(By Raheel Adnan) It's time for most significant climb in Karakoram, this season. Marek Holecek and Tomas Petrecek have launched their summit push via new route on Southwest Face of Gasherbrum I. The duo intends to climb the route in alpine style and get down to Base Camp in seven days. They are expecting good climbing conditions on the mountain. Weather in coming days is predicted to remain 'majorly' favourable, with few spells of clouds and light snow.
Tomas and Marek departed from BC on August 7th. By evening, they were already in Advanced Base Camp at around 5600m. If everything went as planned, the climbers must be on GI South-west wall, now. There may not be any communication from the team during summit push.
Along with cameraman Tomáš Galáska, Marek Holecek and Tomas Petrecek are the only 8000m climbers in Karakoram, now. After reaching BC in third week of July, the climbers immediately set out for acclimatization on Gasherbrum II normal route. They spent two nights on the mountain and climbed to an altitude of 7000m, before retreating to BC on July 25th.
Marek and Tomas’ intended line of ascent - a direct route up the Southwest Face of GI - has been attempted twice by Marek together with late Zdenek Hruby (in 2009 and 2013), reaching 7600m and 6800m, respectively.
Existing routes on GI SW face include Jerzy Kukuczka/Wojciech Kurtyka’s 1983 line and Valery Babanov/Victor Afanasiev 2008 route. In 1977, Yugoslavians climbed SW face in lower portion before following SW ridge to summit.
Based in Pakistan, mountaineering enthusiast Raheel Adnan is a reporter for Explorersweb's mountaineering sections. He shares regular updates on Twitter and runs his own blog at Altitude Pakistan posting initiated climbing news from Himalaya and Karakoram.
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