Very few victories with two fatalities only in the past two weeks attest to the unceasing seriousness of Pakistan 8000+ mountaineering. This weekend all eyes or on K2 where a huge, last ditch summit push is on. Check a detailed latest report below.
In other news: Veikka Gustafsson completed the 14x8000ers list; Devon McDiarmid, Derek Crowe and Adrian Hayes arrived after 67 days of kite-skiing across Greenland; Sarah Outen is closing in on the end of her historic Indian Ocean row; and two teenagers sailing around the world prove that age is just a number.
Side note: following an avalanche of false victory claims in later years, unclear summits are now openly questioned by climbers. While difficult and not always just; the ongoing battle for fairness will hopefully benefit all in the end.
K2: Bad conditions at the Shoulder and around the Bottleneck forced all climbers back from summit push last week. However, a sharp drop in the wind forecasted for Tuesday got most to decide on another shot. Kazakh Max and Vassiliy, Russian Serguey, Austrians Gerlinde, Gerfried and Sepp, Canadian Louis, Ecuadorian Santiago, Field Touring’s Jake Meyer, Fabrizio Zangrilli and other international climbers, speed climber Christian Stangl are among those who will join hands for what is probably a last attempt this season. Korean Hong-Bin Kim (6, 8000ers) is attempting the peak in spite of losing all his fingers to frostbite on McKinley in 1991, ExWeb’s Korean sources stated.
For technical reasons the alternative route proposed last year has turned a no-go so the push will go over the usual Cesen and Abruzzi lines. Gerfried’s team reported that the Americans, Kazakhs and Russians started ascending the Abruzzi on Friday. Santiago, Kim and his Sherpas, Gerlinde and Americans started ascending Cesen yesterday. Gerfried, Louis, Sepp and Christian started out last and went straight to camp 2, which they reached today. Gerlinde, Maxut, Serguey, Vasily, Santiago, Fabrizio, Kim, Pemba, Mingma, Dave, George and Ali all plan to meet and climb together from the Bottleneck, fixing the route along the way. This is an experienced bunch, Gerfried pointed out, sharing about 75, 8000er summits between them.
Summit question marks: Spanish Jorge Egocheaga reportedly summited K2, his 10th 8000er, on July 19 via the Abruzzi Spur route. Late Iñaki Ochoa’s regular climbing mate, the independent Egocheaga is known for fast and light ascents in small teams. The climber decided on a solo attempt with a break in the weather. He topped-out at 7.30 am local time; and returned to C3 in 3.5 hours. His summit claim was however questioned by a number of climbers in BC. Five Iranian members of the Tehran and Sarab expeditions were reported to have reached GII’s summit in high winds. The statement was however pushed back by climbers in BC, who reported that the mountaineers said they had turned around 50 meters shy from the real top. On Broad Peak: two Swiss, one German, and Cleo Weidlich reportedly summited on the morning of July 20th at 8:17 am. This statement has been disputed by Dutch expedition leader Eelco Jansen who states that this year nobody reached the main Summit of Broad Peak (yet – a team remains on the SW side). 11 mountaineers made it to the Fore Summit also known as the Rocky Summit (8035 m). AdventureStats will contact all disputed climbers for summit pictures and/or other evidence.
Broad Peak: Cristina Castagna, 31, lost on descent from C4 Nicknamed “El Grio” (the cricket) Cristina reportedly slipped and fell into a crevasse while descending with mate Giampaolo Casarotto. She had previously summited Shisha’s central summit (2004), GII (2005), Dhaulagiri (2007) and Makalu (2008). This season, she and Renato hoped to summit Broad Peak and then give GI a shot.
Broad Peak’s SW side: 29 days after arriving in BC, Iran’s Arash Mountaineers team is still trying to reach C3,” IMZ news reported. “They’ve fixed 2,050 meters of rope between 4900m and 6500m.”
Gasherbrum II: fatality Climbing behind the Iranian team with Polish mate Jacek Teler; Spanish mountaineer Luis M. Barbero was last seen near the summit and was reported lost some days later by his team mates down in BC.
GI summits – Veikka Gustafsson completes the 14x8000ers list! Following a 16-year long quest, Finnish climber Veikka Gustafsson is now one of the very few men in the world to have climbed all the 14x8000ers without supplementary O2. The victory came on July 26, when Veikka and his climbing mate Kazuya Hiraide (Japan) reached the summit of Gasherbrum 1 together with Bulgarian mountaineers Nikolay Petkov, Doychin Boyanov, Boyan Petrov, and Nikolay Valkov.
G1 summit push Polish Jacek Teler, Carlos Soria’s team are on a summit push at the time of this publishing while FTA hopes a summit attempt on Tuesday. Korean Oh Eun-sun and her team hope for summit today, Sunday, Black Yak told ExWeb correspondent Kyu Dam Lee. Oh will shoot for the top straight from C3 in order to take advantage of the weather window.
Latok I Oscar Perez and Alvaro Novellon are attempting the unclimbed north face of Latok 1 in alpine style. “Should everything go well, we’ll spend about seven or eight days on the wall,” they told their home team from BC. “That is just an approximate amount of time – since no one has climbed the face completely, we have no references.”
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Filed under: Climbers, Expedition, Karakoram, Week-In-Review | Tagged: Broad Peak, Climbers, Cristina Castagna, Don Bowie, Expedition, Gasherbrum, K2, Karakorum, mountaineering, Pakistan, Travel, Veikka Gustafsson |