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Jul 282015
K2 2015 Coverage: Karakorum Season ends with Valient Bids, Death ... Almost

The summer of 2015 will go down as one of the more difficult seasons in the Northern Pakistan Karakoram climbing season. There have been deaths, illness courageous summit attempts, questionable summit claims and impressive summits. However, casting a huge cloud over everything was disturbing weather that made climbing virtually impossible for many. Broad Peak: At Your Own Risk The entire season started on an ominous note when Pakistani High Altitude Porter (HAP),Qamber Ali Jangjupa, was killed from an avalanche on the low slopes of Broad Peak, just below Camp 1. Yesterday, a determined team from Himalayan Experience gave it their on Broad Peak trying not once, but continue reading

Jul 252015
K2 2015 Coverage: K2 Bids end, Kami Update

The poor conditions across Northern Pakistan have effectively stopped all climbs and almost cost my friend, capsule Kami Sherpa, his life. Kami (Ang Chhiring Sherpa – Pangboche) Sherpa was injured when he was hit by a large rock just below Camp 1. His left shoulder was dislocated and arm and hand broken. He was flown out on July 25 to Skardu to undergo surgery, according to an email I received from Garrett Madison. A fundraiser has been started to help Kami and his family. Kami also lost his home from the April 2015 earthquake on Nepal. This incident, plus the thwarted summit attempt by continue reading

Jul 242015
K2 2015 Coverage: Summits on G I & II, K2 Stops Bid. More Injuries

Finally we have more summits in this difficult summer 2015 season. Teams topped out on the Gasherbrums. A large number of climbers are currently going for the summit of Broad Peak. The strong K2 attempt was ended by deep snow and strong winds. Meanwhile K2 has injured one of the Sherpas with Madison Mountaineering. The weather is playing a strong hand this year in Northern Pakistan. It has been the small, look experienced independent teams willing to take big risks during small breaks in the weather who have summited. The large commercial teams have worked hard to fix routes on continue reading

Jul 242015
K2 2015 Coverage: K2 Summit Bid Ends, Avalanches puts season at risk - Update 2

Breaking news on K2 as a Swiss team lead by Mike Horn has reportedly turned back around 7000 meters from their summit bid. They were attempting the summit on K2 via the Česen Route aka Basque Route and had reached their Camp 3. Other reports mention deep snow. It is rare for a small team to be able to fix ropes AND break snow at these extreme altitudes as it is unbelievably physical. David Tait with Himex at K2 Base Camp posted a well formed update along with very deep introspection that comes on the long high altitude climbs. He made continue reading

K2 2015 Coverage: Summit Pushes on all 4 Peaks

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Jul 232015
K2 2015 Coverage: Summit Pushes on all 4 Peaks

Looking at an extremely short weather window, climbers on all four the Northern Pakistan 8000m peaks are climbing today. Heavy weather is predicted to begin around July 26 and some speculate it will take over a week for conditions to be suitable for another summit push. This delay has caused multiple teams to abandon their expeditions due to commitments back home. K2 Let’s start off with an excellent post by Irish climber Jason Black who, in spite of the poor weather forecast will start up K2’s Abruzzi route July 24th: 23rd July 2015 and bad weather halts progress on the continue reading

K2 2015 Coverage: Summit Pushes Despite Poor Conditions

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Jul 222015
K2 2015 Coverage: Summit Pushes Despite Poor Conditions

With the aftermath of the death of Pakistan High Altitude Porter, discount Qamber Jangjupa, on Broad Peak quieting, the weather is now the main story in the Karakorum. Most teams are waiting for a better window but some are pushing to squeeze a summit in now, and others had said enough and have quit. The injured Japanese climber, Sumiyo Tsuzuki, has been helicoptered from base camp after receiving triage from doctors on other expeditions to a compound fracture of her leg. Summit Push on the Gasherbrums and Broad Peak Ferran Latorre and team posted that they are at Camp 2 on GI but continue reading

Jul 202015
K2 2015 Coverage: Death and Injuries from Avalanche

Attributed to heavy overnight snow and warmer than normal temperatures, an avalanche below Camp 1 on Broad Peak has injured several climbers and taken one Pakistani High Altitude Porter (HAP) life. Progress on K2 and the other Karakorum peaks has been stopped for now waiting for the snow to settle and the weather to calm. Chris Burke has posted a complete update as she is climbing Broad Peak and was at Broad Peak Base Camp when the avalanche occurred. She noted that other climbers rushed to aid the victims and pulled one person out from the debris. While the rescues continue reading

Jul 172015
K2 2015 Coverage: Karakorum Summits, Bad Weather

There were summits on Gasherbrum II, an aborted attempt on GI, salve fixed ropes on Broad Peak and tired climbers on K2. The climbing has now moved to the end game when it becomes the most dangerous. A seven person team from Kobler & Partner successfully summited Gasherbrum II on Wednesday. They reported 5 members and 2 Sherpas on the summit in difficult snow conditions. Chris Jensen Burke gave us a solid report on Broad Peak saying that the fixed rope has been set to Camp 3 at 6950 meters or 22,801 feet. She and others will now go to C3 for continue reading

K2 2015 Coverage

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Jul 152015
K2 2015 Coverage

In spite of a bit of conflict on the mountain, everything appears to be in good order in the Karakorum. Summits are expected any day now on the Gasherbrums, a bit later on Broad Peak and next week on K2. Vanessa O’brien, climbing with Madison Mountaineering, reports she and the team are at Camp 2, suggesting they have successfully climbed Houses Chimney at 20,000 feet. For some this could be their high point because the climbing gets significantly harder from here on up. Garrett’s team will take a short hike above C2 then return to K2 Base Camp over the continue reading

Jul 112015
K2 2015 Coverage: Weather and Avalanches

Climbing continues in the Karakorum on all the peaks however most took a few days off to allow a weather system to pass by. But the stress of climbing is taking its toll. Bo Parfet, climbing K2 with Himex, took a helicopter out of Base Camp this past week citing higher priorities with his new born child. Another Himex climber, Alec Turner, reportedly also left but took the much less costly option of trekking out, saving about $40,000. He has not made a public statement for his reason. We do know there have been significant avalanches off K2 recently, but continue reading