K2: The K2 Express Moving Fast!

More updates on K2 today from K2Climb.net. With the weather window wide open until at least Sunday, climbers who have been patiently waiting for their opportunity are finally making the best of it.

Yesterday it was reported that Dodo Kopold along with Peter Hamor, and Piotr Morawski, had abandoned their alpine style attempt on a new route along the Western Face. They were moving over to the Cesen Route, where they planned to join forces with Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, Fabrizio Zangrilli, Daniel Bartsch, and David Gottler to make a non-stop run to the summit. Gerlinde’s husband Ralf, who is monitoring the climb from BC, has reported in that all the climbers have united and that they have made their way up to C3 where they intended to take a short rest, before moving up to The Shoulder by “late evening”.

The team reports that the going is tough. While the weather is good, and the winds are low, they are breaking trail on fresh snow, which is causing them to burn a lot of energy and tire more rapidly. The Express team was planning to rest in C3 and sleep for a few hours before proceeding once more.

Update: Movement on the Abruzzi Spur! It seems that Gerfried Goeschl, Kilian Volken, Günter Unterberger and Ronald Newerkla have all reached C3, where they will take a short rest before going for the summit this evening. From Camp 3 it’s still 15 hours of climbing before they top out, but the intention is to get up sometime tomorrow before the high winds move back in on Sunday. Climb fast and safe guys!
No word this morning on the three Russian climbers who set out from C5 late yesterday. They’re hopping to complete the first direct route on K2’s Western Face, but had a challenging climb still ahead of them. It’s possible that we could still hear from that at the summit today, but some estimations had them topping out tomorrow. If there are any updates as the day goes on, I’ll be sure to post them.

Kraig Becker

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