Karakoram Diaries – 17th July

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

(Updated throughout the day)

Sajid Ali Sadpara (K2)

“A new morning with new hope for search. Day starting from C-2. Prayers of a nation needed.”

Mirza Ali (Broad Peak and K2)

“So our boys ploughing through deep snow fixing ropes just below the V for almost 12hours retreated to camp 3, there was no support, no piece of ropes from any other team except the Korean team who fixed 300meters above camp 3, and some 200 meters fixed by lotta and don Karakorum Expeditions reorganised at camp 3 and going for the summit tonight! The first team will open the V and then to summit, second-team with clients! ! The fixing team and clients are on the move toward the summit! Please keep your fingers crossed.”

Madison Mountaineering (K2)

“ABC to C-2, fixed by Pakistani team.
C2 to above black pyramid (top of couloir) pioneer team fixed on 8th July.
From that point Madison Sherpa team have fixed upwards to camp 3 on 9th July.
Today Madison Sherpa team have opened the climbing route up to camp 4!!!
Fixing team members names.
1. Siddhi bhadur tamang.
2. Dorjee gyalen sherpa.
3. Pasdawa sherpa”

Don Bowie (Broad Peak)

“A lot has happened since my last post… here’s the last 48hrs:

“On July 15th Lotta Hintsa and I left base camp for C2 breaking trail in deep snow from C1-C2 with Niels (Belgium) and Hugo (Boliva)- both strong guys. Lotta and I earlier struck a deal with Mirza Ali to work with 7 of his guys to fix to the summit along with members of two other teams (unmentioned). We had worked with Mirza’s guys before fixing deep snow from C2-C3… fun guys and strong. The plan was for Mirza’s guys, Lotta and I, and the 2 other teams to work together fixing to the summit on the 17th. Then came yesterday morning: I burst out of the tent at C2 puking and purging violently – I’m sure a result of drinking melted snow in crowded C2 with frozen human faeces now blowing around everywhere… Shivering with fever and still purging I had to go down. Lotta and I agreed she would go up. With a huge pack she climbed to C3 while I crawled down the mountain and back into base camp. This morning, Lotta kept our side of the bargain and helped break trail and fix with 5 of Mirza’s guys, and also with Niels and Hugo again. The two other ‘unmentioned’ teams wouldn’t leave their tents in C3, choosing to wait for the route above to be fixed for them. But Lotta and the small group worked tirelessly for 14 hours until defeated by deep snow at 7700m- they just didnt have enough manpower. I am so proud of this small team- and especially Lotta- and I hope those who simply waited below at camp for the way to be opened for them for their summit push tomorrow appreciate their effort.”

Saad Mohamed (Broad Peak)

“Acclimatization point reached. Now heading back to base camp.”

Death Zone Freeride Team (Broad Peak)

“Yesterday Death Zone Freeride team climbed to Camp 3.

“The condition of the route is bad, very deep snow.  Therefore, we decided to wait till July 18, and ascent today at night.

“At a height of 7700 m there is a climb to a col. The guys have already done the scout  —  there are big cracks and very deep snow, higher than the waist.
After the col the path proceeds along the rocky ridge, and it should already be easier there.

“The mood is good!  Yesterday we were very tired, today we have a day rest at 7000 m.

“One of the local Pakistanis felt bad, so the three of us helped.  We injected Dex, gave oxygen  —  in general, brought the guy to his senses.  He ascended with his colleague.”

Jenn Drummond (Broad Peak)

“We made it down safely to Base Camp from Camp 1 on Broad Peak. This climbing team is big with so many countries represented. It’s been a lot of fun to share stories, ask questions, and learn from so many diverse people with a range of climbing experiences around the world!”

Monika Witkowska (Broad Peak)

“Monika has just now set off from camp 3 directly to the top of Broad Peak.
It will be an arduous and hard road, especially because there was a 10-meter gap reportedly on the road. Beating her (if that’s even possible) will definitely extend the whole climb and it can take even a day before Monika returns to camp 3. The weather is optimal. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that everything works out and it’s not too hard!”

Fahd Badar (Broad Peak)

“On the way to Camp 3 we are at 6,800m now.”

Israfil Ashurli (Broad Peak)

“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.”

Asif Bhatti (Broad Peak)

“Second Rotation 
Camp 2 established at 6200 meters. Asif Bhatti carried more than 20 kg of luggage from C1 to C2.

He is fit, energetic and doing great Ma Sha Allah on his No Porter No O2 attempt.”

Marco Confortola (Gasherbrum I)

“Marco says that they have equipped up to 7,000 meters, almost outside (100 meters). They all returned to C2, with them also the French boys who unfortunately have missed their goal for the moment. Tomorrow they go down to CB and expect the next window of good weather which should be around the middle of next week. Today the face was very demanding but they are happy with the result.”

The Altitude Team (Gasherbrum I)

“We are already installed in the last high camp !! How hard it is to walk laden at this height … Being here is crazy, the beauty of these mountains makes you forget all the suffering that comes with the great weight of backpacks. In a few hours, around 8:00 p.m. in Andorra, 24:00 p.m. in Pakistan, the moment I dreamed of will arrive: Leaving in the middle of the starry night, heading to the G2. I do not know where I will get the energy from, but thanks to all of you who have made it possible for me to be here, I will find a way to feed the muscles with the little oxygen that we have, so as not to stop climbing until reaching 8035 meters. A thousand thanks to all of you for your support. Tomorrow we will know the outcome.”

Czech Team (Muchu Chhish)

“”WE GO BACK DOWN … Today we definitely had to turn it around. And even according to what the descent looked like, it was probably a good decision … The long descent of the steep walls made us busy. We set up mainly over the rocks to avoid avalanches. At least 20 abseils, a traverse of a waterfall, a rope cut for us several times, just an adventurer! We do a lot of abseiling over rocks due to avalanches. However, the final avalanche slope could no longer be avoided. And it worked out for us … I didn’t even hope to descend to the 4890 m to the glacier, but we succeeded. We are cleaned in safety … Early tomorrow morning we have to get out into the saddle – about 300 meters above sea level and then go down the gutter to BC. The weather is supposed to get worse … He is said to have caught a capricorn in BC, so maybe some meat is waiting for us. I would like a steak. I’m really looking forward to rest and I don’t like a good meal here. I only eat one Chinese soup and biscuit a day…””


Summer Season in the Karakoram – 2021

Photo: Saad Mohamed