We have the first summits on K2 in the summer of 2021.
With teams well acclimatized on Manaslu, Dhaulagiri, and Kangchenjunga, they are now in weather watch mode for a suitable weather window. Some are expecting September 27/28 on Manaslu. Here’s an overview of the action.
It was an honor to do this video interview with three of the nine members, seven male, and two female, of the Full Circle Everest team. They hope to make history as the first Black climbing team to attempt to summit Everest. As of late 2021, there have been 10,184 summits but only eight Black climbers have stood on the top. I spoke today with Phil, Rosemary, and Dom about the expedition. We discussed their “why”, who they are trying to reach and of course, all things Everest including their acclimatization and training efforts.
I caught up with German Alpinist Jost Kobuschh, who now lives in Chamonix, France to discuss his upcoming 2021/22 winter, no O’s, solo attempt of Everest’s West Ridge. This exact style and the route had never been attempted.
I recently turned 65. Yeah, I know! But before you stop reading, this is a tale for the young and, well, the not-so-young. The question is, “When do you stop climbing?”
Does age even matter in climbing? Yuichiro Miura and Tamae Watanabe hold the Everest age records at 80 and 78 for males and females, respectively. Bill Burke began his quest of the Seven Summits at age 60 and got his second summit of Everest at age 72. And Art Muri recently made Everest at 75. Then there are the 13-year-old Everest summiteers Jordan Romero and Malavath Poorna. And let’s not leave out eight-year-old Roxy Getter on Kilimanjaro, not that I think that’s a great idea. By the way, the sweet spot to summit Everest, and most 8000ers, is age 35.
I started climbing at age 38, kind of a late bloomer in the climbing world. I never lived out of my car, was never in the “dirt-bagger,” club or did anything other than work. But then I discovered climbing. Mont Blanc was my first respectable climb. Much to the disgust of my French guide, I didn’t even know how to attach the strap-on Camp crampons that I had just bought in Chamonix. He scoffed, sighed, said something I didn’t understand in French that I’m pretty sure wasn’t a compliment as he strapped them onto my new climbing boots. So yea, I was a novice who didn’t know what I didn’t know and didn’t even know what to ask. But I loved the day, fell in love with climbing, and got my first of several summits on this historic Hill.
The autumn climbing and trekking season has begun in Nepal. It remains to been seen if it’s business as usual or a rerun of the spring debacle on Everest, Dhaulagiri, and Annapurna. Early signs suggest the latter.
Guests of Nepal have been encouraged to return and be generous with their money to give aid to an impoverished tourism sector, especially in the rural areas such as the Lamjung District for the Annapurna Circuit or the Solukhumbu for the famous trek to Everest Base Camp or for the so-called trekking peaks of Island, Mera, Lobuche East and more serious efforts on Ama Dablam, Cholatse and of course the 8000ers Manaslu, Dhaulagiri and perhaps a couple more.
The summer Karakorum season is over, well, I think so. There are always a few surprises. The 48 summits on K2 were close but not a record. 2018 saw a record with 62 total summits, followed by 2004 with an estimated 51. This season saw two deaths, one on a new route on K2 and one on Broad Peak. Overall there were around 100 summits in the Karakorum
I interview Garrett Madison, from K2 Base Camp today, July 30, 2021, after his 3rd summit. Discussed his 21 person team summit plus the latest on finding the bodies of the 3 missing winter climbers. And an update on the West Ridge effort – it’s not over.
Garrett Madison, founder of Madison Mountaineering has now summited K2 three times. Only one other person has more. This is his sixth expedition to K2 making him the most experienced western operator to run regular trips to the Northern Terrorities of Pakistan. He was the leader for the 21 person team who submitted on July 28, 2018, at approximately 6:07 AM PKT (local time).
With the new 4G Cell tower in Concordia, Garret took the hour walk from K2 Base Camp to Broad Peak Base Camp to talk with me over Zoom about his summit. We discussed their rotations to Camp 1 and 2, the snow conditions on the mountain, finding the bodies of the three climbers who went missing last winter, and more. I think you’ll enjoy getting this first-hand information directly from Northern Pakistan.
After a big day on July 27th with 19 summits, the 28th was better with another 21 from Madison Mountaineering and three from Mashabrum Expeditions Treks & Tours. Thus far, and it’s probably over, there have been 43 summits on K2.