First, on K2 the word is that the Norit Team has begun fixing ropes to C3 after spending the night in Camp 2 yesterday. They’ve been making good, steady progress thus far, but admit that the Cesen Route is very challenging and different from the Abruzzi Spur. Describing it as a “true climbing route”, the team will be experiencing a mix of loose snow, rock climbing, and hard ice, with the ever present danger of avalanches, and some large crevasses to negotiate as well.
Moving to the Gasherbrums, Slovakian climbers Dodo Kopold and Vlado Plulík have arrived in base camp and are preparing to assault both the Gasherbrums, Broad Peak, and finally K2. The expedition has been dubbed the Baltoro Express, and yes, you read that right, they hope to complete FOUR different 8000m peaks. I guess Dodo an Vlado live by the old adage of “Go big, or go home!” No one will accuse them of lacking ambition.
Finally, we receive word that Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner has canceled her attempt on K2 this season. The famed female mountaineer is still suffering from a nasty case of pneumonia that sprung from contracting bronchitis on Lhotse a few weeks back. At the time, Gerlinde was hoping to bag a Himalayan doubleheader, knocking off Lhotse with her husband Ralf Dujmovits, after she has already successfully topped out on Dhaulagiri earlier in the month.
Looks like it’s going to get very interesting in the Karakorum now. I can’t wait to see how the “Baltoro Express” turns out. Would that be a quadruple-header? Crazy stuff!
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