sadly weather on K2 played it’s own game again. Avalanche danger became dramatically high very quick so team decided to stop and descend to basecamp. We do not want to send our sherpas up in that danger.

All arrived well at basecamp now. It seems like season on K2 is over, we will not wait for an other possible window in august. Our team will leave basecamp tomorrow. Happy about our success on Broad Peak in a very difficult Karakoram season and thankful that all members and staff are healthy.

The Himex team plus many others, perhaps over 50, are now on the trek out via the Baltoro Glacier.

Broad Peak: Climbing from Camp 3 – Update

I have a inside information that climbers are at Camp 3 on Broad Peak in good weather but deep snow. Those include two Americans, plus Tunc Findik and Oscar Cadiach with Pakistani  Muhammad Ali. Nine climbers in total were reported to be on this summit push. It is unclear how many are actually there now.

Tunc is a strong climber with 10 of the 14 8000ers completed and Oscar has 13. Ali is also incredibly strong. These climbers should lead the way to the summit if it is possible at all in the deep snow. Previous attempts have traditionally been stopped by deep snow above C3.

UPDATE: Tunic ‘s team posted on facebook

Tunç @ camp3 and summit attempt has just started now.

Risk Profile

As I covered yesterday, the commercial teams have turned back believing the avalanche danger was too high and the weather window too short to ensure both a summit and safe return. So seeing these climbers trying to thread the needle is a live demonstration of risk tolerances.

I wish them a safe return to base camp no matter their summit results.

Climb On!
Memories are Everything

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9 thoughts on “K2 2017 Season Coverage: Climbers At High Camps – Updated

  1. The final summit push has started half an hour ago according the new InReach positions of Vanessa and John Snorri.

  2. It is 6:21am the 27th (9:21pm Est The (26th in the US). They should be at the traverse by now at least if they only spent 6 or so hours resting after getting to the shoulder. Which is the usual modus operandi. Unless that 12 hours between 3 and 4 and setting up the camp took too long. Would they (or shall I say , would you have) spend 24 hours waiting at #4 before attempting? That’s alot of Os to burn if the are on O at camp 4.
    BTW, congrats to you for making it Up…and Down thT monster.
    I have many questions about your sucess I could ask..CHEERS

  3. Every time I see a photo of that Serac at the top of the bottleneck it gives the willies!

    1. That would have them summit before midnight on July 26 which would be highly unusual especially after a 12 hour day from C3 to C4 if that report is accurate. Stranger things have happened 🙂

      1. Alan, is there a single place to track the teams that are climbing with the inReach Satellite Coms or the like? I am watching John Snorri Sigurjonnson, but am interested in seeing where some of the other climbers are.
        Thanks for the coverage, I am now addicted to watching climbers. 🙂

        1. No central place, each climber/device has its own web page and they must make it public. Believe it or not, some don’t want us to follow them 🙂

          1. I completely understand, that’s a lot of mountain to focus on, with or without an audience.

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