Simone Moro and Denis Urubko are toiling away on Makalu, and making great time so far. After just arriving on the mountain last week following an expensive, but necessary, airlift into base camp, they have now moved up the mountain, establishing both ABC and C1. Yesterday they reached 6910 meters in just two and a half hours of climbing, and today they expected to go above 7000 meters before returning to base camp. So far, they say that their acclimatization trek in the Khumbu Valley has served them well.
Meanwhile, over on Broad Peak, where the other major winter climb is taking place, it has been a few days since we received an update. Don Bowie updated his site three days ago to let us know that they had a break in the storm and used that opportunity to move up to Camp 1 with the intention of shuttling supplies up to C2 to be in a better position to make a summit bid when the weather window finally opens. The climb was tougher than expected, as Don and teammate Qadrat spent much of the day digging ropes out from under three feet of snow. And when they finally arrived at Camp 1, they discovered that their tent has been destroyed by high winds. The rest of their gear was fine, but the tent was shredded, so instead of spending the night at C1 and then proceeding up to C2, the boys elected to go back down the mountain. The next day a team went to C2 where they discovered that all was well, and the tent was still standing.
Don ends his post by saying that their eyes are now turned to next week, where they’re hoping for a weather window. If the window opens, they’ll have a go at the summit and potentially the first successful climb of Broad Peak in winter.