K2 2021 Summer Coverage: Teams Climbing!

Tight space at Camp 1 on K2

Teams have arrived at K2 Base Camp and climbing has already begun with the fixed ropes to C1 on K2’s Abruzzi route and climbers at C1 on GI and reached C2 on Broad Peak.

Manzoor Ahmad of Karakorum Tours who has a team on K2 and BP this season tells me of the exact numbers of permits issued in the Karakorum this summer with 75 support climbers for 128 foreigners. Note that many of the BP climbers are also on K2 so there are duplicates thus the total is less than 203, probably around 185.

  • K-2:88 (20 Nepal Sherpa, 30 Pakistani HAPS, 38 climbers)
  • Gasherbrum-II-I: 63 (Climbers 48 climbers, Pakistani 15 HAPS)
  • Broad Peak: 52 (42 climbers, Pakistani 10 HAPS)

This is a partial list of who is there:

At this point, it appears the only team from Nepal will be Update: Trying to clarify if Pioneer is independent or supporting the team Alpomania. A team of nine, Pioneer Adventure. The team includes  Lakpa Sherpa, Mingma Dorchi Sherpa, plus Sanu Sherpa, Pemba R. Sherpa, Chhiring N. Sherpa, Mingma D. Sherpa (Saila), Pemba D. Sherpa, Lakpa G. Sherpa, and Tashi Sherpa.

Sherpa Support

American Garett Madison, is also there with an 8 person team supported by an equal amount of Sherpas. I spoke live to Garrett from Skardu on Sunday, June 27, 2021. He cited having a good network in Pakistan and throughout the world for being the only American team on K2 this season. His team has climbers from America, Britain, and Ukraine. He chartered an airplane to fly his group of eight Sherpas from Kathmandu to Islamabad. These are the same Sherpas he climbed Everest with this past spring. All have been vaccinated. They brought all the Everest gear from Nepal to Pakistan. He sent me this picture of the Sherpas:

Madison Mountaineering Sherpas flying to Islamabad. Courtesy of Garrett Madison.
Madison Mountaineering Sherpas flying to Islamabad. Courtesy of Garrett Madison.


K2 Abruzzi Route Map
K2 Abruzzi Route Map

Pakistani operator Karakorum Expeditions lead by Mirza Ali’s has eleven clients on K2 and Broad Peak supported by 22 Pakistani climbers. European mountain guides Austrian Stephan Keck and Spaniard Jordi Tosas will fix lead the five-person Pakistani rope team.

Ali’s sister, Samina Baig, who became the first Pakistani female to summit Everest and complete the Seven Summits is on the team for K2.  She gave this update from base camp.

The team has fixed rope up to camp 1 on k2 today. After establishing camp one the whole team is safely back to base camp.

Team members
Jalal u din
Eid Mohammad
Ahmed Baig
BasharatFaryad Karim

Ali said the entire team may try to acclimatize on Broad Peak before going to K2. One of the foreigners on the team is Greek Fotis Theocharis. He is making his tracker public. Also on the team are Anne Bialek and Victor Sans.

West Ridge

I interviewed American Graham Zimmerman last month about his K2 West Ridge attempt with Candian Ian Welsted. This route has never been 100% completed.

Ian Welsted gave this most recent update from K2 Base Camp:
The crowds in the Baltoro are new to me, always having been to more obscure corners of the Karakorum. It is amazing to see the allure of the normal routes on the 8000ers. K2 basecamp, bottom right, is taking shape, while we have pitched ourselves bottom left, heading toward the Savoia Glacier, and our objective, the West Ridge, here swathed in cloud in the upper centre.

Belguim duoa of Jeff Spelman and Niels Jespers will be on K2 sans Os.

Another climb to watch is Sajid Ali Sadpara wh will be searching for evidence of his father, Muhammad Ali Sadpara, and perhaps a summit last winter, after he with teammates Icelander John Snorri Sigurjonsson and Chilean Juan Pablo Mohr, went missing on their summit bid. They were presumed dead after a few weeks.  Pakistan’s Jasmine Tours’ Asghar Ali Porik is providing logistic support.

And the Other 8000ers

Going for a 3fer is French climber Serge Hardy looking at Broad Peak, GI, and GII according to Montagnes magazine.

Gasherbrum I/II

At 26,362’/8035m. GII is often considered the most attainable of the Karakoram’s 8000ers. There have been about 350 summits of GI and 940 of GII. We’ll find a commercial team lead by German guide Amical alpin there plus the 32-year-old Pakistani Sirbaz Kahn who is on a mission. He wants all fourteen of the 8000ers and has Annapurna and Everest plus six others. Now he will go for  G I and G II.

Looking to ski down G’s, is the French team of Boris Langensteina and Tiphaine Duperier with Aurelia Lanoe and Guillaume Pierrel. And well-known Italian Marco Confortola will attempt Gasherbrum I, with five teammates. Lluis Cortadellas will assist this team. Iran mountaineers Arman Shahpari and Milad Keshavarzi are also aiming for the G’s.

Marco‘s home team posted on IG:

Marco this morning reached 6.000 Mt (more or less) of C1. As already reported yesterday, they intend to spend the night at high altitude to take advantage of the good acclimatization.The mood is very high and it is clear that much

Nanga Parbat

Spanish team led by Manuel Gonzalez  is on Naga this summer with Enrique Osiel, Iñigo Delgado, Sergio Carrascoso, and Carlos Santafe. They intend to repeat Reinhold Messner climb of the Diamir Face.

Broad Peak

BP is often considered a warm-up for K2 but that grossly understates the difficulty of this 26,414’/8051m peak. About 425 people have summited Broad.  Every season people talk about summiting both but it is rarely accomplished as I described in this post last.

Canadian Don Bowie and Finnish climber Lotta Hintsa are already on Broad for 2021. Bowie posted in IG:

Three weeks of poor weather since we arrived at base camp. @lottahintsa and I have managed to break trail toward Camp 2 on two occasions and have stayed in Camp 1 for 5 nights – tonight will be 6… , but deep snow and avalanche conditions have so far turned us back from reaching 2. Today we managed to stash some gear and rope on the way to Camp 2, slogging at times through 40-50cm of snow. The depth of snow is not the issue so much as the unstable slopes, but after the intense sun this afternoon and eve things are beggining to stabilize. One meter at a time… carefully. #broadpeak #slog

Camp 2 on Broad Peak in 2006
Camp 2 on Broad Peak in 2006 © Photo by Alan Arnette. All rights reserved


Climb On!
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K2 2021: The Season Begins

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4 thoughts on “K2 2021 Summer Coverage: Teams Climbing!

  1. I see on social media Kenton Cool is in Pakistan. Apologies if I missed it in the blog, but is Kenton doing K2?

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