Mountaineering Instructor and Guide Israfil Ashurli attempted Broad Peak this summer.
He provided excellent updates via his Instagram account so we followed him here with this diary…
“Yesterday at 7.30 pm Saulius, Vitaly Lazo, Anton Pugovkin and I went to the third camp. Other comrades followed us, as a rule, most of them took oxygen balloons with them, accompanied by mountain porters. By about 1 o’clock at night, we had already climbed to an altitude of 7,500 meters. Here, the 50-degree slope was covered with a 3-5 mm thick firn (hardened coarse snow on the glaciers), under which there was a 30 mm layer of snow. The slope was like a ripe watermelon – if you punched it, it would be torn to pieces. Each trigger had to trigger common snowboards. Saulius tried to approach the 15-meter wall, we had to cross it, but the slope in front of him, which was much higher than Saulius, was cracked.
“We contacted Anton via walkie-talkie and stopped all participants on the route. Anton and Vitaly tested on the slope and came to the following conclusion: as long as we do not fall, we must go down ourselves. They called on everyone around them to move down, and we sent those around us down, one by one, at a distance of 20-30 meters. We landed in a relatively safe area in the fourth camp. We told the participants that it was impossible to climb the dangerous slope from now on, and the best decision now was to return to the third camp. With the exception of a Pakistani man holding a flashlight on the slope for about an hour, all participants reached their tents around 3:00 p.m. It’s morning. We lay in the tent. We are sad. We are in good shape physically, and our activity on the route proved it. The only factor that kept us together was security, and that is the most important issue. The rest is nothing but lyrical rhetoric…
“Apparently, Broad’s summit doesn’t want to let us down this time. Saul and I bid farewell to those who had fallen, and we decided to stay in the third camp for another day.”
“Early tomorrow we go up the mountain again. They promise good weather on July 26-27. We will mobilize all our forces for a successful conquest. Follow and support us. Tomorrow we will go up the mountain again. Area 26-27 promises good weather. We will try to apply the forces for a successful storm.”
“Dear friends and subscribers, I could not climb to the top using the weather window. However, I did my best for that. If you are interested, let me talk in detail. If you are not interested, wait for the new air window to open for the second attempt…
“From the “morning” that started at 22.00, we did not get to the top. Before leaving, Saulius and I were preparing for breakfast. But I couldn’t touch the food, and I felt nauseous as I looked over. I tried to take an aspirin pill, and I felt nauseous again (I must say that I returned it 10 times a day until I went up and 8 times before I went down). Eating before the summit is like pouring gasoline on a long drive, but I had to leave on an empty stomach. Well, it would not be right not to use the weather window, not to make any effort. For a while I was ahead.
“But I realized that I could not return to the traditional pace we had been working with in the previous days, and I let him go. I had to move slowly because I felt nauseous again as I tried to speed up or try to eat something. However, I was more committed to the principle of looking at the same step-by-step rope than climbing the folded rope. I climbed 8-10 meters using a mixed climb in the corridor with access to the back of the mountain. It was so scary to look at the Chinese side – the vertical cornices that open into the ravines below. I’m on the right side of the cliffs, because by stepping on the snowy areas, you can slide and travel fast to China. As I climb the artificial peak, I find the remains of a dead climber in a sitting position. This is probably Maciej Barbeck, a climber who went missing on Broad Peak. When I go a little higher, I meet Anton Pugovkin and Saulius. 7965 m. The summit is still 1.5 – 2 hours away, showing 16:30. This means that we will reach the summit at sunset. When we come down from there, we will be in darkness. I was ready to fight for the top, and although I did not feel well today, I was able to prove it. But we understand that this is a serious risk and we make a wise decision to go down….”
“Today, 8-9 people tried to climb to the top. After spending 12 hours fighting the snow on the route and failing to reach the goal, the group returned. Now the group goes down. We are waiting for them in the third camp.”
“I came to his third camp. It was cool when I got up to the Second camp in the morning, and when I got to the third camp, I was breathing from the burst.
When I entered my base, I was shocked. Someone stayed in my tent while I wasn’t there and left the ventilation windows open. As a result, the inside of the tent was filled with snow, the bedside, the fluffy jumpsuit was wet. Luckily the weather was sunny and the lack of wind helped me. Quickly removed, cleaned, dryed and then reconstructed the tent with Saulius. We have delivered it. If the weather was bad, I don’t even want to think about how things would go. Perhaps we would postpone climbing to the top…
Still boiling water, drinking tea, eating, relaxing. Tomorrow we will try to put the Fourth camp higher. According to the schedule, we will try to climb to the top last night from June 17 to 18.”
