Batura II: Look who is here!

Posted: Jun 30, 2005 08:25 pm EDT

Last week, Simone arrived Pakistan alone. He organized all gear, trekked to BC, set up BC, climbed nearby peaks and shot tons of pictures, mainly of the route - but Joby, his climbing partner was nowhere to be found. At first he couldn't get a visa and then he was lost somewhere in Karakorum. A few days back, Simone was fed up:

"I can't wait anymore..!The weather continues to be great and the conditions look good and safe on the mountain. Joby has still not arrived in the village of Bar where my cook Didar is waiting for him since yesterday. So I have decided to start the climb alone."

"The team now is complete and the climb can start"

Today, that all changed. The jet wind kissed K2, a rock fall halted Simone's climb, and the route was abruptly rescheduled with the melting snow. That's when Joby showed up!

Well, Simone was happy to see him: "Joby Ogwyn arrived at base camp! He resolved all the bureaucratic problems and finally he got here at 3:30 p.m. today. The team now is complete and the climb can start. Probably the day after tomorrow. He obviously needs one day of rest.
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Simone's search for a different climb landed him on Batura II (7762 meters) - the highest of the unclimbed peaks. Located in Pakistans Western Karakorum in the Batura Muztagh group, Batura II is also called Peak 31 or Hunza Kunji. There have been four attempts to climb the summit.

"There are a few fore-summits (or satellite summits) of mountains with higher altitudes than Batura II that havent been climbed, for example Lhotse Middle East (8376 m) or Nuptse Central (7815 m), but these summits are not considered independent and autonomous. The Southern Face of Batura II, the side which will be the object of our attempt, is definitely more difficult, but less dangerous compared to the Western Face."

Simone Moro, 37, has summited Mount Everest (twice), Broad Peak, Cho Oyu, Shisha Pangma (winter), Lhotse (twice) and 5 peaks over 7000 meters. He has accomplished the first winter climb of Marble Wall 6400m (Tien Shan), a 24-hour climb on Fitz Roys West Face (Patagonia), and many other climbs around the world. Simone and Piotr Morawski summited Shisha Pangma Friday January 14, 2005 at 1:15 pm (local) after a fast 5 hour climb in very strong winds. It was the first (real) winter ascent on a 8000er since 1988, and the first winter climb on Shisha Pangma.

Adventurer and cameraman Joby Ogwyn completed the Seven Summits (Carstensz Pyramid version) in 2000, at that time becoming the youngest person to achieve the goal. He has summited Everest (free climbing the SE ridge), Lhotse, Makalu and Cho Oyu, and attempted K2 and Broad Peak.


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American Joby Ogwyn was hit by an avalanche on Saturday, whilst descending from Batokschi Peak. Simone was already back in BC, when he got the call over radio: "Simone... I've been hit by an avalanche...I survived by a miracle but... I think I broke my ankle and hip and I am seriously injured..." Image courtesy of Simone Moro/Joby Ogwyn.
Live image from Batura II BC, courtesy of Simone Moro.

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