K2 2018 Summer Coverage: More K2 Summits – Weather moving In

K2 Basecamp 2014 by Alan Arnette

Following a near record day of K2 summits, more teams stood on top of K2 on Sunday July 22nd, 2018. Big weather is forecasted to move in on Tuesday thru Thursday so now is the time to push for the summit of K2. I’ll update this post as new information becomes available over the next 12 hours.

Masherbrum Expedition providing some support for Madison noted: “11 members, 9 Sherpas and 2 Pakistani highporters summit K2 on 22 July.” Before leaving, Garrett told me he had,  “… a team of 10 clients, 2 guides plus myself (Geoff Schellens and Robert Smith), 11 sherpas, and 5 Pakistani HAPs”

The Japanese team posted this update:

Japanese K2 expedition, Summit push: Six members (Mr. Higashiyama, Mr. Taguchi, Mr. Watanabe, Mr. Iizawa, Mr. Yusa, Ms.Hayashi ) and two HAPs left C4 last night for summit push.  Today(7/22), at 4:00 local time, Mr. Higashiyama reached Bottle Neck(8200m).  Two members (Mr. Oyabe, Mr. Shirakura) decided not to pursue the summit push, due to health condition.

Of note yesterday Noel Hanna with Seven Summits Treks and today Jason Black with Madison became the second and third Irish to summit after the tragic story of my friend Get McDonald in 20o8. Well done to both.

More to Come!

Furtenbach Adventures has two logistics-only members pushing the schedule to avoid potential weather moving in. Fredrik Sträng and David Roeske went on their own aiming to skip camps to make the K2 summits as quickly as possible.  K2 skier Andrzej Bargiel is on his push, you can follow at his tracker page 

Why So Many Summits?

I made the case a few years ago that K2 will never be Everest and I stand by that even with the good summit numbers over the last two days. Everest is all about altitude while K2 is all about altitude AND climbing. Remember that Everest saw close to 700 summits this Spring while K2 may see around 50.

What we are seeing in 2018 is similar to what I personally experienced in 2014 – good weather and good support.  As I’ve noted in previous post, Seven Summits Treks has taken their high volume Everest model and exported it to Pakistan. By that I mean a support ratio of 2 to 1 for support to members all climbing on a generous flow of supplemental oxygen. Now, this is not to take way from their accomplishment because summiting K2 is damned hard – and almost impossible without these support systems as evidenced with the approximately 400 summits and 84 deaths.

A view from the air

Bilal Munir Sheik sent me this video taken from Pakistani Air PK451 as it took a deviation to fly by K2 on July 17, 2018. Look for K2 starting at 5:00 into the clip and Gasherbrum at 7:10

Congratulations to all and a safe journey to the rest.

Climb On!
Memories are Everything

Why this Coverage?

As always, I use my blog to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s and if you appreciate my coverage, please consider a donation where 100% goes to Alzheimer’s non-profits and nothing ever to me. Read more about why this cause is so important at this link and how Alzheimer’s took Ida Arnette’s life.

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