A round-up of today’s events on the mountains of the Karakoram.
(Updated throughout the day)
Acclimatizing in preparation for making alpine style attempts on the West Ridge has required lots of patience.
“It has also involved spending lots of time looking at stunning mountains, which is nice.
“Now it’s storming hard and we’re drinking hot drinks in basecamp.”
“It’s impossible to slow this young man, Saijid Sadpara, down. The fire in his eyes and in his heart has created an unstoppable force.
“As you can imagine, it’s been an emotional journey so far, retracing our own footsteps and those of our friends from last winter. There have been some pivotal moments where realizations have been made upon revisiting key locations, resulting in deeper questions being asked about the outcome and circumstances surrounding last winter on K2 and the culminating events with all who attempted the summit and journeyed as high as camp 3.
“Our approach has been to live the experience day by day. There are high hopes and ideal scenarios, yet no attachment to any particular outcome as we are all aware that K2 will always have the final say and will dictate what we are able to accomplish. So far, the mountain has been incredibly kind. We had 4 impeccable days above the clouds, climbed higher than we planned, discovered more than we anticipated, filmed more than I personally could have hoped for and descended without issue. The latter for me, is always the number one priority: a round trip for all.
“We’ve been incredibly busy since descending. We have been problem solving with necessary technology that arrived to basecamp yesterday, all with unreliable sluggish internet. After 15hrs of effort, with the help of some angels from afar, we managed to get everything working. We are all doing well, we’re in great spirits and ready to ascend once we are recovered and a window reveals itself.
“More to come.”
“We’ve just returned to Basecamp after an amazing 5 days up high. We were graced with 4 glorious weather days and we soaked it all up! We spent 1 night at ABC, 2 nights at C1 and 2 nights at C2 with little forays in-between.
“From ABC upwards it’s all pretty steep, although I’m not sure the video shows this.
“The current mountain conditions are great up to C2, but we’re now having a bit of weather so we’ll see!”
“It is different kind of feeling to be back in mountains specially the K2. After four and half months I am back in the mountains and feeling amazing on my first climbing day. It was our first rotation and we spendt two nights in C1 and two nights in C2 plus we climbed up to Japanese C3.”
“First rotation. Thoughts on this mountain ? Well….. indomitable , indefatigable spirit required. This mountain is steep. Very steep. It’s also beyond beautiful in ways I’ve never experienced. There’s a celestial feel which brings a certain tranquility and calm. It feels remote but in a positive way. It’s ineffable I suppose to explain exactly what this mountain is. There’s a certain sonder to the people that pass me by. Now , we wait at base camp watching the weather, whittling time away with books , banter and solitude.”
“At 10pm on Saturday, we are going for the summit of Broad Peak, 8,047m. It is the next brutal stage of our acclimatisation before we turn our attention to K2.
I have never gone above 8000m before. At this altitude, you start to shut down because there is 25% less oxygen in the air than at sea level. I do not know how my body and my Type 1 Diabetes will react. It is a step into the unknown.
But we have spotted a weather break and will go for it! Tomorrow we will head to Camp 2 (6,300m), then Camp 3 on Friday (7,300m) and then the final push on Saturday.
The past few days of climbing have been the hardest thing I have ever done. Going up and down these steep slopes at altitude is gruelling. It takes everything out of you. My fingers and lips are cracked and bleeding from the cold. Being 60 years old and having Type 1 Diabetes does not help!”
“Summit Karakoram Broad Peak staff welcomed Shehroze and he had a lunch. Now he is heading to K2 base camp where he will join in our K2 expedition.”
“Hello friends Greetings from Gasherbrum BC we are all fine and good shape we are waiting good weather window thank you so much for all of yours best wishes , messages and yours support inshallah very soon Pakistanies we will get good news from Gasherbrum 1.”
“Last rotation to camp 3 was two days ago, final push tonight to summit Mt GASHEBRUM II.
Prayers needed from all Pakistan to raise the green flag 🇵🇰 once again on the summit.”
“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.”
“We have set up an advanced base camp near the start of Eternal Flame, at 5.000 meters. We are going to sleep here to continue acclimatizing. At the end of the week a window of good weather is foreseen until the 19th and our intention is to start climbing to reach the top that same day, leaving the most difficult pitches pending for a new attack. From that day on, the forecast is for snow and cold. We want to sleep on the wall for a free climbing try when conditions improve. At the moment, the meteorology is complicated and we think that some cracks may be with ice. We will keep you updated.”
Photo: Grant Zimmerman