Karakorum 2009: K2 Teams Join Forces, Summit Push Begins Tomorrow!

More news from the Karakorum today, where persistent teams are still hoping to reach the summit of K2, but the mountain isn’t going to give up her prize easily. Meanwhile, another summit push is underway on Gasherbrum I as well.

ExWeb has the latest news from K2, where we learn that the remaining teams all came together for a meeting where they decided it was best if they all joined forces to try to tackle the mountain together. There are still a number of strong climbers who are hoping to summit on the mountain, including Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, who is seeking her 13th 8000m peak, as well as Maxut Zhumayev and Vassiliy Pivtsov, the two amazing Kazakh climbers who have made some of the more daring climbs over the past few years. According to the story, the combined teams will begin their summit push tomorrow, climbing one camp per day until they make their summit bid. That would put them on top around Monday or Tuesday of next week.

The Field Touring Alpine Team returned from their summit bid a few days back, and posted some thoughts on the climb, which didn’t result in any successful summits. The noted that there were high winds up top, and that there are no fixed ropes above Camp 3 as of yet, which made it very dangerous and challenging for everyone. Their current plan is to rest up for a few days and reevaluate their chances, before deciding if and when they’ll make their next bid. Chances are, they may be heading up tomorrow with the rest of the teams.

The weather looks good into early next week, and it seems like it is now or never, but the mood is a bit somber on K2 as we approach the one year anniversary of the tragedy that claimed 13 lives. You know that more than one of the climbers will be thinking about that as they head up this weekend.

Jumping over to the Gasherbrums, another round of summit attempts are underway as well. There are currently teams at various points on both GI and GII, with an eye on reaching the top in the next few days as well. One of the teams still on the mountain is the Altitude Junkies, but their latest dispatch indicates that they won’t be there much longer. Team leader Phil Crampton says that it has snowed for three days straight on GII and that conditions are just too dangerous higher up for them to take any chances. They’ve elected to pack it in and come home rather than take any more risks. They also say that the weather forecast doesn’t look good in the days ahead, so hopefully the other climbers on both GI and GII are keeping an eye on the weather as well.

That’s about it for these two mountains. Activity is underway on both, with the hopes of summits soon, but weather is always dicey in the Karakorum. It’s possible that we won’t see any more summits this year, as the time is beginning to run short. Good luck to everyone in the next few days!

Kraig Becker

Comments are closed.