Even for Russians, they were in a bad spot at the wrong time and they knew it. “I think we should get dressed,” said Vinogradsky. What is it like on K2 in a winter hurricane, descending without crampons through the night? C1 survivor Eugeny Vinogradsky knows and today he shares his story.
K2 hurricane debrief
Scrambling to reassemble their wrecked base camp, Russian expedition member Eugeny reported the details yesterday in a phone call home to Yekaterinburg.
Saturday, on January 14, the mountaineers ascended to camp 1. “Except for a strong wind that first night was OK,” Vinogradsky said.
The men expected to work the route for the following three days when on Sunday night the wind suddenly grew into hurricane force. At a forceful blow to the tent 1:30 am, “I told my mates to put on our clothes, boots and harnesses,” the Russian said. It was not a moment too soon. “The next gust ripped our tent,” Vinogradsky said, “and the gear inside flew out.”
The fragile canvas shelter balancing on the edge of a cliff, “we risked to be swept away along with the tent,” Eugeny said.
“Vladimir Belous and I had time enough to put on our crampons, but Alexey Bolotov’s blew out with the wind… luckily we still managed to descend back to BC.”
“Problems were not over though,” Eugeny Vinogradsky reported about their return to safety. “Upon arrival, we saw the gale had flattened 6 tents and blown away a lot of gear.”
The wind dropping at last the expedition is repairing the damaged tents. The difficult descent caused frostbite to Vladimir Belous toes and he will return home. The team has thus been reduced to eight climbers.
Winter 2011-12 Pakistan teams
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Filed under: Climbers, Expedition, Karakoram, winter expedition Tagged: | Artur Hajzer, Climbers, Denis Urubko, Expedition, Gasherbrum, K2, Karakoram, Nanga Parbat, Polish climbers, Russian Climb, Simone Moro, Travel