While the Winter climbs on Makalu may be over, the struggle to claim the first Winter ascent in the Karakorum continues on Broad Peak, the 12th highest peak in the World at 8047 meters. ( 26,400 feet.)
The latest update from K2Climb.net reports that Simone Moro and crew have been working hard at fixing the lines up to C3 and have nearly completed the task. The team moved up to C2 on Sunday to begin their efforts to establish Camp 3, and have been working hard since then. Once fortified, C3 will be the last camp before the summit attempt.
Simone notes that all previous 8000m Winer ascents were completed between December 31st and February 17th, so he knows that time is running short, but still says that Spring isn’t anywhere in sight. The weather has not been cooperative thus far, and in the evenings the temperatures are dropping to -35 C. Fortunately, they’ve had a brief respite, with the final day of laying fixed line turning out to be quite nice.
The team stopped just an hour or two below where C3 will be. The remaining section is non-technical, so the elected to conserve their energy and head back down the mountain. For now, they’ll rest, and bide their time in BC waiting a weather window. Once they receive word that a window is opening, they’ll head up the mountain and make their final summit push.
Hopefully that window will come soon. They men have been on the mountain for quite some time, and the cold Winter is taking it’s toll. Anyone who has climbed in the Himalaya and Karakorum during the Winter will tell you that you can work hard, do everything right, be strong on the mountain, and still not get a chance at the summit due to the inclement weather. For Simone’s sake, considering what he’s gone through the past two years, I hope that summit attempt comes.
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