Karakoram Diaries – 10th July

A round-up of today’s events on the mountains of the Karakoram.

Communications have improved now with the SCOM Tower fixed – The weather is slightly better too!

Mirza Ali (K2)

“I am very proud of my Karakorum Expeditions rope fixing team for fixing the rope on K2 camp 2 and then on 9th July fixing the rope to camp 3 on Broad Peak.  Ahmad, a 21yr old Pakistan star climber helped in fixing the famous house chimney. We are aiming for 16th July for Broad Peak summit! If weather permits!!”

Grant Zimmerman (K2)

“Know as Chogori by the Balti, Kang Fang by the people to the north in what is now China and named K2 by the British Great Trigonometrical Survey of India.

At 8611m, it is the highest peak in the Karakoram and the second highest peak on the planet.

It’s stunningly beautiful.

It’s been a dream of mine for many years to apply modern alpine climbing tactics to this mountain of mountains.

For now Ian Welsted and I are acclimatizing and watching her change as the summer develops.

It feels good to be here.”

Elia Saikaly (K2)

“The call of the mountain.
I sat outside my tent last February, staring up at the ‘Savage Mountain’, after the disappearance of our friends John Snorri and Ali Sadpara, my soul was on fire and I had a look in my eye of pure determination. I knew then that we would return. We had to. Honor is everything.
For me, it’s impossible to ignore the call of the soul and the call of the mountain.
I am typing this post at camp 2, huddled into a tent with Pasang Kaji next to me while Sajid Sadpara rests his eyes in the tent next door. We are retracing John and Ali’s footsteps up the mountain and as you can imagine the emotions are running high, particularly for Sajid who is determined to find his father and our missing friends.
For a certain kind of person, a winter ascent of K2 and the high risk nature of the endeavor is intoxicating. It is the ultimate high. It’s very easy, if you’re not careful, to allow the ego to creep in and completely take over, dominate your judgement and lose total sense of self and self awareness of the inherent risks and potential collateral damage that can take place.
This season feels void of ego. Atleast with the company we are keeping. We have great friends nearby and take comfort in their presence.
K2 has been INCREDIBLY generous thus far and we are both humbled and deeply grateful as we progress higher on our mission.
Sajid Sadpara is living the most intense emotions up here and PK and I are doing our best to support him. He has his fathers strength and unparalleled spirit.
Upwards we climb my friends. 
Much love from all of us.”

Garrett Madison (K2)

“We’ve begun our first foray up K2 the 2nd highest peak in the world. Nice weather so far climbing up to camp 1 & camp 2, resting at 22,200’ / 6727m currently for a couple nights.”

Jon Gupta (K2)

“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.”

Kenton Cool (K2)

“I’ve had the privilege to climb all over the world throughout my career as a mountain guide but this is simply unreal.
It seems that every step Rob and I take the vista expands to a new level. One that constantly leaves us both gasping for air through it’s sheer beauty.
Never have I climbed on a mountain and been surrounded by such majestic peaks.
Being in the mountains always grounds me, these last few days have left me humbled and grateful for this wonderful thing called life!”

Lakpa Sherpa (K2)

“My team have successfully opened the K2 route from C2 to C3 and all the members have also well acclimatized themselves till 7000m and are safely back to base camp. Hopefully the weather will will favorable. We will soon open the route and set camps till Camp 4.”

“Wishing for everything to go well and have a successful expedition.”

Aang Phurba Sherpa (K2)

“Madison team now at K-2 C2, doing first rotation.
Below Camp 2, hardest part of route house Chimney all team safely arrived C-2.”

Shehroze Kashif (K2)

“Shehroze has left Skardu, and now he is heading to Jhola Campsite.”

“He is scheduled to arrive K2 base camp on 15 July where he will join the Pioneer K2 expedition and then he will attempt to climb the mighty K2.”

Samina Baig (K2)

“Hi everyone we were having some issues with internet! now it has been fixed! Thank you team SCO.”

Ukraine / Nepalese Team (K2 and Broad Peak)

“After 5-6 days local network down we were unable to get any pictures from Broad peak base camp.

Just now the network again has fixed and we have received some lovely photos from our base camp.

The entire teams are progressing well at Broad Peak and K2 both.

We are so much excited to have the internet and phone services. Thanks special communication organisation (SCOM) for your speedy recovery.”

Asif Bhattie (Broad Peak)

“Asif has reached Broad Peak basecamp.

He is fit and energetic and all set to start the rotations soon.”

Marco Confortola (Gasherbrum I)

“Marco and Mario Vielmo this morning equipped the route up to 6,700 meters. Even for today a lot of wind and cold. Only they got on. Currently they have gone down to C2 to spend the night again at high altitude and tomorrow to go down to BC. From Monday for a few days the weather does not seem to be good and they will take advantage of it to recover energy. A disturbance between Tuesday and Wednesday is confirmed with probable first signs on Monday, perhaps some aftermath on Thursday.”

Czech / Slovak Team (Gasherbrum II)

′′So hello! Last days we were on the hill and we didn’t have a power bank, so we saved the satellite for possible sos.
Our team scattered after C2. Part of it returned to BC yesterday to rest, the rest tried to charge C3. The boys fixed half a kilometer of rope to C3 but they failed due to deep snow, so there was another division – two attempting C3 again today and the rest descending to BC.
Tomorrow we should all meet down in BC for a rest.”

Fars Team (Gasherbrum II)

“This morning, July 10, managed to stabilize the route and set up Camp 3 at an altitude of 7100 meters of “Gasherbrum 2″. It is worth noting; This team entered Camp 3 as the first team in the summer of 2021, and after setting up Camp 3, they returned to Camp 2 to spend the night. I have to say; Setting up the camps is part of the team’s weather project, and once the weathering process is complete, they will return to the base camp tomorrow, Sunday, waiting for a favorable air window for the final attempt to climb the peak.”

Andalucian Team (Nanga Parbat)

Bad weather finally brings the expedition to an end.

 


Summer Season in the Karakoram – 2021