Karakorum 2009: Broad Peak Wrapped in Snow

More reports are beginning to trickle in from the Karakorum, where the climbing season is now underway. Some teams are already well into their climbs, while others are just now preparing to set out for base camp from Skardu.

ExWeb has the latest news from the range, and is reporting that the first team on Broad Peak has reached Camp 3, and are now deciding if they should continue up or return to BC and wait out the weather. Reportedly, the 8051 meter (26,414 foot) mountain is already covered in snow, with yet more of the white stuff falling. Throw in strong winds at altitude, and it is making for very challenging conditions at the moment.

American climber Don Bowie has his sights set on the Gasherbrums this season, and is currently climbing on the glaciers between G3 and G4. According to Don, conditions are quite treacherous at the moment, with large open holes and crevasses on the ice, which has kept the team on their toes, and despite the fact they are wearing snow shoes, they’ve all had close calls already.

Don himself fell through and was left dangling in space a few days back, pondering how far the fall would be beneath him. He also reports that the Gasherbrums are thick with snow already as well, with more falling every day since their arrival.

Finally, the bulk of the teams are still making their way into Skardu, with some electing to come by car due to the number of cancelled flights in recent days. It is a 25+ hour drive from Islamabad to Skardu, which is leaving the teams completely wiped out, but at least they have reached their destination and can begin the logistical process of getting their gear to base camp.

Bad new for some of those arriving however, as they are finding out that there is snow on the trekking trails leading to the mountains, which means that they will all have to deal with even more snow when they get to BC. K2 in particular is said to have plenty of snow once again this year. Lets just pray it doesn’t lead to anything resembling the disaster of 2008.

Kraig Becker

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