A return to K2 for Carlos Garrazano

Carlos Garrazano explained the reasons that have led him back to K2 this year on his BLOG post that is translated here:

“I return to K2 , a mountain that, now more than ever, seems to me to have a very special energy. Again an expedition to which I am leaving alone, physically, because I will never be alone in the mountains again.

“Right now I am with the excitement of the last preparations. Tomorrow I travel to Parets del Valles , with Sergi Mingote’s family , to finalize some details because on June 16 I will fly to Islamabad to start this new adventure.

“Whenever I go to Pakistan I do it with Karakorum Tours Pakistan , from my good friend Manzoor Ahmad , but this is a rare season. The strict measures imposed by the Government of Pakistan to guarantee the safety of tourists and climbers, has made that finally it can not be, it only has expeditions for the Gasherbrum and Broad Peak , so I will do it with Lela Peak Expedition , from other good friends , Akbar and Anwar Sayed.

“I have not wanted to explain anything, given the uncertainty in which we live, until I was sure that the expedition could be carried out. Now, with the vaccines in place, all the administrative procedures carried out, visa in my possession… I am only awaiting the result of the PCR that I will do tomorrow, but I hope everything goes well.

Interview with ‘El Rompeolas – Murcia Regional Wave’

Next Wednesday you will travel to Pakistan to climb K2, where you were already last winter, an expedition that left us with a bad taste in our mouths that Sergi Mingote lost his life. But, despite everything, it can be considered successful, right?

“Okay, yes. The Nepalese managed to reach the summit, the same day that Sergi had the accident, it can be considered a world milestone because it was the first time it had been achieved. In this sense, it can be considered a success.

You had to leave due to health problems and you had that “thorn”

“This is “hard drug” and in the end you always come back. I was still pending the summit, which in winter is very difficult, even in summer there are no guarantees, but at least the opportunity to have options to “fight” the mountain. Let’s see if this time, whether I reach the summit or not, I can work in the mountains.

“But also, I am going to put a commemorative plaque of Sergi Mingote in the K2 Gilkey Memorial. I will try to find and recover for their families the material that Sergi and Juan Pablo Mohr left prepared in the high altitude camps and, with good luck, see if there is any indication of what happened to the 3 mountaineers who disappeared and did not return (Juan Pablo Mohr, Muhammad Ali Sadpara and John Snorri).

It is that other side of the mountain… but I see that it is not an obstacle to return. From here you go alone but you tell us that there you may meet other colleagues.

“Yes, I am going individually but now the different expeditions will begin to arrive, I am going with a HAPs * and I know that I will coincide with mountaineers that I know from other occasions. We will have to join forces because this year is an atypical year.

“Pakistan has banned Nepalese due to COVID, so the Sherphas, who in recent years equipped the mountain routes, cannot go. Many people who were going to come for and with the Sherpas, have canceled the trip and, although at the last minute Pakistan has authorized them to enter with quarantine measures and perhaps someone will re-enlist, I think we will be less people than in other years.

How is the protocol, what have they asked you to be able to go?

“To the Spanish, a negative PCR in the previous 72 hours, which I do tomorrow and I am vaccinated.

And once there, on the ground?

“In Pakistan they are managing the COVID issue very well. Although they have, the incidence is very low and in mountain areas, there are even regions that do not. But of course, to get there is a long journey in which you have to go through cities where you can get infected and, of course, if you take it to base camp it can be a problem, as it happened this spring in Nepal in the Dhaulagiri area and Everest.

How long are you going to be away?

“Until the beginning of August, I have the flight for August 9, so I suppose that between August 1 and 9 I will return.

Before we started, you told us that in winter K2 is very difficult but that now, from a moment on, it also gets very complicated.

“It is that all these mountains have their climbing period, to do it with a little guarantee. It is not that you cannot climb it in another season, but if you want a certain guarantee of the possibility of success, in Nepal the climbing seasons are spring and autumn and in Pakistan June and July. August, for trekking and trips of this type is fine, but to climb mountains it becomes dangerous, it is very hot, the snow becomes dangerous…”

 

The full interview can be seen and read on Carlos BLOG here