Albert Vilarroya, Ignasi Sala, Ferran Pérez, Gonzalo Fernández and Lluís Cortadellas have joined forces as ‘The Altitude team; and will be tackiling Gasherbrum I and II without added Oxygen or extra support this summer.
First up is Gasherbrum II.
We will follow them with this Diary of their journey…
“They may be just letters and numbers for someone. For me it is one of the dreams of my life. It all started three years ago near here: my teacher taught me a part of his world, the one that half a year ago took him away forever. Before already, but since then, even more so. Hypoxia hooked me. Don’t ask me why, it won’t be explained, but if I know it’s BRUTAL. In the third is the defeat, “The conquest of the useless …?” It’s time to go home. Juliet, who wants to meet us, has an eight-thousand-year-old father and Laia a very heavy man … To @gonzalopirineus to share the wonderful summit, to @thealtitudeteam to share the fantastic expedition, and to all those who have believed in this project. Congratulations to @ferranperez and @ignasisala for their well-deserved and hard-fought 7500m! Thanks to him and also to everyone for the forces you have sent me from home every day, the summit is yours too!”
“So sometimes you dream of realities. It seemed that it would be impossible… a lot of recent snow on the whole mountain, a somewhat fair acclimatization, and from 7300 meters WITHOUT FIXED ROPES … It was time to pull with courage, courage and stubbornness. 11.20 am together with comrade @llcortadellas we touch the sky. A tremendous act of self-improvement, and after so many days of hard work we got the icing on the cake! Mention the incredible effort of colleagues Ferran Perez and Ignasi Sala fighting for the top until the last minute even though it could not be, congratulations on the right decision to go down, the real summit is to return to base camp in full. INFINITELY GRATEFUL TO EVERYONE (YOU ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE) THAT YOU HAVE MADE ME GET HERE, TOTALLY IMPOSSIBLE WITHOUT YOU.”
“Finally we’ve arrived at Base Camp. We’re all of us back together The Altitude Team celebrating the team Summit and especially the experience.
Thank you all for the support.”
“Last night the team did the Summit Push! It started at 9pm and this morning at 9am local Lluis Cortadellas and Gonzalo Fernandez reached the GII summit, a dream come true. At the same moment, Ignasi and Ferran decided to return to C3, since they were not quite well. The most difficult decision but at the same time the most successful. Albert yesterday returned to BC, as he saw that it was not the time to continue. The mountains and Himalayas have this double reality, great projects that can be dreams come true. and at the same time difficult and even unattainable projects. Now the 4 of us rest at C3 and tomorrow we will go down to C1. Thanks for all the support”
“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.”
“We are in C3! After weeks of great and intense work, we’re ready to push the summit 🙌🏽!! The party starts in 3h and, if everything goes as planned, we will be at the summit during the morning 💪🏽!! Now more than ever, we need all your support.”
We are at C2! The weather is very good, and we are strong, focused and motivated. Now it’s time to rest, recover well and tomorrow for C3. The Banana Ridge was a bit “spicy” but we’ve enjoyed it. If everything remains the same, on Sunday 18 around 8am BCN time we will be reaching the summit at the GII, what nerves and what you win!
“The moment of the summit attack arrives. The whole team is ready and acclimatized to leave the five together this next morning towards C1, crossing the glacier at night to have optimal conditions. We will leave in two hours, and we will inform you about the stage! In principle, if there are no unforeseen events, the plan is as follows: Day 15 → C1 Day 16 → C2 Day 17 → C3 – Summit Push Day 18 → Summit at 11h local time (8h BCN time) → C3 Our intention is to do the stages of dawn since it is when the mountain is more stable.”
Let’s do this! The moment has arrived for the SUMMIT PUSH. Tonight the SHOW💥 starts.
If the meteo and our conditions are with us, in two hours we go up to C1. Hard and concentrating days are coming.
