View from camp 2 on K2

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.  They fixed lines from Camp 2 this morning using 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.

1st rotation on K2

Today our whole team of climbers & guides climbed up the first part of the Abruzzi ridge on K2 reaching Camp 1. We are all here safe and doing well. The climb took us around 7 hours from base camp, and around 5 hours for those of us who elected to spend the night at Advanced Base Camp last night. Our plan is to rest here tomorrow, make a short acclimatization climb partway to Camp 2, and then sleep again at Camp 1. The weather is nice, a little windy but great views of the surrounding peaks.

Unfortunately, today we witnessed a climber from another team (Canadian) falling down the mountain. The cause of the accident is unclear, however from reports of Sherpas who were nearby it may have been an old fixed rope that broke as the climber was descending below Camp 2. Our team’s thoughts and prayers are with the climber and his family.

Views from K2 base camp

Today our team rested in base camp and made a short acclimatization hike to the Gilkey memorial nearby base camp. It was a sobering moment to digest the many memorials to climbers who did not return from K2. One of our climbers left a memorial to a friend of his who perished on a prior expedition here in 2008.

Our plan is for part of our team to move up to Advanced Base Camp tomorrow. The rope fixing schedule is on track, four of our staff (2 Nepal Sherpas and 2 Pakistani HAPs) will be working to fix ropes from Camp 2 to Camp 3 in the coming days.

The Japanese team that arrived in Pakistan nearly a month before us was able to make good progress on the climbing route by fixing ropes up to Camp 2. This allows our team and the Seven Summits team managed by Dawa Sherpa to work together and fix lines from Camp 2 upwards. By working together our 2 teams will oversee and complete the remaining work fixing lines on the Abruzzi route on K2.

The view from K2 base camp

Happy 4th of July! Today our K2 team rested and organized equipment in base camp. We are planning to move up on our first rotation in a couple of days so we are busy organizing gear and food for the high camps on K2. Our Sherpas are going to Camp 2 tomorrow and the following day will begin fixing ropes towards Camp 3, pending good weather.

To celebrate the USA Independence Day 4th of July we watched the film Top Gun after dinner this evening. Everyone is doing well here in K2 base camp and we look forward to making a move up the mountain soon!

Climbers heading up to camp 1 on the Abruzzi route

Today our team had a nice breakfast in base camp and then climbed up to Advanced Base Camp, which is just 3 miles away and 1000 ft. Higher than our K2 base camp. It was warm and sunny when we began our hike, and after 2 hours we reached the ABC, where we took a short rest before descending back down to base camp for lunch. In the afternoon the clouds arrived and we have had a little snow this evening.

Today our Nepal & Pakistani Sherpas carried loads of equipment for the rope fixing project on K2 such as the semi static rope, ice screws, carabiners, and snow pickets to camp 1. They also carried some tents, stoves, fuel, etc. for us. Our plan is to rest tomorrow and then start planning for our first rotation on K2 to acclimatize. Everyone is doing well and we are looking forward to some good weather beginning the day after tomorrow.

Trango 3 tents at K2 base camp

Today we had our Puja ceremony in K2 base camp. We raised Tibetan prayer flags over our camp and after the ceremony had a fun song and dance with our Nepal Sherpas and Pakistani high porters. After the Puja we donned our boots, crampons, and climbing harness, then practiced the technical processes for climbing on the Abruzzi ridge, which involves climbing fixed ropes over steep rock, snow and ice, and then descending these lines.

The weather is improving and the forecast looks promising for the next week, so we are planning to make a move up to the higher camps in the coming days. Everyone is doing well and we are happy to be settled into our K2 base camp!

The view from K2 base camp

This morning the sun finally came out and we saw K2, Broad Peak, and the surrounding mountains for the first time since arriving here on June 29th.  We are drying out our gear and enjoying the warm weather!  Yesterday was our first full day here in K2 base camp, so we spent the entire day setting up our camp the way we like to have it, as when we arrived we had to set up tents quickly as the snow was coming down very hard.  Our dining tent is very comfortable with carpets, cushioned chairs, 3 couches, and a heater to keep it warm for us at dinner time.  The food has been excellent so far, lots of fresh vegetables and meat to keep our energy levels high.  After dinner last night we watched a movie in the dining tent before bedtime.

Our plan is to continue setting up our camp and drying out our gear while we rest and acclimatize, then tomorrow will be our Puja day!  It looks like a bit more snow this week on Wednesday, but then favorable weather conditions thereafter!  So we are hoping the weather forecast holds true and a long period of warm and sunny weather comes our way.

Everyone is doing well and enjoying the base camp life!

K2 base camp

Hello! This is Garrett calling in for the K2 expedition. Today is June 29th and we are at K2 base camp. It has been snowing a lot the last few days and we had a tough time getting up to base camp with all of our porters but we made it today. We set up our camp hastily just to create some shelter. We are looking forward to the snow letting up in the next couple days. We probably have two and a half to three feet here at base camp, waiting now for the weather to change and let up. Everyone is doing well and we just had a nice dinner and heading off to bed. Looking forward to a nice rest day tomorrow. All is well here at K2 base camp and we will check in soon.

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Audio dispatch from Garrett Madison

Concordia camp

Hello! This is Garrett calling in for the K2 expedition. Today is Thursday June 28th and we are at Concordia camp on the Baltoro Glacier. Tomorrow our plan is to trek up all the way to K2 base camp. Today we woke up around 5am and trekked from our camp at Goro II up to Concordia in the early afternoon. Hoping the suns going to let up soon, probably another few days of clouds and snow fall before we see clear skies. Everyone is doing well here and we are excited to make our way to base camp tomorrow. We will check in soon. Thanks!

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Audio dispatch from Garrett Madison