K2 2023 Coverage: Summit Push is On! Harila on Her Last 8000er Push

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This is a developing story.

Reports from K2 have the rope fixing team at traverse on the bottleneck. The weather has calmed after a few days of heavy snow. The rope team left at 6:00 pm local time, and most of the others will leave around midnight.

Garrett Madison of Madison Mountaineering reported his team is on their summit push, hoping to top out on July 27. They will follow the rope team to the summit since heavy snow has delayed them the past couple of days. Often climbers will get frostbite using this model as the rope team moves slowly, and the followers will stand in a long queue, using limited oxygen and getting cold. Maddison has left hours after them to manage this risk,

Look for over 150 people to summit if the weather holds, with perhaps another 100 stationed lower on the mountain.

This feels a bit rushed regarding avalanche risk, given the heavy snow over the past few days. The rule of thumb is to wait at least 24 to 36 hours to allow new snow to bond to the existing snow, otherwise you risk slab avalanches. However, K2’s topology is known for clearing the snow on the upper mountain as high winds swirl over the summit and down the peak. Let’s hope for the best.

Hello! This is Garrett calling in for the Madison Mountaineering K2 (8611m/28,251ft) expedition. Today is July 26th and our team’s up at Camp 3 (7250m/23,800ft) and preparing to leave for their summit push in one hour at 9:00 PM here in Pakistan.

They took a rest day today in Camp 3 as the rope fixing team, which our Sherpas are a part of, pushed up to Camp 4 (7681m/25,200ft) and has been fixing above Camp 4, hopefully reaching the bottleneck section soon and the traverse. So, our team is a few hours behind when they leave tonight and hopefully they will climb up and make good time with good conditions, good weather, and hopefully get a summit of K2 tomorrow on the morning of July 27th.

So we will stay up tonight following their progress on the route as they climb! Praying and wishing them good luck and good conditions, and cannot wait to hear how it goes. Check in soon!

UPDATE: Kristin and the team are now at 7,993 meters as of 12:36 PM, July 26, 2023.

Kristin Harila, Tenjen (Lama) Sherpa and team are reported between Camp 3 and 4 at 7,855 meters as of Jul 26, 2023, 11:52:00 AM, according to their tracker, but may have left for the summit as July 27 is a good summit day according to many forecasts.

Best of luck to all.

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