Oswald Pereira was back on K2 this summer to climb, film, capture and record events that were to unfold on the savage mountain.
First up was Broad Peak though…
Here is a diary of events
(Many comments relate to the excellent images shown on his Instagram – be sure to check them out!)
“It’s hard to believe but this journey is coming to an end.
“I’m at the airport in Islamabad waiting for my return flight to Poland and thinking about all the moments I lived here. And among all these incredible adventures THIS moment will stay in my mind forever.
“A true climbing team work with Hugo Ayaviri and Niels Jespers and an extraordinary feeling of standing on a 8000er. I’m happy and thankful for that.
“And of course I want more of it. One day.”
“When you think the expedition and adventures are over, life HITS strong.
“Yesterday the mule that was carrying all my equipment DROWNED. I mean… died in water. When I heard about it I felt sorry for the poor animal. Today in the morning I heard all my luggage was gone as well in the river. And that sounded devastating. Not only my climbing equipment that I kept collecting for years but also some electronic devices and precious personal things: like a notebook with dedications from members from all my expeditions.
“And then I thought I promised one of our kitchen boys I would give him my trekking shoes at the end of the expedition. And suddenly I’m left with one T-hirt, a pair of clean socks and underwear that I left in Skardu as deposit and my cameras.
“But all my life I learnt things happen for a reason. I still can’t guess the reason for this one but I hope to understand it soon.
“For now good thing is nothing happened to any of members and we are safe in Islamabad.”
“Looks like the end of the expedition is just around the corner. If things go well tomorrow we will leave K2 Base Camp in direction of Skardu.
“It’s been already 45 days in Pakistan and a month in Base Camp. A lot of things happened meanwhile. Some of them unexpected. But as with every expedition I took part in I’m happy with the people I met, the climbs I did and of course the footage I bring home. I didn’t climb K2 by my choice and I think it was a wise decision. The Mountain will be here forever and therefore I will have one more excuse to be back one day.”
“It was June 26th. Urdukas (4000m). Exactly a month ago I met Rick Allen on our trekking. He was wearing a Pakistani traditional Suit (Shalwar Qamis). And he was wearing also this gentle and peaceful smile. Moving steady in direction of K2 Base Camp.
“Some weeks later I met him on Broad Peak Camp 3. And yesterday we heard about an avalanche that took his life on K2.
“I think greater minds than me can write about Rick’s achievements. I just want to thank life for having the opportunity to meet him.”
“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.
“Today was a special day. A day which actually was one of main reasons for me to be here.
“I met with people from winter K2 expedition. It was a touching moment.
“Six months ago we have been together through long winter days and nights but also really hard moments. And now we met at the feet of K2 to remember the ones that stayed here forever. Really grateful to meet this people.”
“STATEMENT about BROAD PEAK events on 18th and 19th July and rescue of Nastya Runova.”
“Together with Hugo Ayaviri and Jesper Niels we summited at 3:15pm. On our way down we met some fixing team members from Pakistan, Nastya Runova and the Korean team.
“At 5:14pm I got a message via inReach from Nastya sent from 8036 m asking me to wait for her. I waited at the Col (7850m). After around 2 hours I heard Hussein (a Pakistani from Korean team) screaming that a women had fallen near the last section before the Col. I left my bag pack and run up. It was Nastya.
“We tried to help her with Stefan from Austria and Hussein for a couple of hours. She finally got out to a safe place at around 10:00pm.
“Nastya was mentally stable but with light frostbites. She lost one crampon and her jumar. We descended to Col where I boiled some water. It was 10:25pm.
“Stefan started his descend and we followed. Shortly after we started, Nastya slipped and lost her head torch. I gave her my backup one. We descended on an incredibly slow pace until 7650m. At this moment Nastya slided down around 100 m (during her fall she passed the crevasse that we had to deal with two days before). Stefan and me went down as soon as possible and found her lying down. She was in good state but in shock. Again I boiled more water, Steff confirmed we were good and continued.
“After a while we continued. Our descend looked like this: I was going first, then Nastya was clipped to the rope with her carabiner and holding my hand or arm so that I stop her fall. We would stop every 10-15 steps so that she could keep her breath and pace. On the way we met Peter from UK, he helped us with his presence and some hot water and chocolate. His porter gave us his radio, we talked with BC and explained the situation and said we would continue. Peter joined us for some time. Our painful descend (we hadn’t eat anything solid for 27 hours) continued until 5:00am. 100 meters above Camp3 we met the Russian members of Death Zone Freeride Team. I spoke with Vitaly for a minute and continued. Anton helped Nastya going down since then until Camp 3 and me myself I went directly to the tent. I entered it at 5:10am.”
“Broad Beak summited!
Maybe it’s a little surprising this Mountain was in my head since my first appearance on Karakoram. Truth is also I wanted to make some exceptional footage of K2 and Broad Peak gives this option. But let’s go chronologically.
“On July 15th I went up directly to Camp2. Next day I felt very strong and also felt motivated by the half year anniversary of death of Sergi Mingote. On 17th early morning we went up in quite a small team following high altitude porters going in direction of summit. But soon enough it turned we had to deal with massive amounts of snow. After noon we passed through a huge crevasse but unfortunately climbing in powder snow was impossible so we turned back to C3.
“After more than 10 hours of hard work I would never say next night I will be able to go again. But in fact that’s what happened. We woke up in the middle of the night. We used fixed ropes until some point but last hours were quite an alpine style with Hugo (Bolivia) and Niels (Belgium). The three of us made it to the summit at 3:15pm. Without oxygen and with two days of incredible hard work. And we were the first one of the season.”
“Weather has been unpredictable for last days and it stopped a little bit my climbing activities.”
“Camp 3 (7330m) reached! It was quite a journey.
On July 8th I left Base Camp at 4:30 am. Made all the way up to Camp 2 in 10,5 hours. Spent a sleepless night there with hard wind and snow and next day went to Camp 3.
Climbing Black Pyramid alone (although with fixed ropes) was quite a journey and 6 hours after leaving Camp 2 I made it. Touched 7300 meters right after the Sherpa fixing team.
Most important thing was the Place was empty and intact after winter and that gave me good shooting opportunities.
I went down to Camp 2 and next day (10.07) to Base Camp. Now it’s time for some well deserved rest.”
“For last days weather stopped my climbing activities on K2. It gave me time to organize a little bit my life in Base Camp and things in my head.
“It’s been 5 months since I left this place in a helicopter. And as you can imagine I was a little bit afraid of my reaction when I’d see it again.
“But after my first days here and my first rotation feelings are of doing something good and being strong and motivated. Last winter 5 People I knew lost their lifes here. But I don’t see this mountain as an Assassin. It’s K2 and we have to respect it.”
“Oswald, are you going?” (it was 7am, 6050m altitude)
“Where to? Base Camp?”
“Actually we want to go up fix some ropes above Camp1”.
“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.”
“At the beginning it was hidden in the clouds. But at some point we saw the summit, higher than clouds. Basically higher than anything around. K2.
“Today we arrived to Broad Peak Base Camp. Tomorrow we’ll set our home for next couple of weeks.”
“Today it was such an unbelievable day for shooting. And it just started.”
“Tomorrow if weather permits we’ll be able to see the mighty wall of K2 and I really can’t wait to see it emerging higher than anything around.”
“Waiting and observing in peace is part of the process I guess.
“Morning arrived and we still here in Skardu. Hope the day will bring some change.”