Himalaya 2008 climbing season, Karakoram and Himalaya wrap-up /3/ – Week in Review.

Last week’s major stories were a K2 summit push and Vlado Plulík’s disappearance on Broad Peak. Independence Day was all about Free Speech and Democracy.

K2 update After fixing the route to camp 3 and then some, Wilco van Rooijen’s team started a summit push on K2’s Cesen route – with no C4 established, and reportedly other teams in BC unwilling to lend a helping hand, citing bad weather. The Dutch, who have already spent about a month on K2, however wanted to grab the chance of a short weather break forecasted for this weekend. A gas accident pulled team 1 from the peak and by Friday only 5 climbers from team 2 remained high up on the slope (except for a brief visit by a Serbian climber). By Sunday, after placing a cache near C4, exhaustion forced also team two back to BC .

On Nanga Parbat the Iranian team split in two, climbing the peak alone, with the fixed ropes buried by deep snow. After reaching camp 3, the climbers retreated to BC Sunday, meeting there with Kazem’s K2 mate from 2007; Chris Warner – now leading an American expedition on Nanga Parbat.

After summiting Nanga Parbat Italians Daniele Nardi and Mario Panzeri are attempting Broad Peak next.

Another Broad Peak summit seems to have been achieved by a French team this weekend. Check in Monday for details. Babanov’s team returned to BC from 7100 meters on July 5, ready for the summit push next.

Dodo’s climbing partner Vlado Plulík missing on Broad Peak Dodo and Vlado split up at around 8000 meters on Broad Peak; after which Vlado went missing – possibly in a fall. Last weekend, Russian Valery Babanov climbed in stormy weather all the way to 2 looking for the mountaineer, 4-5 more climbers were searching around C1 while Dodo reported that he looked below. Dodo summited Broad Peak on Thursday June 26, and noticed that Vlado was missing on Friday. According to Nick Rice, he attended a birthday party in K2’s BC on Saturday and another dinner on Sunday after walking back to Broad Peak’s BC to ask around about Vlado.

Vlado’s accident reminded of Marek Hudak’s fate; Dodo’s climbing mate who vanished – possibly in a fall – on Shisha Pangma in 2007. That situation was descibed in ExplorersWeb “Best-of-2007″awards, granted to Kopold that year. ExplorersWeb has requested and interview with Dodo about the latest accident.

Philip Ling’s tale: A Sherpa and a Gentleman Last year, Australian Philip Ling wrote a debrief from the day he almost reached Lhotse’s summit without O2, and witnessed Sherpani Pemba Doma fall to her death. Philip also shared his memories from Pumori, the bitter-sweet daughter of Everest; another fatal climbing drama with a few lessons to learn. Last week Philip was back, with a third tale from his climbing life.

Gasherbrums: teams moving up Field Touring Alpine, Romanians Alex and Pawel, and Portuguese Daniela Teixeira were just some of the climbers heading up the Gasherbrums for acclimatization last week.

Nepalese trekking agencies reported that China will open for climbing, however no official confirmation has yet been issued. One letter from CTMA reportedly said that Chinese peaks will reopen for climbing this fall under certain conditions, such as screening of climbers and that outfitters guarantee their clients and staff will follow “the laws and regulations of the Peoples Republic of China.”

** Read these stories – and more! – at ExplorersWeb.com

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