Karakoram Summer 2009 expeditions wrap-up : Saturday – Summit night in uncertain weather.

Jul 25, 2009 (K2Climb.net/Madrid) K2 and GI climbers are on their marks in their upper camps, getting ready to set off for the summit tonight. The weather is not improving as fast as expected though – progression in tough conditions and low visibility took has taken a toll on the pushing teams. K2 Abruzzi Spur

K2: Abruzzi Spur

Story Updated 11.29pm CDT: Gerfried and Co. have departed C3 at 1:00 am, local time – the summit push is on,” Louis Rousseau’s home crew just reported.

“There’s been a mistake about Jorge Egocheaga – he didn’t summit last week,” Louis’ home team noted. “Jorge is now attempting to top out for the second time.”

“We are in C3, at 7,380m, preparing to set off towards the summit tonight,” Gerfried Göshl had told his wife Heike over sat-phone earlier today. “The weather is still unstable – it’s cloudy and visibility is poor,” Heike added. “The summit would be only attinable in good weather, since there’s over 1,200 vertical meters from C3 to the top.”

FTA’s Chris, Jake and Dave are in C3 as well – but not intending to push any further up tomorrow. Still on an acclimatization trip, they’ll head back to BC tomorrow. K2 Cesen route

K2: Cesen route

“It’s been an extremely tough day for Gerlinde and David,” Ralf reported from BC today. “Signs were bright at first yesterday night: The sky was clear and starred. But at 2.45 am I stood outside my sleeping bag and, I noticed it was too warm. Gerl, David and Fabrizio left their bivy at 9:00 am under the sun – but clouds coming from the Magic Line soon wrapped the Abruzzi and Cesen routes. The climbers were out f sight most of the time.”

At 12:10 pm Gerlinde checked in over the radio. ”Our progress is slower than expected – she said. The rock is fragile, and orientation is not easy.”

“Only at about 5:00pm I was able to spot Gerlinde, David and Fabrizio (climbing behind) through the binoculars: They had overcome the mixed sections but were still one hour away from the Shoulder. At 6:00pm Gerlinde reported they were at the beginning of the Shoulder, very tired. They wanted to pitch teir tent, melt some snow and take a rest before reporting on their next moves. Forecasts is not bad – when and how will it go tomorrow, I am yet to hear from Gerlinde.”

“It sounds like Fabrizio has been putting in so much effort that he’ll need to return to BC to rest up before finishing out the route higher up,” FTA’s reported on a later update today.

Gasherbrum I

Veikka Gustafsson and Kazuya Hiraide are in Camp 3, at 7100m,” Jukka Tammisuo reported earlier today. “Weather conditions being not as good as expected, they took a late start today, but it was still a cold climb up to Camp 3 on a exhausting steep route in fresh snow, and including also some technical sections. On the way, they got help from Bulgarians Nikolay Petkov, Doychin Boyanov, Boyan Petrov and Nikolay Valkov, who broke trail in deep- snow.”GI Japanese Couloir

“They are all setting off at midnight. Some strong gusts of wind are still hitting the tent, but they (should) drop down tomorrow. Veikka hopes they’ll get a summit chance tomorrow by joining forces (with the Bulgarians) and helping each other.”
As previously reported, Korean Oh Eun-sun is on her way to GI’s BC.

However, bad weather conditions are not keeping choppers grounded, so she is trekking to BC instead. “That way she will be able to get some exercise,” ExplorersWeb correspondent in Korean Kyu Dam Lee reported. “She is also getting forecasts twice a day, in order to evaluate the situation. Arrival in BC is expected for Sunday/Monday, according to Miss Oh’s sponsor.”

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

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