Jeff Spelmans and Niels Jespers will be attempting to climb Broad Peak and K2 this summer.
Broad Peak was quite an adventure – now they go for K2.
We will follow their journey with this Diary…
“When a dream becomes reality.”
Niels reached the summit of K2 within just 10 days of also standing on top of Broad Peak!
News reaches us that Niels has reached the summit of K2!
“Broad Peak summit reached! After a first attempt on July 17, there was still enough energy for a second summit push on this 8000’er.
“Niels, Oswald and Hugo Ayaviri were the first of the season to reach the top together on July 18th.
“After a few days of rest, the K2 is now beckoning.. the climb can be followed via the tracker in the coming days.”
Summit for Niels – Updates to follow!
“Arrived at Camp 3 on Broad Peak behind the fixing team. Still considering whether I’m going to make a summit attempt tonight or tomorrow. Or both if the first fails. The snow seems to have settled well with the sun and the wind. But we will only find out as we go along.”
Niels – “The Belgian Broad Peak team near camp 3 and at the foot of the mountain. We made full use of the 4 days of beautiful weather. We are now back at base camp and after a few days of rest, we are ready for a summit attempt.”
Jeff – “End of acclimatization. Yesterday we slept at 7000 m C3 from Broad Peak. No more forced work, a few days of much needed rest and a summit push drawing towards 17.”
“Beautiful weather yesterday on Broad Peak so hope the snow settles. Hopefully heading to camp 3 this weekend.”
Jeff– “It’s been 8 days since we arrived at this K2 base camp. Me and my little body didn’t work. Me climbing and him doing red blood cells. The first few days are clearly the fight to simply exist here.
Questioning and doubting is killing your brain. Have I trained enough? Will I get my level back from two years ago? Do I belong here?
Not much time, nor want to write. This environment needs to be done and back to being a bully. Because here is what you need to be and focus on your primary needs.
But today the 7th is really rest day and I slowly feel the second breath coming.
I need to tell these last two days typical of what’s on our mind.
It will always be with mistakes and well ′′ bully of decoffering ′′ (maxime dear to my darling who she talks about me..)
But here no corrector and even less broadband, just a 3,5 g antenna that works whenever it wants, which is already great..”
Jeff – “We always wake up under the bourrasques but still rested.
14 hours in 3,5 m2 at 6100 m is therefore possible. We look up but it’s No way. Wind and snow never clean up. It’s all plated and it stinks of avalanche.
Starting to get down in deep snow. We go through camp 1 (5600 m) which wakes up hard.
We are being asked for assistance for Zoltan. He has snow eye doctor and doesn’t see much anymore.
Mistakes are paid cash here. We all do it with fatigue or sometimes enthusiasm. It’s not just lack of experience..
Obviously we answer favourably even if it’s going to be complicated.
I’m a full time rescue worker.
It’s my calling to help, it’s also what’s been making a living for many years and allowing me to be here.
Niels and I are also technically and physically competent self-reliant climbers.
Despite this, I’m not happy because on the bottom of the lane, the slopes are heating up during the day and can cause stonefalls.
We had a good schedule but now we’ll have to go down slowly while avoiding the overaccident.
We dress zoltan fissa and on our way down. Zoltan helped by my ski mask and feeling safe will cooperate in a great way. We will put 4 h30 for the 750 m elevation to Broad Peak BC. Widely more than double planned but we avoided the stony and brought Zoltan back to safe port. Hopefully he can recover and trace soon.
Arrived at Broad Peak base camp, we join the rest of the newly arrived Belgian contingent.
A good meal in a good mood.
We are now 6 on this Broad Peak with a team full of experience and enthusiasm.
After dinner, Niels and I ride the ice cream parlor to our K2 base camp located 4 kilometres higher on the glacier.
Two days full of various fortunes as only the mountain can offer. We’re making progress.”
Jeff – “So we were off to this feared portage to Broad Peak Camp 2 (6100 m). Leaving around am with this huge bag I’m already dropping off after a quarter of an hour on the glacier. Jeff got the rope? Nah im going to get her…
Even with the GPS track, we still palm ourselves in the glacier crossing. A real maze or you always waste time.
One hour forty for 3,5 km, you can imagine the construction site…
We put the studs on and let’s go for the stiff. Three hours later stopping at camp 1 (5600 m) or need a break.
We put on the jackets because it’s freezing when you remove the bag with your back soaked.
We’re investigating camp 2 and I’m finally finding a beat with the sun coming up.
At camp 2 (6100) we need to do earthwork. The camp is located on a slope. We barely set up the tent for the wind to rise and it starts to snow. We are cloistered in the tent. I don’t even dare go outside to piss and forgot the bottle needed in this kind of situation.”
