Karakoram Diaries – 2nd July

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

 

Mirza Ali (K2 / Broad Peak)

“Finally we arrived at K2 Base Camp, weather has been bad, there is no progress on the mountains! Tomorrow if weather permitting the Karakorum Expeditions team will resume the work on both mountains.”

“Our Base Camp is almost complete – only two members to join by the second week of July. Today we had a nice meeting with our expedition members and high altitude support staff /guides. We have twelve clients, two IFMG guides, Stephan Keck and Jordi Tosas plus twenty-three local high altitudes support staff/guides.”

“The weather forecast seems good with little precipitation and no wind, both the K2 rope fixing team and Broad Peak rope fixing team are packed and heading out early in the morning, to open route to camp 2 on K2 and up to black pyramid if weather permits. Similarly our Broad Peak rope fixing team aims to open Camp 2 and then to camp 3.

“Our expedition members are taking their first rotations on K2 and Broad Peak camp 1. Please keep the team in your prayers.”

Elia Saikaly (K2)

“A few hours away from K2 basecamp.

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t exhausted. The rigamarole of mounting both an expedition and documentary production, which includes the management of every detail from finances, logistics, formalities, marketing, social, politics, relationships, egos, invisible hands, content, jet lag and constant fires to put out, really takes its toll. But I’m here. We made it. All is in place. Everyone is healthy and in good spirits and all of the above is now noise in the background that will be placed aside the moment we arrive at K2 basecamp.”

Carlos Garranzo (K2)

“We have been together in BC for a very short time, but there has already been a bit of everything, talking about how the ropes are going to be fixed, progress on the route, falling into a crevice, bad weather, washing, … but the important thing is that everything goes good and morale is very high.”

Jon Gupta (K2 / Broad Peak)

“Trek day 4 – today we continue making our way up the monstrous Baltoro Glacier towards K2. Somehow the mountains are getting bigger & bigger everyday!”

Saulius Damulevicius (Broad Peak)

“No matter how strange it is, today, I feel much better. The weather is changing – blowing, a little sun, then blowing again or cold wind. Participants of all expeditions are forced to stay in BC, so we receive many guests in our dome tent – website. What more to do in this weather – unless reading books or watching movies, because internet connection overcast also attacks.
Still hope we get at least a couple of hours of sunshine tomorrow. Maybe you can take a decent shower, wash your clothes (first time after leaving Tin) and visit your friends at K2 BC.

Fahad Badar (Broad Peak)

“Resting today at K2 base camp, the weather is still unstable with snow showers, Jordi, Stephan, Mirza and the rest of the team arrived to base camp.”

Marco Confortola (Gasherbrum I)

“This morning we made our return to CB after spending a second night at C1. During our descent, we met Mario Vielmo ascending to begin his acclimatization rotation. The first few weeks are key to acclimate the physique and also the mind. It can often happen that you have so many things on your mind that you can’t live the moment. When I realize it, I try to stop and look closely where I am, I try to stare well at the images of these places. The nostalgia of the first weeks is normal and I get it in every shipment. But then when I can feel my Silvia, she puts me back on the right track and always manages to bring enthusiasm and many renewed energy back into me. You don’t need a thousand words, simply the right ones. Mountain climbing I am increasingly convinced to be the perfect metaphor for life. Meanwhile with Filippo Thiery day by day aligns to check the weather. It’s always snowed these days but we have days when the weather seems to settle down a bit.”

Beskid Expedition Team (Gasherbrum II)

“Today was supposed to be a rest day due to the worsening weather. The plan was to approach G2 to check the conditions on the wall.”

“It is still snowing at 6000, despite these conditions, we managed to secure the exit to Banana Ridge. Radek did a good job..”

Gonzalo Fernandez (Gasherbrum II)

“It dawns on us that it is not little… We look up at Gasherbrum II of 8035 meters between clouds, leaving us to see the route that we will use to try to step on its top. 2 days of rest in Base Camp, taking the opportunity to shave, wash clothes, eat well, clap hands and sing with friends from other expeditions. Now what? Sunday, July 4 at 12 am, we go back up to camp 1, and spend 3 or 4 days in altitude trying to equip us to camp 3 at 7100 meters, then go down to base camp and rest… And all that remains is to pray for a window of good weather – seems easy? Well, in practice it is impossible, but out of desire and motivation it will not be!”

Lluis Cortadellas (Gasherbrum I)

“We already have the first full rotation! After a hard haul in the incredible Gasherbrums circus, Camp 1 at 6000m seemed closer than we thought and it took us 12 hours to get there. We are now at Base Camp regaining strength and waiting for the good weather again to get back up!”

Ralf Dujmovits (Biarchedi I)

“Yesterday morning, the 1st of July, we woke up in the rain, packed up our muddy tent and said, ‘Goodbye’ to our basecamp (this picture I took during one of three sunny days in the last three weeks). Thunderstorms chased us down the 20 km descent to Saicho camp (3,400 m). I don’t want to imagine how we might have felt if we had continued our ascent of Biarchedi I….”

“Now we are hoping for just a few days of better weather to have a quick look at the Charakusa Valley with its huge granite spires and icy summits. Since I came to Saicho for the first time more than 20 years ago, it has been on my ‘bucket list’ to see this valley and its impressive peaks at least one time.”


Summer Season in the Karakoram – 2021