The weather is showing slight signs of improvement, cheering climbers up. But hurry can be dangerous - the peaks are loaded with snow and very avalanche-prone, as the Czech team on K2 just learned, the hard way.
Moving right now: The Italian-Kazakh on Broad Peak, and Simone/Joby who gained 1000 vertical meters today on Batura II (without ropes on a scary ridge). Also, the Basques will be face to face with Ogre tomorrow, and the K2 West Face recon guys found a good spot for next year's ABC, at 5600 m.
No jet in K2-area, but a strong westerly jet over Kazakhstan. Westerly winds will blow 5-10m/s at 7500m, picking up to 10-15m/s most of the time at summit level.
Due to a low over northern India there will be moist conditions and a lot of precipitation throughout the period.
Norwegians: Close call for the Czechs
We are still waiting for better conditions and better weather, the team reported. Two days ago the Czech expedition wanted to do another attempt to reach Camp 3 but had to return due to continuous snowfall. On their way back they where surprised by a big avalanche from BP and 2 of them almost got buried. All is well now, and they got a warning from Mother Nature. Hopefully we will be able to carry on with our plans on Saturday or Sunday.
Czech expedition: Uh, uh that was close
Czech expedition? An e-mail arrived just today from Czech Pazout, perfectly timed: 8 members, led by Leopold Sulovský, fresh with some comments on their close call:
"An express train just passed us, reported Ivan Zednicek over satellite phone to a Czech website."I desperately held on to the rocks for some 30 seconds, waiting for the avalanche to fly by. One of us, Radim Slíva, was swept away: He was lucky - he managed to swim out of it."
Everyone is fine now, but the avalanche took with it their gear. Expedition leader Leopold Sulovský reckons the team will go for a summit push in about two weeks time.
K2 West Face reconnaissance expedition: ABC for next year
The weather has stabilized, reported Victor Kozlov from BC to RussianClimb.com yesterday. There're clouds, but it doesn't snow. The guys left BC and reached Japanese camp where they've left a cache. They set the tent and went further up after midday. They found a very good place just under the West Face - our ABC for next year, at 5600 m. The place is safe - ice, snow, but no rockss from the wall, 500-600 m away from the base of the face.
The guys returned to Japanese camp for the night. Tomorrow they'll move the tent to 5600 and begin to check the conditions on the West Face (we have five or six days left to explore it). The first impression is very good! There is a pass to the left of the Face, and China behind it.
Chris and Tao: Good Base Camp, Evil Base Camp
Chris Warner and Tao Franken reached the head of Baltoro glacier yesterday. Aiming for a Broad Peak-K2 double header, they visited both base camps. Chris was happy to report of a nice, friendly environment on K2. About Broad peak, well there seems to be some not so welcoming teams, and apparently there are thieves around too! Read the details in a separate story today.
Irish: Going back up
After days of sitting around there is a forecasted break in the weather this weekend. Banjo and John are leaving for ABC at 2 am tomorrow. This will give them plenty of time and good weather to reach and establish Camp 3 and time to assess the weather to see if a summit attempt is feasible. The reason for leaving so early is that the sun during the day melts the snow which makes the vast amounts of snow unstable resulting in avalanches.
Nanga Parbat - tough goats
All Nanga Parbats teams are currently in BC, waiting for the weather to improve before going up again. Meanwhile, the Chilasi porters organized a party for all the expeditions in BC to wish them luck. The celebration included some local dancing and two goats roasted on wood fire. All teams appreciated the good wishes, although the meat was not exactly tender.
International team BP new route: Mario Merelli
The international team didnt wait any longer. The guys found a passage across the broken glacier and set a potential C1 at about 5000m. Mario Merelli reported on the route above C1 looking difficult but extremely beautiful. Mario and two others returned to VBC for the night, whilst four other climbers remained in C1 to start working on the route as long as weather allows.
Batura II: Without ropes, the only good way is up
Today we got up at 4 oclock. Snow conditions were good, but we also found high climbing difficulties - this was a surprise to us. The ridge was steep and exposed and we had to climb whitout ropes, because it was not possible to make an acceptable belay. Joby and I were in contact through the radio and kept on telling each other to stay focused and alert, as mistakes were not allowed. The only possible way was up. Finally at 1 p.m. we found a place for our camp 2. We set the camp at 5900 meters, sheltered by a big serac, in 40 minutes . We are now close to the Batokschi Peak.
We also found some very old fixed ropes near the ridge, held in place by iron carabiners, but obviously it was not a good idea to use them.
Basques on Ogre: Back to Action
After nine days stuck in BC Alberto Iñurrategi, José Carlos Tamayo and Jon Beloki are setting off tomorrow for C1, in order to explore the west ridge. We need to sleep three nights between 6200 and 6400 m to complete acclimatization and check the ridges conditions, the climbers reported.
Quick links to expeditions:
Fabrizio Zangrilli's website/K2 | Chris Warner Earthtreks/K2 | Polish-Bulgarian expedition/K2 | Polish-Bulgarian expedition/K2 | Norwegians K2 | Irish K2 | HI-TEC V-LITE Nanga Parbat-K2 Czech Expedition | Czech republic K2 expeditions dispatches (Czech) | Czech republic K2 expeditions official website (Czech) | More on the Czech republic K2 expedition (Czech) | Kazakhs for K2 | Hungary for K2
Edurne Pasaban/Nanga Parbat | Ivan Vallejo/Nanga Parbat | Carlos Pauner/Nanga Parbat | Silvio Mondinelli/Nanga Parbat | Jean Troillet/Nanga Parbat Mazeno ridge | Nanga Parbat Spanish teams
Iran/BP new route | Denis Urubko/BP new route | Robi Piantoni/BP new route | Mario Merelli/BP new route BP | FieldTouringAlpine/BP | Catalans K3 expedition
Amical Alpin/Gerlinde/GII | Andalusian GII| First Turkish/GII | First joint Baltic expedition/GII
Simone Moro's website/Multilingual/Batura II | Joby Ogwyn's website/Batura II | Masherbrum's NF/Russian Climb | Fredrik Ericsson website/Laila peak/GII ski descent | Benegas brothers/Latok 1| Chogolisa dispatches at Montagna |
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