K2 2023 Coverage: K2 Summit Push Begins, Kristin Harila gets #13

Approaching K2 Summit 2014 © www.alanarnette.com

UPDATE: Kristin Harila and Tenjen (Lama) Sherpa got their thirteenth 800er with Broad Peak today, July 23, 2023. Only K2 remains to complete their project. From Seven Summits Treks:

Congratulations to Kristin and Lama for successfully summiting Broad Peak. This is the 13th mountain they climb together in Kristin’s 2023 project. Kristin is grateful for the support of her team, sponsors, and supporters who made this achievement possible. Her journey to break the record continues.  Big round of applause for all of those who have been on the summit with Kristin:


  1. Kristin Harila
  2. Tenjen (Lama) Sherpa @mantralama
  3. Mingtema Sherpa
  4. Nima Rinji
  5. Makpa (Pasang Nurbu) Sherpa
  6. Nigma tashi
  7. Gabriel Tarso @gtarso

Follow Kristin’s journey: https://share.garmin.com/DAMJU

Here are the timestamps in Pakistan time for the Broad Peak climb:

– From Base Camp (July 19th at 12:25) to Camp 1 (July 19th at 21:15)
– From Camp 1 (July 21st at 03:06) to Camp 2 (July 21st at 11:58)
– From Camp 2 (July 22nd at 07:49) to Camp 3 (July 22nd at 13:22)
– From Camp 3 (July 22nd at 19:27) to Summit (approx. July 23rd at 04:30)

The time has come for teams to climb K2 from base camp to the summit. There are about 250 people on the mountain, so it will be interesting to see how potential crowds are managed at the limited campsites and traditional bottleneck areas. The weather forecasts call for consistent light snow with moderate winds; however, this peak is notorious for making its own weather, so nothing is off the table. The teams want to get the fixed ropes to the summit by Monday, July 24, 2023.

K2 – Summit Push Underway

The masses of people currently climbing K2 are between Camp 1 and Camp 3, perhaps even C4. The lead team of rope fixers hopes to get the ropes to the summit sometime tomorrow. Most teams are targeting July 25-27 for their summits, so it will be a busy week. There are several concerns about this season:

  • the pure number of people on the mountain creates long, oxygen-sucking delays and increases frostbite potential at the bottleneck spots
  • The amount of experience for clients and ‘guides’ on a climb like K2 creates havoc and adds to delays
  • The unpredictable weather catches teams unaware. A few climbers have been blown off K2 upper ridges to their deaths.
  • The small space for tents, especially at C1,2 and 3 forces overcrowding in tents and little opportunity for rest
  • History has shown that some operators on K2 (and Everest) this season make deadly mistakes by underestimating the amount of oxygen clients use. The same goes for food and having no spare tents or other supplies when the wind destroys camps.
  • Potential avalanches, given the heavy snow in early July. It should have bonded by now, but I’m reading reports from a few teams of avalanches above the Black Pyramid. In 2013, professional mountain guide Marty Schmidt and his son, Denali, died in their sleep when an avalanche swept their tent off the mountain at Camp 3.

Some teams spoke of using the Česen route, but again, there was lots of talk but little detail. Last year, one high-profile Nepali team boasted they would use one of the rarely climbed routes on the other side of K2, but they have not spoken of it this year, so we’ll see.

K2 routes
K2 Routes: Abruzzi and Česen

Gasherbrum I – 51+ Summits

Dawa Yangzum Sherpa from Nepal’s Rolwaling Valley got her twelfth 8000er with GI, giving her the most 8000ers of any female Nepali climber. Elite claimed eighteen people (no breakdown of clients to support) on GI after getting GII.

Broad Peak – 51+ summits

Pakistani female climber Naila Kiani with Phur Galjen Sherpa summited BP on July 20. This is her eighth 8000er, and now she has all the ones in Pakistan, the only female climber to do so. Look for Kristin Harila, who has now conquered an impressive 12 out of 14 8000ers, to collect Broad Peak this week and K2  a few days later to complete her “Fastest 14 Peaks” challenge.

Gasherbrum II – 60+ summits

Alpenglow’s rapid team summited on July 20 with two Sherpas, one client and one guide. They posted a nice video on IG of the summit. Also, Kobler & Partner put a few on top. Jagged Globe reports seven on the summit.

Nanga Parbat – Over with 60+ Summits

The season appears to be over with sixty summits.

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