K2Climb.net brings us an update this morning with news that the Russians on the West Face of K2 have reached Camp 5 and are moving ahead with their summit bid. Three members of the team are safely in at C5, and are awaiting a weather window, which could come as early as today.
Meanwhile, climber Alexander Korobkov was airlifted out of BC on Saturday after suffering a sudden, acute pain in his leg. The doctor in Base Camp thought that it might be a possible thrombosis, so precautions were taken to ensure his safety. Thrombosis is a condition in which a clot can form inside a blood vessel, which can obviously be a dangerous situation at altitude or any remote area. Alexander had to spend three extra days at BC after the diagnosis however, as the weather was too bad to allow a helicopter to come get him. He’ll now be treated at a hospital in Islamabad, and will be sent home to Moscow soon there after.
The latest weather reports for the region from EverestNews.com indicate that things could be dicy on K2 today, but a weather window should open up Tuesday and Wednesday that will allow the team to finish their climb and top out mid-week. If successful, this will be the first direct route climb on the West Face. If the weather predictions are accurate, this next window will last for 4 to 5 days and should allow some of the more patient teams, that have been waiting their turn on K2, to have a crack at the summit. I have no doubt that most are moving up the mountain now to get into position to take advantage of this opportunity, which could possibly be the last shot of the season.