K2 Update: Russians Go For Summit On West Face!

K2Climb.net published one of their “news flashes” this morning indicating that the Russian Team on the West Face of K2 is attempting a summit push today.

The Team has been working hard on that unclimbed face, fixing lines and establishing camps, but today two teams will head up to C5 and hope for a break in the high winds before going for the summit. The weather has not been cooperative of late, but the Russians have decided that they need to be in position if and when the next weather window opens so they can make their push to the top.

The 16 member team has reportedly fixed lines up to 8000m and are climbing without supplemental oxygent in the Himalayan “siege” climbing style. The article quotes Slovak Dodo Kopold, who says “the Russians are there to climb K2’s west face, and they won’t leave until they make it.”

In other news, the Kazakh team on the North West Ridge, are continuing along that path as well. They have established C3 and are proceeding in shifts, laying down rope up to C4. Their efforts were hampered yesterday however, when a major storm moved into the area, and a small avalanche struck their tents in C3. Fortunately, no one was injured and they’ll have the camp re-established soon.

If the winds die down on K2 this weekend, it’s possible we’ll see the Russians make their first push along the West Face. Everyone hold you’re breath and keep your fingers crossed until they are back down. It’s going to be a tough go for them the rest of the way.

In other Karakorum new from when I was away, it seems that Ralf Dujmovits has given up on his K2 bid, but that wife Gerlinde, along with David and Daniel, will still attempt to top out. I suppose Ralf can be excused on this climb, since he’s already knocked of Manaslu and Broad Peak this year, and has gone up to the Shoulder on K2 as well. Take a break Ralf! I’m tired just reading about all your climbing.

On the Gasherbrums we received word that Alex Gavin has become the first Romanian to summit GI, with details on the climb yet to be revealed. But on GII, the word is that the mountain is now officially closed with snowy conditions at high altitude making it impossible to summit for the rest of this season.

Kraig Becker

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