With the season over, the base camp departures begin. But if you are still in base camp, you might as well enjoy yourself! Garrett provides these details:
Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the K2 climbing expedition. Today is July 21st and we’re down in base camp. A few of our members helicoptered to Skardu today, Valerio, Gina, and Elizabeth. The rest of us, myself, Victor, Conan, Rick, and Brian are still in base camp. We’re gonna continue packing up tomorrow and then start trekking out on the 23rd of July towards Skardu. So, looking forward to heading out of here. All’s well! We had a great expedition and looking forward to heading home towards family and loved ones.
The whole team is down off the mountain and all safely in base camp and will be heading home soon. Stay tuned over the next few days for Garrett’s complete expedition recap as the team makes their way back to Islamabad and beyond. Here’s Garrett with today’s expedition dispatch:
Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the K2 expedition team. We’re having a great time here at dinner! Good spirits all around, you can hear the laughs in the background. The whole team’s together and we’ve made the decision to head home. We’re not gonna stay and climb anymore. So, it’s been a great expedition here, wonderful journey, and we’re looking forward to heading home to family and loved ones.
The season’s snowfall on the upper slopes of K2 has won out, and unfortunately, the summit will have to wait for another year. Today the team made the prudent decision to abort the summit push. While one team member and his climbing Sherpa partner ascended to Camp 4 to spend the night, the remainder of the team descend from Camp 3 and are doing well in base camp. We expect everyone to be in base camp tomorrow. Here’s Garrett’s update:
Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the K2 climbing expedition. We made a great attempt on K2 and unfortunately the snow conditions were just too unstable, too deep, and the avalanche risk too high for us to climb up past Camp 4 into the Bottleneck and the Traverse area. Magnificent job by all pulling together as a team and working hard and in position for a summit, but The Mountain said no this time. So, we’ve respected the mountain and we’ve come down to base camp. All’s well here, and we’ll check in soon.
On the eve of their summit push, climbing team member Dr. Rick Thurmer provides today’s K2 expedition dispatch. The plan is to climb to Camp 2 (6327m/20,757ft) on the Cesen route tomorrow morning. C3 on Wed, C4, on Thu, and make their summit attempt on Friday, July 19th. This is it – the week mountaineers dream of! Stay tuned here for updates. Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, is planning to bring a portable satellite terminal up the mountain, so we expect to be receiving photos and high-quality audio dispatches for the entire summit attempt! Godspeed team!
Hi, this is Dr. Rick Thurmer. We’ll be heading up K2 for our summit bid at 3:00 AM tomorrow morning! Let me tell ya, we are all very, very excited. We’re all packed, prep’d, and ready! And I can tell you honestly, I’ve dreamt of this my whole life for this very moment. So keep us all in your prayers, good night, and God bless.
K2 climbing team member Gina provides the update from base camp today where part of the activities was oxygen system practice. Summit bid begins on July 16th with a summit target of July 19th:
Hi! This is Gina coming to you live from K2 base camp! We just finished having a great dinner of kebabs and pasta. Today we had a busy day of trying on oxygen masks and packing up our food. Getting ready to head out very early on the morning of the 16th. And we are very excited! Talk to you soon. Bye.
In today’s update, Garrett outlines the upcoming summit attempt plan:
Hello, this is Garrett calling for the K2 climbing expedition team. Today is July 13th, and we had a nice rest day in base camp. All of our Sherpas have come down off the mountain from carrying loads and fixing ropes to Camp 4 on the Shoulder of the Cesen route. And our plan is to review our oxygen systems tomorrow and start packing up for our summit attempt. Our plan is to leave on the 16th of July to head up to Camp 2 on the Cesen route in hopes for a potential summit attempt on the 19th of July. Everybody’s doing great here, we’ve got nice weather in base camp, and we look forward to another great day tomorrow.
(photo: Madison Mountaineering archives)
With all of the team now back in base camp after successful completion of their acclimatization rotation, everyone is watching the weather and looking for that window for a summit attempt. Garrett checks in with today’s update:
Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the K2 expedition team. Today is July 12th, and we had a very relaxing day in base camp. Our climbers Victor, Rick and Louis, came down from Camp 2 today along with Sherpas Mingmar and Dawa. And our other Sherpas were able to fix lines up to Camp 4 today at the Shoulder on K2. So, a very productive day all around. Now we are all back in base camp resting up, watching the weather, and getting ready for our next move. All’s well here in K2 base camp!
The main group of climbers took a rest day at base camp and are getting psyched for summit push coming up soon. Garrett provides the details:
Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the K2 climbing expedtion team. Today is July 11th and we had a rest day today in base camp. Everyone’s doing well here. We resurfaced some tent platforms on the glacier and a few of our members, Victor, Rick, and Louis are still up at Camp 2 – coming down later today. And our Sherpas are pushing up to Camp 4 and heading back to Camp 3 this evening. So, all’s well here on K2!
Most of the team descended from Camp 2 on the Cesen route today and are back in BC, completing their acclimatization rotation. Here’s Garrett with the details:
Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the K2 expedition climbing team. Today we came down from K2 Camp 2 on the Cesen route to base camp. Had a nice descent, some good views, and a great lunch and dinner here in K2 base camp. So, we’re resting up now and just taking it easy; enjoying the comforts of base camp. A few of our climbers are still up at Camp 2. They’re acclimatizing for additional days. It’s Victor, Louis, and Rick along with a couple of our Sherpas, Dawa and Mingmar. And they will be coming down in the next couple of days. Weather looks good, and everyone’s doing well here on K2!
The K2 team’s first rotation is coming up and expedition leader Garrett Madison had this update today:
Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the K2 expedition. We had a great day of training yesterday out on the ice near base camp – practicing fixed line ascending, repelling and footwork, all in preparation for our first rotation up the mountain. Our sherpas were able to fix to Camp 3 on the Česen route yesterday. Which is great progress. And we’ll keep working to fix higher, hopefully, they can reach Camp 4 in the next few days or so. Our plan is to head up tomorrow morning early on our first rotation to spend a few nights upon the Česen route acclimatizing and getting familiar with the route. Everybody’s doing great here at base camp. Beautiful weather and we look forward to more great days ahead!