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Main K2 team heading off

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.

1st wave of climbers off on summit rotation

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.

K2 base camp

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!

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.

David Liano climbing up part of the black pyramid

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.

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.