(By Angela Benavides) GII winter pioneers Simone Moro, Denis Urubko and Cory Richards were unable to reach BC today due to a major storm hitting the mountain. They have however reached safely C1 for the night, according to RussianClimb.
GI team members Gerfried, Louis and Alex are on watch in Base Camp, ready to help the descending climbers if needed.
“Extremely strong storm,” Denis texted to his wife at 3:00pm Pakistan time today. “Very tough descent. We are in the tent in C1, drinking tea. We have no energy, nor time to go any further down – we are going to spent the night here. BC tomorrow. We’re OK.”
Descent in the storm
The weather had turned for the worse immediately after the climbers topped-out – shortly after 11.30am, local time yesterday; by the time they reach their tent in high camp, they were wrapped in a full-force gale. According to forecasts, the storm will hit the area yet for some days.
Meanwhile in Base Camp, the Winter GI ABC (Austrian-Basque-Canadian) team members have delayed their first trip up the mountain until Simone, Denis and Cory arrive. “We want to greet the guys as they deserve, make sure they reach safe ground and provide help if necessary,” Alex Txikon told his home team.
“What they’ve dome is plainly amazing – and showed us the way,” Alex added. “We too must take the chance and launch a fast, light attempt on ‘our’ mountain asap.” The team plan to set off from BC on Friday.
Weather notes from Broad Peak
The Polish team on neighboring Broad Peak is also suffering the hurricane-force winds and driving snow.
“Winds reached 120 km/h last night,” member Rafal Fronia reported from BC earlier today. “Robert and Krzysiu were forced back to Base Camp. Forecast is crystal clear: the storm will go on for at least some more days, so that we’ll have to delay all plans to pitch C3. Instead, two people is setting off from BC in order to dig out the ropes, currently buried in snow and ice.”
Simone: Speed is the key
Upon arrival in C3 yesterday after the summit, Simone had some time (and stamina) left, to report on the final climb and to evaluate the team’s success. “We topped-out at 11:38am,local time, after eight exhausting hours from C3 (at 6,850m). Just as predicted, the sun accompanied us from 7,500m, but the 200 meters on the summit pyramid took the best of us,” said Moro.
“I believe the key to success, besides an accurate weather forecast, was speed,” Simone stated. “The fast climb and summit bid paid off, just like it had worked on Makalu (where we summited after just 19 days on the mountain).”
Some stats for the record
Gasherbrum II is the first 8000er in Pakistan’s Karakoram to be summited in winter. Besides, Brazilian Rodrigo Granzotto has submitted some more stats about the mountain and the recent summiteers:
“Simone’s is the first winter expedition to Gasherbrum II; the peak had not been attempted before in wintertime,” Rodrigo noted. “G2 is the second 8000er for Cory (after Lhotse last year) and the seventh 8000er for Simone. Denis now has 19 main 8000ers summited.”
“Also, Italian Simone Moro is now the undisputed leader in winter, the only climber in history who has bagged three 8000ers completely in winter (all his expedition completely took place within calendar winter),” Rodrigo added.
Links to Karakoram 2011 winter teams:
* Simone Moro website: – http://www.simonemoro.com/
* Simone Moro on Facebook: – facebook.com/moro.simone
* Previous story :
* Related Links :
– 2007 Winter Nanga Parbat: It’s over – http://www.mounteverest.net/news.php?id=15523
* Polish Himalayas – Become a Fan
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Filed under: Climbers, Karakoram, Simone Moro, Travel, winter expedition | Tagged: Artur Hajzer, Broad Peak, Climbers, Cory Richards, Denis Urubko, Gasherbrum II, Karakoram, Marek Klonowski, Simone Moro, Tomasz Mackiewicz, Travel, winter expedition |