Karakorum Update: American’s Retreat From K2 Summit


K2Climb.net has posted yet another update on conditions in the Karakorum, where just yesterday I noted that there would be more than a few summit bids in the works. How quickly things can change.

The Shared Summits Team along with the Korean team on the Abruzzi Spur, had planned to move up to C4 today, with the promise of winds dying down over the weekend, and a possible summit attempt. However, the “Savage Mountain” had other ideas, as fresh, thick, heavy snow covered the trail up to C4 and making the going very tough. After several attempts, along different lines, the team determined that it would take at least 10 hours to reach their destination, and that the risk of avalanche was too high. Discretion being the better part of valor, the teams decided to return to BC, as weather reports now indicate very high winds for the weekend.

Remaining on K2, but moving over to the Cesen route, the French and Czech teams were hoping to begin their summit pushes as well, but the high winds have stalled them out too. They are hoping to give it another go on Monday, provided the weather clears by then, but the weekend may bring in heavy snow along with the winds.

Things are considerably better over on Gasherbrum II where the Field Touring Alpine Team have begun their summit push. Their teams are making staggered attempts, with the first team moving up to C1 today, and other teams following one day behind each. If all goes according to plan, they should top out somewhere around the 10th of July.

Finally, yesterday I mentioned that the Amical Team lost a member while in Base Camp. We only knew her first name at the time though, but today we received further details. The climber was Austrian Ulrike Gschwandtner, who succumbed to altitude sickness at the age of 41, just two weeks before her next birthday. Our condolences to friends and family at this time.

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