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K2 2015 Coverage: Summit Dreams

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Jul 052015
K2 2015 Coverage: Summit Dreams

The teams that are already at K2, s Broad Peak and the Gasherbrums are making excellent progress on their acclimatization programs. Some have already slept a night at Camp 1, drugstore which is normally around 19,500 feet or about 6,000 meters. The next step is to retrace those steps and continue to Camp 2 around 21,500 feet or 6500 meters. From there they return to Base Camp, await a week of good weather and start up to the summit. For those used to following Everest climbs, this may seem fast. And in comparison it is, but for K2 and the continue reading

K2 2015 Coverage: Avalanches and Progress

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Jul 042015
K2 2015 Coverage: Avalanches and Progress

The earthquake, 100 miles northeast of K2 apparently had no impact on the climbers throughout the Karakorum. I’m sure those who were on Everest this past spring had a bit of a flashback if they felt the ground moving. David Tait provided some impressions of the avalanche off K2 as he was in his tent at Base Camp when it occurred: As I hauled on my clothes, I reflected on the previous, avalanche prone afternoon. At one point a huge chunk of ice, part of a gigantic, threatening serac some 1000m above the foot of the Česen route had let go continue reading

K2 2015 Coverage: Earthquake Near K2 but no Damage Reported

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Jul 032015
K2 2015 Coverage: Earthquake Near K2 but no Damage Reported

The earth continues to shake around the Himalaya with a magnitude 6.5 earthquake in China’s far western region of Xinjiang. The epicenter was in a largely remote and sparsely populated area and about 100 miles northeast of K2. No damage was reported in China. Billi Bierling, look climbing Broad Peak, which is a few miles east of K2, try reported excellent climbing conditions but also noted there were some avalanches on K2 that have stalled activity: Going up to C1 and C2 for 2 nights. This morning saw a few avalanches on K2. Work there on hold for moment. No continue reading

Jul 012015
K2 2015 Coverage: Climbing Begins

The Karakorum climbing season is settling down to actual climbing with a few climbers already at Camp 1 on K2 and others preparing to begin on Broad Peak. Still others are now starting their trek to the base camps. Thus the area is filled with activity as the weather made a sudden switch from snow and cold to hot and sunny Welcome to the Karakorum! Climbers at Camp 1 Mike Horn’s small team were the first to arrive at K2 Base Camp last week and were greeted by heavy snow and cold temps. But over the past couple of days continue reading

Jun 292015
K2 2015 Coverage: When Airplanes Don't Fly

If one word can sum up high altitude mountaineering, it might be “flexibility”. The remaining teams trying to reach K2,  Broad Peak and other Karakorum base camps were hoping to fly from Islamabad to Skardu but the weather Gods, or more specifically the airlines had other ideas. Most teams try to fly directly to Skardu via a daily Pakistan International Airline flight, but due to regular bad weather in Skardu, it is canceled 20% of the time and very delayed another 25%. Thus some teams are forced to take the 30 hour, 2 day drive along the very dangerous Karakorum continue reading

Jun 272015
K2 2015 Coverage: Teams arrive at K2 Base Camp

After their long trek up the Baltoro Glacier, many teams arrived at the Broad Peak and K2 Base Camps this weekend. Using terms like arduous difficult and long – all appropriate descriptions for the trek in and an understatement for the trek out – the climbers telegraphed relief this section is over. Relief and Apprehension at the End Its around 80 miles of walking on uneven ground, sometimes covered in ice, but mostly over light snow on loose tiny rock, aka scree. It can be unbearably hot, uncomfortably cold, walking in torrential rain or blowing snow, but the views are amongst continue reading

Jun 252015
K2 2015 Coverage: Large Teams Snowed in on the Trek

With the heat wave in Pakistan now responsible for over 1, 000 deaths, it may be surprising that heavy snow has stalled progress in the Northern Territories. Himex is reporting that they have stopped their trek towards K2 Base Camp due to slippery conditions on the Baltoro Glacier. There is no “path” per se, but only a faint line on the loose rocks that covers the ice. The Balti Porters wear thin Chinese canvas shoes or even simple sandles thus need solid footing. Brook Mancinelli Tweeted: Rain2snow last nt. Cant move. Its nasty. The delay is not a big deal as continue reading

Jun 232015
K2 2015 Coverage: Trekking the Baltoro

Teams continue to make steady progress toward their respective base camps. They report conditions as hot which is no surprise as Pakistan is experiencing an extreme heat wave. But Mike Horn who is already at K2 Base Camp reports: Arrived at K2 base camp at 5000 meters. It is snowing and cold but everyone is doing well! Russell Brice’s team is about half way there with a reported 397 porters! Actually this is not unusual as all the provisions for base camp and the climb must be transported by humans, not helicopters. We had a similar number of porters last continue reading

Jun 202015
K2 2015 Coverage

After my successful summit of K2 in 2014, I will be covering the 2015 K2 climbing season from my home in Colorado this year for the first time. I’ll try to do it the same style as my annual Everest coverage but information is much more difficult to obtain from Northern Pakistan than Nepal. I’ll do my to throw in occasional coverage for climbers on Broad peak and Gasherbrum I and II. As always, I use my Blog to gain awareness for Alzheimer’s and if you appreciate my coverage, please consider a donation. Teams I will not be keeping a continue reading