A round-up of today’s events on the mountains of the Karakoram.
(Updated throughout the day)
“The Karakoram Expeditions rope fixing team arrived at Broad Peak camp 3 around 11am. The Korean team also arrived at camp 3. We have a seven-member rope fixing team, there will be four members from Korean team to join our team to fix ropes to the summit.
“Many other teams are going to camp 3, we will see what is their plans are, either they will follow our team track and use our rope or will assist in rope fixing!
We have brought up 1000meters of rope and the Koreans have 400meters of rope.
We will try to fix the rope to the summit!
“While our clients are resting at camp 2, tomorrow morning will arrive at camp 3 and then in the evening continue to the summit, a total of 8 clients and 13 local high altitude staff/guides and two IFMG. At the moment Karakoram Expeditions has 30 members including, foreign client’s, ifmg, local high altitudes guides and a rope fixing team.
“The rope fixing team will give a chance to independent climbers to open the route till the V today if they are willing to work if they don’t, our team will start the rope fixing tonight at 11PM and try to reach the summit tomorrow depending on the snow conditions!”
“We are here in K2 Base Camp and weather is great. It’s beautiful day and we’re just resting up.
“Our sherpas are up on K2 on the Abruzzi Route finishing some load carries to Camp 3 and Camp 4 and some rope fixing as well and getting Camp 4 all stocked up with our equipment for our summit push which we hope do some time in late July.
“It looks like after the next couple of days of good weather there will be some snow, a lot of snow actually, and some high winds for a few days. So we are gonna let that storm system pass through and then hopefully by around July 24th we’ll have another patch of good weather enough to make a plan for a summit attempt.
“So everyone’s doing well here, we’re just resting up, admiring the views. We’re watching a few climbers make their summit push on Broad Peak right now. They’re going up to Camp 3 and probably going for the summit tomorrow. So it will be fun to watch their progress.
“But, all’s well here in Pakistan on the Baltoro Glacier and we’ll check in soon. Thanks!”
“K2 fixed rope completely to camp 4 today.”
“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.”
We are climbing again and will resume retracing the higher slopes above The Shoulder. We will sleep at C-2 today, and will hit C-4 by tmrw. Weather is clear for 2-3 days and everyone’s in high spirit for the search
“Supposed to be starting for Camp 2 Broad Peak today, feeling better but not summit push. I am alone in Basecamp of our company. Everyone left for summit push. In the morning I ate an omelette and bread. My will is so strong but protecting my health more important. I’m staying at BC K2. To fully recover then my goal is K2. We talked with the manager and he said the best thing to do is try Broad Peak after K2. I may feel sad but I’m here and counting!!!”
“Arrived yesterday in camp2 at 6200 meters! Went from basecamp to camp2 in one move, everyone tired but satisfied.”
“Sleeping in Broad Peak Camp 2, tomorrow we will move to camp 3, deep snow so rope fixing to summit is not yet done, tomorrow they will make another attempt.”
“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.”
“3:30pm we have arrived at Camp 2 of Broad Peak.”
“Marco says he’s reached C2 as planned. The snow that came down the past few days submerged the tents and they worked a lot to fix everything, even the route was retracted again. Tomorrow they intend to complete equipping the way, even if Marco’s is concerned with two big ice slabs they tried to keep going until the light gave way.
“The 2 French boys will try the climb and then downhill with skis. Different route.”
“We are at C2! The weather is very good, and we are strong, focused and motivated. Now it’s time to rest, recover well and tomorrow for C3. The Banana Ridge was a bit “spicy” but we’ve enjoyed it. If everything remains the same, on Sunday 18 around 8am BCN time we will be reaching the summit at the GII, what nerves and what you win!”
“We are both fine in c2 but obo. Tomorrow we try c3, then there is a quick wave for very fast people. I don’t know if we qualify, we should recover from it.”
“My throat tightens when I see them all 3 at the top. They wave to me and shout encouragement. I am about a hundred meters from them, it’s a long distance at 8000m altitude! “I can not cry now, already that I am breathing badly, if in addition I cry I will die of hypoxia!” I advance slow motion, my thoughts stuck by the lack of oxygen suddenly realize that it is there, I am there! This peak that seemed to escape me so many times during this last stage, when my body was screaming at me to stop, when my head asked me what the hell I was doing there and why I was doing all this to myself … to be with them, Boris, @tiphaineduperier and @guillaume_pierrel at the top of this giant, the Gasherbrum II, and to admire the incredible view of the Karakorum, the K2, the Broad Peak, the Chinese secret mountains … This special light, almost unreal, that I had observed in photos of high peaks and in which I am now bathing … It’s incredible! Sobs shake me as we hug and congratulate each other. I have never felt such an emotion, it is indescribable. Suddenly, all the suffering and all the doubts fly away to give way to a blissful fullness … I savor, I go from laughter to tears, I’m happy: it’s my 1st 8000. Thanks to this fantastic team.”
“So far it’s going as planned… It’s exciting, right?
′”We are holed up in C2, tomorrow we go to C3 (7000 m) and then we will see according to the acclimation, but probably Summit Push.”
“We left at eight o’clock this morning, because until then it was blowing and snowing. Wading in ice took turns all day wading in deep snow and on very steep slopes. After five hours, when we started to browse the belt, the decision was clearly made … Quick retreat! There is some snow. Just for the cutter. Now we are hidden in a tent under the serak. Safe from avalanches that travel here in various ways…”
Photo: Israfil Ashurli