When last we heard, Maxut and Vassily were leaving BC to make their summit bid, and there was some speculation that they might top out early in the week. Now, the word is that the two men have reached C4 and are resting before going up tomorrow to establish Camp 5 from which they’ll launch their final assault on the peak. They hope to set up that camp in the 8300 to 8400m region of the mountain. They radioed BC to let them know that the weather was decent, but that they would have to watch the snow in the couloir leading to the summit, as there could be the chance of an avalanche. If the snow is too deep, or unsteady, to proceed they’ll approach the summit from an alternate route.
Meanwhile, Denis Urubko and Serguey Samoilov are late to K2 this season, but still have big ambitions. The two Russians arrived in BC on the 25th and have already begun the acclimatization process, shuttling supplies up to C2 along the “normal” route on the Chinese side of the North Ridge. Once they have fully acclimatized, the two will make a bid for summit along a new route on the North Ridge itself.
Things aren’t completely over on other beaks in the Karakorum either. On Broad Peak for instance, the weather continues to be bad, and there are some serious chances of avalanches at the higher elevations, but Jean Troillet’s team is still holding out hope that they can make one last attempt. Time is running short however, as their flight out of Islamabad is scheduled for Sept. 7.
Soon the action will shift back to the Himalaya, and the Karakorum will go quiet for another year, but for now, there are still some very determined climbers hoping to accomplish their goals.
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