Karakorum 2009: Off To A Rough Start

K2 dal Broad Peak
For the worlds top mountaineers, the climbing season never really ends, it just shifts location. With the Himalaya behind us at last (I really mean it this time!), the focus shifts to the Karakorum, where teams have already begun to arrive in Pakistan, and are starting to filter out into the countryside, preparing for the long trek to base camps all over the range.

As is typical in the Karakorum, the 8000 meter peaks will be the focus, with teams already planning attempts on Nanga Parbat, Broad Peak, both Gasherbrums, and of course K2. Of course, some of the “lesser” peaks of the region will also see action, but everything in the Karakorum is a challenging climb, even if it doesn’t break the magical 8000m barrier. For an excellent list of all the upcoming expeditions, check out this post over at Himalman’s Blog, which is always a great source for mountaineering info anyway.

Meanwhile, ExWeb is reporting that many of the climbers in Pakistan are finding it rough going already, and they haven’t even left Islamabad yet. Cancelled flights over the past few days have left many stranded, and some have now elected to take a 25-hour long bus trip to Skardu, rather than delay any longer. Skardu is a the distant frontier town that is the last stop before the treks into the mountains begin.

Not everyone is stranded however. as ExWeb is also reporting that at least one team is already in position on Broad Peak, and are making their summit bid, despite heavy snow. If everything goes as planned, they might bag the first summits of the season as early as this Friday or Saturday.

Kraig Becker

3 thoughts on “Karakorum 2009: Off To A Rough Start”

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