Climbers are all over K2 pushing to get rotations in, but Saturday looks to be a perfect summit day! Teams have now established Camp 3, and the ropes are at 7600-meters/25,080-feet, a serious sign of progress.
As anticipated progress is being made but with challenges. The fixed-line to the traditional High Camp at 25,080’/7600m but the huge winds up high caused teams to sleep in crevasses and not tents. This has happened before. These are the elevations of the traditional camps:
- Base Camp: 17,500ft/5334m
- Advanced Base Camp: 18,650ft/5650m
- Camp 1: 19,965’/6050m
- Camp 2: 22,110’/6700m
- Camp 3: 23,760’/7200m
- Camp 4: 25,080’/7600m
- Summit: 28,251”/8611m
The adventure and mainstream press are all over this winter K2 attempt with sensational headlines, for example, the trivial rockfall yesterday. Yes, a rock or two hit climbers, but nothing serious as the climbers themselves confirmed, but it did generate press coverage. That said, it won’t surprise me if we see a serious rockfall incident before the season is over.
So be a bit careful what you read (or take away from the headlines). Progress is being made, it looks good. I put the summit odds at 9 in 10 or 90%. I think it’ll be done, including at least one without supplemental oxygen. The climbers are strong, motivated, and determined.
The computer forecasts have Saturday a perfect day for a summit, winds 5 to 10mph and wind chills “only” -50F!!! Big winds return next week, so the time may be right for the ten people at Camp 3. Working together, the ten consisted of Nim: five (including Nim’s), Mingma G: three (including Mingma G), and Seven Summit Treks: two.
I’m starting to see some of the non-Nepalis say they are rethinking their commitment, especially after the rockfall yesterday … and that rockfall was perfectly normal for K2, summer, or winter.
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.
- Nims Purja: Nims plus six Nepalis/Sherpas in support, one client looking to experience lower K2
Nim’s – At C3 with Mingma G and SST Rope Team
Nims’s plus four teammates are at C3:
The last 48hrs + have been a gruelling one, as we had to repeat the heavy load carry in preparation to progress further. Each team member’s [load] weighed more than 35kg. Really pleased with the team’s progress so far and super proud. Today our camp site is at 7400m. We managed to fix the lines upto 7900m. [ed:later revised to 7600]
It’s still unknown if Nims is climbing with or without supplemental oxygen. Nims teams consist of Mingma David, Dawa Temba Sherpa, Pemchhiri Sherpa, Gelje Sherpa, Mingma Tenzi Sherpa, and Sandro Gromen-Hayes.
Mingma G – At C3 with Nims and Rope Team
Mingma Gyalje Sherpa and his two teammates are also at Camp 3.
This time this, Nepalese Winter K2 Expedition is for the nation. We will make the National proud. As plan We are here in camp3 with other proud Nepalese team. Tomorrow we will take rest here because of high wind. we 10 Nepalese brother will update our plan tomorrow afternoon. good night from K2 C3
Snorri – C2
We are feeling fine, our camp is in shelter from most of the wind. It looks like we can keep our track and head to C3 tomorrow. The weather in C3 was really bad last night and Nims and his team had to sleep in a glacier crack over the night.
We just arrived to C2. Lot of rocks collapsing down towards us on 100 km speed, dangerous moments we had there. We are tired and will stay here overnight. The plan is to stay 2 nights here then go to C3 on the 15th. The weather will be bad here in C2 tomorrow so hopefully we can get through that day. All our gear is fine, the only thing that is missing is 1 oxygen bottle, we will recover that in BC. The other teams that are here is Mingma in C2 and Nims on his way to C3.
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 – Ropes and Winds High
Seven Summits Trek’s commercial team of 22 clients and 21 Sherpas in support has climbers from Base Camp to Camp 2 with their rope team at Camp 3. Dawa gave this update:
This afternoon the SST Sherpas, along with the team of Nirmal Purji, set up a third high-altitude camp. Today we will stay overnight in this camp and tomorrow we will go to the fourth camp. Other members of the SST expedition ascend to the second camp. Today Mingma Sherpa’s team will join us in the third camp.
Others are fighting the winds and destroyed camps as Atanas Georgiev Skatov tells us:
I arrived at Camp 2. Despite the cold and fatigue, I am fine. Unfortunately, the tent that was left in Japanese Camp 1 was destroyed by the strong wind, but the situation was brought under control. Thank you for the good wishes and the support you give me, means a lot to me!
Sergi Mingote, Juan Pablo Mohr, Tamara Lunger, and Alex Gavan are all reported at traditional Camp 2 above House’s Chimney.
Broad Peak – At Base Camp – Quiet
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