A round-up of today’s updates from the mountains of the Karakoram.
Teams are back on the mountains…
(Updated throughout the day)
Scottish climber Rick Allen has died in an Avalanche on K2 while trying to open a new route on the peak’s Southeast Face.
His two climbing partners, Jordi Tosas of Spain and Stephan Keck of Austria are reportedly unharmed and we should gain further information from them soon.
Mirza Ali from Karkoram Expeditions broke the sad news;
“Dear friends and family we are devastated to announce that our very dear friend and Legendary Scottish Climber Rick Allen died in an unfortunate avalanche while attempting a New route alpine style on the southeast face of K2 with Jordi Tosas and Stephan Keck.
“Stephan and Jordi are fine, army aviation helicopters are undertaking the rescue mission, Stephan and Jordi have been brought down from the mountain via longline, to base camp.
“Our sincere thank you to ‘Global Rescue’ for their prompt action in rescuing Jordi and Stephan from the dangerous wall and the Pakistan army aviation pilots amazing work!”
Rick Allen was a highly experienced climber, an advocate of pure alpine style in high-altitude mountaineering. He and Sandy Allan made the first complete ascent of Nanga Parbat’s Mazeno Ridge in 2012, which earned the pair a Piolet d’Or.
In 2017, he, Adam Bielecki, and Felix Berg attempted a new route on Annapurna. In 2018, while on a summit push up Broad Peak, he became lost in poor visibility. He was later located thanks to drones that were in the area to film Andrzej Bargiel’s ski descent of K2.
“Bad news. Rick Allen was killed in an avalanche today trying a new route on K2.
“My expedition partner was with two European guides, Jordi Tosas and Stephan Keck, who were both unharmed. I am safe and was not with Rick when the avalanche happened.
“I am now with Ishaq Ali at Advanced K2 Base Camp. We spent time with Rick and the two guides here last night. Ishaq and I were going up the normal K2 route, but “Rick and the others were trying a new route this morning when they got avalanched.
“Rick died doing what he loved. His greatest achievement was the Mazeno Ridge on Naga Parbat with Sandy Allen in 2012 which was the last, great unclimbed “Himalayan route. He had an amazing ability to climb fast over 6000m.
“Rick is the 17th friend I have lost to the mountains and probably the closest. He was an eccentric Scottish gentleman and was kind and compassionate to the end. He was just a really lovely person. He leaves behind few close family members but a lifetime of extraordinary experiences. He died aged 66.
“The climbing world has lost a true legend.
“Ishaq and I will stay the night here at Advanced Base Camp before heading back to the main base tomorrow morning.”
“1. We proudly received a walkie Talkie contact with Sanu Sherpa Fixing Guide for Pioneer Adventure safely reached C4 with his fellow Guide Sherpas.
“Communication made through C4 walkie talkie to base camp and Base camp to Skardu Summit Karakoram office via WhatsApp.
our guide /manager Mr. Ibrahim potentially doing amazing work at base camp. He is monitoring both Broad Peak and K2 summit push.
“The previous fix lines was reportedly unmanageable due to fresh snow and winds however our guides has fixed again some parts between C3-C4.
“2. Lakpa Sherpa leading with clients and within 3hrs they will be reaching C3.
3. Mingma Sherpa Leading Ukrainian- Nepalese expedition also their way to C3.
4. Shehroze Kashif ( The broad boy) pride of Pakistan moving to C3 , he is doing great with good progress.
“Weather pleasant and everyone is moving with good health.”
“Our team members and their Pakistani high altitude porters safely reached C3.
“Team consists of Paul Etheridge, Pete Brittleton, Yulia Zi, Ghulam Bashir Hushe, Muhammad Sadpara, Ali Hushe
“If weather permits then they will soon attempt to the top 8047m.”
“This is K2. And this is it. My expedition is over. At least the climbing part.
“After Broad Peak summit I felt like a superhuman. Strong and motivated. I felt K2 was waiting. And I wanted to summit both of them within 10 days.
“Usually I would let my ambition and my internal power drive me. But this time I feel that’s it. I had my dose of success but also luck. I saw happiness and suffering. K2 gave me a sign: my whole deposit in Camp2 was blown away (sleeping bag, gas, food, clothes and etc.) as well as my tent is destroyed. I learnt how to read signs and this one is telling me K2 will wait for another one.
“Also I met people I spent here winter with and actually they are the real reason for me to be here. It’s not just about sport achievements. I will remain in Base Camp ready to act fast and go up if someone needs help but climbing is over for me.
“Camp 1 on K2
“Today, July 25th we left this camp and climbed steadily up to Camp 2.
“We were all pleasantly surprised by the state of the tents at C1 when we arrived yesterday. However this was not the case at C2 where there winds have torn the tents apart.
“However Rob and I are here, in good time and good spirits!!!”
“We departed C1 just after 7am and arrived safely at C2 just before 11am. Weather remains fine and settled.
I don’t know whether we will catch any more cellular signal above this point so this may be the last post until we are down.
Sherpas are arriving at C4 around now and we will know tomorrow whether they think it’s possible to fix a route towards the summit.”
“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!
“Shehroze has completed Black Pyramid Section Alhamdulillah !!!
This day of Camp 2 to Camp 3 is technically very difficult and most challenging. Black Pyramid is a very steep rocky and icy face below Camp 3 which tests the skills of any mountaineer to the maximum.
“Shehroze is Ma Sha Allah doing great. He is fit, energetic and keeping up the pace with fellow climbers.
“So far he is climbing without O2 and is carrying a massive load of 19kg.
“He is expected to arrive at Camp 3 in 2-3 hours In Sha Allah.”
“This morning, an overflight of the supposed fall zone of Mr. Kim was made. Unfortunately, the pilots did not manage to get to the place — after two hours of flight they returned to the base.
“Vitaly Lazo has already set out on the route to catch up with his comrades and make a second attempt of Broad Peak ascend during the weather window.”
“Why am I not on the summit now? I should be in Camp 3 now and get ready for tomorrow’s summit, but instead I’m down at the base and I can consider the expedition over.
“A few moments ago Marco informed that they have reached C3. The climb was not easy due to the amount of snow they had to track down. Tomorrow they intend to place C4 which they will position more or less between 7,400 and 7,500 to start the summit attempt in the evening.”
“This morning we arrived to Skardu after a taff 30 hour drive from Islamabad. We are ready now to hike over the impressive #baltoroglacier to reach our planned BC on Savoia Glacier. Altough we are a bit tired from the long drive, we are of good hope and just pleased to leave civilization behind us – at least for the next few weeks!”
Main Pic: CumbriaToK2 Team