Karakoram Diaries – 1st July

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

Jeff Spelmans (K2)

“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.”

Samina Baig (K2)

“Got back to basecamp from K2 ABC this morning, spent one night up there! The plan was to touch Camp1, but because of bad weather we turned back to Basecamp!”

Niels Jespers (K2)

“Jeff Spelmans, Oswald Pereira and I did our first acclimatization at camp 1 at K2 (6000m). This morning we climbed 200m above camp 1 and now enjoy the relative comfort of base camp.”

Oswald Pereira (K2)

“Oswald, are you going?” (it was 7am, 6050m altitude)
“Where to? Base Camp?”
“Actually we want to go up fix some ropes above Camp1”.
“Let’s go!”.

“15 minutes later I was out of my tent and joined the Belgian team (Jeff and Niels) on their way up in direction of Camp II. And believe me, it was quite a feeling to climb on snow that wasn’t touched since winter. And also to feel what it is like to actually fix a rope on K2.

“So we managed to fix ropes until 6250 m. Wanted to do more and go higher but weather was getting worse and we had to make it to Base Camp at daylight.

“Now we are back at BC. Safe and with a feeling that we make all the possible before bad weather approaches and keeps us in Base Camp.

Jon Gupta (K2 / Broad Peak)

“Wow!

“Pakistan is off the charts. I’ve never 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!”

Garrett Madison (K2 / Broad Peak)

“Today we trekked from Urdukas camp (4034m/13,235ft) to Goro 2 camp (4285m/14,058ft) on the Baltoro Glacier.  It was a rainy day; it started raining last night and cleared up a little bit during the day today.  It was cool and cloudy, which was actually really nice for trekking – not too hot.

“We got into Goro 2 camp here and just had a nice dinner.  We can see some of the surrounding peaks: Masherbrum, G4 and we’re looking forward to trekking up through Concordia (4570m/14,993ft) tomorrow.  Hopefully, it will clear and we’ll get a nice view of K2.

“Everyone’s doing well here.  The team’s excited to be working our way up the glacier towards base camp and hoping for some good weather!”

Elia Saikaly (K2)

“We’re two days away from the base of the 2nd highest mountain on Earth. To say this trek is stunning would be an understatement. It’s wild and filled with local people whose smiles light up your heart.

“Pakistan has been on my radar for years. As a storyteller, what was most important to me was visiting this beautiful country with an intent to tell local stories and if possible, to tell the story of the unsung heroes in relation to K2. When I first heard about Ali Sadpara, his son Sajid and John Snorri, I knew that I had found the story I was looking for. It was an historic season and there were 3 heroes the world needed to know about. What I didn’t know is that the pursuit the story would lead me down this path. It would have been easy to stop and accept the outcome and move on, but that just wasn’t something I could live with. And it wouldn’t be me. And honoring your souls journey is everything as is honoring the fallen.

“And so here we are, in beautiful Pakistan, connecting with the local people, amidst some of the highest mountains on Earth on our way to fulfill a mission that chose us.”

Pioneer Adventures (K2)
“Our team of Members and the accompanying Sherpa Guides have safely reached Goro-II.
We wish them all a safe and happy journey ahead!!”

Jerry Gore (K2)

“Rick Allen and I heading up to Broad Peak Camp 1 today to help acclimatise before we take on the 8,611m K2.”

Raimon Montoliu (K2 and Broad Peak)

“At Concord. A day from base camp.

“Broad Peak and K2 – we are coming”

Fahad Badar (Broad Peak)

“Heavy snow showers on base camp today. Broad Peak rotation to camp 1 postponed until the weather stabilises.”

“I still feel quite exhilarated, boldly trekking into the unknown, but I will never shy away from following a dream that is close to my heart.”

Vitaly Lazo (Broad Peak)

“We are going to Camp 1 for acclimatization, where we should install the tents and spend the night. And tomorrow, according to the plan, we are going to Camp 2. It snowed at night, there was heavy downfall, we even postponed the exit for a couple of hours. But, as you can see, the weather is slowly getting better. It’s a real beauty!

“Yesterday Thomas ascended to Camp 1. He didn’t feel well for several days, so he ought to stay in Base Camp. And on our rest day, when Anton and I returned from Pastor Peak, Thomas made an acclimatization hike to Camp 1 at an altitude of 5900 m. Then he successfully descended on skis. On the rise he felt rather well, although was somewhat weaker than usual.

