K2 is filled with people today, most on their second and final acclimatization rotation before a summit attempt perhaps later this month, weather dependent.
The good news is that it warmed up significantly. The bad news is the warmer conditions are causing rockfall. Several climbers reported rockfall yesterday with minor to insignificant injuries. But the warning is clear. I’m hearing directly from the climbers on conditions.
The Seven Summit Trek team is sending wave after wave higher, taking advantage of this window. It’s risky (but what isn’t on the Hill?) with several days of calm winds, interspersed with a violent one. Some may be forced to stay longer than planned at a camp to ride out a spat of hurricane winds.
As mentioned yesterday, Spanish alpinist Luis Carlos Garranzo was helicoptered from K2 Base Camp suffering from kidney issues. He is the third evacuee this season along with Polish Waldemar Kowalewski, suffering from a pre-existing hernia. An unidentified Sherpa was also choppered out. There have been health issues with other climbers including Bulgarian Atanas Skatov from Bulgaria who had GI problems but recovered after a 5-day antibiotic course.
After a difficult weekend of mixed news regarding lost camps and gear, this week is shaping up nicely. Not sure about all the messaging but it’s clear that everyone is staying motivated and working hard.
These are the teams on K2 this winter:
- Mingma Gyalje Sherpa: 3 people, all Sherpas
- John Snorri Sigurjonsson with Muhammad Ali Sadpara and son: a three-person independent team
- Seven Summits Trek’s (SST) 43 person commercial team with 22 clients and 21 Sherpas in support.
- Nirmal Purja Purja Purja Purja: Nirmal Purja Purja Purja plus six Nepalis/Sherpas in support, one client looking to experience lower K2
Nim’s – C2/3
Nirmal Purja Purja Purja’s should be at C2 heading to C3 and hoping to fix ropes to C4 along with the SST rope team.
Nirmal Purja Purja Purja teams consist of Mingma David, Dawa Temba Sherpa, Pemchhiri Sherpa, Gelje Sherpa, Mingma Tenzi Sherpa, and Sandro Gromen-Hayes.
Mingma G – Waiting
Mingma Gyalje Sherpa seems patient to wait it out but also eager to find out the status of his gear at C2. Mingma tells me directly on Tuesday, January 12 2021 around noon K2 time:
Hi Alan, I can see my tent at Black Pyramid so I hope everything is there inside the tent just below the Black Pyramid.
Snorri – C2
We Just reached C2 Slot of rockfall. [ed: House Chimney] Few times need to jump away from big rocks. Yes if I have correct one American got hit on his hand. [ed: Kedrowki – he’s fine.] Nina plans to sleep in C3 if correct info. Tomorrow SW 80 [ed:winds] in C3 It’s going to be something. We expect 60 [ed:winds] in c2 All our things are OK here except the tent it’s gone. We have another. On Bulgarian Antanas just arrive c2 we are under chimney
So the team is climbing in mixed conditions experiencing high winds and random rockfall. Sounds like K2! You can follow on their tracker.
Seven Summits Treks – Highly Motivated
Seven Summits Trek’s commercial team of 22 clients and 21 Sherpas in support is the wild card. Chhang Dawa Sherpa, director of Seven Summit Treks tells me directly about the team’s motivation:
All are motivated at least we can see some good windows in a week, lets see how it works with real weather condition
They are currently on this schedule: 12th Jan – C2, 13th Jan – C3, 14th Jan- Rest and preparation in C3, and 15th Jan – C4 set up, if weather and the mountain permits.
It’s reported the following are at C2: Sergi Mingote and Atanas Skatov. I assume Tamara Lunger and Alex Gavan are also there. Juan Pablo Mohr at C1. The plan was to overnight at C3, assuming it gets established and the winds allow.
Lynne Hanna reported on her husband, Noel:
Update from K2 Noel has returned to base camp today he has sent me some great photos of the Camp 1. In the shadows taken looking down from half way between Camp 1 and 2 you also see Pemba who is climbing with Noel he was with us on Manaslu in 2019. … great pics of the glacier … they will remain at base camp until the winds die down again … — with Noel Hanna.
Broad Peak – At Base Camp
Manaslu – At Base Camp
We are already at BC! We’re ok, acclimating to the altitude and gradually building what will be “our home” for the next few weeks. Very good feelings.
Memories are Everything