Winter wrapup: Karakoram teams back up on GI and BP, Christine back to winter Denali

Posted: Feb 11, 2011 10:24 pm EST

(By Angela Benavides) Seizing a short break in the blizzard climbers on GI have gone up, and the Polish re-built C2 on Broad Peak. In Alaska, Christine Feret is giving winter Denali a second shot, teaming up with winter veteran Artur Testov.

Gasherbrum I

After a sleepless weekend trying to keep BC standing through the storm, Tuesday, the ABC team set off towards Gasherbrum I south face. "We fixed the route until 5,600m where we left a bag with 500m of 6mm rope and some gear," Gerfried reported. "After more than 9 hours of work, we reached back BC in the night."

"The route is beautiful - it can be compared to other classic routes on 8000ers like Shisha south face," Alex Txikon told his home team upon arrival back in BC. "It goes mainly on mixed terrain, 60º steep except for a 200 meter-long slab of about 80º."

Since the men returned to BC, the weather has turned for worse again. They might go back to work by the weekend though, according to Alex's home team.

Broad Peak

"Camp 2 was entirely blown away - luckily, we were e prepared for it," Broad Peak winter team leader Artur Hajzer reported. "Wind is blowing at 80km/h. It's hard, but we're fighting."

All team members are back on the mountain, scattered between C1 and (just rebuilt) C2.

Off-Karakoram news:

Christine & Artur back to winter Denali

After a first attempt last year, Christine Feret is giving winter Denali a second shot, again with Artur Testov (who led the only previous January summit on Denali - with Vladimir Ananich back in 1998).

"We are in Talkeetna, waiting for a weather window to be flown on the glacier," Christine told ExplorersWeb.

Last year, Christine and Artur got caught in one of their caves in extreme storms for 12 full days. Now, she is back and ready to become the first woman to summit Denali in winter.

Dawa Steven leads Kyajo Ri winterly ascent

If not full winter, Nepal 6000ers have also seen some late-autumn action. Dawa Steven Sherpa led Nanga Dorje and Pemba Tenzing across hidden valleys and off the beaten-track paths to Kyajo Ri (6,182m) and sped their way up to the summit, which they reached on December 6th.

"This was a mammoth effort for the team who reached the summit of Kyajo Ri just 28 hours after leaving Khumjung, where normally teams would take 5 days," Ang Tshering Sherpa (Dawa Steven's father) reported.
"They proved that Nepal 6000ers are viable in winter (1*) - the team actually enjoyed sunny days, calm weather and great ice and snow conditions."

(1*)Ed. Note: Conditions in full winter months may be rather different from early December. Although clearly off-season, Kyajo Ri's can't be considered "winter ascent".

Karakoram Winter 3D Mountain Tracker - latest updates

Links to Karakoram 2011 winter teams:

Broad Peak

Polish Winter Broad Peak team website


TNF journal

Simone Moro blog

Denis Urubko blog

Gerfried Göschl

Gerfried's SPOT tracking

Louis Rousseau

Alex Txikon

Gerfried Göschl on his dream new route up winter GI.
courtesy GI Winter ABC team
GI winter team members working on the peak's south wall, Feb7, 2011.
Polish C2 on winter Broad Peak, before the storm.
courtesy Polish Winter Himalayan Climbing 2010-2015
Dawa Steven Sherpa on Kyajo Ri summit.
Artur Testov and Christine Feret in Alaska.