Happy New Year, especially to the K2 climbers trying to stay warm as we enter a new year. There are some climbers above Base Camp with a day or two of reasonable winds. Conditions deteriorate Monday into Tuesday. A Sherpa team is looking at fixing the ropes to Camp 4 soon before retreating.
I’m receiving confirmed reports that Polish climber Waldemar Kowalewski with the Seven Summits Team will be evacuated by helicopter from K2 Base Camp suffering from an illness. The recent crash of a Pakistani helicopter appears not to have impacted evacuations from Base Camp as they use Ecuril choppers and the military model uses MI-17s.
Another climber on the SST was taking medication for a stomach parasite. Getting any type of GI issue on an 8000-meter climb is bad but in these conditions, it’s all about recovery. Wishing all the best.
Mingma G: “Great Cooperation!”
Mingma Gyalje Sherpa is back at BC after getting the fixed rope to 7000-meter, roughly at the top of the Black Pyramid. Mingma confirmed directly to me that he, Nims, and three Sherpas worked together to fix the lines in the Black Pyramid section:
We have touched the ice part right below Camp 3. Yes, Nims and his Sherpa helped us in fixing the rope. We three Sherpa, Nims and his Sherpa Mingma Tenzi; we five reached below Camp 3. We are waiting for the next window to deposit equipment to Camp 3. Working with Nims was great.
Nim’s: At BC
Snorri: At BC
Seven Summits Treks Commercial: Fixing Ropes to C4
Seven Summits Trek’s commercial team is settling in at K2 Base Camp and has sent four Sherpas to the upper camps with the goal to fix the route to Camp 4 and prepare for a summit bid after January 14, 2021.
We are starting to get updates from other members of this large ensemble. Magdalena Gorzowska reported in from C1 on New Year’s eve with:
We spend New Year’s Eve in camp 1 at an altitude of 6070 m. It’s windy and the temperature is around -40 degrees. The road was very demanding, it will only get worse. End of year and I wish you all great fun!
In an interview with Desnivel.com SST’s co-leader, Sergi Mingote gave some details on the commercial team’s progress. First on the cold:
It is true that temperatures are very, very cold: already in C2, they have measured temperatures of -45ºC. In short, it is winter and it is very cold. What makes me suffer are my feet. The right foot is the one that is suffering the most: it is a foot that is difficult for me to recover due to past frostbites. I feel very well, very motivated, wanting to pull up, but also knowing that you have to be patient and that you need to acclimatize well.
As for team dynamics, he added:
Carlos Garranzo is a little better, although now he is taking medication for a stomach parasite and will be recovering for a few days. With the rest of the team, the relationship is very good. We have the most direct relationship with Tamara Lunger, Alex Gavan, Mattia Conte, Carlos Garranzo, Juan Pablo Mohr and myself. We also share tents with Antonios Sykaris and Atanas Skatov. A very cordial relationship. Everything up and running and motivated.
Broad Peak – En Route
Zoltán Szlankó and Alex Goldfarb are en route and should be at Base Camp within the next week.
Manaslu – En Route
Simone Moro, Alex Txikon, and Iñaki Alvarez are all traveling to Nepal for their winter attempt of Manaslu. Tenji Sherpa and Vinayak Jaya Malla, both Nepali internationally certified mountain guides (IFMGA) are also on Manaslu. They are currently trekking to Base Camp. Moro posted:
With 24 hours delay I leave for my Manaslu winter expedition. I had some issues with the covid certifications, the one I had didn’t work and I had to do another one. Now everything is fine and I would like to thank all the doctors and paramedics at Ponte San Pietro hospital who did everything for me in record time and also Qatar who postponed my flight ticket. Alex Txikon and the others have already arrived at the destination and are waiting for me, they say the weather is good, let’s keep the fingers crossed.
Memories are Everything