The big news is that Dodo Kopold had topped out on both Gasherbrums, reaching the top of GI along with Italians Roby Piantoni and Marco Astori and Vlado Plulík. Dodo and Vlado then went on an alpine style assault on GII, with Dodo making a solo summit. These climbs on the Gasherbrums are part of the Baltoro Express Expedition that will also see the two Slovaks attempt Broad Peak and K2 as well. Dodo has put himself into position to pull off a Karakorum quadruple header. Impressive stuff.
Meanwhile, Japanese climber Hirotaka Takeuchi and Fin Veikka Gustafsson, long time climbing partner of Ed Viesturs, have joined the Amical team on GII. Both men are en route to BC, and Hirotaka is going back to the mountain where he was nearly killed a year ago when he was caught in an avalanche at C2. It is also noted that Veikka, who is hailed as a national hero back home, only has the two Gasherbrums and Broad Peak to go before he is finished with the 8000m peaks.
Over on K2, BC is beginning to get crowded. Two new teams have arrived on the mountain, one Korean, the other Serbian. There has already been a meeting with the teams already on K2 to plan the sharing of resources and working together to fix ropes at the higher altitudes where the Cesen Route and the Abruzzi Spur come together.
News from the other peaks include a Basque team which hopes to make a Broad Peak/K2 double header. On Nanga Parbat, the Italian team has shuttled it’s supplies up to 6800m and are now preparing to make their summit bid, and finally, Don Bowie has arrived in Pakistan where he’ll attempt to climb the Distaghil Sar, a 7883 m (25,863ft) mountain located in the remote Hispar Range region. Don will be joined by Bruce Normand whom he climbed K2 with last year.
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