“We held a meeting among the teams planning to climb Broad Peak. I am glad that most of them go without oxygen and are ready to interact on the most problematic sections of the route (how was this lacking on Annapurna, where the majority followed the lead of commercial climbers). The weather forecast gives us hope to make the ascent on July 17 or 18. Hope the weather won’t let you down. The main problem is a lot of snow in the section from camp 3 to the top. We need to replace each other to punch the path. Today we left the BC at 4:00 am to the mountain. Now I’m writing from C1. I work in a duo with Saulius from Lithuania, together with the teams of Vitaly Lazo and Don Bowie. We will have a little rest and continue our ascent to C2. The weather during the day should be normal and we hope that the slopes above the second camp will have time to clear of the fresh snow that has fallen in the last few days. Tomorrow ascent to Camp 3. Well, then we will make every effort to reach the top and go down.”
“My friend and colleague Andrei Zaytsev decided to end the summit (due to family circumstances) and he left Base Camp this morning. Saulyus and I said goodbye to our friend as usual. After a few minutes, he disappeared under the snow … I wish you a good trip, get off the plane safe and sound, and soon be reunited with your family.”
“Sorry I haven’t been able to write for a long time, during this time I have performed second and third acclimatization performances. Additionally, there was a disruption at the 4 G mobile station located in the concord. Now I’m at base camp and mobile internet is working again. Over the past time, I walked the mountains well, I could conquer 7000 meters high, release the third camp and stay there. I think the acclimatization program ended with this. Now I have to wait for the air window to start the next ′attack′ attempt.”
“The weather changes every 15-30 minutes. Sometimes it snows, sometimes the sun rises. We will rest today and tomorrow, and one day we will go up again if the weather is good. In the second exit, our task is to set up a second camp, place the necessary equipment for the conquest, and, if possible, climb to the third camp.”
“In the morning, the weather worsened. It snowed. Instead of taking the risk, we decided to go down to Base Camp instead of going up to C2. We pitched the tent of Saulius and gathered our tents and belongings there. We were able to get down to the camp very quickly. I spent the rest of the day “doing housework”: I made a drainage ditch around the tent and washed my clothes in ice water. “
“As planned, I went to camp 1 today using the favorable weather “window”. This means descending 800 meters below the base. In the first camp, unlike the next, there is a problem with space under the tent. My traveling companion Andrey Zaytsev and I quickly dug a hole, cleaned it, and leveled the ground for a two-person tent. Today we will sleep here, at an altitude of 5600 meters. If we are lucky tomorrow, that is, if the weather is good, we will go a little higher, and then we will go to Base Camp to rest. Greetings to all of you!”
“We spent the whole day in the Base Camp, where we were provided with minimal comfort, and also unloaded the expedition’s cargo. After lunch we walked a bit to normalize blood circulation. The evening is the birthday of my friend Vitali Lazo’s team of videographers Mitya. To congratulate him, we visited Lazo’s team with the children in our camp. We will go up the mountain early tomorrow. This is the first acclimatization march.”
“Well, here I am in the base camp. Over the past five days I have covered a distance of 73 km. We would have got there in four, if not for the day of waiting in Urdukas, when the snow that fell made it difficult for our porters, who are at best dressed in a kind of sneakers and do not always have warm clothes. I really liked the track. Yes, there is little greenery, a lot of sand, stones and ice, but what majestic peaks appear before your eyes…. So, having arrived by cars to the Jhula parking lot and spent the night here, in the morning of 24.06. we make a walking trek of 21 km., passing by the Bardumal parking lot, we arrive at the Paju camp. The camp site is like an oasis. There are many trees, there are buildings made of stone, one of which is a mosque. With the onset of darkness, we received another wonderful gift in the form of a perfectly round and bright moon like the sun, the light of which was unusually beautifully reflected from the flowing river in zigzags. The next day we make the transition to Urdukas. We cross the beginning of the Baltoro glacier covered with a layer of stones and sand, and go to the right (along the ascent) coast. After going along the road to the Liligo parking lot, after 13 km. stop for lunch and a little rest of the Khorbutse camp. We rest here for a couple of hours and make the last dash to the place of our overnight stay, having covered a total distance of 20 km. and gaining about 660 meters in height. In Urdukas, tent sites are located on small terraces overlooking the peaks of the Trango group. Gusts of wind raise sand dust from the ground. She doesn’t creak on her teeth. However, a little later the wind calms down. In Urdukas, a little further than the camp, there are several buildings in which a detachment of soldiers is located. Such posts are scattered throughout Baltoro and Concordia. After a day of waiting, 27.06. we make the transition to the Goro II camp. This camp offers a beautiful view of the northern ridge of Masherburum, the Gondogoro Ri massif, at the foot of which our camp is located. Gasherburum IV rises across the glacier in the distance. 28.06. made the transition to BC, which will become our home for several weeks. Good news. A mobile station was installed in the Concordia area and we have internet in the base camp.”