Himalaya 2008 climbing season, Karakoram and Himalaya wrap-up /6/ – Week in Review.

Happy ending on Nanga Parbat for Karl Unterkircher’s team mates, less so for Iranian Saman Nemati. Climbers are reportedly in trouble on Shimshal Whitehorn and Spantik, nearby mountaineers are called to help if they can and are ready to.

Summits were accomplished on Broad Peak, including a new route by Babanov/Afanasiev. Gasherbrums proved a tough task, with a second big summit attempt rendering futile results. A huge summit push is underway on K2, starting tomorrow. Red flares for Tibet have been joined by red candles and a son has been born to the Mars Ocean Odyssey crew.

Broad Peak RussianClimb reported that Valery Shamalo, Pavel Chochia and Elizabeth Revol (France) summited Broad Peak via the normal route on July 17. So did Portuguese Joao Garcia, the peak becoming his 11th 8000er. Valery Babanov and Victor Afanasiev (France) summited the mountain via a new route. Remaining climbers on Broad Peak hope for a summit push by July 28-29. Among them: Mexicans Badia and Mauricio, Serge Civera’s French expedition, Spanish Lina Quesada and the Basque team, Italians Panzeri and Nardi, Hiro and Veikka.

K2 With the latest forecast showing a serious weather break, following months of struggle and frustration – K2 climbers feel that this is it. Worn out gear has been fixed, crampons are sharpened, and packs are packed. Norit will move up the Cesen route on July 28th, together with the Italians (Marco Confortola and Roberto Manni). The Koreans will start one day earlier on the Abruzzi route. They will all meet where the Cesen and Abruzzi routes merge on the shoulder of K2, hopefully on the 30th. Target summit date is 31st of July. The French team which had intended to open a new route, the Serbians attempting the Cesen route, and some Swiss and Spanish climbers who were tackling the Abruzzi Spur route are among those heading home.

Nanga Parbat – Iranian rescue attempt The Iranian team topped out Nanga Parbat through the normal route. By nightfall, a storm blew up and the mountaineers reached camp only between 2-5 am. Saman Nemati, 27, however never got there. The summiteers’s ensuing search, HAP’s sent from BC and a helicopter sweep were not reported to have been successful.

Walter and Simon safely airlifted from 5,700m on Nanga Parbat After nearly two weeks on the wall, Walter Nones and Simon Kehrer were airlifted to BC last week. Spirits soared when the climbers were spotted skiing down from the Col where they had bivouacked. The two rappelled down two large crevasses and finally managed to reach flat ground on the glacier at about 5,700 meters. From there, the highly skilled Pakistani pilots took over and did the rest. “This is our tribute to Karl,” Walter Nones told Montagna.org. “All our climbs together urged me to hold on hard, to use my heart and my head.” Nones said that the climbers had focused on just one thing: to arrive safe and sound to BC. “We took it day by day; we stuck together, and clinged our teeth.”

Shimshal Whitehorn: climber in trouble Ben Cheek is in danger on Shimshal Whitehorn. Skilled and acclimatized mountaineers are requested to meet at the Shimshal guest lodge or check Don Bowie’s website. Bruce Normand and Peter Thompson are coordinating this rescue operation. The family also urges officials to please help with a helicopter.

Spantik: climbers in trouble The German Spantik expedition called from camp 2 over sat phone to their outfitter Saltoro Summits Friday stating that an accident had taken place on Spantik camp 3 involving an Austrian expedition. Some climbers are reportedly injured and need help urgently. Saltoro Summits are contacting the concerned tour operator and the Austrian embassy.

Here come the Americans! Shared Summits aborted their Nanga climb, Bruce and Don aborted Distaghil Sar, but all have since been kept busy with assistance to the Iranian and Italian teams, and latest the missing climber on Shimshal. Nick Rice et all is getting ready for summit push on K2, Fabrizio Zangrilli sent word he’s en route for the Rupal Face on Nanga Parbat and last week, Kyle Dempster from Utah was briefed at the Ministry of Tourism in Islamabad. Outfitted by Saltoro Summits, Kyle is shooting for the virgin SW ridge of Tahu Rutum (6651 m) at the head of the Biafo Glacier. After Tahu, the next target is (Pumari Chhish 7492 m) with Jared Vilhauer of Colorado.

Simone and Herve for Beka Brakai Chhok After speed-climbing Batokshi (6050 m) in 9 hours and 30 minutes, Italians Simone and Herve have been waiting for a call from the Nanga Parbat rescue team, in which case they would have been airlifted to the peak. When Walter and Simon came down under their own steam; Simone and Herve set a new target replacing their original goal of Batura II. Attempted three times already, Beka Brakai Chhok (6940 m) remains unclimbed and the two mountaineers will give it a shot in fast, alpine style on Tuesday, weather pending.

Gasherbrum II Alex and Pawel aborted their GII summit push. “We might have made it to the summit or in its proximity but the weather window was simply much too short to have allowed us to safely get back to our tent in Camp Three.” Gloria Brighenti, Simone La Terra, Hassan Sadpara, Tente, Nuria and Nacho were others among around twenty people who tried in vain to reach the top in what was the second massive summit push of the season.

Gasherbrum I Veikka Gustaffson, Fernando Gonzales Rubio and Esther Sabadell Simo all aborted G1. Portuguese Daniela will give the peak a shot on July 25th or 26th. Carlos Soria’s team, working together with a Korean team is ready for an attempt as well.

Gasherbrum 4 After setting up all high camps, Spaniards Juan Vallejo, José Carlos Tamayo, Alberto Iñurrategi, Mikel Zabalza and Ferrán Latorre need a three day weather window for the final summit push.

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

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