July 2018

Audio dispatch via satellite phone this evening from K2 Camp 2:

Hey this is Garrett calling in for the K2 expedition team. Today is July 18th and we are up at Camp 2 tucked into our tents! We had a good day coming up to Camp 2. It’s been snowing most of the day and a little breezy but hopefully good weather is on the way. So all’s well here. We are listening to some music in the tent, making some hot water, about to have dinner, go to sleep and tomorrow plan to move up to Camp 3. Our Sherpas are up at Camp 4. They made a good effort today in fixing ropes up towards the Bottleneck. But they still have a long ways to go. So fingers crossed for good weather in the future. That’s all for now, we will check in again soon, bye.

Climbing into House's Chimmey on K2

Garrett called in with an audio dispatch this morning from K2 Camp 1:

Hi! This is Garrett calling for the K2 expedition. Today is July 18th. We are up at Camp 1. We had a good climb up here yesterday; it was nice and cool and then in the afternoon some snow showers moved and it was cloudy and a bit blustery. But everyone had a good night and today it’s cleared up, so we are moving to Camp 2! Everyone’s doing well and the Sun’s out so we are looking forward to a nice day! We will check in again once we get to Camp 2. Bye.

Garrett called in with an audio dispatch this evening from K2 Base Camp:

Hi! This is Garrett Madison calling from the K2 expedition. Today is July 16th and we just finished up dinner here in Base Camp and we are ready to move up to Camp 1 tomorrow morning! We are going to head off at 05:00 AM. The weather is looking good, the route conditions are looking solid, and the Sherpas are excited to be climbing with us as well! So all’s good here on K2 and we will check in again soon.

This afternoon our first wave of K2 climbers left Base Camp for Advanced Base Camp. Robert Smith with Klára, Lisa, and James are on their way up to ABC. The rest of the team will set off from Base Camp at 5 AM tomorrow for Camp 1 and will join with the climbers who are spending tonight at ABC.

Today our team of climbers and Sherpas is preparing to begin our summit rotation on K2! The weather is looking good, our equipment is in place up high on the mountain, and we are acclimatized and feeling ready!

We will climb from K2 base camp tomorrow to Camp 1 on the 17th of July, then our plan is to move up to Camp 2 the following day, then Camp 3, and arrive Camp 4 on the 20th of July. If everything looks good we will attempt the summit on the 21st of July, then descend down to Camp 2 or 3 that evening. We should be back in base camp by July 22nd.

Our rope fixing team of Sherpas is currently at Camp 2 and they will move to Camp 4 tomorrow, and aim to fix the ‘bottleneck’ and hopefully fix ropes higher on the peak by July 19/20. Conditions are looking good and we hope for continued good weather!

Last night as we were finishing our dinner and preparing to go to bed some climbers came into our camp and alerted us to an accident taking place on Broad Peak. Apparently one of 2 climbers (1 Poish & 1 Chech) was struck in the leg by rockfall and was in need of assistance, however they were not too far from base camp having just begun their climb that day. We dispatched 2 of our strongest Sherpas (Tashi Sherpa and Lakpa Dandi Sherpa) and they climbed with a few other climbers up to the injured party. They then carried the injured climber back to base camp by early morning, and the injured climber is now doing fine and waiting for a helicopter.

The last two days we have been resting in K2 Base Camp and recovering from our time up high. The weather has been great, and currently our Sherpas are working to fix ropes to Camp 4 on the shoulder of K2. We hope that if the weather remains good that they can finish the load carries of fixed ropes, oxygen, tents, etc. to our high camp and then we will be in position for a summit attempt. Everyone is doing well here at K2 Base Camp!

Today we woke up at 5:30 AM at Camp 2 on the Abruzzi Ridge and descended all the way to our K2 Base Camp. We rappelled most of the route as we made our way down over steep rock, ice, and snow sections of the route, including the notable House’s Chimney. The weather has been fantastic the last few days, with little to no wind, a clear sky, and warmth during the daytime.

Our team is all back in K2 Base Camp now, after having a great dinner and looking forward to some rest over the next few days.

Our Sherpa team is hard at work, they are back up at Camp 2 and are working to fix the route from Camp 3 to Camp 4, then carrying equipment such as oxygen, tents, and ropes to Camp 4. They are an amazing cadre of the finest & hardest working Sherpas I have ever known.

Today our team rested at camp 2 on the Abruzzi ridge on K2. Some of us climbed a litter higher to around 22,500 ft on the route. Pictured here is David Liano climbing up part of the Black Pyramid. Our plan is to descend to base camp tomorrow.

We are all up at our Camp 2, perched at 22,000 ft on the Abruzzi ridge overlooking the Godwin Austin and Baltoro glaciers. We had a great day climbing from Camp 1 up the steep rock & snow slopes. Everyone is doing well.

Today our super Sherpas left base camp at 2 AM and carried up additional fixed ropes (9mm Petzl semi static kernmantle ropes) and re-fixed the entire distance between Camp 1 and Camp 2 ahead of us, so that we did not have to rely on using the Korean ropes that the Japanese team fixed. We are very thankful that our team could respond on a days notice and quickly put these lines in place so that our team and others can climb safely on this section of the route with confidence.

We look forward to a rest day tomorrow.

David and Semba smiling before tackling House’s chimney!

Today our team rested in Camp 1 and did a short climb partway up to Camp 2 for acclimatization. We had great weather and made use of our rest day by lounging in our tents much of the day. We look forward to climbing to Camp 2 tomorrow and spending the night.

Today our rope fixing team reported that they made it all the way to Camp 3, fixing lines from Camp 2 this morning, with our high quality ropes and anchors. Because of the uncertainty surrounding the current state of fixed ropes just below Camp 2 (where the accident occurred yesterday) we have another rope fixing team of Sherpas coming up from base camp early tomorrow morning with our semi static kernmantle ropes for fixed rope climbing, rather than the current polypropylene (Korean) ropes that were put in place by the Japanese team earlier this season. They will re-fix sections that are suspect or in need of better ropes between Camp 1 and Camp 2.

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