Climbing Highlights from Karakoram (Pakistan) 2018 Summer Season

Majority of the teams have reached at the base camps of K2, Gasherbrum, Broad Peak, Spantik, Latok and also Nanga Parbat but weather conditions are making it hard for the climbers in establishing lower camps. For any of the five 8000ers in Pakistan, weather is the biggest challenge to the summit and return.

The priorities for each team are to get the ropes fixed as high as possible and getting climbers acclimatized at 7000m for at least couple of nights.

K2:  route to C2 completed

The ten member Japanese team secured the route till C2 after one month’s efforts and now they are back to BC.

Abruzzi route has following camps to reach the summit of K2 at 8611m;

Base Camp (BC): 5669m

Advanced Base Camp (ABC): 5684m

Camp 1: 6085m

Camp 2: 6740m

Camp 3: 7240m

Camp 4: 7644m

Canadian team including Nathalie Fortin with her teammates Serge Dessureault, Maurice Beauséjour reported excellent news last day;

“The weather has calmed down. Serge, Maurice and Nathalie are at camp 1, 6100 meters altitude. Finally we got there! We got a lot of things, including snow, but we’re at camp 1. and we’re sleeping here!

I’m glad we got the tent pitches I wanted. They are safer while space at camp 1 is limited. There can only be 12-14 tents. It’s like a miniature camping with more precarious places.

Today, 5 American team altitude bearers were in front of us to set up their camp.

Our carriers set foot on the floor and passed them!

So we managed to get our spots. Tomorrow, if the weather is good, we’re still climbing 300-400 Feet. If she isn’t, we’re going down to base camp.

Everybody’s okay. We have a smile on our lips. Dinner spaghetti and hop, dodo”


Photo from C1 by Candian team

Swedish Fredrik Sträng is on his way to Broad Peak for acclimatization and then to K2;

24 Jun : “First stop for Roeske and me is Askole, then tomorrow we are embarking on the 5-6 days trek to Broad Peak BC. There we will acclimatize and hopefully summit then directly to K2. May the weather/conditions God me merciful”

Fredrik Sträng has also pointed out about the potential threat of climate change;

“We are going that way! Navigating through rapids in the Sadpara area; an area that exhibit water, something that is scarce here. There was very little snow this season in the Karakorams. Denis Urubko witnessed that on his K2 winter attempt and the Sadpara dam above Skardu that provides electricity to the community is almost dried out. How this will affect our climb and the conditions is hard to say but apparently the weather is much cooler and more humid now than my previous visits to the Karakoram. Several days with snow in Broad Peak BC has been reported and my concern is not so much the snow but if it starts heating up without a protective layer of snow, loose rocks (which becomes more frequent) is a challenge and a potential threat.”

Skier Andrzej Bargiel reached GII base camp for acclimatization and they he will attempt K2;

“We finally made it to Gasherbrum II basecamp. Weather is good and cold (-10C) so we are getting ready for going up. On the pics few more shots from trekking. Stay tuned for more updates”

Photo by Andrzej Bargiel from Gasherbrum II BC

Gasherbrum massif – C1 established

Polish Adam Bielecki, Jacek Czech and German Felix Berg have managed to establish C1 at GII. Adam wrote, “After 20 hours (2 days) of effective climbing we managed to open the route to C1. Together with Jacek we have deserved gratitude of the other teams and a good rest in the base camp which we have just reached”

Broad Peak

Furtenbach Adventures have established C1 and now intending for C2, “Second rotation on Broad Peak about to start tomorrow. If weather and conditions allow the whole team will spend two nights in camp 2. It was dumping for the last days so conditions higher up have to be checked first.”

Photo from Broad Peak by the team

Nanga Parbat

Daily snows of the last 15 days and the danger of avalanche on #nangaparbat made impossible for Alex Gavan and Tunc Findik access under reasonable safety conditions in the superior portion of the girl #diamir, in order to successfully complete the acclimation process. The Personalized weather forecast doesn’t look good until the end of the month. Before we can go to the final ascent, the two first need at least one night spent almost 7000 M, followed by a few days of rest in base camp. Then a minimum window of good weather is required in which conditions on the mountain allow for a good administration of the risk of a climb without additional oxygen.

Mike Horn also abandoned his expedition and returning back to Islamabad

“Fred and myself climbed up to remove our equipment deposit we left at 5600m today. We have decided to return to Islamabad due to bad weather forecasted for the next 10 days. It has been snowing at BC for 12 days now and above 7000m there is a lot of snow. This makes the mountain very dangerous! With the snow predicted for the next 10 days it will worsen the situation!

The mountain will stay here so we can always come back to amazing Pakistan!”

Photo by Mike Horn from Nanga Parbat


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