For starters, the Russian team on the West Face, which we’ve been waiting anxiously to hear any news from, is down after spending six days in the “Death Zone”. The three climbers who had been going for the summit retreated just 100 meters below their goal due to exhaustion and the onset of bad weather. The second team has already moved up to C4 and are now waiting for the next window to open.
On a personal note, it’s good to know that the Russian climbers got down in one piece and are safe, even if they did come up a bit short. The lack of news on the team over the weekend had me a bit worried, and left me wondering where they were at. But it seems they turned back on Saturday, but no news of their retreat made it out to the Internet.
Meanwhile, Dodo Kopold, Peter Hamor, and Piotr Morawski, who were all part of the “Cesen Express” team that formed last week, are still holding out hope that they can make one more bid for the summit. But Ralf Dujmovits’ Amical Team is done, and they’re packing it in for this season.
In other Karakorum news, the Hungarian Team that topped out on GI a few weeks back, and was expected on K2, elected to go to Broad Peak instead, where four of them summitted. Over on GII, climbers are still topping out, with several reaching the summit yesterday, by an alternate route I might add. No such luck on GI though for Mario Merelli’s team, who gave up their bid on Saturday, and are now trekking out of the area, in a cold, hard rain. The team gave up their attempt on the Japanese Couloir because of poor conditions and the danger of avalanches at high altitude.
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