“And now we have equal positions in acclimatization: Thomas, and I, and Anton. Thomas had to cancel the night trip to Camp 1, because he still feels some weakness, so tonight we ascend only with Anton.

“The plan is to climb to Camp 1, and spend the night there. If Thomas feels good, we wait for him, and then the three of us make an overnight trip to Camp 2.”

Pete Brittleton (Broad Peak)

“Not much luxury, but certainly stunning.

“Lack of sleep, no appetite AND sharing a tent with Paul!… hard graft! 

“The team progressed to Camp 2 but bad weather meant they had to turn back. There is plenty of snow at the moment which means buried tents and avalanches.

“The daily tasks involved on these mountains is quite incredible.”

Lotta Hintsa (Broad Peak)

“Well it’s been an interesting week!

“This spot, aka camp 1, became way too familiar. We spent six days on the mountain of which five we spent here. Every day we pushed the route (and our luck) higher up. We wanted to do our part so we carried up rope and fixed it on the route between camp 1 and camp 2. But every day we were turned back by huge snow masses waiting to be triggered into an avalanche. One missed us by a few minutes after we turned back. Don Bowie made great observations and good calls and kept us safe. He said these were some of the most dangerous snow conditions he’s ever climbed in…”

“But finally yesterday, after some sketchy climbing, we made it to camp 2!!! Along with all our gear. So we stayed for the night, though we had to leave in a hurry early in the morning when it started snowing hard again. At this point we’d run out of food so we didn’t have the option of getting stuck for days. Now back in basecamp that has changed dramatically since we left six nights ago. It’s at least quadrupled in size. Now we eat, rest and listen to the storm.”

David Elvira (Broad Peak)

“Coming up to Camp 1 I realized that I didn’t want to give everything this mountain will demand of me.

“I just lost my motivation to suffer because the reward of being up there just seems pointless. I just don’t need to test myself any more or to go beyond my limits.

“Now that I’ve been there and seen what it is about, is time to change, to set other goals.

“In the meantime I want to spend more time with my daughters, my girlfriend and my family. Going climbing or hiking with them seems like a good idea now.”

Saeed Almemari (Broad Peak)

“Today, I announce my arrival to Broad Peak camp and the finish of the easiest part of my journey. The remaining time will require intense training and countless effort continued for several days to make sure placing the ropes and adapting with the climate which will make me able to climb the summit. My journey to climb Broad Peak will depend on the announcement of the open window which will rely on the good time and weather availability. My ambition is to reach the highest summit and raise UAE flag over it.”

Marco Confortola (Gasherbrum I)

“This morning Marco, Hassan and Fida left the CB around 2 am in the direction of “C2” at an altitude of approximately 6,400 meters. They have tracked in shifts and for the moment they seem to be the only mountaineers in action on the mountain and this is giving them the opportunity to do a great job. The “Confortola and Team” route is now open. At 9.00 the “Italians” went down to C1 again. It is snowing weakly but constantly with about ten cm of snow. They will also spend this night at C1.”

Guillaume Pierrel (Gasherbrum I)

“Upon awakening, a storm on the spur. A real rat trap. That’s enough for this first acclimatization and scouting push. ⁣From the first clearing, we ski down to the base camp. We are waiting for the weather window for the summit push.”

Gonzalo Fernandez (Gasherbrum II)

“No one said that it was to be easy. 1st rotation CB 5000m to C1 6000m. Thanks to the incredible work of all the team, we already have a deposit of 60 kg of material at Camp 1, after 12 hours loaded like mules crossing the hundreds of cracks of the Gasherbrum glacier. Now it is time to rest in Base Camp and shortly install the camps above 6500m and 7000m before the attack to the top.”

Czech & Slovak Expedition (Gasherbrum II)

′′Hello! Yesterday we somehow forgot to send an update during a relaxing day. We’ve been packing bags, planning stages and distributing food and resting.  At 5am we took the first part of things needed and headed towards C1 to leave things half way. We left about 50 kilos of things at 5000 meters and tomorrow we will get more equipment and go to C1 for the first acclimatisation stage.”

3 man Czech team (Muchu Chhish)

“Yesterday was all about repacking our stuff. Our sherpas left today at 9am with our cargo, meanwhile we were still waiting for some fabulated approval about vaccination to enter the valley where there is nobody. Of course we have the approval, but now its about its translation to Urdu…
Currently we are on the road heading to Magmar already where we plan our acclimatisation.”


Summer Season in the Karakoram – 2021

Main Pic: Oswald Pereira – Camp 1 on K2.