The Ama Dablam team arrived back at BC after a successful acclimatization rotation. We stayed 2 nights at C1 and made a climb up to C2, ascending the famous Yellow Tower yesterday. Tomorrow we’ll have a rest day then plan our summit push on the 2nd, weather permitting.
Expedition leader, Conan Bliss, checks in with today’s update:
The Ama Dablam team is enjoying another training session this morning at BC. We’ll relax this afternoon and get packed for our two-night acclimatization rotation starting tomorrow (29th/30th). We’ll stay both nights at C1 and plan to climb to touch C2 on the 30th. We’ll check back in on the 31st when we are back in BC.
Expedition leader, Conan Bliss, checks in with today’s update on the Ama Dablam expedition:
The Ama Dablam team arrived at BC yesterday (October 25 – local). It was a snowy evening but clouds are breaking today. We had a fun and productive morning doing rope training. Tomorrow we’re planning an acclimatization hike to Yak Camp and will spend the next 2 nights in BC. Weather permitting we aim to climb to C1 on the 28th or 29th for two nights. Thanks for checking in.
All of our climbers and equipment are off the mountain and we are preparing to begin the 100 kilometer trek from K2 Base Camp to Askole, down the Baltoro Glacier past the Great Trango Tower and back to where we began our journey nearly 6 weeks ago.
On July 22nd, we had an incredible, and very rare, summit day on K2. All 8 of our clients who began the summit rotation made it to the top along with 3 guides, 9 Nepali Sherpas and 4 Pakistani HAP (high altitude porters). In terms of total team size reaching the summit, I have been told by our liaison officer here with us that we have set a record! We were very fortunate to have had perfect conditions as we climbed to the top of K2 and then back down to our Camp 2. The last couple of days here in Base Camp we have been breaking down camp and packing up for the long trek out.
It’s been an incredible experience here in the Karakorum, and we are all thankful that we finished the climb without any accidents or injuries / fatalities as some other teams sadly experienced this season on K2.
All of our K2 team members are safely down from the mountain and at Base Camp (4995 m/16,388 ft)! Fantastic effort by all. We will have a full recap after a well deserved rest!
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.
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.
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!
We concluded a great second rotation today by descending from our Camp 2, known as our Advanced Base Camp, all the way down to our Everest base camp. While on our rotation we spent three nights at our Camp 2, and were very lucky to have great weather. To begin our rotation, we departed our base camp at 4 AM and climbed all the way to Camp 2.
Then, we took a rest day to recuperate and recover from the big climb, nearly 4,000 ft (1,212m) of vertical gain. After our rest day we planned to climb to our Camp 3 on the Lhotse Face, so we departed our Camp 2 (Advanced Base Camp) at 8 AM .We climbed with our down suits to the base of the Lhotse Face, then began our ascent up the steep ice wall on the fixed ropes towards Camp 3. It is situated about halfway up the Lhotse Face at approximately 23,500 ft. (7,121m).
The Lhotse Face is notably icier this year and requires good crampon technique! After 5 hours of climbing we reached our Camp 3 and took a long break to rest, hydrate, and eat a few snacks. We also had the privilege of enjoying an amazing view from Camp 3, looking down over Camp 2, the Western CWM, and Camp 1. We then descended the fixed rope designated for rappelling and made good time in our descent, reaching our Camp 2 just an hour later for a late afternoon lunch. It was a very productive rotation in that we accomplished our goal of climbing to Camp 3 to acclimatize . Additionally, we also familiarize ourselves with the steep and technical terrain of the Lhotse Face.
Our Sherpas have been busy carrying loads of equipment to the South Col high camp (Camp 4) for the final stage of the rope fixing project . This involves setting the ropes from the South Col to the Summit of Mount Everest. They have done an exemplary job so far by setting two lines up to Camp 3. One for ascending and one for descending, as well as an additional line above Camp 3 to ease congestion on the route. We have received many compliments regarding how the lines are set in a safe and desirable fashion on the Lhotse Face which makes for efficient climbing.
Lines have also been set on the Geneva Spur, the final rock ridge before the South Col, so that climbers can go up and down on separate lines for safety and efficiency. At this time Sherpas have been utilizing these ropes to carry loads of oxygen cylinders, tents, food, and fuel to position at the South Col for the eventual summit attempt on Mount Everest!
According to our weather forecasts, it appears that a major wind event is approaching Mount Everest, probably in the next day or two. Our Sherpas will make good use of tomorrows marginal weather forecast to position additional loads at the South Col high camp, and then see if the following day is appropriate for climbing above 8000 meters. The jet stream will likely cover the Mount Everest region for up to a week and no climbing will take place above 8000 meters during this time, so we are preparing to hold tight and wait for the opportunity when the Jet Stream passes and the winds are calm enough for a summit attempt! Until then we plan to rest and enjoy the amenities of our Everest base camp!