Posted: Jul 08, 2015 12:53 am EDT
(By Raheel Adnan) Weather conditions in Karakoram have been excellent since last week and teams are making significant progress on all the mountains. Few climbers are trying to conclude acclimatization and higher camps establishment to utilize the next good weather window for summit push. K2 and Broad Peak teams are already progressing towards C3, whereas Gasherbrum teams are working on route to C2.
The Swiss team - Mike Horn, Fred Roux and Köbi Reichen - are on the way to C3 (7000m). They are hoping to set up the camp, deposit gear/food and spend a night there to conclude the preparations for summit-bid.
Excessive snow has been particularly challenging and a potential showstopper for K2 climbers this season. Series of avalanches halted the climbing activities on the mountain at the end of last week. “The first beautiful clear day since we arrived in Base Camp 12 days ago; Yesterday 4 huge avalanches came down from nearly 8000 m and fortunately nobody was in its way. Winds in front of these avalanches can reach speeds of up to 300 km/h.” Mike Horn reported on July 5th. However, after the release of snow from mountain slopes, Mike Horn and team went up towards C1 on Monday (July 6th) morning.
After observing frequent avalanches, Russel Brice’s Himalayan Experience team has elected to partially acclimatize on Broad Peak instead. They have already spent a couple of nights in C2 on the mountain. Previously, the climbers made an acclimatization trip to C1 on K2, on July 2nd. “Second day at C2 on broad peak. Getting busy here with climbers from all over the world. Weather still perfect.” Billi Bierling tweeted on July 6th. The team is currently resting and recovering at Base Camp before final rotation.
Hungarian climbers Szilard Suhajda and Csaba Varga retreated to Base Camp after first rotation to C1 on July 6th. They will be departing towards C2 soon.
Other teams like Madison Mountaineering Expedition and Pakistani climbers Mirza Ali reached Base Camp yesterday. Mirza Ali and Samina Baig will kick off the climb to C1 today. Finally, the Seven Summit Treks team will eventually be reaching BC later today.
Like K2, teams on Broad Peak are also pushing towards C3. Home team of Nick Cienski tweeted just a while ago, “Nick sent us some amazing images from Broad Peak’s Camp 3.” Previously, the American climber went up from C1 to C2 on July 6th. “My plan is to spend as much time up here as possible to better acclimatize,” he said.
Turkish climber Tunc Findik, who is part of Summit Climb team, retreated to Base Camp yesterday after spending multiple days on the mountain. On July 6th, Tunc’s home team reported that “Tunç and his climber friend Julian Beermann have arrived at camp2: 6300m.They will stay in C2 for 2 days for acclimatization. This will complete the acclimatization program for summit attempt.”
Majority of GI and GII climbers have completed their first round of acclimatization by ascending to and sleeping in C1. Apparently, neither HAPs nor climbers have reached C2 yet. Nonetheless, they are on the way to the camps. “Safely in Camp I. Heading up to Camp II tomorrow morning to sleep,” Nick Rice messaged yesterday noon.