K2Climb.net is reporting that the climbers on the Cesen Route have been turned back due to increasingly dangerous conditions. The team, dubbed the “K2 Express“, turned back just below the Bottleneck. Even at those altitudes, the heavy snow was very unstable, and the team was exhausted from nearly 35 hours of climbing, and breaking trail through fresh, heavy snow.
As of now, most of the climbers are back in camps somewhere on the mountain, and are resting up for their return to BC. Fabrizio Zangrilli and Daniel Bartsch have already returned to base camp, while Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner and David Gottler are in C2, taking a rest and re-hydrating. Piotr Morawski and Peter Hamor, along with Dodo Kopold, are in C3, resting up as well after turning back below the Bottleneck.
Since the weather conditions are expected to worsen, starting tomorrow, and the climbers are already exhausted and turning back, it brings an end to the season for those on the Cesen Route. As of now, we have yet to hear from the Russians on the Western Face, who could reach the summit sometime today. On the Abruzzi Spur, teams were resting up in the hopes that they could beat the weather and make one more shot at topping out.
Expect more updates later in the day.
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