Himalaya and Karakorum Winter Update: Waiting For Another Chance

broad peak
The waiting game continues on Broad Peak, where the team sits in base camp hoping for a four day weather window to open to allow them another crack at the summit. While they wait, there have been a couple of updates from the mountain that Explorers Web has compiled together to give us an idea of what the team is facing.

The opening paragraphs of the article actually put the winter climb into perspective saying the following:

Imagine yourself camping out for over two months on the top of Mount Whitney (4421 m/14,505 ft) or Mont Blanc (4,810 m) – in winter. In Broad Peak BC (+5000 m) climbers are using the slow, cold and neverending days to post reports on their recent summit push.

To get the proper idea – imagine winter climbing to the top of Mount McKinley (6,193 m/20,320 ft) followed by a restless night at the top of Aconcagua (6,962 metres/22,841 ft) – and you’re still not there!

Whoa! Now that gives us just a slight understanding of what the Broad Peak team has been going through for the past two months. Crazy stuff! It certainly gives me a new appreciation of how difficult it must be to just be killing time in BC, waiting for a chance to do something. Anything!

Meanwhile, both Don Bowie and Artur Hajzeer have updated their respective blogs with insight into their first summit attempt. Both tell a similar story, albeit in very different styles, of how poor the weather was and how difficult it was for them to go up the mountain. They did go as high as Camp 3, but the conditions were not safe to go beyond that point, and the team was exhausted from the grueling climb and the sleepless nights at altitude with winds whipping around them.

With an indomitable spirit, the mountaineers have not given up, despite two very long months on the mountain. Artur wonders in his writing if the Karakorums can be bested in the winter months, and if they’ll even get another shot at it. A four day weather window, at this point, must seem as common as a Yeti.

Kraig Becker