“This morning we’ve arrived all the team at C1. We feel good and the weather is great. Tonight we’ll go up to C2, opening again the Banana Ridge 🍌 because it was covered by the lasts snows. It’s going to be a hard way, but we are enjoying”
“The time has come. This weekend it seems that a window of good weather finally arrives, so the next morning we will start towards Camp 1, to try to reach the Cima del Gasherbrum II of 8035 meters at dawn on Sunday.
“For the attack to the top we will share the Follow-up link via satellite, where you can follow the evolution of the summit push.”
“Good, hard and long acclimatization in the GII! @llcortadellas @gonzalo_pirineus and @ferranpe we will be able to sleep two nights in C2, making a height peak today Lluís at 6800m, almost reaching C3, and Gonzalo and Ferran at 6500m. Tomorrow we will try to go down to BC, thus closing the second acclimatization rotation. Our bodies are responding well to altitude, and we feel strong and acclimatized. The route is equipped by HAPs up to 6800m, tomorrow they will try to reach C3. This season the mountain has a lot of snow and it is very hard to open the track, so step by step! @albert_villarroya and @ignasisala are acclimatizing in C1, we were forced to divide ourselves into two groups since each body responds differently to altitude. “
“Yesterday we did the beautiful and hard route from C1 to C2. The Banana Ridge is full of snow this season, so it was harder than we thought. We have spent a good night and today we’ve decided to go up to C3, as we’ve seen the conditions were good. The HAPs were before us fixing the route, being the first ones to open it this year. At 6800m I have eaten and rest a bit for going down to C2 to sleep, where we will spend the night and tomorrow we are going to try to descent directly to BC, closing the second acclimation round.
The HAPs have arrived also at 6800m, and tomorrow they will try to arrive at C3.”
“We’ve arrived at C1 after a night stage! The night has been very cold, and it allows us to move along the glacier safely and fast.
The HAPs have equipped the Banana Ridge, so tomorrow we’ll try to go up to C2 and do a material deposit, fixing the second altitude camp.
“Now we rest for some hours at C1.”
“We left towards C1! We have decided to go up, the weather is not the best but a window of good weather is foreseen between Wednesday and Thursday, with which we will try to go up to C2.”
“We haven’t made it to C1 tonight. The mountain is very heavy with snow and bad weather days are coming. So we stayed in Base Camp recovering our strength and waiting for a window of good weather to return to the top!”
“Finally yesterday we finished the first acclimatization rotation. We did a long first stage through the glacier until we reached C1, where we spent one night. Yesterday we returned to BC to recover and rest. Tomorrow we start the second rotation, going back to C1 and if we have the opportunity to go up to C2.”
“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!”
“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!”
“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.”
“After 7 days of trekking, yesterday we arrived at the Base Camp (5040m). Tonight we are going to make our way to Camp 1, to start the acclimatisation.”
“Today we arrive at base camp !! Looking forward to working hard on the mountain! We ran out of 4g signal, so we inform via satellite! Thank you all for your support!”
“And after almost 100 km going up the Baltoro Glacier, we are already a few hours from stepping on the base camp at 5100 meters. These last days have been especially hard because because of some bacteria, almost all of us have been suffering from the wear and tear of being sick at more than 4000 meters, and walking 7 hours a day. From now on we will be without a signal for quite some time, so I will try to report via satellite”.
“Already in Goro II (4300m), we have 3 days of trekking in good weather and in two more days we will reach Gasherbrums Base Camp! The Baltoro trek is amazing and this is the second time here. We were able to see the Paju peak, the Trango Towers, the Masherbrum, the G4 and Broad Peak !!”
“We have been in the middle of the Baltoro glacier for 4 days. Yesterday we slept right in front of the spectacular towers of Trango. Now we are in Goro II at 4300 meters “only” two days on foot from the Gasherbrum Base Camp. I attest that it is the longest approach to a 8000m on the planet.”
“Last day in Skardu.
“Tomorrow we will leave behind the comfort we are used to, to travel 12 hours in 4×4 on tortuous dirt tracks, and start the 7 days of trekking to the base camp at more than 5000 meters.
“From now on we will inform as soon as we have a 4g connection (yet to be confirmed when). Strong hug to all and sundry from the Karakoram Mountains,”