(By Raheel Adnan) The regulation that all climbers on a group-permit must begin the Base Camp trek together has been causing significant inconvenience to the Karakoram teams, this year. Groups of climbers sharing a permit have to wait for each other to begin the trekking part of their journey; although they will essentially be working independently on the mountain. Repeated cancellation of Islamabad-Skardu flights has worsened the situation.
Nonetheless, many teams have reached the mountains and have begun the acclimatization process. Other climbers are either trekking on Baltoro or are about to leave for Askole.
The Pakistani expedition was amongst the first teams to reach the BC this year. They were also the first to go up the Abruzzi Spur. On June 24th, Hassan Jan, Ali and Muhammad Hassan opened the route to 6100m and established C1 before returning to Base Camp. One June 25th, other members of team went up and deposited some gear at C1.
The Polish Winter Himalaism team was next to go up. They set up C1 on June 26th and reached 6400m on 27th. Depending upon weather, on 28th, they will either try to establish C2 or return to BC. The Italian trio also reached C1 today (June 27th) and apparently the campsite is now fully occupied. “With our 2 tents now there are seven in all, and the space runs out.” Giuseppe Pompili tweeted this evening.
Greek climbers, Alexandros Aravidis and Panagiotis Athanasiadis, were the first to reach BC, this year. They were also the only team to go for Cesen route. The duo spent two nights in C1 (5900m) and reached 6100m today (June 27th), before descending to BC. The duo intended to reach C2, however excess of fresh and unsettled snow made the progress exhausting and slow. They have now decided to temporarily switch to Abruzzi spur for acclimatization, till the conditions on Cesen route improve.
Majority of the remaining climbers are trekking to BC now, whereas few others including US climber Alan Arnette will be arriving in Pakistan, soon.
David Lama, Hansjorg and Peter returned to Masherbrum BC, without summit attempt on Broad Peak. They managed to reach C3 on a couple of occasions.
Members of Polish Broad Peak Middle team and Pakistani expedition led by Karim Hayat have reached around 6000m. They’re back to BC, now. Mexican couple Mauricio and Badia was in C1, yesterday. Australian Gavin Vickers and Romanian Alex Gavan have reached C1 and are spending the night there.
The international GI/GII team led by Turkish Tunc Findik is still stuck in Skardu, waiting for the arrival of two Chinese members. “Today we ascended a 4300m peak by Lake Satpara, while waiting for our two Chinese members. Not technical but a long route wwith 1700m altitude gain and loss-perfect for acclimatisation! And good to fend off boredom and laziness.” Tunc wrote on Facebook.
Based in Lahore, Pakistan, telecom engineer and 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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