K2 Summer 2022: Two Deaths – update

Often called the ‘fog of climbing,’ news of deaths, rescues, and even summits come slowly and at times contradictory from the world’s highest peaks. Today, July 5, in Pakistan, we hear of two deaths, two climbers missing, and mixed messages about summits while confirmations of others.

Big Picture

With weather moving in, teams rushed to get a summit bid in on Broad Peak and Nanga Parbat. While there were certainly summits on NP, two Pakistanis lost their lives, one on BP and the other on Gasherbrum II. However, we also saw a tremendous performance by an Italian team on Nanga with a swift summit in only 20 hours.

Losing two climbers in one day on two different peaks is tragic. Even more, they are both Pakastani, a country striving to be more independent in the mountaineering world while building an infrastructure to support the hundreds of climbers attracted to their challenging peaks.

It’s too early to say if the record number of climbers in the Karakorum is playing a role in the dead and missing climbers, but to be sure, resources are spread thin.

Nanga Parbat – Summits and Potential Crisis – Update

MIssing

First, in previous years, we have seen massive mistakes, miscommunications, and even deliberate fraud concerning lost Pakistani climbers in the Karakorum. So do not consider this as 100% accurate quite yet.

Fazal Ali and Shehroze Kashif are reported missing at 7300m on Nanga Parbat by a post from Kashif’s father on Facebook and on other social media channels. Apparently, a rescue operation has been called for, but there are no details as to any progress as of this post which was around 3:00 am Pakistan time. Update 8:00 am Pakistan time: No rescue efforts have been launched

Sheroze Kashif is tearing up the 8000er world at age 20. This was his eighth summit.

Summits

Due to incoming weather, an Italian team not using supplemental oxygen accelerated their summit attempt. The team leader, Franz Cazzanelli summited from Base Camp in a swift 20 hours. His fellow teammates also summited, including Emrik Favre, Pietro Picco, Roger Bovard, Jerome Perruquet, and Marco Comandona. source

Others making the summit was Peruvian Cesar Rosale.  Three more Italians, Mario Vielmo, Tarcisio Bellò, and Nicola Bonaiti, are expected to summit any day now.

As I noted before, there were several female climbers to summit, all using supplemental oxygen and supported by multiple Sherpas. They included Kristin Harila, Grace Tseng, Naoko Watanabe, and Adriana Brownlee. The Sherpas were Dawa Ongju Sherpa, Pasadawa Sherpa, Chhiring Namgel Sherpa, Nima Gyalzen Sherpa, Ningma Dorje Tamang, Geljie Sherpa, and Sanu Sherpa. The rope fixing team consisted of Pechhumbe Sherpa, Tenjen Sherpa, Tenjing Sherpa, Chhangba Sherpa, and Dawa Nurbu Sherpa, with clients Adrian Laza and Dorota Lidia Samocko also summited. Not to be left out is Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, who is now the first Nepali female to summit NP.

Other climbers expected to summit soon using the ‘old-school’ style of limited support with no supplemental O’s include my friend Tunc Findic and Argentinian climber Juan Pablo Toro.

Broad Peak – Mixed Messages – Update

I’m told firsthand via InReach that a summit attempt was made on Broad Peak Tuesday, July 5, and no one summited. I’m also told a High Altitude Worker, Pakistani, died while helping the rope fixing team on the summit ridge. This has not been officially confirmed by either of the two primary teams on BP, Furtenbach or Karakorum Expeditions. Which team he was with is uncertain. New information about the death says he was not with Furtenbach Adventures and was not part of the rope team but closely following. I’m also told that there are serious issues with the 4G cell network and sat communication, so it may take some time to sort this out.

Gasherbrum I – One Death

Sadly Iman Karim is said to have died after falling into a crevasse. Details are still unclear, but Parmir Times reported, “… he had gone on a solo trek from the basecamp when the accident happened. Iman Karim was part of an expedition along with noted mountaineer Sarbaz Khan and Rana Javed.”

K2 – Acclimatizing

We are seeing a few comments of spats on K2 about sharing the tiny camps. This is to be expected with the reported 400 permits issued for K2 that in a huge year sees around 100. Most of the news is happy talk about great views and ropes, but thus far, the ropes appear to be only to C2. No worries, lots of time to go for this one.


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