There is nice early progress on fixing the ropes throughout the Karakorum but don’t get too excited as the task gets harder as they move to the higher camps.
In a carry-over from Nepal’s 8000er mash-up, it appears the multi-8000ers craze has spread to Pakistan’s five 8000ers. It used to be BP and K2, of which few if any ever achieved. Now it includes the Gasherbrums, BP, K2, and Nanga Parbat.
It will not surprise me if a few make it based on the new formula: use a team of strong Sherpas to overpower the peak, fix the rope to the summit, establish and stock the high camps while the clients rest at BC or acclimatize to the lowest camps. Then leave BC, some already using oxygen, at high flow rates following the same, or fresh, Sherpas to the summit. Once back, move quickly, albeit without helicopter support as in Nepal, and repeat the formula on the next 8000er.
Multiple teams are trekking to base camp. Now it’s reported there are 400 people, members, and support, attempting K2 this season. A big year used to be 100. Madison Mountaineering is now at K2 BC. Looks like the weather should be nice for the next few days. The ropes are at C2.
And the Other 8000ers
First off, Denis Urubko is quite coy as to his plans. He says he’s permitted for all five of the Pakistan 8000ers but has no public plans. I guess we’ll report on his results once he is finished. He’s at BP BC now.
At 26,362’/8035m, GII is often considered the most attainable of the Karakoram’s 8000ers. There have been about 360 summits of GI and 950 of GII. 32-year-old Pakistani Sirbaz Kahn 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 GII per his IG page.
Jagged Globe was one of the first to reach GII BC:
Hot and sunny weather in the mountains. Clear blue skies and warm sunshine. We are still the only climbing expedition in Base Camp. Today David and 4 staff started to open the route to Camp 1. The icefall is still covered in 20-30cm of fresh snow that fell last week. This is covering most of the ice features and crevasses, but is expected to melt away given a week of good weather. Today the team investigated the first 20% of the route. They hope to identify and mark the route over the next two days. Warm day time temperatures make it advisable to start from BC at dawn and return by mid-morning.
NP is often considered one of the most difficult 8000ers with steep rocky faces and plenty of avalanche and rockfall dangers. There are an amazing 82 climbers there this year. François Cazzanelli and Pietro Picco have reached 6100m.
There is a slew of record seekers on NP right now, including Kristin Harila from Norway who tagged C2 and will go for the top as soon as conditions allow. She is aiming for all five 8000ers hoping to get all 14 in six months after getting her quota in Nepal last month. Similarly, British climber Adriana Brownlee is there hoping to set an age record for the 14.
Also, there are Taiwanese Tseng Ko-Erh (Grace Tseng), Pakistani Shehroze Kashif, and Nepalis Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita and Dawa Yangzum Sherpa.
Lukas Furtenbach’s Sherpas have fixed to C3 on Broad Peak.
Over on Alaska’s highest, Denali, all the 1,192 registered teams are there. 939 have completed their climbs leaving 192 yet to make a summit attempt. Thus far 69% of the attempts have been successful, about right for Denali these days.
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