Karakorum 2009: Summits on Nanga Parbat and G2

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Great news from the Karakorum today as word on successful summits have begun to trickle in, starting on Gasherbrum II where Ueli Steck has topped out yesterday and returned to BC today according to the Hardwear Sessions blog. Not many details are known yet on the climb, but it is being reported that Ueli was using this as a training climb for Makalu in this fall.

Meanwhile, ExWeb is reporting that Joao Garcia has summitted Nanga Parbat, claiming his 13th 8000 meter peak and leaving just Annapurna on his list. Joao’s climbing partner Amin Ulal also topped out as well.

Korean climber Go Mi-Sun also reached the summit of Nanga Parbat earlier today, but had to use supplemental oxygen to do so. Miss Go has generally climbed without the O’s, but perhaps her ambitious climbing schedule is getting the best of her. After resting, she’ll move on to the Gasherbrums to have a go at both G1 and G2 in her bid for a second 8000m Triple Header this year.

The summits aren’t quite done yet on NP however, as Gerfried Göschl’s team is moving up along a new route, and if everything stays on schedule, they should be topping out tomorrow. They’re climbing alpine style and established a fourth camp today where they are waiting for the winds to die down before proceeding up.

Moving over to Broad Peak, the Field Touring Alpine team is now in place and ready to begin their summit bid as well. All of their camps are established, and the climbers are finished with their acclimatization process, and now they are watching for a three day weather window that will give them access to the summit. Reportedly conditions are very good on the mountain, and it is only a matter of time before they move up.

The Gasherbrums are abuzz with activity besides just Ueli’s successful summit. The Jagged Globe Team set off on their summit bid a few days back, while the Altitude Junkies are in BC and keeping an eye on the jet stream, hoping for a window. Don Bowie and his team have their sights set on G3, and their latest update has them all at 7000 meters and waiting for the winds to die down as well.

Jumping over to K2, it seems that weather has cleared up enough for teams to begin establishing the route to C2. Most of the teams have spent a night at C2 at this point, and are anxious to get higher on the mountain, but conditions have been really dicey so far.

Finally, Kazak climbing legends Maxut Zhumayev and Vassiliy Pivtsov have arrived in Pakistan are reportedly in Skardu. They’ll begin the trek to K2 soon and are expected in base camp around the 22nd of the month. I’m not sure what their plans are, but they will no doubt be making some spectacular attempt, alpine style, on the mountain. Stay tuned!

Kraig Becker

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