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Jul 042021
K2 routes

Poor weather in the Karakorum has slowed climbing as the base camps continue to fill up with new teams. However, progress continues with the fixed ropes reaching low camps on several of the 8000ers and some climbers have spent multiple nights there already. That said, not a lot of new news this past week.

There appear to be four teams currently at K2 Base Camp (Pioneer AdventureMadison MountaineeringKarakorum Expeditions, and Sajid Ali Sadpara small team searching for his father and two teammates lost last winter). Another team,Graham Zimmerman and Ian Welsted, are on the Savoia Glacier for the West Ridge.

Other teams on some of the other 8000ers include:

  • Spanish Team: Nanga Parbat
  • Broad Peak: Don Bowie, Lotta Hintsa plus many of the K2 climbers who will “acclimitze” there
  • Blue Sky Czech Republic & Slovakia: GI

Sherpa Support

American Garett Madison, with an 8 person team supported by an equal amount of Sherpas. His team has climbers from America, Britain, and Ukraine.  He sent me this picture of their arrival at K2 Base Camp on Saturday, July 3

K2 Base Camp July 3 2021 Courtesy of Garrett Madison

Garrett gave this update. You can follow the Madison team’s progress on their tracker.

We arrived at K2 base camp yesterday and today just had a nice rest day settling in and finishing building our camp.  We took showers, had a nice breakfast, lunch and actually got some good Internet connection with the cell tower down at Concordia.

Our plan is to take a few more rest days here, do our Puja ceremony, and get ready for our first rotation up to Camps I and II.  Everybody’s doing well here, we’re just so happy and grateful that things worked out for us to come to Pakistan and go on this expedition.  We got to base camp in record time and things are going great.

Also with Garrett is Kenton Cool guiding a client and Jon Gupta also with a client. Jon told me directly:

This is my first time in Pakistan & I’m absolutely blown away! Wow! Everything is so big & so steep. We got to see K2 for the first time yesterday…ooofffff looks epic!

Pioneer Adventure is supporting the Ukraine team Alpomania. The Pioneer 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.

Pakistani Supported

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 is leading the five-person Pakistani rope team. Mirza Ali gave this update on Sunday, July 4, 2021, that the ropes reached C2 on K2:

Very satisfying!!! @karakorumexpeditionsK2 rope fixing team in a very challenging weather conditions fixed rope till camp 2, the team started at 8 am this morning despite heavy fresh snow,from camp 1, the team continued the hard job, by 4PM they fixed rope to camp 2!
It’s truly remarkable job done in this very extremely bad weather conditions

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.

Finally, watch Sajid Ali Sadpara who 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.

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.

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

32-year-old Pakistani Sirbaz Kahn  going for GI and GII made this post a few days ago:

Sirbaz khan on mission summit 14, leading the Pakistani expedition to Mt GASHEBRUM II with Apo Ali Raza Sadpara, and three young climbers Naila Kiani , Fatima Gul and Sohail Sakhi. Reached base camp safe and sound. Tomorrow pushing to the Advance base camp.

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:

his team returned to C1, the climb to C2 was interrupted by a snowstorm and poor visibility. They will spend the night at C1 and tomorrow morning according to the conditions they will decide whether to continue tracking towards

Nanga Parbat

No updates from the Spanish team led by Manuel Gonzalez  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

Karakorum Expeditions has been to up to C1 with supplies for their team. One of their post from mirza_climb read:

@karakorumexpeditions is extremely proud of its #broadpeak rope fixing team, in very bad weather conditions, the team established camp 2, I always believed that if you give these young boys an opportunity they can make you proud! I am pleased with the positive comments from @stephan.keck that the boys did great ropework! After establishing camp 2, the team is back to camp 1, tomorrow the team will try to open camp 3!!! It snowed a lot today, tomorrow we hope is a good day! The broad peak rope fixing leader was Akber Sadpara!

Canadian Don Bowie and Finnish climber Lotta Hintsa are already on Broad for 2021. HInsta posted:e posted last Friday on IG:

Well it’s been an interesting week 😄

This spot, aka camp 1, became way too familiar. We spent six days on the mountain of which five we spent here. Every day we pushed the route (and our luck) higher up. We wanted to do our part so we carried up rope and fixed it on the route between camp 1 and camp 2. But every day we were turned back by huge snow masses waiting to be triggered into an avalanche. One missed us by a few minutes after we turned back. @donbowie made great observations and good calls and kept us safe. He said these were some of the most dangerous slab avalanche conditions he’s ever climbed in…

But finally yesterday, after some sketchy climbing, we made it to camp 2!!! Along with all our gear. So we stayed for the night, though we had to leave in a hurry early in the morning when it started snowing hard again. At this point we’d run out of food so we didn’t have the option of getting stuck for days. Now back in basecamp that has changed dramatically since we left six nights ago. It’s at least quadrupled in size 😄 Now we eat, rest and listen to the storm.

Wrapping up this post is news that 12 years-old Pakistani Selena Khawaja will attempt Broad Peak. If successful she becomes the youngest person to climb eight thousand. According to this article in, Selena is the daughter of a single father Yousef Khawaja, who will climb with her, began climbing with him since she was six years old. In 2018, at nine, climbed Quz Sar Peak (5,765 m), and then the 6000er Mingling Sar. She got Spantik at 7,027 meters at age 10. This story reminds me a bit of American Jordan Romero, who summited Everest at age 13. He has already climbed 6 of the 7 Summits along with his father, Paul. See this post for my coverage and thoughts on youth climbing these big peaks.

Teams and Trackers (partial list)

These are the ones I know. If you know of others, let me know, and I’ll add them to this list.

Climb On!
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