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Jul 182018
K2 2018 Summer Coverage: K2 Summit Push Underway

Teams are spread out all over K2 as the summit push has begun. Most teams left on Monday and are slowly working their way up the Hill. Sherpas are already at Camp 4, the High Camp and reports are coming in they have fixed the Bottleneck withe ropes. Last night, 17 July, K2 was hit was a big snowfall but it will probably not slow the teams down too much. Of course, avalanche danger is always a consideration, especially above Camp 3. The Japanese team reported in on Wednesday 18 July: C2; Mr. Oyabe, Mr. Yusa, Mr. Shirakura, Ms. Hayashi, continue reading

Jul 162018
K2 2018 Summer Coverage: Broad Peak, Gasherbrum Summits, K2 Push Begins

Not to be denied, the second summit push on Broad Peak was successful for most as was a clean summit of Gasherbrum II. And there are still climbers hoping to get Nanga Parbat. A large group of climbers have left K2 Base Camp hoping to summit later this week. Big Picture With good weather continuing, the routes are set and teams are pushing quickly to summit before conditions change. Its is reported to be quite warm, which can worry some leaders but thus far, the conditions seem to be about as good as they get in the Karakoram. Broad Peak continue reading

K2 2018 Summer Coverage: Weekend Update July 15

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Jul 142018
K2 2018 Summer Coverage: Weekend Update July 15

The middle of the summer climbing season has arrived in Pakistan and this season continues to all about weather and deaths. But also about near deaths, drones and deep snow. This story continues to unfold in mysterious ways. Big Picture Ten days ago, the 2018 season was looking a lot like 2015 and 2016 with difficult weather and snow conditions that prevented anyone from summiting K2 and only a few made the other peaks throughout Pakistan. However, as is usual with weather, just when you think you have it figured out it changes and the last week was excellent for continue reading

Jul 132018
K2 2018 Summer Coverage: Progress

With a span of good weather days, teams have made good progress across the Karakoram, including K2. Talk is starting of potential summit days in about a week. AND it looks like there was another summit on Nanga Parbat! Big Picture The primary reason climbing 8,000-meter Hills takes so long is weather. You can acclimatize at home to 17,000-feet using altitude tents but you cannot control the weather. The Karakorum and Nanga Parbat season started with a lot of snow that slowed teams down, but recently the snow has calmed down as have the winds – in other words – continue reading

Jul 112018
K2 2018 Summer Coverage: Another Death in the Karakoram

Once again, there is sad news from the Northern Pakistan Mountains. While attempting the almost 8,000-meter peak Gasherbrum IV, 32 years-old Italian climber Maurizio Giordano was hit by falling ice while on rappel. He died on the mountain.  GIV is 7,925-meters. He was on an acclimatization rotation with fellow Italian Army climbers Marco Majori, Marco Farina and Daniele Bernasconi. They had reached Camp 2 but decided to return to base camp as weather moved in. Multiple news agencies report the incident occurred at 6,300 meters. His body had not been retrieved yet. They wanted to be the first to repeat the Bonatti-Mauri route along continue reading

Jul 092018
K2 2018 Summer Coverage: Nanga Parbat Summit, Broad Peak Playing Tough

After the tragic news of Canadian climber Serge Dessureault’s death on K2 over the weekend, some good news would be welcomed and we have it with a summit on the difficult and deadly Nanga Parbat. Also, on Broad Peak, a summit attempt was halted due to dangerous conditions but they are going right back up. Nanga Parbat Summit Korean, Mr. Kim Migon, has summited NB along with support from Summit Karakoram. Sakhi Rose told me today: The legend mountaineer Mr. Kim Migon has successfully scaled Nanga Parbat dated 9-7-2018 at 8:23am Pakistan standard time. He was with Lu Chung-han and Sanu Sherpa. This was Kim’s last 8000er. Mike continue reading

Jul 072018
K2 2018 Summer Coverage: K2 Climber Falls to Death

Tragic news from K2 on Saturday 7 July, 2018. Canadian climber Serge Dessureault is thought to have fallen to his death just below Houses’ Chimney or perhaps while rappelling down the Black Pyramid. He was climbing with fellow Quebecers Nathalie Fortin and Maurice Beausejour who are both safe. Fortin posted on Facebook that they had spent the night at Camp 2 for acclimatization purposes and planned to descend back to Base Camp to wait for a suitable summit weather window. Fortin added, “This morning he left 30 minutes before me to get back to the CB [Base Camp]. We don’t know what happened, but continue reading

K2 2018 Summer Coverage: Weekend Update July 6

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Jul 062018
K2 2018 Summer Coverage: Weekend Update July 6

As we approach the first weekend in July 2018, one word summarizes this season: weather. It is appearing that teams will need some serious relief from the heavy snowfall if there will be summits this year. Big Picture 2018 is looking a lot like 2015 and 2016 when no one summited K2 and only a few made the other peaks through Pakistan. This is what I wrote summarizing the 2015 season, “The ambient temperature at 6000, 7000 and 8000 meters was higher than in previous years. The snowpack was like soft ice cream and the rocks fell like rain. The continue reading

K2 2018 Summer Season: ” I’ve never experienced such a season with so constant bad weather in the Karakoram.”

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Jul 052018
K2 2018 Summer Season: " I’ve never experienced such a season with so constant bad weather in the Karakoram.”

It continues to be wild in the Pakistani Mountains. The week started with heavy snow delays, cleared for a day before the snow came back and now it’s mixed across the five 8000-meter peaks. All of this has taken a toll with multiple teams ending their expeditions saying the avalanche conditions are too dangerous, and time is running short. But other teams are staying put planning a shortened acclimatization process then hoping for a window long enough to allow a credible attempt. Big Picture 2018 is turning into a high-stakes game of risk management. There are usually very few large continue reading

Jul 032018
K2 2018 Summer Season Coverage: Climbing Again

After almost a week of inactivity due to heavy snow, climbing has returned to the five Karakoram 8000ers but some climbers are saying 2018 is not a safe year and are leaving. This is similar to 2015 and 2016 when no one summited K2, and only a few on other 8000ers. The Karakoram has always had highly variable weather and 2018 is shaping up as a doozy. Big Picture It’s been a difficult past 10 days in Pakistan’s Karakoram Mountain range with the heavy snow keeping most teams at base camp and loading the upper slopes. The avalanche danger is continue reading