Niels – “In a few hours we leave for further acclimatization on Broad Peak. We have food for 5 days. Let’s see how high we get.”
Jeff – “The concept of rest day does not exist here.
There’s always work at base camp…
Tidying, sorting, washing and loading material in an ever changing weather. Not to mention we’re still 5000 m away and even going to the bathroom takes you an effort.. But the view is incredible..
Improve your comfort and especially treat yourself to sunburns, chips and other boobos.
A big reco crossing the glacier too because next time we cross it at night to attack the slopes of the Broad Peak safe (avalanche).
Up at midnight for what will be mission-related. We need to go lay camps 2 (6100 m) and 3 (7100 m) and sleep there.
Our bags weigh around 15 kg / 20 kg.”
Niels – “We just got back from camp 1, 6000m. Yesterday the weather was nice, so the day after arriving at the base camp (BC), we ‘had’ to continue to camp 1. We took 400m of rope up and then digested the night very well. This morning we fixed another 200 vertical meters above camp 1 and then descended again. Now resting in BC. The Pakistanis were supposed to go up again today to fix more ropes tomorrow, but the weather is a bit miserable, so that won’t happen. The ropes up to camp 1 have also been fixed on Broad Peak. They were asked how the weather is and has been. This (spring) year has been fairly dry, so relatively little snow. That can be good, but there can also fall a lot. Now it is snowing, and next week we expect some precipitation every day. Another frequently asked question is how many people will be on the mountain this year. We expect about 50 climbers on K2: 11 customers of the Pakistanis are on their way with Mirza Ali from Karakoram Expedition. He was my outfitter on Nanga Parbat. In the absence of large groups of Nepalese, this man wants to work to provide K2 and Broad Peak with fixed ropes. 9 clients and 9 (Nepalese!) Sherpas from Madison Mountaineering are on their way Everything and everyone is a little late, but still enough people to be hopeful that there will be summit attempts this year. That gives us some time to focus on Broad Peak from now on. We are in BC ourselves with Hugo Ayaviri (Bolivian, nice!), his wife Anne Bialek (French-Bolivian), Oswald (Os High productions, was here in the winter to film and wants to finish his story) and Carlos, a Spaniard . .”
Jeff – “Needed rest and to fuel myself normally but when the weather is nice, you have to ride…
An impressive first rotation at all points with a night at K2 Camp 1 at 6000 m. Spurs of the Abbruzes.
We already have a small house on the mountain and provides international teamwork in a every 4 seasons weather..
Hugo (Bolivia) mounted 200 metres of fixed strings in Wednesday’s day.
And today we fixed above 6000, 350 metres of strings with Oswald (Poland) and an impressive Niels as a leader. We were only 3 on that k2.
Tomorrow day off and then we go to Broad Peak to continue our acclimatization to the altitude.”
Niels – “Jeff and I arrived at K2 base camp today. Tomorrow we will try to reach camp 1 of K2 to reserve a spot there. Thanks to the rental service of @k2antwerpen and @rab.equipment, we already have enough tents to occupy the necessary camps on K2 and Broad Peak.”
Jeff – “Even if everything remains to be done, it’s already a victory to be here at K2 Base Camp.”
“In the next few days I will be stretching on my goals and especially how to achieve it.”
Niels – It’s just after sunset and K2 shows us its peak above the clouds and 3600 meters above the glacier where we will pitch our tents for the coming weeks.
“We are ready. Hopefully she’ll tolerate us on her flanks.”
Jeff – “Goro 4400 2. m Trekking from Baltoro.
We’re slowly coming to Concordia, K2 base camp is not far away anymore. Giants of the world are starting to appear. The landscapes are beautiful.
I kinda underestimated this trekking through the baltoro glacier. The living conditions are really precarious. We travel with porters, mules and the food we will eat for 5 days.
For our Western bodies it’s a real challenge and I’m struggling a little bit of it.. Pharmacy and experience play their part.
When it comes to acclimatization, it’s going to have to be patient but it’s not too bad. I’m a little behind, maybe should have trained in hypoxia like now many climbers do.
The body needs to adapt here and it takes time. The same time we lost on our journey to the health crisis.
But well, it’s just another challenge and what will be important is having good weather windows next few weeks. Even during the trekking we had snow and rain.
We will have to be very strong but I have no doubt that the place will know how to sublimate us!”
Jeff – “Smells like leaving. A few hours of SUV and we’ll start traveling one of the most beautiful treks in the world. Going up the Baltoro and Godwin Austern glaciers it will take a week.”