Karakorum 2009: Gasherbrums Turn Back Teams, More On Go Mi-Sun

Don 7000mG3 7 9 09
The Karakorum climbing season is evolving quickly in no small part because of the weather conditions there. While many of the teams are remaining patient and hoping for the best, others are electing to call it a day and head home for the year. Take for example the Jagged Globe team, who were hoping to summit Gasherbrum II, but have now decided it is time to go home. They blame the shifting jet stream that has brought a ton of snow to the mountain and are now preparing to leave base camp on the weekend. Apparently they won’t be the only ones fleeing the Gasherbrums, as ExWeb is reporting that other teams are planning on packing it in for the season too.

Don Bowie and the rest of his crew having been struggling away on G3 for the past few weeks, and he posted the first of his summit bid dispatches today.

Over on Broad Peak, the summit bids are underway for the Field Touring Alpine team, who are on their way to Camp 2 today and hope to top out on Saturday. From the sounds of things, there is a mass summit push underway, with nearly every climber on BP giving it ago. Winds are expected to die down tomorrow, opening a weather window through the weekend.

Snow continues to fly on K2, but the weather is also said to be quite warm in base camp. The climbers are still finishing up their acclimatization process for the most part, while Kazakh climbers Maxut Zhumayev and Vassiliy Pivtsov have just arrived in camp and well be climbing under the same permit with Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, who is going for her 13th 8000m peak.

Finally, ExWeb posted a story a few days back that shed more light on the death of Korean climber Go Mi-Sun. In a dispatch sent out from Joao Garcia, we learn a lot more about the conditions on Nanga Parbat and what led to the tragic fall that took the life of Miss Go. Joao doesn’t pull any punches when he explains how the process for fixing the lines worked this year, and how a certain Austrian team didn’t really pull their weight. It was because of them that the lines were removed between Camp 2 and Camp 3, which led to Miss Go not being roped in when she slipped and fell. Joao stops short of accusing the other team of being responsible for her death, but he makes it clear how he feels about the whole incident.

There is another report today on the state of climbing in Korea, where a culture of competitiveness has built up. ExWeb received word from someone in Korea that talked about the rivalries between the mountaineers, in this case Miss Go and another female climber named Miss Oh. It’s a rather revealing look at the drive to be “first” in some capacity in the mountains.

Kraig Becker

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