Jon Gupta is Guiding on the slopes of K2 and Broad Peak this summer.
“Yesterday at 06:00 we took the final steps on the summit of the incredible K2!
“My client and I then descended all the way to Basecamp the same day!
“A lifetimes worth of thank yous goes to the METT and Madison team for making this possible.”
Summit Day on K2!
“Today we climbed entirely on snow, which made a really pleasant change from relentless rock.
“It was however, still mostly steep with one incredibly beautiful open traverse in between.
“We’re now safely tucked up at Camp 4 ~7800m where we will whittle the next few hours away rehydrating, resting and refuelling before we start our summit bid at around 23:00!”
“Today we climbed the incredible Black Pyramid…and it was steep!!
“Rock bands and chimneys interlinked with fantastic névé snow from start to finish!
“It was warm again and a few rocks came hurtling out the sky. I had a close call with one but otherwise it was a great day.
“The weather is perfect at the moment and the ropes have been fixed up through the bottle neck and up towards the summit – exciting!!”
“We’re on our summit push and the weather is perfect. Today we climbed from Camp 1 ~6080m upto Camp 2 ~6650m.
“The route is unrelentingly steep from start to finish, not a single flat section. Even the tents at Camp 2 are cut into the side of a steep snow slope protected by a buttress of rock.
“The route is a mix of steep snow, rock bands and chimneys – including the legendary House Chiney, 30m of 80 degree rock and ice.
“Tomorrow we make our way to Camp 3!
“SHOUT OUT – 6 of our Sherpa and some Sherpa from the Pioneer team are currently at Camp 4. Over the next few days they plan to push the ropes up through the bottle neck and on to the final summit slopes.
“Our success is entirely in their hands and I am eternally grateful for their expertise and strength.”
“People often ask me what the hardest thing is about climbing 8000m peaks? Simple – it’s the waiting. Personally I don’t have too many problems filling the days. Mostly, I just dream of being up high where the views go on for miles and life feels sharper , almost three dimensional .
“Generally I relish the down time at Basecamp, playing scrabble or cards, reading books and chatting with climbers from all over the world. All these down days soon seem to blur into one. It doesn’t take long for expedition life to feel so normal yet so far removed from the ‘real’ world. A home away from home.
“The big mountains have taught me many lessons in life: patience, calmness, resilience, respect and self belief, amongst others.
“However, in the end the waiting stops and climbing starts. We have to try. Leaving an expedition empty handed is always a possibility but as long as I have tried and given it everything then I am satisfied.
“So, the time has come to try. Very soon we’ll be leaving the comforts and familiarity of Basecamp and heading up the mountain on our summit push.
“It’s beyond exciting. Part of the route (above 6800m) is new to me, and I really love this. I’ve studied pictures, videos and listened to accounts…I feel prepared and ready.
“Here we go.”
“Sat high up above Basecamp soaking in the enormous Godwin Austen glacier, I feel incredibly small. I’m entranced, listening to it creak and groan as it meanders it’s way towards Concordia and the mighty Baltoro Glacier. This place is so epic and vast. I love it and find it humbling. I’m content whittling hours away just watching the world go by, enjoying the stillness.
“K2 continues to overflow with character both day and night. Even when shrouded in cloud, I can feel it’s presence towering above us. K2 never sleeps. It is always watching. It seems alive continuously but even still, I find K2 welcoming and friendly, undeserving of its savage reputation.
“Today, once again, the weather is beautiful. Our incredible Sherpa and HAP team are up at C3 for us, returning tomorrow. We are, as always, indebted to their hard work, strength & unrelenting energy.”
“We’ve just returned to Basecamp after an amazing 5 days up high. We were graced with 4 glorious weather days and we soaked it all up! We spent 1 night at ABC, 2 nights at C1 and 2 nights at C2 with little forays in-between.
“From ABC upwards it’s all pretty steep, although I’m not sure the video shows this.
“The current mountain conditions are great up to C2, but we’re now having a bit of weather so we’ll see!”
“As the sun draws to close on the Karakoram we cook our dinner, boil a little more water & nip out for one last pee before bed.
“It’s 19:00 and I’m deep in my sleeping bag, warm and cozy ready for another 10 hour sleep!
“It’s been a magical 5 days on K2 acclimatising to ~6700m.”
“For the past 4 nights we’ve been up on the mountain acclimatising. We spent nights at ABC, Camp 1 and Camp 2 at 6790m.
Here are my thoughts and musings on K2 – the savage mountain.
K2 oozes character – it’s big, omnipresent and full of personality. Inconceivably steep from every angle it stands proud like a fortress enticing you cautiously onto its slopes.
Commanding its own rules, K2’s weather has no boundaries. The regular afternoon storm clouds wrap themselves tightly around the impenetrable rock and ice bands high on the mountain and the noise of huge avalanches crash down the slopes above us.
There is no rest-bite on the Abbruzi Spur, no time to switch off or unclip from the lines. It is quite simply steep. Everywhere. Our tents are perched precariously on the only vaguely habitable snow slope in over 1000m of vertical.
From time to time K2 pokes out from the clouds showing off a glimpse of its proud triangular summit. So close, yet so unfathomably far away.
Yet today, under a calm deep blue sky, K2 welcomed us with grace and warmth. Feeling at peace and entirely alone we climbed silently up through the ever steepening rock and ice, pinched ourselves that we were fortunate enough to experience these magical moments.
The Karakoram feels different to anywhere I’ve known. Its vast like the deepest oceans yet so complete like a sky full of stars. The silence resonates perfectly across the striking mountains that pierce the skyline in every direction. As far as I can see, most unclimbed.”
“Trek day 4 – today we continue making our way up the monstrous Baltoro Glacier towards K2. Somehow the mountains are getting bigger & bigger everyday!”
“Pakistan is off the charts. I’ve ever seen mountains like it. They all so big & so steep!!
“For the past 3 days we have been trekking up the mighty Baltoro Glacier towards K2 & the views just keep getting better.
“Trango Tower, Great Trango, Cathedral, Mashabrum, G4 & the list goes on!”
“It’s on! This Friday I am off to Pakistan guiding for 2 months, and yup, I’m pretty excited! I’ve dreamt of climbing in Pakistan many times, yet this is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to go and, on top of that, into the mighty Karakorum!”