The K2 / Broad Peak team is now back in Islamabad and preparing to head home! Some of our members have already flown out, and the last of us will be departing Pakistan this weekend. Conditions were tough this year on K2 & Broad Peak, resulting in no confirmed summits from any of the teams attempting K2 or Broad Peak. Our expedition went according to plan and we were in position to go for the summit when the weather changed and the climbing conditions deteriorated significantly. Our climbers made a great effort in climbing to Camp 2 / 3 on both K2 & Broad Peak, however the unusually deep snow that accumulated this season prevented us from going higher. We had a great time in the Karakorum and with better route conditions / weather I am confident we would have made the summit(s) we were attempting. We look forward to returning next year!
During the last few days the weather and route conditions have deteriorated significantly on K2, causing many avalanches and also rock fall. The climate here has warmed up dramatically, and as a result snow slides down to the glacial ice have peeled off K2 and the surrounding peaks, in once case the snow avalanches buried another team’s advanced base camp, fortunately no one was there at the time. The weather forecast has much snow ahead as well as continued warm temperatures, so without any indication that conditions may improve we are abandoning our climb of K2. Yesterday, one member of our Sherpa team was injured by a falling rock, we flew him by helicopter this morning to Skardu where he is being attended to. We will close up our base camp over the next few days and then plan to head out, there is still a chance we will make a Broad Peak attempt, weather and route conditions permitting. We look forward to coming back for K2 next year!
We have been resting in base camp the last 2 days. Because of daily snowfall, and the inherent risk of avalanches, we cannot plan to climb or carry up supplies until the weather improves and conditions stabilize. Currently we will be resting in base camp at least a few more days before possibly making a move up on our summit attempt. Our team is well and enjoying the comforts of base camp.
We descended down from Camp 2 and are now back in our base camp, relaxing and watching the weather to plan for our summit attempt. The weather was changing on our descent so we observed some interesting ‘rainbows’ in the sky, ice crystals illuminated by the sunlight. We still need to carry a few loads up to the high camps, but hopefully in about a week we will have everything in place to make our summit bid. Everyone is doing well and enjoying time in base camp.
Today we climbed up the Black Pyramid on the K2 Abruzzi ridge route. We wanted to scout the route up towards Camp 3. The lines are now in all the way to Camp 3 on our route. The weather continues to hold and clear views of the surrounding peaks dominate scenery, we are having dinner and getting ready to sleep here at Camp 2. Tomorrow we plan to descend to base camp to rest up for our summit attempt. This rotation has been very productive. Our Estonian climbers are resting in base camp and we will join them soon.
Today we climbed up to Camp 1 on the Abruzzi ridge. We had fantastic weather and great route conditions. We knew it would be hot, so we woke up at 3:30 AM and began climbing by 5 AM, reaching Camp 1 around 11 AM. Tomorrow we plan to move to Camp 2. Our Estonian climbers are in Camp 2 again for the third night, they are doing well and will descend tomorrow to base camp. Here are some photos from today’s climb.
Today was warm and sunny, a marked change from the last few days of cloudy and snowy weather. We decided to take a rest day in our Advanced Base Camp, to let the sun warm up the new snow. Now that the mountain has shed off much of the new snow that recently accumulated, we will climb to Camp 1 tomorrow. The nice weather should hold until Friday.
Today we left our base camp and climbed up to our ‘ABC’ (K2 Advanced Base Camp), at 17,300′. This took us about 3 hours, and we had to negotiate a small icefall section just before reaching our camp. The clouds were nice as it kept the air temperature cool for us. Tomorrow we will climb up to Camp 1 partway and then return to ABC to sleep. Our Estonian climbers are at Camp 1 tonight and doing well, they will climb to Camp 2 tomorrow.