Karakorum 2009: Gasherbrum Summits a No Go, Teams Leaving K2

More news from the Karakorum today, where we’re learning that the weather remains bad and conditions on some of the big peaks are not improving as the teams would like.

We’ll start on the Gasherbrums, where ExWeb is reporting that a large snow storm has struck the mountain, sending teams down from C2 where they had been hoping to launch their summit bids on both G1 and G2. News on the Jagged Globe website confirms that their team was amongst those that retreated off the mountain as it was blasted with snow. It seems that Viekka Gustaffson was amongst those forced down from an attempt on Gasherbrum I.

Meanwhile, there have been no updates to Don Bowie’s site since July 8th, when we were told that Don and the crew were climbing up to 7000m and hoping for a weather window on G3. We can only assume that conditions are bad on that mountain as well, and that perhaps they were forced down too.

Jumping over to K2, the reports are that the mountain is loaded with snow, especially on the tricky upper slopes. There is enough there to send Giuseppe Pompili packing from the mountain altogether, saying that it isn’t worth the risks to continue climbing the mountain this year. He’s not the only one calling quits, as both Sean Wisedale and Tunc Findik have left base camp as well. Both men indicated that they were listening to their gut instincts while giving up their climbs as things don’t feel right on the mountain at the moment. Wisedale went so far as to say “The presence of death here is overwhelming”. Tunc will now head over to G2 with a hope for better luck.

Finally, back on Nanga Parbat, the teams are still dealing with the two deaths there over the weekend. Yesterday I mentioned that Korean climber Go Mi-Sun had fallen to her death, and I incorrectly stated that her body had been found and removed from the mountain. It turns out that that isn’t true, and while the team knows where her remains are, they haven’t gone up to find them, nor has a recovery operation been mounted at this time. As you can imagine, the mood is described as somber in BC.

Kraig Becker

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